Dan74 wrote: Running away from life is contrary to Buddhadhamma. Whatever our responsibilities are, whatever our environment is, this is our kamma, this is where we practice and develop brahma-viharas. Developing aversion to life, feelings and responsibilities is a way of nihilism, an escapist fantasy that leads to a dead end rather than awakening, which always faces the here-and-now directly. Engaging fully, mindfully, with a mind clear, holding nothing back, is how we see through the delusion, how we develop the brahmaviharas, the factors conducive to awakening and finally turn towards practice with 100% commitment.
Running away from existence IS BUDDHA DHAMMA. Samsara is tough and rotten to the core... It is like a sinking ship, a burning house. Some people choose to escape it.
Just as a tiny bit of faeces has a bad smell, so I do not recommend even a tiny bit of existence, not even for so long as a fingersnap. (AN 1, 18)
A simile might help. A person born in a harsh prison, raised in that prison, who has spent all their time in the prison, can only know prison life. They don't even suspect that anything beyond their prison can exist. So they make the best of prison. Those who think positively, because they have gone to prison seminars, begin to think that the harsh prison is instead a wonderful place. They even compose songs like "All jails bright and beautiful ... the good Lord made them all"! Others get involved with social service, compassionately decorating the prison cells of others. When someone gets tortured or otherwise punished in jail, they think something has gone wrong and look for someone to blame. If someone suggests that it is the very nature of jail to be suffering, then they are dismissed as a pessimist and told to "Get a life!". One full moon night, a prisoner discovers a door leading out of the jail and goes through. Only then does he realize that jail was inherently suffering and you can't make it otherwise. He goes back to tell his fellow prisoners. Most don't believe him. They can't even imagine anything other than their jail. When he says that the jail is suffering and the cessation of imprisonment is happiness, he is accused by one and all of escapism.
Sometimes people rebuke me saying "You monks are just trying to escape from the real world!".
I reply "Well done! At last someone else has understood Buddhism!"
What's wrong with escapism, especially when one realises that the real world is the harsh prison
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