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My parents, try to hinder my practice of the Dhamma by verbally & aggressively putting the Dhamma down to me, almost every day. They believe I am being "brainwashed" by monks I watch online or people I talk to about Buddhism. They also express that they are concerned when I meditate, which itself is not negative at all, I just don't want them to worry about my practice. My practice in no way interferes with their life, I keep the Dhamma to myself unless one is curious or respectful about it, but my parents always seem to bring it up & they aren't very respectful.

How do I prevent this from happening while at the same time respecting their beliefs in the Abrahamic God? I only want love & practice, it's just hard to communicate, for them to understand, the truth of the Dhamma to them.

Metta to all

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Firstly, I assume that you reside in a jurisdiction where converting from your original religion to Buddhism and the practice of Buddhism are not illegal.

I suggest that you can explain the following to your parents, assuming that it is possible to reason with them:

I understand and respect your beliefs and your practice of religion X. This religion X teaches one to have morality, respect, kindness and compassion for your fellow man. The founder of this religion also displayed these values. (cite examples here)

I would like to announce to you that I do not belong to religion X any more, although I still greatly respect it and its founder. I have now accepted Buddhism, as my religion and my way of life, by taking refuge in the Buddha, his teachings and his community of disciples, as well as by undertaking the training of the Five Precepts of Buddhism.

The Buddha also displayed the same values of morality, respect, kindness and compassion, that the founder of religion X did, and he taught his followers to practise these values. (Cite examples from the Buddha's life that parallel the life of the founder of religion X)

The Five Precepts of Buddhism are not very different from the Ten Commandments (or some other equivalent teaching of religion X). It teaches me not to kill, not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to speak the untruth, and not to consume intoxicating substances. The Buddha is not God and Buddhists are not required to make idols of the Buddha, or worship him. Taking refuge in the Buddha simply means that one accepts the Buddha as his teacher, and has faith in his teachings.

The Buddha was a normal man, who became an enlightened teacher, who guided his followers away from living an immoral life that leads to suffering, just as the founder of religion X did.

The Buddha also taught his followers to respect and cherish their parents. He taught that it's very difficult for children to repay the love and kindness shown by parents towards their children.

I want you to understand that your insulting and belittling of Buddhism or the Buddha will not change my mind. I am now and for the foreseeable future, a committed practising Buddhist.

The founder of religion X did not prevent or hinder people from following other religions. The Buddha too did not prevent or hinder people from following other religions.The founder of religion X did not force others to practise the religion that he brought. The Buddha too did not force others to practise his teachings.

Similarly, I will not force you to practise my religion, and I ask you not to force me to practice your religion. I will not insult or belittle your religion, and I ask you not to insult or belittle Buddhism.

Even if you insult or belittle my religion, the Buddha taught me to show metta (loving kindness) towards you. By metta, I mean I would always wish you to be happy and free from suffering. (Cite similar examples from the life of the founder of religion X, if possible)

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If we understand the non secterian Dhamma, we can use judeo-Christian language, or or find simple common ground with them. Dhamma is virtue, morality is Dhamma. Non secterian, even set aside Pali language, who will have issue with not killing, not using intoxicants, not stealing, not undertaking sexual misconduct, not over indulging in sleep and comfort?

Many monastaries and meditation centers don't follow the precept of no having ornaments, decorations, etc. This precept might be important to keep purity of Dhamma in a non sectarian way. Not putting up these walls, barriers attatchments will be good for one and all beings. Don't take my word for it, question it. Find out with your own faculty of dicernment. Fancy Pagoda tops, and decorations and even statues of sidartha gotoma the body are not in alignment with the Dhamma. These jewelery, and chanting outloud, in front of them are better left undone. Meditation in secluded area, in a room preferably clean or empty, or in a park at the base of a tree.

Who will take issue if you simply state I am trying to take time to develop concentration. Lengthen my attention span. It may help me to improve studying, reduce stress, enjoy a richer fuller life. A calm mind might appreciate the song of a bird, the beauty of sunset, etc. Develop wisdom and insight into the nature of reality.

Have compassion for living beings, I try to develop compassion for living beings, know that People and animals are all subject to sickness, death, impermenance. I don't want to unnecessarily cause I creased harm. But it takes practice... Who will take issue?

Better not to argue with them but try taking deep breaths and o serve how you feel when this is happening. If you react as soon as you can realize it come to your senses and try to not respond verbally. If you react 15 min. Before you realize I am reacting, arguing, etc. Know it is a huge improvement from 16 min.

  • To separate text into paragraphs, don't use leading whitespace at the start of the first line, but do put a blank/empty line between paragraphs -- full details are here or here – ChrisW Aug 11 at 17:41
  • I didn't understand what the last three sentences are saying -- "If you react 15 min. Before you realize I am reacting, arguing, etc. Know it is a huge improvement from 16 min." – ChrisW Aug 11 at 19:46
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The Buddhism as a religion which can be seen practiced nowadays is often and in many ways quite different to the practices in the texts. Therefore your group is right to worry about you imo. There are several sects even within the Theravada and a variety of disagreements, chances are they already got you:)

Perhaps try approaching the whole Buddhisms more like an academic pursuit and experiment with meditation, shouldn't be a big deal if someone wants to explore those things. The problem arises when you come of as a lunatic and they are unable to communicate because they are not trained in that system of language (dhamma).

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