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Questions:

Is it normal to shy away from your family when it is hard to interact with them because they are so caught up in defilement and shaming my practices?

And is it proper to not respond to other people's questions or comments such as "wasn't that so good" or "do you like/dislike that?" or even "you believe in God, right, and you're a good Christian, right?" I seem to get these questions and have a hard time putting together an answer.

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It is important to focus on your education because obviously you will not be able to live with your parents, forever. Skilling yourself for a job or career is most important if you want independence.

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The Buddhist practice revolves around 3 practices:

  • development of morality and ethics with a view to developing control over the mind
  • development of control over the mind with a view of developing wisdom through direct and empirical experience
  • developing wisdom through direct and empirical experience

There is no shame in doing any of the above. Regardless of if you are from a particular culture or religious background you can practice them.

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They’ll get over it. I come from a family of devout Polish Catholics. At first, they were openly hostile. Then they were upset. Then they were accepting. Now they just make fun of me.

And if your family doesn’t get over it, well, then you know where the problem lies. And you get to learn first hand how to wisely handle conflict.

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Putting up an answer is not a concern .This is your current orientation ,so its normal people ask if they aren't accustomed to seeing that .Buddha wasn't ashamed to beg with a bowel ,because he understood the purpose of his action ,only when you aren't sure about what you are doing ,do you start asking such questions.

I read a story about Buddha when he came back to his town after enlightenment ,he came with his begging bowel ,and took his son Rahula as well to the path.He met his father on his death bed ,his father was so hurt and angry, telling him now I have no heir and started crying for minutes on end ,telling Buddha "what all this non-sense you're doing ,begging ,you have wasted your life",and Buddha felt compassion and just removed his tears ,after his father settled down ,opened his eyes,and saw Buddha's face in such peace and silence,he told him "I never saw you so beautiful".Buddha was in perfect harmony with his path ,because it was his experience ,not because he was blindly following some principles or Sadhanas.

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I do not think anyone shames you if you practice or observe the five precepts. However, if you want to meditate be a bit more obscure about it as some people will find it strange. However, you can practice Satipathana without the attention of other people. What exactly are they shaming you?

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Teaching good at the beginning, in the middle and at the end full of meaning even in the letter, complete in every way stating the pure holy life. Hearing this a householder or a householder’s son, born to some clan, gains faith in the Thus Gone One. With that faith he reflects. The life in a household is full of defilements, going forth is like open space. It is not easy for one living a household life to lead the holy life complete and pure without defilements. What if I shave head and beard, don yellow robes and go forth as a homeless. Later he gives up a little wealth, or much wealth, a small circle of friends, or a large circle of friends, shaving head and beard, and donning yellow robes goes forth as a homeless.

One intent on realization is distancing himself from those who don't. As one distances oneself from unwholesome perceptions by giving appropriate attention to wholesome perceptions, thus attaining seclusion, just so one will be distancing oneself from situations where inappropriate attention is given and people who give inappropriate attention.

In my experience you can try to teach friends and family but lest they become your equals or better there will be that proportional distance.

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