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On the Path and having kids

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On the Path and having kids
Answer
5/21/18 1:50 AM
Knowing that having kids is a personal decision, however, I would like to ask those is traveling the Path (8 folds) and those had reached the end of the Path:

What could make one on the Path decide to have a kid? (if one already see the consequences)

I'm stuck with this decision. Thank you for any input.

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
5/21/18 5:05 AM as a reply to Joe D..
I´m inclining not to have children.

I´m focusing on the path/awakening.

May change my opinion in a few years. 

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
5/21/18 10:10 AM as a reply to Joe D..
Progress is possible but slow in my experience. I was lucky enough to get s bit of work done on myself before the 1st and 2nd one came along. 

As you you can see, my journal entries ceased after baby number 2. Though, certain baseline shifts make changing countless nappies, poop, screaming tantrums, little selfing processes on endless me,me,me repeat, no time, no space, no worries...a little easier to go with compared to without said baseline shifts. Go for 1st path then the dropping of the centrepoint. Can be done with kids. Though, disclaimer, I do not profess to “being done with the path”. 

https://lucaimyourfather.blogspot.com.au/?m=1

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
5/22/18 9:05 PM as a reply to Joe D..
"What could make one on the Path decide to have a kid? (if one already see the consequences)"

One reasoning could be the following :

If you think about helping other scentient beings to liberate themselves, and that scentient beings are constantly reincarnating until liberated.. helping a couple of kids reincarnate and attempt to liberate themselves in their new lifetime you are sacrifying your own life for wouldnt do too bad karma wise ? emoticon it might even liberate you in the process who knows ? .. that would be a Bodhisatva-wise move imo, now that you are pondering paternity  ;) 

ps: disclosure : i have 2  (young as of this time) kids

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/4/18 1:02 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
"helping a couple of kids reincarnate and attempt to liberate themselves in their new lifetime you are sacrifying your own life for wouldnt do too bad karma wise"

My partner has the same reasoning as this. Which, I find not convincing enough.emoticon

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/4/18 1:10 AM as a reply to alguidar.
"May change my opinion in a few years."

I'm sure you will...the mind changing every moment. I used to hang on the idea "I will never have kids...for full enlightment". This is just ideas, not reality or understanding. Even if you really understood cause/effect (keep 5 precepts naturally)... can you avoid something like "having children"? 

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/4/18 1:22 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
" I was lucky enough to get s bit of work done on myself before the 1st and 2nd one came along. "

Nikolai, Could you share your decision making process (to have children) back then. 

I'm interest to hear from someone had SE or 2nd Path.

Thank you.



RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/4/18 1:29 AM as a reply to Joe D..
Have 2 small kids and one is 18 y.o. Got a stream entry about 2 weeks ago. Was thinking on the subject too. Progress is possible but you're constantly lacking time for the practice. Still, I manage to allocate 1-2 hours a day (self employed) and going to my first retreat this week.

My current opinion is that it is very helpful for everyone to have some degree of enlightenment before you decide to have a newborn. At the same time nothing can replace the experience of being a father or a mother, and you have everything for becoming a really good one.

Using noting technique during daily life is also very helpful and makes the progress more even and obstacles less disturbing.

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/4/18 4:21 AM as a reply to Joe D..
I wanted to have a child for various fantastic reasons to do with living a fantastic life, becoming a fantastic person, a deep wish, but pretty much the only vaguely convincing reason and answer I ever found for the question of "Why have a child?" was "For her. Even though she does not exist yet." (gender of pronoun added after the event ;) )

And, trusting that she remains as fantastic as she is, the proportion of goodness in the world as improved slightly. emoticon

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/7/18 1:56 AM as a reply to Joe D..
I was in a relationship prior to being exposed the the pragmatic dharma movement and made progress while in the relationship. We got married and kids just happened. I didn’t plan for it really. Then there was another.. without any decisions made prior..but no more needed after that as 2 is enough. Having access to what the mind can do post-cessation’s is/was handy in wiping the slate clean and rebooting and seeing things come and go with great ferocity in this ongoing situation . Nothing like having such a responsibility coupled with lack of sleep and space and time and money and... to really test the mind’s capacity for equanimity. 

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/7/18 2:14 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
...Nothing like having such a responsibility coupled with lack of sleep and space and time and money and... to really test the mind’s capacity for equanimity. 
...yep, got in one.

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
6/7/18 6:43 AM as a reply to junglist.
Side note (and don't mean to be preachy), but if you do have kids, one potential mistake is to assume that, because you're a meditator, you'll be an awesome parent. If you had really fantastic parents yourself who did an excellent job, then maybe you have nothing to worry about and can just press ahead. But if you're like most people and your parents had significant issues, it's a good idea to work with a psychotherapist to figure out what all that stuff was and how it affected you before you have kids. Otherwise, you are almost certain to just repeat all of these patterns and transmit them directly to your children, who will pass them on to their children, and on and on.
If your dad was an abandoner, for example, you might be unconsciously inclined to abandon your own family. Maybe that takes the form of slipping out of town to do long meditation retreats, or of just generally paying more attention to your own subjective experience than to what's going on with your kids thoughout their early development. I think this is why some dharma teachers, like Against the Stream's George Haas, focus pretty heavily on bringing in attachment theory and other psychological ideas as a skillful means. 

