Your Family Doesn't Like Your Practicing Buddhism

April 1994

Your family doesn’t like you practicing Buddhism, many people have that situation. Why is that? Because they love you. All human beings want to protect the people they love. Because all human beings have an idea of what is correct life and what is good for their family and their children. Everybody has that.

Eugene is director of a Zen Centre in Czechoslovkia. His parents are No.1 good Catholic and have never heard of Buddhism. Buddhism in Eastern European country is really new and people considered that could be a cult. After finishing a seven-day retreat, Eugene said, “Su Bong Soen Sa, let’s go to my parent’s place and take a little rest.”

Right away, I was a little uneasy – "That’s OK with your parents?" So he said: "Don’t worry." Then we went there. When we arrived at his house, his mother put out food, all vegetarian. They never are vegetarian but she put out vegetarian food. After the meal, I lay down and sleep on a couch next to the dining room, because I could perceive his mother's mind is very open. Feeling to us is like – "You are my son. To me, you are family". So I could do that. But still I didn't understand.

At round 9 o'clock, Eugene's father came home. He raised from his seat and went to the cabinet, took out father's eyeglasses, holding it, and said " Dad, sit down, please." Gave to his father the eyeglasses, then introduced us to him. Then I understood, this Eugene is No. 1 correct son. Not dependent on his practice or what he believes or not believes, always he has correct relationship, function and situation to his family.

So his family doesn't care, meditation practicing or demon practicing. Most important is what is our son’s relationship to us. That's the proof. "One action is better than ten thousand words". One action – what you are doing, is beyond dependency on name and form.