Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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dhammadiscipline
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Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by dhammadiscipline » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:00 pm

I am 20 years old and am still forming identities about myself, and am still very impressionable. I like the calm mind and relaxing into myself that meditation gives, but I feel that if I continue to meditate routinely throughout my life, I might change and the people who love me the most will not know where I've gone. Also this may be a stereotype but I don't want to end up a boring old monk. I have a crude/warped sense of humour, I bust people's chops, I love to party, I like to be loud when I can, in good humor and taste. I don't want to lose interest in these things after meditating enough to see their "needlessness".

Thank you :namaste:

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ground
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by ground » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:26 pm

No problem. Nobody knows what will be in the future. Just watch yourself.

Kind regards

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reflection
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by reflection » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:32 pm

I think the question to ask yourself is:
Will meditation make me become more happy?

If the answer is yes, what does it matter if it makes you more "monkish"?

santa100
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by santa100 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:34 pm

Meditation won't make you become boring. It'll make you become more skillful in whatever you do. You can brighten up someone's day by cracking the appropriate joke at the appropriate time and place. This requires understanding and wisdom, which you could gain out of meditation. So, keep on meditate and you'll find it might double or triple your fun. Good luck..

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by Lazy_eye » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:01 pm

On Dhamma Wheel you can meet many dedicated practitioners with long experience in meditation, including six-month retreats. And as you can see, the mood here can be quite lively. :) So I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Also, although I understand you don't want to ordain, monks are not always "boring". Quite a few Theravadin monks are well-known for their sense of humor -- Ajahn Brahm, for example. Listen to some of their dhamma talks and you can see this for yourself.

That said, it's likely that Buddhist practice (and by that I mean not only meditation, but also observing the five precepts, studying and contemplating the teachings, etc) will lead you to re-evaluate your priorities. Doesn't necessarily mean you'll want to go off and live in a forest, but you may find yourself becoming more selective and focused.

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dhammadiscipline
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by dhammadiscipline » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:14 pm

TMingyur wrote:No problem. Nobody knows what will be in the future. Just watch yourself.

Kind regards
That is pretty much always true.
reflection wrote:I think the question to ask yourself is:
Will meditation make me become more happy?

If the answer is yes, what does it matter if it makes you more "monkish"?
I'm not sure the people I love would understand that I am more happy, and their happiness is more important than mine.
santa100 wrote:Meditation won't make you become boring. It'll make you become more skillful in whatever you do. You can brighten up someone's day by cracking the appropriate joke at the appropriate time and place. This requires understanding and wisdom, which you could gain out of meditation. So, keep on meditate and you'll find it might double or triple your fun. Good luck..
But will I still know when it is time to be inappropriate? Someone has to widen the boundaries, you know?
Lazy_eye wrote:On Dhamma Wheel you can meet many dedicated practitioners with long experience in meditation, including six-month retreats. And as you can see, the mood here can be quite lively. :) So I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Also, although I understand you don't want to ordain, monks are not always "boring". Quite a few Theravadin monks are well-known for their sense of humor -- Ajahn Brahm, for example. Listen to some of their dhamma talks and you can see this for yourself.

That said, it's likely that Buddhist practice (and by that I mean not only meditation, but also observing the five precepts, studying and contemplating the teachings, etc) will lead you to re-evaluate your priorities. Doesn't necessarily mean you'll want to go off and live in a forest, but you may find yourself becoming more selective and focused.
Well, there is a very different level of chop-busting and humor that I see here and that I participate in real life, and I have never met a monk or general spiritual practitioner who "retained" that thirst for humor so it just makes me wonder where it goes, what happens to it. I did know a preacher who was pretty hilarious and could make a pun out of anything though.



:namaste:

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SDC
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by SDC » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:24 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:That said, it's likely that Buddhist practice (and by that I mean not only meditation, but also observing the five precepts, studying and contemplating the teachings, etc) will lead you to re-evaluate your priorities. Doesn't necessarily mean you'll want to go off and live in a forest, but you may find yourself becoming more selective and focused.
Indeed.


dhammadiscipline, I used to feel the same way. Truth is you will change, but it will happened slow. When I first started to practice, there was a big difference between who I was at that time as compared to who I may become if I began to practice. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to go that far. I like who I am.” But as you begin to move in that direction, it doesn’t seem so drastic as time goes on, so you embrace more and more, and eventually you become very different from how you were early on. Keep this in mind at all times - you will be comfortable with these changes as they happen, because if you are not comfortable then you didn’t actually change yet, you’re just evaluating how the change would feel. Don’t mistake this evaluation period for an actual change.

