Dhamma & Marriage?

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Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Zenainder » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:30 pm

Hello forum!

As I've read the teachings and continue to practice dhamma, in my fragmented understanding I am left a question: how does love and marriage function on the spiritual journey of cessation? Likely due to my fragmented understanding I am left perplexed at how to collect a right view concerning these two. It would seem to me that absense of clinging and love / marriage oppose one another. Can someone kindly take the time to explain, both through commentary and the canons, how romantic & friendlike love is viewed in context of practicing the dhamma and marriage. If this is a common question, feel free to link me insightful forum or articles.

Please know that I have not lets this perplexity affect my marriage or practice. The question continues to arise and I am hoping to find answers.


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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:38 pm

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:26 pm

"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:28 pm

Hi Zenainder,
In addition to the excellent links given above, you might want to have a look at a series of blog posts by Bhikkhu Cintita, titled .

I also just picked up by Bhikkhu Basnagoda Rahula, and am finding it a good read.

It seems clear to me that Buddhist teachings can serve as a guidepost for a happy and healthy lay life. The more complicated question, for me, is how deeply one can go in meditation practice and in cultivating Dhamma insights while still sustaining a marriage, family, career, etc.

If you're able to develop deep jhana states you might get to the point where you don't want to return to the world of ordinary sense pleasures. If you get good enough at "knocking out the hindrances" you might end up abandoning altogether, which could make it hard to stay married...or pay your mortgage. If you contemplate the Four Noble Truths deeply enough, you may find yourself wanting to ordain.

Being a fairly worldly person myself, I don't pretend to have the answers to these questions -- I often ponder them, and am always interested to hear what experienced meditators (who are also married householders) have to say. My own meditation practice is fairly limited -- at best, 20 minutes of anapanasati a few times a week -- so I don't expect to be riding waves of jhana bliss, although I have experienced some very nice states. The Buddha appears to have recommended a certain amount of meditation for laypeople, but there could be an argument that the really advanced meditative attainments are better suited for monastics or those who are in a position to detach from worldly life to a great degree.

I practice what I would describe as "appropriate renunciation" -- i.e.letting go to the extent that it doesn't clash with my social/familial/spousal obligations and personal goals which I would like to accomplish. There is a lot that any of us can do to simplify our lives and reduce our habit of grasping. Perfecting the five precepts is a potentially lifelong task -- for some of us at least!

FWIW. my advice (which is the advice I give myself) is to try to clarify what your goals are, both in life and in Buddhist practice, and use these to shape your decisions.

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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Aloka » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:43 pm


Hi Zenaider,

You might like to have a look at this booklet "On Love" by Ajahn Jayasaro.

With kind wishes,


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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Zenainder » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:58 am

Thank you all for sharing these very insightful articles. I am still in the process of reading the shorter ones and will work my way to the longer documents. I forget which one said it, but it basically stated lay life still includes learning there is no self and to commit full devotion to family and marriage. I can completely appreciate this. (Not that I needed reasons to stay married [I have a wonderful marriage btw]).

Have any married lay persons become stream enterers? Much of the teachings come with such familiarity to me, most of it echoes many observations I've made before studying deeply into Buddhism. This vessel grows weary, I shall rest. Thank you all again. :) I hope to give back what already has been so graciously given to me!
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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby pegembara » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:45 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby marc108 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:15 am

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Ananda26 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:43 pm

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Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Sati1 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:13 pm

London, UK

"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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