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
7/17/18 12:16 AM as a reply to Joe D..
I don't have an answer, just the opposite. If both parents are living together and one of them starts meditating it can change their personality (for the better) but that can interfere with the relationship if the other parent does not change in the same way.  Meditation can also cause a person to becomes disilusioned with the rat race and result in a large decrease in income, this can also adversely affect the relationship between the parents. Disruption of the relationship between the parents can harm the child, and it might be difficult for children of certain ages to experience a decreas in the parent's income.

Meditation can also have other influences on the personality, it can make a person more emotional, progress in meditation can turn a person's worldview upside down, I don't like the term "dark-night" but there isn't a better one so I will point out that it could have undesirable consequences for the children if one parent goes into a dark-night episode.

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
7/17/18 1:27 AM as a reply to Joe D..
The original question was “What could make one on the Path decide to have a kid?” It sounds like if you are “stuck with this decision”, you are either (1) ambivalent about this personally, or (2) feel pushed to have a child by your partner, despite not wishing to.  This is a very personal decision and excuse my presumption, but I honestly don’t feel it has anything to do with the Path.

I attained Third Path a few weeks ago, during my first 10 day retreat since my younger child left home.  I worked hard for the first two Paths, including some horrendous Dark Nights, when my children were young.  After attaining Second Path about a decade ago, I vowed to make up for any possible bleeds into their lives my obsession with the Path may have caused, and continue after they were grown up.

Could I have attained Third Path sooner?  Who knows?  Does it matter?  Not in the least.  Through raising my children, I learnt so much about patience, loving-kindness, equanimity, generosity, proper conduct, renunciation, diligence, truthfulness, determination and wisdom (in case this list does not sound familiar, look up the pāramīs).  I learnt to curb my obsessive tendency to push through without wisdom, and my children and meditation students have benefited from this.

There are now two wonderful young adults who have benefited very directly from my practice of the Dhamma.  And my students continue to benefit from the numerous anecdotes I relay about raising them in accordance with the Path.  In my experience, having children and being on the Path are not mutually exclusive.  To the contrary, my children have been an integral part of my understanding of anicca, dukkha and anattā, and I am ever so grateful for this.

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
7/18/18 12:19 AM as a reply to L.
We adopted a 10-month-old boy in our 40s, with the result that we’re dealing with a teenager in our 60s.I began working with pragmatic dharma in my 50s, got through some paths and I am so glad I did. One day when our son was 14 and acting sneeringly disrespectful as 14-year-olds will do I was strongly inclined to shout at him, “Who the fuck do you think you are?!” But the f-word just would not come out of my mouth. My lips were forming the first consonant against my teeth, but the word (which I could physically feel knocking against the backs of my front teeth) would not emerge. I thought, if you say that, then he will think it’s okay to say it back to you some day. So I took a deep breath and then made it clear that his behavior was insulting and I wasn’t inclined to put up with it. 

I am by no means a perfect parent, but at my age I’ve been through a lot and done hard time in therapy straightening myself out, and so path attainments on top of that really have checked my anger and given me breathing space to figure out how to deal in a crisis. This is all solid gold. OTOH, I do notice that a lot of dharma teachers are childless, and there’s a reason for that. Still, with a supportive partner I was able to do what was necessary to make serious progress even with a child in the house. 

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
7/18/18 2:45 PM as a reply to Joe D..
You can pursue enlightenment in a monastery, but also as a householder. Which one do you think will give you the most opportunities to take apart your clinging and aversion, or practice the dharma?

You will have the time you need to take to meditate if you make it non-negotiable.
What could make one on the Path decide to have a kid? (if one already see the consequences)

What makes you think there is a "you" that is choosing? emoticon

Try this: Flip a coin. If your coin side chooses one outcome, how do you feel about that? Is there a relief in the answer, or a tightness about going with what it suggests?

You already know which of these directions this will go, as you can see.

RE: On the Path and having kids
Answer
9/1/18 1:22 PM as a reply to Joe D..
Even though I'm beyond that decision - already got two kids, discovered most of the important stuff I know today way too late for my decisions on having kids being informed by it -  I do have an opinion.

As a materialist I do not believe in reincarnation nor anything beyond these bodies of ours. The best explanation for our existence and essence is that we'r nothing but apes with big brains. So that's the perspective I'm arguing from.

Having said that: life without a properly trained mind is suffering (or at least most of the time rather dissatisfying).
Even after enlightenment there might be suffering in store for us: take any serious brain damage for instance.
Bringing a being into this life (and hence the very probable suffering for that being to come) is not a thing I am going to do again.
May be that whatever child I bring to this world will have a good life. (I sure as hell will do whatever I can to ensure that the ones I already fathered learn the most they can and come off if not with a properly trained mind then at least knowing that freedom of suffering can be obtained - or: that their father believed such a thing.) But who knows if they are going to profit from that knowledge? Only time will tell.
But then: it is pretty probable that any human being we bring into this world will not have a good life. Period. No matter where you live, no matter what you can do for your kids. There's just no way of protecting them from it.

Then there's the argument that somehow humanity might be marching into a bright future and everything could be better in a far future (how I'd love to see an enlightened human society....).
After all you are someone who's after enlightenment and might be able to transmit that to your kids.
That in turn would make them a positive influence on the future of everybody.
But then: who knows. It's a gamble. And it's one we do with human beings who we don't ask beforehand. We just throw them into this world hoping for their best.

Well, wish you wisdom.
And whatever you decide: may you be happy and succesful with it.