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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 11:28AM

I have a BIL who has become Buddhist.
Received the 16 precepts last night during the ritual known as Judkia (sp?). Got his Dharma name, made his rokshu (sp?), the whole nine yards.

My sister said something last night that had my flags going up. That his dedication to living out his vows has changed him, especially in how he communicates (before they had clear communication, now he listens more but doesn't engage with communicating back nearly as much), and she is concerned that since he is actively trying to live out his vows, live the 16 precepts, that it will put a stress on the relationship.

From what I gather, there has been a shift in the marriage due to this.

Has anyone experienced this, or know someone who has, when it comes to Buddhism.

Comments? Thoughts? Insights?

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 11:50AM

If, and it's a big if, I get what you're driving at, well, I can tell you that a lying, cheating, thieving wife puts a strain on a marriage, especially when she files for divorce and lies her ass off to try to get more alimony.

It hurt our flow of communication big time!!

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 12:05PM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If, and it's a big if, I get what you're driving
> at, well, I can tell you that a lying, cheating,
> thieving wife puts a strain on a marriage,
> especially when she files for divorce and lies her
> ass off to try to get more alimony.
>
> It hurt our flow of communication big time!!


No, not that at all.

There is no "read between the lines for meaning" in my post. It can be taken at face value.

Im sorry that your ex caused you that kind of pain.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 12:17PM

So then are you saying that the Buddhist's wife is in pain? Along with not being able to get back the level of communication the two once shared?

How are she and I different? (Although I bounced back pretty damn good!)

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 12:17PM

In a North American context, it would depend a very great deal on what "kind" (specifically) of Buddhism your BIL identifies with because there is a huge spectrum of Buddhist belief, of Buddhist observance (or lack of observance), and of Buddhist communities or groups.

I was raised (primarily) Hindu/Vedanta, and since the Buddha was born Hindu and then, later, became the first Buddhist, and since there are many kinds of Buddhists and Buddhist temples in the area where I live, Buddhism has always been one stream among many in my own, local, greater culture. Buddhism has always been a peripheral part of my life (it is literally "around" me in my life), but I actually "know" very little about it (for one thing: despite "knowing" for virtually all of my life that there are two major, important, divisions in Buddhism, and despite having these carefully explained to me on different occasions, I still cannot describe either one of them!).

During the time I was working at Los Angeles City Hall (my first job out of high school), I went to several Buddhist services at two different temples in Little Tokyo (which is adjacent to City Hall)...

...and, although we do have a major Buddhist temple in the San Fernando Valley, and although I used to be a regular and appreciative customer of a really wonderful Buddhist vegetarian restaurant fairly near to where I live (they have a bookcase nestled against one wall, with Buddhist publications in it which can be read while you eat your meal, if you are so inclined), none of this ever "took" with me.

I am just not on the same wavelength as Buddhist philosophy and thought.

Because the differences between the different Buddhist groups are so pronounced (at least they are from my, non-Buddhist, perspective!), I think you would probably have to know more about your BIL's specific "kind" of Buddhism before you could begin to understand where your BIL is coming from. Potentially, it could be any of a wide spectrum of possibilities (starting with: which of those two main Buddhist traditions does your BIL subscribe to?).

I strongly suggest that you go over to You Tube and search for "Buddhism," where you will find a great number of videos, some of which are likely to answer your questions (and some of which are, like most of the You Tube religious/philosophical subjects, off-the-wall...so be cautious in what you decide to accept as fact, because just because it is on You Tube doesn't mean that whatever-it-is is factual).

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 12:31PM

Tevai, all I know is that is Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism.

Yes, I will be researching it. A couple of this stuck out last night. The temple (an old victorian home where the married Buddhist couple who run it, live upstairs), the downstairs is the place where they have their meditative sits.

They have a goal listed on the wall of reaching 144 members this year. My BIL says that they are at something 124? I find it odd that there is a goal of recruitment???

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 12:34PM

angela Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They have a goal listed on the wall of reaching
> 144 members this year. My BIL says that they are
> at something 124? I find it odd that there is a
> goal of recruitment???

