Renunciation and Family

Won’t somebody please think of the children!” This week we take up the tension in Buddhism between the ideal of monasticism, the renunciant, the solo practitioner who goes off in search of awakening versus the reality of home life, laity, and family. Our conversation is inspired, in part, by a post last fall over on the Dharma Dialogue blog about revisiting the biography of the historical Buddha and being attentive to how this narrative can be re-read to highlight Shakyamuni’s connections to his home life and family rather than his rejection of it. We eventually come back to Shinran and the Tannisho, and Harry starts to say some pretty profound stuff about twenty minutes in. It’s worth sticking around just for that!

Also, the Dharma Dialogue blog seems to be no more since it was created for a specific class down at University of the West last fall. The author of the post linked to above, however, can be found on his site, here, Family Dharma.