I get fear when I'm trying to choose something over buddhist teaching.

  1. Listening to Dhamma instead of studying something else
  2. Reject a job offer to get some free time
  3. Not having relationship (with a person who have great qualities) because it increases clinging, lust etc. and it causes suffering

My doubt is that those opportunities may help my journey to enlightenment.

  1. Having a good job may make free time later
  2. Good person may help me to understand buddhism more.

So, How can I decide what to give up and what not to give up ? Prince Siddhartha gave up lot of great things. (Kindom, Wife, Parents). But I don't have such a great mind like him. I have ignorence. So how to overcome this fear? Did Lord Buddha mention these kind of situations in his teachings?

3 Answers 3


In Buddhism, you can choose to be a lay follower, who observes the five precepts and the non-noble version of the path (which has defilements remaining) as a lay person, or you can follow the Noble Eightfold Path of a monk who renounces the worldly life.

If you choose to be a lay follower, then you obviously need a source of income and you can choose to have a life partner - in both cases, subject to the five precepts, Right Action, Right Speech and Right Livelihood. You may also need to spend some time learning non-Dhamma knowledge that may help your worldly life. To feel guilty or remorse for any of that is not skillful.

Please read this answer to "Can a Buddhist own and run a billion dollar business?". That should remove your doubts about the lay follower path. Also in this answer, you can see that lay followers are told to set aside some time for meditation. Also please read this answer to "Is it “bad” to want a “materialistic” happiness?"

So, you should make your choice of being a lay follower or a renunciate, and follow the path laid out, without feeling guilty or remorse. You can also change your mind later. But don't choose to remain a lay follower and feel conflicted about it - that's unskillful.


One idea that might help is to focus more on what you can give instead of what you can acquire.

You say you're worried about losing opportunity as if you want to gain or have opportunity -- have job, have relationship, "my journey", etc.

Instead you might wonder, "what can I do (what option do I have) that is most helpful, ethical, generous?" -- towards others.


To fear the opportunity of an occasion to make merits, to do not follow an arosen kusala-citta (one of non-harming, non-disputing, renouncing, giving), is what the Buddha had called something that needs really to be feared, avioded.

As good householder sees here: as soon as starting to rationalize, giving doubt changes, all good gained decays, and another seldom opportunity fades, and not sure if another arises, as it's stream had died off by not nourishing it, giving into.

So it's actually this which should be feared, or better to give into what's not cutting of bad (a-ku-sala). What isn't given, hold on, is lost.

The earlier one goes into the holly life, the lesser his many risks to never be able, got caught along the way, and the lesser the changes to bend straight again.

It's not possible to increase chances by taking and trades in the world, such is just the way of excuses made up by defilements.

Nothing to mention if one with doubt seeks advices by doubters, a prisoner asking prisoners how to escape... kind of association is ones gain or lose.

The Sublime Buddhas teachings are full of mentions of failing people and the reasons why.

And, as mentioned: It's very needed having and maintaining a relationship (with a person who have great qualities, one more advanced in real liberality, Nissaya) because it bonds one to desire toward liberation, leading to an end of suffering.

AN 1.071-080: Kalyāṇamittādivaggo: Good companionship and others contains the particular answers from the source of Unbond.

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other world-binding trades, but for an escape from this wheel]

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