Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Family won't take me seriously about my choice to practice buddhism?

I don't know if they think it is just a phase or that i'm having a laugh with everyone but i have looked into this and debated over topics for a while now and I feel very put down by my family and friends reaction. I just though there would be any recommendations as to how i can achieve a level of amicability between everyone?
thanks everyone

Comments

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    My parents hope my choice to become a monk is a phase and im 36.

    How about not debating? People dont care much to feel put apon by another's belief even when they are doing the same.

    The only person your practice matters to is yourself, as it should be. No need to feel that others have to validate it.
    yagranatamanInvincible_summer
  • @Jayantha i agree, although there are more probelems involving this. for example, im incredibly set on being vegan, although i know this could never occur due to parents not respecting this choice...
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran
    You don't need them to take you seriously to practice Buddhism. The Buddha did not demand his followers become vegan. The Five Precepts are his recommendations for living a life you want to be more and more free of suffering.

    People need never know you are a Buddhist. I only tell people if they ask (and then I'm still discreet). I don't remember the Buddha or his followers going around getting huffy because people didn't take them seriously. Their behavior drew people to them by reputation. At first, Buddhism is a very private business within yourself, it's not showy or at odds with your current environment.

    Lots of folks come to Buddhism for the sake of the identity, and that's where not getting seriously comes in. YOU take Buddhism seriously, make it a lifestyle of the mind and heart, not something other people must accommodate you for :) I wish I'd started taking Buddhism so seriously when I was your age.
    DharmaMcBumEvenThird
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    I kind of realized that we so far in this thread can be seen as coming down a little insensitive, even if very truthful.

    @Buddhagrace i dont want you to think we are not validating your feelings on the matter, but most of us go through this beginning phase where "omg buddhism is so cool why doesn't everyone know this!" where we probably were annoying and pushy to our friends and family.

    You come to eventually see that the way other people take notice of buddhist practice is through watching you do yours and the positive changes that occur. when you have the confidence in yourself and your practice, that is when you will be validated, and by that time you wont care either way.
    yagrpersonThaiLotussndymorn
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Jayantha i agree, although there are more probelems involving this. for example, im incredibly set on being vegan, although i know this could never occur due to parents not respecting this choice...

    My father thought I joined a cult when I became vegan. Literally speaking, a real life cult! Of course he was mistaken and eventually realized it was a fine thing. After you have been doing something for 2, 5, 8, 10 years, they realize that it's not just a phase and come to respect it. You have to be patient with them and let them come around on their own. If they actually care about you, they will. You have to be patient with them.

    :)
    personInvincible_summer
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    hey buddhagrace

    4 thought came to mind....

    If you choose to take on specific dietary requirements that differ from the rest of your family then you should expect to be responsible for making your own meals.

    That your family sees your food choices as a slam against their food choices is to be expected.

    I assume that you also know that being a vegetarian or vegan is not a requirement in Buddhism.

    Being incredibly set on anything seldom reflects a Buddhist practice.
    BhikkhuJayasaraInvincible_summer
  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    Sometimes, the best thing to do is say nothing.

    Let them think or say what they want to think/say and just keep practicing. Whatever happens will happen.
    DharmaMcBum
  • DharmaMcBumDharmaMcBum Spacebus Wheelman York, UK Veteran
    DaftChris said:

    Sometimes, the best thing to do is say nothing.

    Let them think or say what they want to think/say and just keep practicing. Whatever happens will happen.

    Go with the flow, as I like to say. The flow will take you where you need to go.... :om:
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The Void Veteran
    Its quite natural to want to be accepted along with the things important to us.

    Its unlikely though that you will be able to win them over through the perfectly crafted argument. If over time your practice and dedication help you become a kinder more considerate person, they will notice that change and appreciate the quality of Buddhism, through your being not your words.
    DharmaMcBum
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    @buddhagrace - you are exerting too much pressure on yourself to live to an ideal.



    DharmaMcBumBhikkhuJayasaraInvincible_summerChaz
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited March 2014
    seeker242 said:

    @Jayantha i agree, although there are more probelems involving this. for example, im incredibly set on being vegan, although i know this could never occur due to parents not respecting this choice...

    My father thought I joined a cult when I became vegan. Literally speaking, a real life cult! Of course he was mistaken and eventually realized it was a fine thing. After you have been doing something for 2, 5, 8, 10 years, they realize that it's not just a phase and come to respect it. You have to be patient with them and let them come around on their own. If they actually care about you, they will. You have to be patient with them.

    :)
    I dunno those vegans definitely seem like a cult to me.. but then again they call us crossfitters a cult as well lol.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    I have a 17 year old son and from having been a teenager at one point, and my experience with him, I can say, teenagers can be fickle :) It isn't a put down, it's just how the majority (not all) of them are because of their growing into life and their more limited experiences and so on. They try a lot of new things, test out new ideas, new beliefs, and that is a *good* thing. That is what they should be doing. But the important thing to remember is, it won't be long before you are living your life on your terms. You have far, far more time to do that than you have to live with your parents. I know it's hard to believe now, but when you are older, you will probably look back on your time with your parents and your friends and miss some of it, laugh about some of it, ponder a lot of it.