As for others, it gets tricky. Some will embrace it, but others may not. Remember this - those people will be changing along with you through the years, going in whatever direction they see fit, so don’t be so concerned. Chances are your wisdom and calmness will inspire most of them over time.

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dhammadiscipline
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by dhammadiscipline » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:28 pm

SDC wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:That said, it's likely that Buddhist practice (and by that I mean not only meditation, but also observing the five precepts, studying and contemplating the teachings, etc) will lead you to re-evaluate your priorities. Doesn't necessarily mean you'll want to go off and live in a forest, but you may find yourself becoming more selective and focused.
Indeed.


dhammadiscipline, I used to feel the same way. Truth is you will change, but it will happened slow. When I first started to practice, there was a big difference between who I was at that time as compared to who I may become if I began to practice. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to go that far. I like who I am.” But as you begin to move in that direction, it doesn’t seem so drastic as time goes on, so you embrace more and more, and eventually you become very different from how you were early on. Keep this in mind at all times - you will be comfortable with these changes as they happen, because if you are not comfortable then you didn’t actually change yet, you’re just evaluating how the change would feel. Don’t mistake this evaluation period for an actual change.

As for others, it gets tricky. Some will embrace it, but others may not. Remember this - those people will be changing along with you through the years, going in whatever direction they see fit, so don’t be so concerned. Chances are your wisdom and calmness will inspire most of them over time.

This ties it together a little. It is mee changing very fast that has me worried, I'm not sure that my parents will keep up. I still have fear over it but your words are calming.

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SDC
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by SDC » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:39 pm

dhammadiscipline wrote:This ties it together a little. It is mee changing very fast that has me worried, I'm not sure that my parents will keep up. I still have fear over it but your words are calming.
Since I do not know the details of your relationship with them, it is very difficult for me to suggest much more. Do not feel the need to share more than you are comfortable with.

As a lay person, you are not required to cut off critical relationships as part of the practice, so you’ll still be there for them if they need you. If they have issues with the changes you make in your life, then it may be a good idea to gradually set new boundaries with them. If you are still young, then this would be happening regardless of whether you were practicing or not.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:45 pm

Better to end up as a boring old monk, than a boring old layman.

I guess it depends on how well you practice what the result is. We old monks are not all boring, but "having fun" and partying is not a part of the monastic life.

Listen to some of the talks by different monks, and decide for yourself whether monks are bored. Its not a state of mind that I see very often.

Try Ajahn Amaro's "Greater Hole in the Roof Discourse."

He is the current abbot of Amaravati.
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Yana
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by Yana » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:56 pm

dhammadiscipline wrote:I am 20 years old and am still forming identities about myself, and am still very impressionable. I like the calm mind and relaxing into myself that meditation gives, but I feel that if I continue to meditate routinely throughout my life, I might change and the people who love me the most will not know where I've gone. Also this may be a stereotype but I don't want to end up a boring old monk. I have a crude/warped sense of humour, I bust people's chops, I love to party, I like to be loud when I can, in good humor and taste. I don't want to lose interest in these things after meditating enough to see their "needlessness".

Thank you :namaste:
I think there's a cure for this..most young people think they are The Immortals..so meditation on death and old age may be useful for you.It will help you realize the importance of making wise choices in this short life.

Human birth is a very rare occurence..really it's like a your in the middle of a desert you reach a well of water and your too busy partying and standing and sleeping till you dehydrate yourself to death.All the time you could have just drank it but you chose not to.

Life is all about choices.

my advice to you is gradually change things instead of taking everything to the extreme and soon you will have no trouble letting go of these things you hold dear.i mean even i deal with that.If somebody told me to let go of mascara i'd go to a very dark ...dark place.

but just so you know when i was 20 i was locked up in my room studying gnostic scriptures day and night and nobody thought i was boring.By the way even if they did i wouldn't mind..because i'm trying to do something for myself..no one else is going to do it for me.Or you.

so hope this helps remember What your going to be in the future depends on the choices you make today.:namaste:
Life is preparing for Death

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Alobha
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by Alobha » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:03 pm

dhammadiscipline wrote: I'm not sure the people I love would understand that I am more happy, and their happiness is more important than mine.
What you say reminds me of this story.
Think this through. Do your loved ones want you to be happy and feel good or do they want you to feel miserable and bad?
If, by practicing meditation, you feel calmer and in peace with yourself and others, will this be of benefit for the people around you? Of course it will. If you get calmer and more peacefully, there will be less fights with the people around you, more understanding and patience with the people around you and thus, if you are training yourself to be content, calm, wise and peaceful, then these are the qualities you will spread wherever you are and your environment will benefit from it. If you neglect your own happiness and your own interest for others and thus become upset and unhappy, your loved ones will likely suffer with you - because they love you and want you to be happy.

