“Give Me My Inheritance”

Kristin Scheible

in Little Buddhas

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860265
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979929 | DOI:

Series: AAR Religion, Culture, and History

“Give Me My Inheritance”

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For Western Buddhists, there is a palpable, practical tension between the perceived ideal of the celibate virtuoso and the demands of contemporary lay life. On a deeper “spiritual” level something structural is at work as well – the tension between the agency involved with the individualized, self-focused cultivation that is Western Buddhist practice, and the sense that it is a child’s right to encounter and choose to follow his or her own path in due time. What models are there for first generation Buddhists to follow or consider when raising their own children? What are some of the sources to which Western Buddhists have turned to help them navigate the complexities and challenges balancing their personal pursuits and perceived parenting responsibilities? How might the story of the Buddha’s own disbursement of his inheritance to his son Rahula resonate with Western Buddhists?

Keywords: Western Buddhism; inheritance; children; meditation; practice; parenting; Rahula

Chapter.  11318 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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