Family conflict

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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purple1
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Family conflict

Post by purple1 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:27 am

Hello everybody. I don't know what to do with my mother. I live with her, my father died some years ago. I can not move from home because me and my mother still pay a loan monthly. She need my help to pay the loan. My mother is christian and i am buddhist. The conflict started when some years ago i decided i will become a nun so i will go to a monastery. She never liked that i have no boyfriend and she never liked my celibacy life. She never liked the idea that i want to become a nun.
I will be 25 year old soon, so i do not understand why she wants control my life. The conflict between me and my mother didn't disappeared. She always hated that i have no husband and child. She does not want accept my life and my desire to became a nun. Me and my mother do not really talking, we talking only if it is nessecary. How could i understand what does she feel? I can not really feel compassion toward her. I know. She is so deluded. She has so many false views. I should feel compassion toward her, toward her ignorance, am i right? I feel anger toward her.

paul
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Re: Family conflict

Post by paul » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:13 am

Your mother has conventional ideas, she doesn't understand Buddhism, so while you are held in that situation by the responsibility of the loan you must cultivate forbearance. Do not expect to be able to communicate your view to her, you just have to remain silent and endure the situation and use it to develop understanding of the two realities, conventional and ultimate. Later you can become a nun, but don't expect everything to be perfect in that situation, the same problem you are experiencing now will exist there in some form, but by then you should have learnt a lot about how to cope with it. So see this as a preparation for nunhood.

Saoshun
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Re: Family conflict

Post by Saoshun » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:55 am

Every basis of conflict is hindrence (kilesa). Remove kilesa = conflict removed.
Remember… the Buddha had said that everyone living in this world is crazy, by the phrase, “Sabbē prutajjana ummattakā”; excluding the Arahants, everyone else is crazy. Would you get angry if a mad person scolds? Do we get angry for a crazy thing done by a crazy person? Just think about it! :candle:

Buddha Vacana
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Re: Family conflict

Post by Buddha Vacana » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:21 am

purple1 wrote:She need my help to pay the loan.

Which is why she must be helped.
I will be 25 year old soon, so i do not understand why she wants control my life.
She probably fed you and took care of you for decades, but not without expecting something from you in return. It is quite common among parents, and quite understandable. It is also part of why I don't want to have children myself. It's a tough situation. Any legitimate way to diminish the pressure would help. Without knowing her personality, it is difficult to give more precise advice. Try to cut through the bitterness and touch her heart, if possible.
Me and my mother do not really talking, we talking only if it is nessecary. How could i understand what does she feel? I can not really feel compassion toward her. I know. She is so deluded. She has so many false views. I should feel compassion toward her, toward her ignorance, am i right? I feel anger toward her.
Perhaps try to practice a whole lot more of metta. Try to talk with her about things on which you agree, recreate a bond based on agreement.

Just my two cents. Giving advice is easy, walking the walk is another matter altogether.

Saoshun
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Re: Family conflict

Post by Saoshun » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:33 am

Yep, metta and letting go. :meditate:
Remember… the Buddha had said that everyone living in this world is crazy, by the phrase, “Sabbē prutajjana ummattakā”; excluding the Arahants, everyone else is crazy. Would you get angry if a mad person scolds? Do we get angry for a crazy thing done by a crazy person? Just think about it! :candle:

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ganegaar
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Re: Family conflict

Post by ganegaar » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:07 pm

You have a very noble idea of becoming a nun, congratulations to you!
And it is no easy task, I fully agree with
Buddha Vacana wrote: Giving advice is easy, walking the walk is another matter altogether.
But, I suppose you do have the required understanding of Buddha's teachings to see what i see below:
An arahant, a fully enlightened being, is enjoying the supreme happiness of attainment. An arahant by definition is not having any mental sufferings at all.
The very same person, just before becoming an enlightened being, when just a lay person, was suffering (dukkha), was having conflicts, suffering, all sort of dukkha stuff, is it not?

Now when this very person, became fully enlightened, and removed all suffering (dukkha), what changed on this earth, what changed in this universe?
Does the people around change? Does the world change?
So, if nothing else around changed, how can this person be so happy after attaining enlightenment?
Then, if you can think reverse, if nothing external changes, why was this person feeling "dukkha", conflicts, sorrow, all that, before attaining enlightenment?

so, all these are our own making :(
See whether for a brief moment, whether you can step outside from the "daughter" "mother" conflict, and "watch" the conflict, be an observer of this "drama" between a "daughter" and her "mother".
Take your mind out from the battle ground, let the "daughter" be as she has always being, and let "her mother" be as she has always being, but do step aside, and watch!
If you are fortunate enough, you will see soon, that a "daughter" created by your own mind is having a conflict with a "mother" created by your own mind! and a resenting, rejecting, disapproving part is fueling the conflict and if just one stops the fuel (for the same fire exists with your mother as well), the fire stops!

I am not saying you should declare peace with your mother, i am not saying you should make the conflict worse., i am just saying "do nothing"!, observe!. Observe your mind talking to you, over and over again, agitating you at times, making you worry at times, and so on..
just observe, do nothing!
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

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purple1
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Re: Family conflict

Post by purple1 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:23 pm

Thank you for the advices.