Accepting and getting used to changes (even good changes!) takes some time. Time you can use to let your loved ones know that, no matter which direction you take, which way you develop or what you do, you can always love them :smile:

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dhammadiscipline
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by dhammadiscipline » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:02 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Better to end up as a boring old monk, than a boring old layman.

I guess it depends on how well you practice what the result is. We old monks are not all boring, but "having fun" and partying is not a part of the monastic life.

Listen to some of the talks by different monks, and decide for yourself whether monks are bored. Its not a state of mind that I see very often.

Try Ajahn Amaro's "Greater Hole in the Roof Discourse."

He is the current abbot of Amaravati.
Monks don't seem bored to me, but many people I know wouldn't think that, but you are right, when I'm old I'll want to calm down either way.
Yana wrote: I think there's a cure for this..most young people think they are The Immortals..so meditation on death and old age may be useful for you.It will help you realize the importance of making wise choices in this short life.

Human birth is a very rare occurence..really it's like a your in the middle of a desert you reach a well of water and your too busy partying and standing and sleeping till you dehydrate yourself to death.All the time you could have just drank it but you chose not to.

Life is all about choices.

my advice to you is gradually change things instead of taking everything to the extreme and soon you will have no trouble letting go of these things you hold dear.i mean even i deal with that.If somebody told me to let go of mascara i'd go to a very dark ...dark place.

but just so you know when i was 20 i was locked up in my room studying gnostic scriptures day and night and nobody thought i was boring.By the way even if they did i wouldn't mind..because i'm trying to do something for myself..no one else is going to do it for me.Or you.

so hope this helps remember What your going to be in the future depends on the choices you make today.:namaste:
I don't often meditate on certain things, I feel like it will come out when it should. I just try to focus on the breath, relax into the body, and keep the mind in the moment at hand. Like my dad says, "keep it simple stupid".
If somebody told me to let go of mascara i'd go to a very dark ...dark place.
:tongue:
Alobha wrote:
dhammadiscipline wrote: I'm not sure the people I love would understand that I am more happy, and their happiness is more important than mine.
What you say reminds me of this story.
Think this through. Do your loved ones want you to be happy and feel good or do they want you to feel miserable and bad?
If, by practicing meditation, you feel calmer and in peace with yourself and others, will this be of benefit for the people around you? Of course it will. If you get calmer and more peacefully, there will be less fights with the people around you, more understanding and patience with the people around you and thus, if you are training yourself to be content, calm, wise and peaceful, then these are the qualities you will spread wherever you are and your environment will benefit from it. If you neglect your own happiness and your own interest for others and thus become upset and unhappy, your loved ones will likely suffer with you - because they love you and want you to be happy.

Accepting and getting used to changes (even good changes!) takes some time. Time you can use to let your loved ones know that, no matter which direction you take, which way you develop or what you do, you can always love them :smile:
They do but it isn't simple. When their "how to do it" does not line up with mine it is more complex. I bring a lot of energy to situations and if I am calm it may stay at rest, that is what I mean by "I don't want to be a boring old monk", and about how my own "how to do it" is still being evaluated in my mind. I like that story, it is how I think about it but I think there should be slight preference given to others over oneself.

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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:19 pm

We all get a little more monkish as we get older.

If you do it properly meditation practise will give you more discernment to choose different behaviours depending on what is appropriate at the time. Realising you aren't a fixed self gives you more freedom.

It's fun to bust people chops, except when you realise they weren't in the mood to have them busted.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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dhammadiscipline
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Re: Will meditation make me become more monkish?

Post by dhammadiscipline » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:51 pm

Goofaholix wrote:We all get a little more monkish as we get older.

If you do it properly meditation practise will give you more discernment to choose different behaviours depending on what is appropriate at the time. Realising you aren't a fixed self gives you more freedom.

It's fun to bust people chops, except when you realise they weren't in the mood to have them busted.
Very true :namaste:

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