Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Aloka » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:There are tons of recordings by tons of different Dhamma teachers out there, among all of that I am sure you can find teachers who do use humor rather well. I am not talking about doing stand-up comic routines, but I am talking about seeing that life can be an occasion for lightness of spirit.



I mentioned in an earlier post about the teachings I've attended given by teachers from two different traditions in which humour was used successfully.

In general, I think that if as lay practitioners we can't ever let go of negativity in the present moment and be light hearted, laugh and enjoy the simple things in life, then its a very sad state of affairs.


.
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:24 am

Greetings Aloka,

Aloka wrote:What does "brothelizing the Dhamma" actually mean ?.

To drag the sacred Dhamma to the level of the profane.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:52 am

Aloka wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:There are tons of recordings by tons of different Dhamma teachers out there, among all of that I am sure you can find teachers who do use humor rather well. I am not talking about doing stand-up comic routines, but I am talking about seeing that life can be an occasion for lightness of spirit.



I mentioned in an earlier post about the teachings I've attended given by teachers from two different traditions in which humour was used successfully.
Which is what I have seen with Tibetan, Zen, and Theravadin teachers, both Asian and Western.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Mr Man » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:55 am

Of course we can have fun. There was a post by Kare where he mentioned a pali party which tickled me http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=16473&p=235129#p235129. But although a sense of humour is (fairly) universal what tickles that sense of humour is not (or what is perceived as fun).
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Anagarika » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:52 pm

In my mind, the use of humor is somewhat dependent on the experience and quality of the teacher. Someone like Ajahn Brahm, a scientist, an ethicist, a strong Dhamma scholar, and a graduate of the Ajahn Chah "crunchy frog" school has a right to use humor in order to connect with his audience and attract and inspire lay people in the Dhamma. His jokes are corny at times, but he knows they're corny and he has a very pleasing self-effacing quality to his humorous presentations.

A poorly qualified teacher, or imposter, needs to be very careful with humor, as humor is not used as a teaching tool but as a reflection of their own inability and foolishness.

Humor can be a very effective tool, but like matches, in the wrong hands, can be harmful and cheapen the Dhamma.
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:53 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:graduate of the Ajahn Chah "crunchy frog" school has a right to use humor
"Crunchy frog?" What do you mean by that? The only "crunchy frog" I am aware of it this (but be warned this is delightfully silly, but it is I am sure certainly not to everyone's taste, and if you watch it and are offended, annoyed, irritated, or otherwise made unhappy in some other inexplicable way, you were warned, so only blame your self for not containing your curiosity):
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:49 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:graduate of the Ajahn Chah "crunchy frog" school has a right to use humor
"Crunchy frog?" What do you mean by that? The only "crunchy frog" I am aware of it this (but be warned this is delightfully silly, but it is I am sure certainly not to everyone's taste, and if you watch it and are offended, annoyed, irritated, or otherwise made unhappy in some other inexplicable way, you were warned, so only blame your self for not containing your curiosity):



This Buddhist just had a bit of fun. Thanks... Not the most wholesome activity I will engage in today. I'm doing well if it turns out to be the most unwholesome. :tongue:
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Alobha » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:16 pm

Aloka wrote:This is a spin-off from another thread about Ajahn Brahm, because it wasn't really relevant to that topic.

Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun ? I'd be interested in reading other peoples comments about this.

Thank you.


The Theragatha gives some examples of the joys that Arahants experienced regardless of how harsh the conditions of the worlds may be.
See Thag 6.2 for example. The Dhammapada may give further inspiration.

It's not whether to have fun, but what kind of fun. One's sense of humor changes all throughout life. When we were little, we may have enjoyed farting noises and doorbell pranks. When we grow older, we may enjoy and have fun with being careless. When we're a little bit wiser, we may enjoy and have fun with virtue, right speech and right intention. Of course it is possible (and encouraged!) to have fun, but that depends on intention.

However, I wouldn't say it's a particular suitable theme to start with. Thinking "Oh, I have fun and I'm not meant to enjoy that!".. where is that leading to, really? Instead of denying oneself some sort of fun, one may just try to discover more subtle and fulfilling forms of joy by the means of practicing the noble eightfold path.
Not let's put back our "no fun allowed" hats. ;)

Best wishes,
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby manas » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:52 pm

With regard to this -

Someone like Ajahn Brahm, a scientist, an ethicist, a strong Dhamma scholar, and a graduate of the Ajahn Chah "crunchy frog" school has a right to use humor in order to connect with his audience and attract and inspire lay people in the Dhamma.


- I offer this excerpt, and the link, as the possible source:

Ajahn Brahm wrote:The Vinaya, then, is quite clear on this matter. Monks and nuns may eat meat. Even the Buddha ate meat. Unfortunately, meat eating is often seen by westerners as an indulgence on the part of the monks. Nothing could be further from the truth - I was a strict vegetarian for three years before I became a monk. In my first years as a monk in North-East Thailand, when I bravely faced many a meal of sticky rice and boiled frog (the whole body bones and all), or rubbery snails, red-ant curry or fried grasshoppers - I would have given ANYTHING to be a vegetarian again!