    Buddhism is a lot about being in the present. About making the most of every moment. About accepting all the things that life brings, good, bad, frustrating, irritating, sad, anxious and everything in between.

    If you really just got started very recently, give it time. Most adults see the fruit in the labors of following something for a longer period. Don't worry about coming out of the Buddha closet just yet. Just practice, study, meditate. Live your life. Do what you can, that is within your control the best you can. After a time, perhaps you can go back to your parents and note to them that you'd like to try being vegan and if you are willing to help buy the food and cook it, would they support you and help you out? You might be surprised how they respond. Or you might not. But it is something you can control in the rest of your life not very far from now.

    When I was 17, I wanted to be a wolf biologist. Turns out, I hated biology. I wanted to live in Florida. LOL NO WAY. I wanted to marry the boy I was dating. Turns out, 20 years later, he's clearly absolutely not the right person for me. I was 110% sure then that he was. It was so strong I would have bet my life on it. Feelings at that age are incredibly strong, and it takes a lot of experiences and full maturity to be able to not react so strongly to them. Give it time :) I know it seems like adult life is a million years away, but it's really not.
    BunksmisterCope
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    To add briefly, when I was growing up, my family was Lutheran. I knew it wasn't for me by the time I was pretty young but I wasn't given a choice. When I got older I dropped it but didn't pick up anything else. I kinda floated in New Age stuff for several years. I explored several religions,including Buddhism, when I was in my 20s. Then went back to "I'm spiritual but that's it." When I was around 30 I spent a couple years in Paganism/Wicca, and then about 4 years ago I started in with Buddhism. At each time in my life, each thing seemed perfectly suited to me, except what I grew up with. As my understanding and experience grew, my spiritual needs changed. Yours likely will do, even if you do stay within Buddhism.
    anatamanperson
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    One of the things I think is very interesting -- and BTW, not something I am saying is the case here -- is that there are family situations I have known of where the young Buddhist is upset when his/her parents put down his/her religion, at the same time he/she is disrespecting his/her parent's religion.

    And in fact, I sometimes see that kind of attitude here in the forum, with someone complaining about a lack of respect for Buddhist, and then putting down Christianity.

    Either situation bothers me.
    buddhagraceBhikkhuJayasaraInvincible_summerChaz
  • it's pretty mad to be honest. i've been looking so much into it that ive lost track. i think i need to keep for the basics now and focus on what i want and need to do.
    lobsterInvincible_summerEvenThirdanataman
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    Consider the possibility that others think as highly of their beliefs and ideals as you do of yours.
    yagrlobster
  • it's pretty mad to be honest. i've been looking so much into it that ive lost track. i think i need to keep for the basics now and focus on what i want and need to do.

    :)
    Sounds like a plan

    :clap:
  • You can practise by showing compassion for your family. Remember that they love you and are naturally wary of anything new and unfamiliar in your life. You are young and their desire to protect you is still strong.

    Have patience with them and they will come to understand.
    Nirvana
  • I don't know if they think it is just a phase or that i'm having a laugh with everyone but i have looked into this and debated over topics for a while now and I feel very put down by my family and friends reaction. I just though there would be any recommendations as to how i can achieve a level of amicability between everyone?
    thanks everyone

    They don't have to take your Buddhism seriously, as long as you do. To begin with, they know you. Maybe they have a good reason not to take you seriously. Get your ego out of the way and learn to laugh a bit, at yourself and the stupid little things that get in the way of family and friends.

    There are stages to Buddhism for people discovering something wonderful and transformative. The first stage is to expect everyone to understand how wonderful this thing called Buddhism is, and then be disappointed when they look at you like you told them you're gay or decided to worship trees.

    So just be yourself. Do you care that a friend is Jewish or Catholic or whatever? You know them as friends. Work on your own life and believe me, they'll notice a difference eventually.


    BhikkhuJayasara
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited March 2014
    DaftChris said:

    Sometimes, the best thing to do is say nothing.

    Nothing
  • I don't know if they think it is just a phase or that i'm having a laugh with everyone but i have looked into this and debated over topics for a while now and I feel very put down by my family and friends reaction. I just though there would be any recommendations as to how i can achieve a level of amicability between everyone?
    thanks everyone

    It is more important that you take yourself seriously.
    Linckarasti
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    edited March 2014
    footiam said:

    It is more important that you take yourself seriously.

    This is precisely what I wanted to say. If you feel their perspective is a problem to be solved, it's a reflection of your insecurity with it. That's OK, just don't give in to it. :) When you're completely fine with who you are and what you believe, you frankly won't give a damn.
    JeffreyEvenThirdInvincible_summerkarasti
  • yagryagr Veteran
    genkaku said:

    Consider the possibility that others think as highly of their beliefs and ideals as you do of yours.

    Being reminded of this at this moment in time just solved the biggest threat to my serenity in my life right now. Thank you.

    lobster
Sign In or Register to comment.