the desire to have children

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fuki
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the desire to have children

Post by fuki » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:37 pm

Another birth happened recently in my family and apart from the whole "rejoice birth and mourn death" habitual celebration. I just received a video of my nephew, the dad, comforting the baby now home who is in obvious physical pain.

I find humans difficult to understand at times;
Everyone wants to be free from suffering but at the same time they want to give birth to a child who will inevitably suffer too, so people want children to sooth their own suffering?

I dont have any children nor did I ever had such a desire (I know "accidents" could have happened) but I dont get the habit of rejoicing a birth and mourning a death, they are the same thing to me. My family thinks I'm weird because I tend to find birth a bit sad and death a bit soothing, I really have to pretend to be happy for them yet I'm more fixed on such a terrible (sorry) experience as birth for the child.

anyway perhaps my wording above isnt skillful to avoid emotional reactivity regarding dualistic fixations (light/dark) I am just interested in understanding the desire to want to have children, apart from the biological drive of procreation, it's not about judgment but I seek to understand. Just as I seek to understand desire in general, but this specifically now interests me due to recent events. Any insights offered I could relate to desire (and attachment) in general. I get it from DO point of view but I'm interested in understanding it from a more specific perspective.
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Caodemarte
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:41 pm

There is also joy in life.

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fuki
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by fuki » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:55 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:41 pm
There is also joy in life.
Yes ofcourse they're mutually dependend.
But that doesnt help me in understanding the desire to have children, well unless its because ppl desire joy and seek that through the birth of a child which is relative to having a child to sooth one's pain.

My mom always said we have children because we want to live on, you know the whole "a part of me in you" feeling.
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Great Sage EofH
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:19 pm

Because they love successful children and reject unsuccessful ones. Human behavior is mostly determined by deceit, denial, and hypocrisy. They imagine their legacy to live on in the child that is the more fortunate one. Usually it’s the parent driving and determining the outcomes
Last edited by Great Sage EofH on Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fuki
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by fuki » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:24 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:19 pm
Because they love successful children and reject unsuccessful ones.
So would you say that having children by default makes you a succesful person in the eyes of society/parents and thus themselves because they're simply conditioned that way (told to) and don't even contemplate or are aware of the "desire" themselves, so it's more of an habit conceptualized into a "conditional feeling" instead of the Desire-desire I might be looking for, I mean in your example?

ps I'm not saying all ppl etc
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jundocohen
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by jundocohen » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:25 pm

Children are great. Birth is a time to smile, death is a time to smile (and cry too, for there is parting although no parting).

We have two kids we adopted as infants. One of the best things ever to happen in my life.

It may not be for everyone, and it is not always joy (sometimes terrible). I would not change it for the world.

Gassho, Jundo

----Edited by mod----
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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fuki
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by fuki » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:28 pm

for the record Jundo, et all. I think kids are great too (much greater as adults) I find much joy in taking care of a child I'm the godfather of sometimes.
I'm just trying to see it from the perspective of a parent's desire prior to conception. (physically)
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Great Sage EofH
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:29 pm

fuki wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:24 pm
SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:19 pm
Because they love successful children and reject unsuccessful ones.
So would you say that having children by default makes you a succesful person in the eyes of society/parents and thus themselves because they're simply conditioned that way (told to) and don't even contemplate or are aware of the "desire" themselves, so it's more of an habit conceptualized into a "conditional feeling" instead of the Desire-desire I might be looking for, I mean in your example?

ps I'm not saying all ppl etc
In the eyes of society yes, wife, children, substantial income, social status, prestige, power, attraction - but is is obligated to its own perpetuation, to leave this system is the goal of the renunciate
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Great Sage EofH
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:37 pm

I’ve had 5 friends self destruct, 4 by suicide, one by slow cancer, also my uncle killed him self with alcohol. In every case there was another sibling who was given preferential treatment. No child should ever have to endure that. If you can’t treat children as equals please don’t have children. But back to the topic, a fortunate birth is not possible in this world, because we all share equal responsibility with what’s wrong with it. There’s no safe haven ethically or morally. Taking Refuge is a big step, but it’s a big responsibility too, imho
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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fuki
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by fuki » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:47 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:37 pm
I’ve had 5 friends self destruct, 4 by suicide, one by slow cancer, also my uncle killed him self with alcohol. In every case there was another sibling who was given preferential treatment. No child should ever have to endure that. If you can’t treat children as equals please don’t have children. But back to the topic, a fortunate birth is not possible in this world, because we all share equal responsibility with what’s wrong with it. There’s no safe haven ethically or morally. Taking Refuge is a big step, but it’s a big responsibility too, imho
Thanks!
Do you see a above average desire or specific non-desire to have (desire) kids in those who suffered from preferential treatment (or parentification), and/or those who suffer from alcoholism/drugs's/depression/suicide etc or non-related?
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jundocohen
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by jundocohen » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:49 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:37 pm
I’ve had 5 friends self destruct, 4 by suicide, one by slow cancer, also my uncle killed him self with alcohol ... But back to the topic, a fortunate birth is not possible in this world, because we all share equal responsibility with what’s wrong with it. There’s no safe haven ethically or morally. Taking Refuge is a big step, but it’s a big responsibility too, imho
Chinese, and to an even greater extent, Japanese Buddhists were generally not so down on life, and not as much into escaping Samsara, as our South Asian cousins. Human birth is very fortunate and beautiful (although not for all). What is a shame is that, in almost all cases, those who would commit suicide or drink themself to death do not see that beauty, which is the disease of dissatisfaction in their own heart.