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books6/Ajahn ... g_meat.htm

:anjali:
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby convivium » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:24 am

In my first years as a monk in North-East Thailand, when I bravely faced many a meal of sticky rice and boiled frog (the whole body bones and all), or rubbery snails, red-ant curry or fried grasshoppers - I would have given ANYTHING to be a vegetarian again!

he should have gone to northwest thailand, wat pah tam wua. ajahn lungta is a disciple of ajahn chah and mun. it's a paradise and is vegetarian. ajahn lungta has a great sense of humor (and is one of the happiest people i've ever met) despite knowing little english.
please don't make it popular with hippies, but now you know a secret. i'm overly generous lately and have mixed feelings posting this.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby manas » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:35 am

convivium wrote:
In my first years as a monk in North-East Thailand, when I bravely faced many a meal of sticky rice and boiled frog (the whole body bones and all), or rubbery snails, red-ant curry or fried grasshoppers - I would have given ANYTHING to be a vegetarian again!

he should have gone to northwest thailand, wat pah tam wua. ajahn lungta is a disciple of ajahn chah and mun. it's a paradise and is vegetarian.
please don't make it popular with hippies, but now you know a secret. i'm overly generous lately and have mixed feelings posting this.


Bless you for sharing that information! I want to stay in a monastery in Thailand someday, but I have a really weak stomach - even just animal flesh can make me queasy, what to speak of the notion of eating bugs and the like (*shudder*). And don't worry, I won't spread this information far and wide, if that would in any way inconvenience the monks who reside there. It would be an annoyance, if there were a daily stream of hippie guests coming to visit, if the only reason for their visiting were to partake of the food, rather than of the Dhamma.

Metta :anjali:
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:02 am

How should we interpret AN 9.4? Was the Buddha gently poking fun at Ven Nandaka or was He bitterly complaining about the Ven's longwindedness?
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby knighter » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:34 pm

Hello from a very fun vipassana student

A massive yes of course you can have fun, smile, laugh, joke.
The thing i practice is the awareness, when your happy or having fun
just be aware this will also change but have fun and be happy,
also if your ever unhappy or bored also be aware that this moment
will also change, people seem to always think they have to be a certain
way comparing them selfs to others, the one thing ive learnt from vipassana
is be your own judge be your own teacher but above all be your own friend.
And keep practicing it takes along time to reach equanimity but have fun on the way.
Be happy
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby alan... » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:04 am

Aloka wrote:This is a spin-off from another thread about Ajahn Brahm, because it wasn't really relevant to that topic.

Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun ? I'd be interested in reading other peoples comments about this.

Thank you.


i find this to be a complicated question. when one is having fun is one distracted from their practice of the dhamma? i know i am not being very mindful when i'm blathering on at work about random nonsense and laughing with co workers. or if i'm playing a video game i can feel my mindfulness lapse (this one is odd since really one is being VERY mindful of the game, for some reason it doesn't work).

then again, dhamma is supposed to lead to non suffering and happiness. it's supposed to be good in the beginning, middle and end. so in the end nibbana surely is fun! but what about the beginning and middle? perhaps all the fun we need should be found in the dhamma?

even further, if one is looking for and engaging in fun, isn't that falling into tricks of the mind? seeing fun as fun instead of as just another temporary mind state is wrong, right?

seriously i have no freaking clue. i struggle with the same question. usually in the other end of the spectrum: should a practicing buddhist every NOT be having fun (or rather should one ever be sad?)?

if one is really good at the dhamma shouldn't sadness just melt off immediately or should it be countered with meditation or metta?

finally i'll say: what about the suttas? do the monks within have fun? i've seen a couple of suttas where the buddha is talking negatively about monks having fun, tickling each other, horsing around, and laughing and so on. as far as i can tell the higher ups in the sangha were very reserved. surely their very existence was pure fun since they were mostly arahants and so they needed no outwardly obvious forms of fun.
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby PadmaPhala » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:17 am

what are buddhists practicing to erradicate? suffering (dukkha)

what's the opposite of dukkha? sukkha (can be translated as joy)

it is even a characteristic of some jhanas =)
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby alan... » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:39 am

Vincenzi wrote:what are buddhists practicing to erradicate? suffering (dukkha)

what's the opposite of dukkha? sukkha (can be translated as joy)

it is even a characteristic of some jhanas =)


:goodpost:

if fun is defined as jhana or metta or other dhamma things then by all means, buddhists should be having fun most of every day!
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Aloka » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:07 am

.

Just relax.....


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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:42 pm

alan... wrote:..if fun is defined as jhana or metta or other dhamma things then by all means, buddhists should be having fun most of every day!


:toast:
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby nem » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:53 am

A bhikku at my local Therevada center was saying last week that he had a lot of fun giving a talk on the dhamma at a conference recently. At first, he was worried about whether it would be profound enough to be published. Then someone told him that it does not matter whether he is published, he is giving the gift of the dhamma. Then he said he felt free, and was having a lot of fun giving this talk about something which is near and dear to him, without worries about whether it would result in anything. Just the act of giving the gift of dhamma, was fun for him. I can understand how that would be pure enjoyment. It's a joy to talk about the dhamma, with people who might understand. In the day to day life that I experience, everything is contrary to the dhamma. Most people want to talk about gaining or being something, or of discontentment about life or politics or weather, things like that. So, it is not much fun to speak to people about things contrary to the dhamma . But certainly, just speaking about the dhamma with people that can understand the dhamma, that is very fun. No? If I came across someone in my daily life, who could speak about nama and rupa and what that means, I'd think I already reached Nibanna. :smile:
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Justsit » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:27 am

convivium wrote:please don't make it popular with hippies...


Not sure to whom you are referring, but the true hippies are long gone, except for a very few in isolated pockets, and they tend to keep to themselves. Oh yeah, and Wavy Gravy.
Long haired stoners are not hippies.
Just sayin'.

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