Thursday, December 9, 2010

Karma or comfort?

At Saturday Sangha last weekend, the talks drifted several times into discussions of Karma.

Chong Go Sunim shared a couple of interesting thoughts about family.

He suggested that we tend to be like our parents not only because they're our parents but because, between lives, we are drawn to where we are comfortable, we are drawn to similar people.

For this reason, his teacher, DaeHaeng Kun Sunim (Zen Master), says that before you get married, it's important to practice, and before you have children, it's important to practice. I was pleased when I heard this, because I met EunBong not long after I really started practicing, and while EunBong was pregnant, we often sat in meditation together and attended temple ceremonies. The irony isn't lost on me that after Fina was born, there's been little time for either!

I'd heard Chong Go Sunim suggest that we go where we are comfortable a few times before. It's made we a bit more mindful of the activities, places, and people I make myself comfortable with. Comfort can become a very deep rut to try to get yourself out of. I could potentially make about 50% more money teaching privately, but my job is very comfortable, so I'm reluctant to quit. I've had friends in Korea repeatedly go back to ex-boyfriends, not because they were happy but because they were comfortable. Despite what many Westerners in Korea think, Koreans (the ones I know, at least) are well aware of the social issues they endure, it would just be very uncomfortable to go against them. And who am I to speak? The more I've given in to the Korean way of things, the more comfortable I've been here...

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