I wish that they could know such peace and beauty as the Zen Masters discovered right in the mess of this life, for then perhaps they would not be so plagued (Of course, alcoholism is actually a physical condition as well as psychological, as testified to by Maezumi Roshi and some others who drank themselves to death). The Zen Masters found a way to know the fortune, beauty and liberation available right in the heart of this sometimes comic and sometimes tragic world.

That does not mean that we should not try to make this world more just, less violent, less filled with poverty and disease, because it sure is not beautiful for all the babies who are born.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Nothing
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by Nothing » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:19 pm

When I have asked my parents,other parents, friends, relatives why they want children, the answers they gave me were:

Children are joy or children bring joy, life without them would be empty and I suppose that their answers were honest.

But when I have brought another question if the above reasons are the only reasons for deciding to have children or there is/are other reasons, like social pressure in form like pressure from their peers, parents, because usually people who have kids are seen as serious, responsible, have purpose in life etc, while those who do not have kids or do not want to have kids are seen as failures, immature, selfish especially in the more traditional societies, no one have ever admitted that also social conditioning might have influenced their desire to have children and that there might be selfishness too in their decision to have children too.

Of course what I said above is based only on conversations I had with small number of people and probably there are other reasons behind the desire to have children of which I am totally unaware. So I am just commenting and not taking any side or have definite view regarding this topic.



Gasshou


Viktor

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Dan74
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by Dan74 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:49 pm

When my son was born, the joy was the probably the most intensely happy moment that I remember.

And it was totally unexpected. The labour was really long and if anything I was feeling angry at the 'stupid baby' for putting my wife though this. I was looking forward to the end of the ordeal, so the feeling totally surprised me. I can't explain it, but it was wonderful.

_/|\_

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Re: the desire to have children

Post by KeithA » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:47 pm

Image

I don't even know where to start with this topic. :103:

That's my son to the right and my teacher to the left. I was at practice a couple Sundays ago. We sit 4 30's, do a little chanting and sometimes have a bite for lunch. He was sick, so it was just me. He is almost always with me at practice and retreats, but eventually, he will be off to college and I will be back to practicing with the Sangha by myself. I felt this very strongly that Sunday and was very sad all morning.

Family karma is weird thing.
You make, you get.

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fuki
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by fuki » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:30 am

KeithA wrote:
Family karma is weird thing.
Thanks everyone, all comments have been really helpful!

Any relation is kind of a weird thing :lol:

According to the Buddha even those we brush shoulders with we shared so many lifetimes with, so our friends and family in that light must be very "weird" (complex)

I remember when I was ready to leave zfi (for personal attachments) Guo Gu became a member and it was as if I knew him forever, then he simply acknowledge, yep we have conditions to settle. (as with everyone on the forum)
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Great Sage EofH
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by Great Sage EofH » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:45 pm

My wife will sit with me at Buddhist things, I go with her to church. The 3 boys are all grown, the oldest one has 3 kids of his own. I don’t push the others into having children, in fact I’ve never suggested it. I’m willing to help of course. As I think about it it’s almost entirely the women who want to have kids, except in my case it was me. I became somewhat indebted to my wife as a result because she wanted a career, so I supported her through graduate school and during every career direction. My work fortunately can be done anywhere and everywhere. So it’s all good
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lobster
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by lobster » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:53 am

I love children. Stir fried is my favourite. Adults are best stewed. :110:

Our most precious jewels are our children. :111: What else might you love?

Dharma, buddha, sangha ... ? ... well if they are your babies, good luck on that one ... :107:

If you only love a kitten ... make sure it grows to be a tiger or just as lovable - a cow :558: ...

:hatsoff:

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michaeljc
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by michaeljc » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:24 am

It is a bit of a Koan

When my only daughter was born in a birthing centre last May I looked out the window at a great grey and ugly police station and couldn't but to compare it with her innocent little face
On a cold and grey Chicago morn a poor little baby boy is born in the ghetto
m

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egon
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by egon » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:41 pm

IMO: The desire to have children is simple. All living things have an instinct to reproduce. All complexities surrounding it are constructs.

My construct is this: in order for humans to process their experiences most healthfully and effectively, they do so collaboratively. The family unit, however one defines it, is one way that this happens. By having children I proactively created the potential to create a more diverse, rich family unit than I'm already a part of. The second way that I feel that it was the right decision for me and my wife, is that each person in this world has the potential to have a positive impact on the world around them. I believe that I, my wife, our extended family, and our friends - our "village" - are as likely a group of loving people as any to bring children and subsequently adults into our world that will have a net-positive effect on the world at large. If people who are capable of raising children to do just that decide not to, that's one more pebble on the opposite side of the values/ethics scale. I'm not raising an army of SJW's, just 2.

Yes, they will suffer. So have I, and if my life had been more suffering than not, maybe I would have made a different choice. But choosing not to have kids because it's inevitable that they will suffer is just like choosing not to do ANYTHING because ANYONE might suffer. There's no end to that. How about I just try to show them the path and see what happens?

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bokki
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Re: the desire to have children

Post by bokki » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:05 pm

there is a lot of truthful facts in a few sentences u offered...
and pps that continue 2 chant nothing exists...hit us with ur
i dont exist
how hard can u hit me, non existant?????????????????
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson

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