Acknowledging Judgements Within You | Ven. Pomnyun’s Dharma Q&A

Acknowledging judgements within you I’ve been doing 1000 bows for a month. It’s been both peaceful and difficult. I’m conflicted as to whether I should
continue with 1000 bows for myself. I find myself not wanting to do it, but I’m afraid quitting will make
things harder for me. I have conflicts with my oldest son
who is preparing for college admission. I’m afraid I might not be able to endure
these times without bowing. I’d like to seek your advice. Why are you bowing 1000 times?
Who told you to do so? Seeing my child makes me anxious.
I find myself constantly nagging. Through bowing I realize
things don’t always go my way. I found it beneficial,
hence I’ve been bowing. Then you should continue, no?
Why are you asking me? You started it and
yet now you seek my advice. Had I asked you to bow,
only then would it make sense for you to ask me whether to continue. (Questioner) Last time when we met
in Daegu, you advised me to do 500 bows. Hence I’ve been ambitiously continuing
for a month. You should have followed my advice as is.
Now you’re saying
1000 bows have been hard to achieve.
Your greed has made it difficult. (Questioner) Yes.
(Sunim) Then do 500 bows. (Questioner) Okay, I will.
(Audience Laughter) The issue at core is not whether
you should do 500 bows or 1000 bows. You should acknowledge your judgmental
thoughts arising when seeing your son. Nagging your son is not helping him
in any way. You should realize that
it’s your own problem. It’s your own habit of wanting to intrude. It’s nothing but an obsession based on
your parental habit of caring for your child. Such thoughts arise from habits. Habits are hard to break. During childhood, love is to nurture. But during puberty,
watching from a distance is love. Once he is 20 years old,
letting go of him is love. And yet your habit of nurturing him
since childhood continues on. You lose to your habit and
seek to continue nurturing him. When you plant seeds and they lack nutrition,
you give them fertilizer. If they lack water, you give them water. If you give fertilizer when water is needed
or give water when fertilizer is needed, the plants either overgrow or
don’t bear fruit. In the same manner, love is to nurture
a child when nurturing is needed. When children reach puberty,
they start attempting things in life. They become their own masters.
They no longer abide to what mom asks of. They attempt this,
they attempt that as their own masters. As they are newly attempting,
they go through trial and error. During youth they abide by parent’s orders,
hence they make less mistakes. But once they attempt things on their own,
they make more errors. It’s just like how salary men are
less likely to fail as they do what they are told to do. Once they start running their own business,
they are more likely to fail. They learn through their failures. They realize what to do
and what not to do. Even failing at love hurts. But as you go through relationships,
you become a mature person. ‘Oh, just because I like someone doesn’t
mean they like me back.’ ‘I like this person but
this person likes that person.’ ‘Oh, this is how feelings work’ You grow through such experiences. At times like these you need to stand
by them and just watch. Even if they cry out for attention,
you should ignore them unless it’s deadly serious. That is love. Only then can they experience things for
themselves and learn to become independent Hence this is your problem. Your habit of interfering in his life is
too strong, you cannot help yourself. You’re likely to interfere, so you’re
better off going away to a temple and bowing Bowing then becomes a practice
for enlightenment. And yet bowing doesn’t necessarily
lead to enlightenment. Just because you feel better
after 108 bows doesn’t mean 1000 bows
will make things even better. You are practicing out of greed. When asked to do 500 bows, you should do
500 regardless of whether you’d like to or not. Many don’t follow through. Some do twice as many thinking
it would be beneficial. The point is to acknowledge your own
desires to interfere and let go. If you can do this, bowing isn’t necessary And yet as you can’t do this,
you need to bow. You should bow and
physically tire yourself out and say, ‘Buddha, I was foolish.
My meddling will only ruin my son.’ ‘I keep wanting to meddle and ruin him.
Hence I will now stop.’ Bowing this way will help you. So I say you should continue bowing.
Bow instead of interfering in his life.

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