Author Topic: The importance of renunciation in Buddhism  (Read 3147 times)

Renze

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The importance of renunciation in Buddhism
« on: November 22, 2013, 09:55:00 PM »
A really good article that criticizes how Western 'Consensus Buddhism' rejects renunciation, even though it is probably the most important thing in traditional Buddhism:

http://meaningness.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/renunciation-in-buddhism/

So traditional Buddhism states that what you attain in your life entirely depends on how much sensual pleasure you renounce. If you aim for nibbana, you pretty much have to live like a monk. But most of the lay practicioners in the West are practicing for nothing more than a favorable rebirth, while the teachers claim they can become enlightened.

Shabd Mystic

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Re: The importance of renunciation in Buddhism
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 09:49:53 PM »
The path I follow says that we should not become renunciates because denying desires doesn't eliminate them, all it does is hold them back like a dam retains water. The problem is that the desires continue to grow behind the dam until the dam bursts and when it does you are worse off than when you first began denying yourself. Examples of that are common in many groups that have a "guru" and that guru, who claims to be celibate, later finds himself in hot water from the many followers he's bedded.

It is taught that over time, via meditation, desires will begin to fade until they eventually leave you altogether. In the meantime, with things like lust, you just have to try to moderate it. (On my path certain things such as drugs or alcohol are strictly forbidden so there is no "moderation.")

I have found from personal experience that "renunciation" when "natural" (meaning a loss of things such as lust, anger, greed and worldly desires), makes progress in meditation happen at a much brisker pace. In my case, fate turned me into a renunciate. It wasn't something I tried to do.

I have had a series of serious health problems, the last being a burst brain aneurism in January, that has left me bed-ridden and unable to walk (I'm 56). Combined, the health problems left me unable to do the many worldly things I used to be obsessed with. Fortunately, my meditation began to rid me of the desire to do any of the countless things my life used to revolve around.

So I am now VERY content, which shocks the people who know me well because I am confined to a 24-hour care facility and I don't mind it at all. In a "chicken or the egg" scenario, I can't say whether my rapid progress "spiritually" (is that a term Buddhists even use?) is the result of the loss of desires and ambitions or those desires were lost because I had reached a certain state spiritually.

All I do know is that, in comparing myself with numerous long-time Sant Mat practitioners (some as long as 50 years) I have experienced things at a much more rapid pace and I am convinced, after comparing myself to them, that the only difference is that I have no worldly desires or interests to take my attention away (I still have some interest in sports, it's just not an obsession any longer). All I care about is meditation and spirituality. That's what I now live for now.

So I wholeheartedly agree with the "idea" from the teachings of traditional Buddhism. I would never say you "must live like a monk," because I know the troubles that can result, but I know that if you can do so comfortably then progress in your meditation will come much quicker.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, I'm here because I LOVE Buddhism. If it wasn't for Sant Mat I have no doubt that Buddhism would be my passion. I don't know if anyone here believes in reincarnation (a BIG part of Sant Mat), but I believe I was a Buddhist in a previous life. Probably crazy, lol, but I'm very drawn to Buddhism and Buddhists and so that idea feels right.   :)

redalert

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Re: The importance of renunciation in Buddhism
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 10:25:50 PM »
All I care about is meditation and spirituality. That's what I now live for now.

Welcome Bhikku Shabd Mystic,

this is also a huge part of my life. I believe true renunciation is a natural result of practice.


Shabd Mystic

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Re: The importance of renunciation in Buddhism
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 11:35:03 PM »
All I care about is meditation and spirituality. That's what I now live for now.

Welcome Bhikku Shabd Mystic,

this is also a huge part of my life. I believe true renunciation is a natural result of practice.

Thank you Redalert and I agree!

 

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