JohnK
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Re: Family conflict

Post by JohnK » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:16 pm

purple1 wrote: How could i understand what does she feel? I can not really feel compassion toward her. I know. She is so deluded. She has so many false views. I should feel compassion toward her, toward her ignorance, am i right? I feel anger toward her.
Easy to advise, but here goes:
Sit with your anger; get to know it in your body, know it as dukkha; know what sadness is behind it; know what longing is behind it; open to it, develop compassion for yourself (and others who suffer like you -- which includes your mother. It sounds like you both may be suffering similarly: a desire for a loved one to meet your expectations vs. being an ever-present reminder of the disconnect. (Oh, and I wouldn't get all attached to your view of "her ignorance" -- not necessary.)
I like the idea of this being preparation for being a nun; maybe consider this the monastery -- where you can't control everything to meet your wishes but commit to growing in the dhamma; gradually letting go of some expectations of how things should be -- being of service with no agenda beyond dhamma.
Yes, easy to say (but hoping that it may be helpful in some small way).
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

Masht
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Re: Family conflict

Post by Masht » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:37 pm

As per my experience, you will be able to express Metta or compassion only after eradication of your defilement to some extent. Consequently, your level of anger will also decrease automatically. Till then, you are suggested to be mindful of your anger and practice Annica (impermanence) Bhavana.

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Family conflict

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:11 pm

I remember a story of an Arahant (unfortunately dont remember who it was) locking himself up with his father for three days to "force" conversion.

Here is the story of Sariputta & his mother, quite intersting. In general i think it is common to use every trick in the book and all one's skill and influence, even involving one's good friends if necessary and try to teach the Dhamma to the Parents at some point before it is too late.
The Buddha returned to Sāvatthi after his last vassa in Beluvagāma. Sāriputta sought him there, and, realizing that his death would come in seven days, he decided to visit his mother, for she, though the mother of seven arahants, had no faith in the Sangha. [This was because all her children joined the Order and left her desolate in spite of the forty crores of wealth which lay in the house. It is said (DhA.iv.164f.) that when Sāriputta had gone home on a previous occasion, she abused both him and his companions roundly. Rāhula was also in the company.] He therefore asked his brother, Cunda, to prepare for the journey to Nālagāmaka with five hundred others, and then took leave of the Buddha after performing various miracles and declaring his faith in the Buddha and uttering his "lion's roar." A large concourse followed him to the gates of Sāvatthi, and there he addressed them and bade them stay behind. In seven days he reached Nālaka, where he wais met by his nephew, Uparevata, outside the gates. Him he sent on to warn his mother of his arrival with a large number of people. She, thinking that he had once more returned to the lay life, made all preparations to welcome him and his companions. Sāriputta took up his abode in the room in which he was born (jātovaraka). There he was afflicted with dysentery. His mother, unaware of this and sulking because she found he was still a monk, remained in her room. The Four Regent Gods and Sakka and Mahā Brahmā waited upon him. She saw them, and having found out who they were, went to her son's room. There she asked him if he were really greater than all these deities, and, when he replied that it was so, she reflected on the greatness of her son and her whole body was suffused with joy. Sāriputta then preached to her, and she became a sotāpanna.
I think in general best thing we can do for others is to become an Arahant ofcourse, skilled in words & their usage, experienced in overturning wrong view and good at teaching.

I told my mother and sister that i was not going to argue with them on account of views, but if they were interested i would be willing to discuss things in a logical manner for our common benefit. Pointing out that there is three of us and all three have diffrent views, obviously it is in our interest to allign them optimally and If they prefer to cling to their views and not willing to have them challenged then i would just encourage them in practising goodness, leaving their "safe space" and not teach the Dhamma with highest goal in mind. Luckily both my mom and sister had enough sense to keep an open mind and right away said that they prefer i keep teaching the Dhamma but less intensively. Fwiw they are very much into yoga, hinduism and scientology, so quite spiritual to begin with so this is not an approach i recommend as i imagine alot of people will choose the safe space alternative.

I also think if it was not for them seeing changes in my own behavior they would not have had much faith in my view and i know they had some faith in me to begin with when i discussed this with them. So imo it is best to practise wholeheartedly and become the proof in the here and now for them first.

Parents are top priority as far as other people go, we are in debt to them and we can only repay it by teaching them the Dhamma, whether that is acceptable to them or not.

If it is an option you can also ask your mother to sell the house and get a cheaper place for herself and you should try and get a place for yourself where you can train as well. Seclusion is very important and it is difficult to live with people holding wrong view. Id try to get out of there for sure unless my mother was sick or there were obligations like that keeping me there.
Saying something like "mom i must go do this training whether you belive in it or not, i will take care of you when and if you need it but i now gotta do this thing for the benefit of all beings".

Its going to be difficult to feel compassion for people if we are in a state of constant conflict. Association with people poisons us in ways and we poison others with our defilement acts and speech, that's why id try to discuss this and seclude myself.
If you are really angry at people with wrong view you can reflect on how high the stakes are in the Samsara, what an endless field of suffering awaits those who fall victim to it, nobody in their right mind would hold wrong view. Whenever i think like this it helps me to not be angry at them.

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BasementBuddhist
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Re: Family conflict

Post by BasementBuddhist » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:19 am

As others have suggested, you cannot change your mother, only the way you see her and her behavior. Practice mindfulness as much as you are able, when sitting, walking, standing, and laying down. Practice it all the time. It may be difficult, but eventually, when you have a conflict with your mother, you will begin to realize when you are starting to get angry. Then you can look at your anger and ask why? What does the Dhamma say about this anger? How does this anger effect me? How does this anger effect my mother?


Meditation on compassion and love can also help a great deal. Just recently, whenever someone gets short with me, I have started repeating, "This person is angry because they are suffering, they are in pain, should I yell at someone in pain?" It doesn't always work, but it does help after enough times.

Hopefully you and your mother come to a peaceful resolution soon enough.

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