In every decision there is an opportunity cost. By doing one thing, you can't do another thing. And by having children, I can't do this excellent thing at the Rubin, March 5th. I wish I could sleep under some artwork there, and then have my dreams interpreted the next day by a psychoanalyst. Alas, it's my weekend with the kids, and I'm going to honor my commitment.
That got me thinking. If we are to simplify our life, so we can devote it to the spiritual life, isn't having children about the worst thing you can do? Children and having a career are about the most complicating thing you can do in your life.
And yet, I can't see my children as a hindrance, I'm not about to name my son Rahula, which some say means hindrance. In the Mahayana you're allowed to be of the world, be in the world, it's more your approach to things. Everything is an opportunity to be spiritual.
And yet, setting up circumstances to support the spiritual life is not to be underestimated. Having free time for friendship, for meditation, study, and working for the good of the Dharma is unquestionably important to the spiritual life.
Patience is important in the spiritual life. I think with children, I just have to wait to enter, time wise, more fully into the spiritual life as defined by meditation, friendships and working for the good of the Dharma. Sometimes it's good to build up tension in waiting. And anyway, it's dualism to think spiritual/unspiritual.
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1 year ago