Questions to Start

  • June 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm #1517
    Guo Cheen

    Question 1: I got my lay Buddhist teacher’s certificate. I took the precepts from a tradition that doesn’t prohibit me from eating meat. I would like to be a vegetarian nevertheless and sometimes struggle in this regard. Is the struggle or the meat-eating detracting me from my Buddhist path?

    Question 2: Al Gore is my hero. I love the Inconvenient Truth. What are Buddhists doing about the environment besides responding to the Pope?

    Question 3: My parents are both deceased. My stepfather kicked me out of the house and whenever I try to communicate with him, he simply shouts back (regardless of the forum he manages to shout) the rhetorical question (or so I think is rhetorical): “Why don’t you go and kill yourself?”

    I am haunted by nightmares about being chased in some manhunt. What Dharma do you recommend for me?

    September 18, 2016 at 6:03 pm #1598
    David Lawson

    To Question 3: I am so sorry to hear of your troubles, and I hope you are finding ways to take care of yourself. We may sometimes believe that we should be able to heal or at least “manage” all of our relationships by applying one strategy or another. But sometimes the best we can do is to keep ourselves as safe as possible and to avoid doing harm. The Buddha gave very pointed advice regarding the need to maintain distance from those who would otherwise hurt us or adversely affect our development in the Dharma. This is sometimes hard to accept. Yet often it may not really be workable to actively attempt to heal a particular relationship. Offer yourself compassion for wanting to do so, and see how the heart feels about it. This may be an interesting source of dharma investigation. All the best to you!

    David Lawson

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