Posted in Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships

Monastics and their adult children talk

Sometimes it’s harder when you are a monastic with your own adult children. Today, I engaged my daughter in what I thought was support when she faced a disappointment. She didn’t want to tell me fearing I would scold but I didn’t so she did herself about herself! So I tried to stop her, then she after calming down decided I was right. I said you know we Buddhists recite things 3 times and in the hopes we remember it once. Then she said maybe she could take up some training. I replied you already had lots of training in my tonsure temple, can you see now how to use what you really know? She said yes she could! And really… this type of conversation was much better than when she was younger and defensive with guilt or imagining what her mom would say (mom is really fair minded… but kid didn’t accept me that way!) She would have bitten my head off for hour or so and been angry for a long time after! Now we just ended a nice talk and she got a better understanding from herself about herself and has not undertaken the mental beating she used too on her own self. Yayyaay! I feel much more like a good monastic and a good mom too boot!!!

It’s really been fun to have been a part of raising her.  She is the first person I really got feedback from all through her life that really improved how I communicated to others!  What a treasure! I am so looking forward to her adult years and yes, she probably won’t be around me much and that’s ok! I have lots of friends to meet and when she feels she has time and resources we will get together and visit as often as she would like to!

I am so glad I had her and very happy she can stand being around me as long as she has! 😛

I am so proud of her, you know I became a nun only after her permission was given. And what was better she was able to visit me and travel back and forth to see me as I progressed in my tonsure training and watched me as monastic grow in my robes over these years.  What a treasure, I am so glad I did not cut her off from me like others have done to their families and some who had kids.  I decided early on for her sake and my families that I would not go to a place to live that would demand such service to their membership at the expense of my own family or country people.  I feel it’s so important to stay in the context of our Western culture and be tolerant of our unique mix of countries and lifestyles.  And that means still living in purity and keeping Vinaya precepts and our foundation received during our tonsure training.  It has been rewarding to see my daughter change herself without even being Buddhist (she says she is not decided about anything yet religious which is fine, as Buddhists we do not convert just teach when asked and in context of the situation we are in.  Okay! Done for now.  Need to sew and repair robes and the pile of hand sewing is too big so need to get on it too.

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Author:

I am a Bhikshuni ordained in Mahayana Chinese Buddhist tradition. I'm currently translating Vinaya sutras from the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.