advice on realtionships and buddhism

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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greeneggsandsam
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advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by greeneggsandsam » Fri May 06, 2016 8:22 pm

Hi all,

About a year ago I became involved in a relationship, which also sparked a dis-interest for buddhist practice.
Anyway, my practice suffered and I was no longer meditating every day... which eventually turned into not meditating for weeks or months. Now, 1 year on I would really like to get back into my practice. However, I have had some trouble regarding some things:

1) How to approach the path from a lay perspective whilst been in a relationship.
2) How to approach sexual relations - and how to feel about sexual desire (this is what I am really struggling with, it feels like I am going 'against' the practice by indulging in sexual desires/relations)
3) motivation for getting back on the path

Further, I would like to add I am really happy in my relationship and I have no intent of leaving it. I am just new to the idea of following the path, yet not having the expectation of one day becoming ordained (even if it was just an option). It seems like I dont have the desire to follow the path because I feel as though I cannot fulfil it.

Thanks for any input/experience with these issues. Any reference to any suttas dealing with point 2* would be really helpful. :)

With Metta,

Sam
If you think nibbana is better than samsara, then you've missed the point - Ajahn Sumedho

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DC2R
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Location: Des Moines

Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by DC2R » Fri May 06, 2016 10:36 pm

If you don't already, you could practice meditation, attend Dhamma talks, or just help out around a monastery on work days together.

You can build a meaningful relationship even further this way.

You can also check out the suttas for the householder thread for specific advice.
"May the blessings of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha always be firmly established in your hearts." ―Ajahn Chah

Quick resources: http://txti.es/theravada

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anthbrown84
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Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by anthbrown84 » Sun May 08, 2016 6:58 am

Advice for sexual activity as a lay in a relationship. Stick to the 5 precepts and you are fine. There is nothing wrong in having sex with a loving partner. Yes, it is not as ideal as being a monk and even a celibate lay, but it is also within the moral boundaries the Buddha laid down for us.

What ive found is, if you pursue sex less often in a relationship, then over time it will happen less and you can go about your life with mess interuption shall we say.

I have a partner and i know i could be living a better life more dedicated to the practise in the monastery ( i would say single but if i was single id be at the monastery no two ways about it) and at times that has eaten me up, but i have grown to realise that if the mind set is right, you can be very dedicated while in a relationship.

Follow Dipa Mas example, she continued to do mundane daily tasks but not making them into obstructions of the path by doing everything with mindfulness :)

Good luck Sam, Metta to you
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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Aloka
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Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by Aloka » Sun May 08, 2016 8:55 am

Hi greenegggsandsam,

These two suttas are worth reading :

AN 4.55 Living in Tune:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

and AN 6.16 Nakula's Parents:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


With kind wishes,


Aloka :anjali:

Pinetree
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Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by Pinetree » Sun May 08, 2016 6:26 pm

3) motivation for getting back on the path
Usually for Buddhism, suffering is a good motivation.

greeneggsandsam
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:43 am

Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by greeneggsandsam » Sun May 08, 2016 11:00 pm

thank you for all the replies
:)

and Aloka for the sutta references.

@ Antbrown, thankyou for your advice.

Although, I am still trying to understand how to have sexual relations, but without having desires for the 'body' etc. It seems appropriate to say I even feel 'lust'. Something in me just tells me that these feelings are not productive for the path of abandoning sensual pleasures...
If you think nibbana is better than samsara, then you've missed the point - Ajahn Sumedho

Pinetree
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Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by Pinetree » Mon May 09, 2016 4:47 am

Although, I am still trying to understand how to have sexual relations, but without having desires for the 'body' etc.
Well, sexual activity takes a number of hours per week, so I wouldn't think this is a priority issue, as long as it doesn't take over your life. And you still have time left for your practice.

Also, it is important how your partner relates to this matter.

A way to have less desire for the body is to show more care for your partner's feelings.

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Mkoll
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Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by Mkoll » Mon May 09, 2016 6:40 am

greeneggsandsam wrote:Although, I am still trying to understand how to have sexual relations, but without having desires for the 'body' etc. It seems appropriate to say I even feel 'lust'.
If you desire sex, then you have desire for the body, i.e. the sight, sound, smell, taste, touch of the body whether your own or others. I don't see any way for it to be otherwise.
greeneggsandsam wrote:Something in me just tells me that these feelings are not productive for the path of abandoning sensual pleasures...
Maybe you're not at the point where you're ready to fully abandon sensual pleasures. And that's fine: you needn't feel obligated to do so as a householder. There are plenty of things you can work on without doing so, anyway.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

greeneggsandsam
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:43 am

Re: advice on realtionships and buddhism

Post by greeneggsandsam » Mon May 09, 2016 9:10 pm

Thanks again for the input everyone!
Ill try and put some perspective in to it.

Metta :anjali:
If you think nibbana is better than samsara, then you've missed the point - Ajahn Sumedho

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