I find this odd as well.

This is NOT anything I have either seen or heard about in normative Buddhism. (Far the opposite, actually.)

At this point, I (personally) would be thinking about the possibility of "cult."

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 10:57PM

I would do some research. You might check with the American Zen Teachers Association about the couple's lineage and dharma transmission.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Zen_Teachers_Association

Here is an article about Zen in the U.S.:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_in_the_United_States

It sounds like the couple could benefit from counseling if communication has broken down.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 01:00PM

Tevai is right, the "flavor" counts for a lot--there are ,any different Buddhist teaching systems available in the US. There are also some New Agey pop gurus claiming enlightenment and that they are conveying a real Buddhist message, and these folks should be regarded with the same wary eye as Joseph Smith...there's probably a lot of dirty money, coercive sex, and control/manipulation going on inside with the potential to do lifelong harm. "Real" Buddhists will disavow these people and their practices, so seeking community opinion on an individual group is important also. Buddhist cults ARE a thing.

So certainly finding out what sort of Buddhists your Sis is dealing with is wise, but also reminding BIL immediately that he may have taken precepts but Sis did not is important, I think. If this is a "legit" form of Buddhism, there should be concern for Sis's wellbeing at the heart of BIL's practice. What good Buddhist reaches enlightenment by causing others to suffer? None. That's the whole point, ending suffering. Compassion is supposed to be at the heart of most Buddhist practice. If he's worried that he can't rigorously implement every practice (especially at the inconvenience of others) because it will "slow down" or "hamper" his impending Buddhahood, then he's missing the point entirely. If his teachers are pressing him to be a monk overnight, then THEY are missing the point entirely.

This kind of newcomer zeal can be found in every religion and can be super annoying at best to relationship destroying to probably even lethal at worst. Good grief, I cringe at how obnoxious i was as a new Mormon! He may mellow down with time. Hopefully your Sis can navigate this new religion honeymoon period without getting left behind, but I think she shouldn't feel like she has to just submit to changes she didn't agree to without a discussion. If I were you, I'd encourage her to put an early foot down if there's anything he is going to do that is going to change her life in a way she can't accept, because she should be honest from the beginning so as to avoid resentment.

Professional therapy is ALWAYS a good suggestion for big relationship changes, too.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 01:06PM

ptbarnum Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tevai is right, the "flavor" counts for a
> lot--there are ,any different Buddhist teaching
> systems available in the US. There are also some
> New Agey pop gurus claiming enlightenment and that
> they are conveying a real Buddhist message, and
> these folks should be regarded with the same wary
> eye as Joseph Smith...there's probably a lot of
> dirty money, coercive sex, and
> control/manipulation going on inside with the
> potential to do lifelong harm. "Real" Buddhists
> will disavow these people and their practices, so
> seeking community opinion on an individual group
> is important also. Buddhist cults ARE a thing.
>
> So certainly finding out what sort of Buddhists
> your Sis is dealing with is wise, but also
> reminding BIL immediately that he may have taken
> precepts but Sis did not is important, I think.
> If this is a "legit" form of Buddhism, there
> should be concern for Sis's wellbeing at the heart
> of BIL's practice. What good Buddhist reaches
> enlightenment by causing others to suffer? None.
> That's the whole point, ending suffering.
> Compassion is supposed to be at the heart of most
> Buddhist practice. If he's worried that he can't
> rigorously implement every practice (especially at
> the inconvenience of others) because it will "slow
> down" or "hamper" his impending Buddhahood, then
> he's missing the point entirely. If his teachers
> are pressing him to be a monk overnight, then THEY
> are missing the point entirely.
>
> This kind of newcomer zeal can be found in every
> religion and can be super annoying at best to
> relationship destroying to probably even lethal
> at worst. Good grief, I cringe at how obnoxious i
> was as a new Mormon! He may mellow down with time.
> Hopefully your Sis can navigate this new religion
> honeymoon period without getting left behind, but
> I think she shouldn't feel like she has to just
> submit to changes she didn't agree to without a
> discussion. If I were you, I'd encourage her to
> put an early foot down if there's anything he is
> going to do that is going to change her life in a
> way she can't accept, because she should be honest
> from the beginning so as to avoid resentment.
>
> Professional therapy is ALWAYS a good suggestion
> for big relationship changes, too.

