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I am tired of the rat race, working a job I hate to buy things that I don't need.

I am tired of technology and the grasp it has on everybody in the western world.

Is there a feasible way, within Buddhist practice, for the average westerner to escape it all in exchange for a simple and pure life?

  • 1
    may i suggest a more on-topic question, like "Can Buddhism help me escape the difficulties in my life?" or, "Will becoming a monk help me escape the difficulties in my life?" – Anthony Sep 28 '14 at 5:55
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    too open-ended / opinion based? – Andrei Volkov Sep 28 '14 at 13:21
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    @AndreiVolkov Shouldn't it be answerable? a) suffering is the first noble truth b) a way to escape is the fourth noble truth c) right livelihood d) etc. I don't know what the 'zen' tag is in the question for. – ChrisW Sep 28 '14 at 14:05
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Of course. Realizing that you don't need things or that those things aren't going to make you happy is the beginning of awareness that the worldly world is not as great as you thought it was!

Fortunately, the Buddha laid the grounds for understanding exactly this sort of suffering and how to remedy it with the Four Noble Truths.

No need to be like everyone else in your society/community. Change your lifestyle in any way you see fit to give you time to study, practice, and explore that which leads to true happiness. No need to live in a cave to do this either; unless you want to. But people can live incredibly simple lifestyles anywhere as long as they aren't trying to fit in with those around them. Best wishes in your journey to true happiness. :)

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Ordaining seems like an obvious (albeit challenging) answer to your question- if you truly want to escape it ALL, becoming a monk is the exact solution you're looking for. However, if that isn't realistic for you right now and, like me, you are looking to experience a most peaceful existence, there are definitely aspects of Buddhism that will allow you to have a go at this. I don't claim to know much, but some tips on how to have more ease in daily life include:

  1. See obstacles as opportunities for spiritual development- if you feel that you hate your job, this is a great chance for you to practice some mindfulness, and really observe your thought process revolving around your aversion to certain things. If you can study, and thus come to understand your hatred, maybe you will find some peace in that way. And you can apply this so any reaction you have to an experience, be it good, bad or neutral.
  2. Meditation- many types of meditation, if practiced regularly, can produce peaceful and equanimous mental and physical states. If you meditate for a decent amount of time in the morning before work, maybe you will find some peace before going in. Adding to this, you can derive a little bit of satisfaction/happiness just from the knowledge that you are practicing meditation. If you meditate in the morning, you can go through the rest of the day with a bit of added confidence- you are a practicing buddhist, yay.

Anyway, as I said I don't know much- I am trying to deal with the same issues as you! Hope my little bit of advice helps.

Ian

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There will be other things besides technology which will drive you nuts, anywhere. It might be good to change environment, for the sake of your sanity, if there will be less of them, but that is in itself not about Buddhism, it is just a very natural and laudable care about your well-being.

I find nonetheless the following very useful (Daniel M. Ingram, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha (http://integrateddaniel.info/book).

When I think about what it would take to achieve freedom from all psychological stuff, the response that comes is this: life is about stuff. Stuff is part of being alive. There is no way out of this while you are still living. There will be confusion, pain, miscommunication, misinterpretation, maladaptive patterns of behavior, unhelpful emotional reactions, weird personality traits, neurosis and possibly much worse. There will be power plays, twisted psychological games, people with major personality disorders (which may include you), and craziness. The injuries continue right along with the healing and eventually the injuries win and we die. This is a fundamental teaching of the Buddha. I wish the whole Western Buddhist World would just get over this notion that these practices are all about getting to our Happy Place where nothing can ever hurt us or make us neurotic and move on to actually mastering real Buddhist practice rather than chasing some ideal that will never appear.

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You see dukkha quite clearly and do not want to continue to dwell in Samsara. I would suggest considering ordaining. It seems in line with your insights.

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Yes you should start a simple meditation.Buddhist meditation doesn't require you sitting down like yoga to it on your way to office,in the bath tub where ever you want.You don't even need to close your eyes. Please refer this link to learn more.. http://mahamevnawa.lk/inenglish/

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