Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Aloka
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Post by Aloka » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote: So, when teaching, no funny stories, and no lightness in one's personal interactions?
Interestingly, when listening to dhamma teachers from 2 different traditions giving talks at Buddhist centres and monasteries, its the one's who's teachings have had some humour in them which are the one's I've remembered the most and have sometimes walked away from afterwards with a sense of spaciousness and clarity.


.

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

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:08 pm

tiltbillings wrote:So, when teaching, no funny stories, and no lightness in one's personal interactions?
I wouldn't go that far, the Buddha was known to poke fun and use wit himself on occasion.

Edit: However, the Buddha used his wit to teach dhamma not just for the sake of being funny.
Last edited by Polar Bear on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Dan74
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Post by Dan74 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
SamKR wrote:
Aloka wrote: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun ? I'd be interested in reading other peoples comments about this.
It depends, in my opinion.

If you are a monk/nun, then there is no time for you to spend in petty worldly fun except the joy, bliss and peace born of renunciation and of liberation. His/her task is to teach and to work "hard" to achieve the state when he/she can say:
"Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world."
So, when teaching, no funny stories, and no lightness in one's personal interactions?
dour-faces.jpg
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:)
_/|\_

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

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:21 pm

Greetings,

:redherring:

This ad-hominem red herring that those who aren't interested in brothelizing the Dhamma (and Vinaya) are somehow dour-faced, is wearing a bit thin now.

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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

Post by manas » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:25 pm

There are times as a lay Buddhist when, imho, you do need to remember that the layperson's path involves a bit of dust however much we try otherwise, and not to stress about this. For example, when I am playing hide and seek with my youngest daughter at the local park, we just tear around the place, have fun, laugh etc. It's a normal and healthy part of raising kids, to let go and just engage with them like this. I'm not very sober while I do this, I just let go and have fun with her, and she really appreciates this.

At other times, she sees me in a more sober, serene mood, such as in the mornings when I have just meditated. But then also, I make sure to engage with her, to not be distant or detached. Kids need us to be emotionally engaged with them, that's part of child rearing.

Because my daughters see that my Buddhist practice does not hinder me from living what they perceive as a 'normal' life, they feel better inclined towards it. They know that their dad, who as a general rule is careful even about tiny creatures, who tries not to speak badly about others, and who meditates, is nevertheless not 'boring' and is able to have fun in life too. Sometimes this involves a bit of joking around, and yes some idle chatter inevitably. But it's important to me that my kids not be put off Buddhism for life, by a perception that when their dad got serious about the Dhamma, he stopped having simple, childlike fun with them. I would not want them to think about the Dhamma like that.

I do admire the life of the monk, as 'pure as a polished shell', but as long as I am raising my dear kids, it's not possible or even appropriate for me to imitate it.

With metta and respect

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by convivium » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:29 pm

depends which monastery or retreat you go to.
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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Dan74
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Post by Dan74 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:57 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

:redherring:

This ad-hominem red herring that those who aren't interested in brothelizing the Dhamma (and Vinaya) are somehow dour-faced, is wearing a bit thin now.

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
That was meant to be a joke, retro... Sorry, my bad. I even tried to put a smiley at the end of it, but...

:toilet:
_/|\_

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

Post by SamKR » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:So, when teaching, no funny stories, and no lightness in one's personal interactions?
polarbuddha101 wrote:I wouldn't go that far, the Buddha was known to poke fun and use wit himself on occasion.
Funny stories and wit maybe useful if they help to make listeners understand Dhamma and arouse wholesome states of mind.
But I am not sure about how far a Dhamma-teacher should go about using them. I believe a good teacher knows how to use them appropriately.
manas wrote:...
I agree, manas.
Dan74 wrote: ... dour faces ...
No one is advocating dour face but bright and serene face.

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:04 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:So, when teaching, no funny stories, and no lightness in one's personal interactions?
I wouldn't go that far, the Buddha was known to poke fun and use wit himself on occasion.

Edit: However, the Buddha used his wit to teach dhamma not just for the sake of being funny.
Sure, and he used poking fun to great effect.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:14 am

Dan74 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

:redherring:

This ad-hominem red herring that those who aren't interested in brothelizing the Dhamma (and Vinaya) are somehow dour-faced, is wearing a bit thin now.

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
That was meant to be a joke, retro... Sorry, my bad. I even tried to put a smiley at the end of it, but...

:toilet:
It was a good and plainly obvious joke; humor can be touchy thing, obviously.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:20 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Aloka wrote:Sorry but I'm a bit confused, Bhikkhu Pesala. If I'm having fun playing with and talking in silly girlie voices to a friend's dog, is that childish or child - like ?
Pay attention to your own mental states when playing with your friend's dog. You will then know whether you're being childish or just innocent and child-like.
Bhante, so, if it is not an another's judgment that really matters, which we can then probably ignore if the humor is not really directed at anyone, it is one's own judgment that really matters whether or not what we post in the lounge, for example, is being childish or childlike, which is a distinction that Benedictine nuns that taught me in grade school used to harp upon.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:53 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:It was a good and plainly obvious joke; humor can be touchy thing, obviously.
... and here we go again.

:redherring:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:It was a good and plainly obvious joke; humor can be touchy thing, obviously.
... and here we go again.

:redherring:

Metta,
Retro. :)
I was just making an observation, and you now make my point that that humor can, indeed, be a touchy thing and very individual. That is simply a matter of fact which is neither good nor bad. As for the "red herring":


Image
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:02 am

SamKR wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:So, when teaching, no funny stories, and no lightness in one's personal interactions?
polarbuddha101 wrote:I wouldn't go that far, the Buddha was known to poke fun and use wit himself on occasion.
Funny stories and wit maybe useful if they help to make listeners understand Dhamma and arouse wholesome states of mind.
But I am not sure about how far a Dhamma-teacher should go about using them. I believe a good teacher knows how to use them appropriately.
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.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:46 am

Greetings,

:redherring: = "Red herring is an English-language idiom that commonly refers to a logical fallacy that misleads or detracts from the actual issue. It is also a literary device employed by writers that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion, often used in mystery or detective fiction." (Wikipedia)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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