Thanks, PT. This was very helpful.

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 01:19PM

Friend of a friend wife became Buddhist. She is 100% into it and he is a little bit lost. Relationship and sex have gone down. He had retired and they were going to travel, now its only Buddhist destinations , etc.

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Posted by: LeftTheMorg ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 07:59PM

Isn't religion wonderful?

I prefer no religion. Some nice spiritual (peaceful) thoughts are fine. And the Golden RUle is great, but religion?....no.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 10:11PM

Like mormonism, buddhism is full of bullshit.

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 11:12PM

yeah, ya wanna hear something really disturbing? My DW is a MORMON!

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Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 11:48PM

Both branches?

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 01:38AM

Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is big into proselytizing. It is a "restorationist" version of Buddhism, which basically makes it the Buddhist equivalent of Mormonism.

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Posted by: Paintingnotloggedin ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 01:57PM

'doesn't engage when communicated back' sounds distancing. 'listens more' sounds quiet, ask your sister if 'listens more' involved facing, body gestures (head nod, breath holding pause, 'um hm' 'oh' 'why' yeah' oh no ) simple listening,

or a mirror stating restating but never agreeing or disagreeing, never affirming or disaffirming, making no supportive response as if on her team or on her side. It becomes too secular (is that the word) for a personal relationship, kind of empty listening. A bus driver would listen like this if you were the last on the bus or a disengaged secretary. Its inadequate in its withdrawn emoting protecting caring its a passive act showing listening
utilized in unresolved conflict or apathy polite apathy. just to listen is NOT to show positive or unconditional regard, it can be cold.

I wonder if they are taking some instruction on meditating or listening finding quiet while meditating or being asked by a religious leader to quiet their mind- and are somewhat exuberant all or nothing- switched off a switch that is disrupting dialoge at home. mistaking a meditation instruction as a whole life verbal thought command instruction for dialoge style at the table. oh my goodness I think could happen, I think this could happen with a convert. A meditation teacher is very powerful. you may think what they guide you to visualize or their ideas when you sit with your eyes closed. you may gain shared ideas or sense of group and emotion being seated ( even surrounded by strangers) by the intimacy of the meditation although you never met or do not talk. Meditating side by side is not coffee and donuts snow parties snuggles but who would a former new Mormon converting know that. Its just meditating.

my spiritual teacher ( and I'm not Buddhist) is a Buddhist priest & stated that you have to watch out, don't join a cult. They said some groups are cults. They said you could go for years to a certain center but if you didn't live there you wouldn't get 'real' friends just within the ritual or events of that center 'friendly' friends. That some of these folks even Buddhist live like cult about rules and role and lives, so watch out. They said, don't be Buddhist because of me. I can't see a commitment to another group and making up a whole nother religion, a whole nother life style, a whole nother thought style, a whole nother personality right wrong what's going on set point and casting out all the past. Cults ask you, to do that other people don't. if it appears that your brother in law is doing this, I do know someone that left for Tibet and was going about a year, people do this. Some people were meant to be on a radical journey like rock climbers who do Everest or marathoners. So support your sister.

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 02:29AM

having a spouse convert to Buddhaism -a cake walk compared to dealing with Islam or MORmONISM

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 03:49AM

I would only be concerned if this man is becoming involved with a religious cult. Cults are everywhere and there are Buddhist cults too. If he is not going into what appears to be a cult (and you know most of the signs of a cult) then I would not be worried.

Several of my friends are Buddhists and I think that they are wonderful people. Being an ex-mormon can make us spring-loaded to think that most religions are cults and any religion is a bad thing. I feel that this type of reasoning is not representative of the wide array of human religious experience. I'm an atheist myself but I do feel that religious people can also be outstanding people too. Just don't become fanatical with it.

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