We give you a warm welcome to the Zen Community, a harmonious space where everybody may contribute with their thoughts, viewpoints, and opinions. Likewise, you may share life experiences, problems, and difficulties faced in everyday life. Here, you will find the support of our community.
We thank you in advance for the interest of joining our community. Looking forward to creating a positive environment and a helpful space, we would like to share our community guidelines.
- We ask you kindly to be respectful and polite with all the members of our community.
- We invite you to get involved and tell us your opinion and beliefs regarding the different posts.
- Our community offers this open space so you can share your thoughts, feelings, experiences and concerns.
- You may propose insights and practical tips from your own experiences. If you feel comfortable you can share it as a short story. Surely, the members of our Zen community will appreciate it.
- We reserve the right to remove a comment and/or post, if we feel that it is disrespectful and go against the Zen Community’s guidelines.
Thank you for being part of this growing Zen Community!
This is an international communication workshop for Chinese Chan(Zen) culture implemented in a cross-cultural environment. With a closed learning group composed of fixed trainees around the world and renowned Chinese Zen masters, the workshop is to explore whether meditation can help people from different countries with different cultural backgrounds to enhance their wisdom, improve their psychological well-being and find a way for solving life challenges.
Personal growth & social pressure
I am a 32-year-old woman, married with two kids. As a move toward being more present and less distracted, I want to get rid of my cell phone. I find it consuming my life in concerning ways, and I am very at peace with the choice. However, my husband has all but forbidden it.
His concern for my well-being, and that of the kids, were I to venture into society unarmed with my phone is so intense it’s a thinks that I will end up stranded, kidnapped, at gun point, all while being abducted by aliens and that I am submitting our children to the same fate when they are with me. I think that we can get a land line at the house, anyone who needs me during the day can call my office, and we otherwise need to communicate and coordinate face-to-face in the mornings and evenings like in the old days. What say you? Is it dangerous and socially irresponsible to go without a cell phone in this day and age? Can an adult with professional and family responsibilities still meet those obligations without engaging in the social norm of cell phone ownership?
My name is Kate and I come from Melbourne, where I am now in university, I am 20 years old and next year I hope to graduate and although that prospect is supposed to fill me with happiness I have recently been feeling a sense of dread about what comes next.
My parents want me to attend an MBA program in the US or Europe to give me an even greater chance when I enter the job market but I have never left Australia for longer than 2 weeks and although my parents don’t know I have a boyfriend and things are getting pretty serious now, I want to stay here with him but don’t know how to tell my parents, I am afraid of disappointing them? Am I right to go with my heart, or can love wait while I complete my education?
When I was much younger, I made a terrible mistake. I stole about $100.00 worth of clothes from a department store near my house. I had long since forgotten about it until one day recently I went by the store and felt a terrible sense of guilt. I now know that stealing violates one of the Ten Commandments. I can’t even walk past the store anymore without feeling a sense of shame and guilt. I am thinking about going to the store and “confessing” and giving them the value of the clothes, but I don’t want to got to jail for theft. I am really torn up inside about the right thing to do. Can you give me some advice?
Master Ming Hai, I have been living and working in Seoul for the last 4 years and have found it to be a welcoming and energetic place but having come from the U.K. I still find the cultural differences are difficult to overcome and have been considering moving back home.
My career has blossomed here and I have a South Korean girlfriend and from the outside it looks as if I have it all but I can’t seem to shake my homesickness and I am afraid that I may be making a huge mistake if I do indeed return to the U.K. What advice can you give me to help me overcome my homesickness and to try and settle down here once and for all? Thank you so much!
We’ve been friends for about 4 years now but lately I’ve been feeling that our views on life and values have become too different for us to remain friends. I disapprove of her behavior and values that she has (or not has), most of the time whenever I share anything with her she always puts a negative spin on it and I always do the opposite: no matter what she tells me I try to always see the positive in it and support her regardless of what I think. Question: Should we try to save our friendship or should I just forget about it and move on with my life?
My family does not have a television. When my parents come to visit, they seem uncomfortable that we do not have one. They consider us very unusual because we do not have one in the house. For the third time, they recently have sent us a television as a gift. We do not want to have one in the house and we have given away the other two.
How should we handle this?
Hi my name is Ryan (18),
I live in Saudi Arabia. I grew up in a family where for the past 4 generations all men have been pilots, now I am being pressured to pursue the same career path. I have no interest what so ever in becoming a pilot, I am a very artistic person: I write songs, sing and play 2 instruments. My father and grandfather think being a musician is “not manly enough” and insist on me carrying on the family tradition.
I don’t know what to do, please help! I would like to stay anonymous.
Dear Mr Ming,
In the past I have done things i am not proud of, a lot of the time flashbacks and/or guilt from those situations/actions hunt me down when I am trying to fall asleep at night preventing me from sleeping sometimes.
How do I let go of my past, forgive myself, come to peace within myself?
According to Mr. Russell, “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” How do I tell if somebody is intelligent?
Hello, I don’t trust men because I always see around me (from friends, family, tv etc) that they cheat and lie all the time. It makes me not want to have a family in the future. Is it true that all men cheat and that women just have to allow that? Hope to hear the answer.
Family related issues
Should I forgive my absent father?
He never there when I need him, He only come to home like once a year.
Sometimes he give my family money most of time, he don’t.
We really struggled financially. My mother is my world, and I think she have been suffered because of my father’s absence. Both of us(my mother and me) know my father had an affair out there, but we keep remain silent about it. I notice my mother get weaker each day due to the stress, her hair greyed much faster and once she suddenly screaming. Now, after 20years++ of my life, he decided to live with us again. He’s unemployed now, so he depended on me to sustain his life. I almost can’t talk about anything about him. When he talked, I get irritated. I can’t help but hate him. But a lot of people tell me it’s wrong to hate your parent, regardless of everything. Should I try to forgive?
I am 21 years old and attend college out of state. I am lucky to go to college, except that I can’t do anything without parents’ approval.
They pay for college because they refuse for me to have loans.
The problem is that since they pay for my schooling, they hold everything over my head. If I want to get a piercing, tattoo, etc., I need to ask — even if it’s with my money. When I come home they only let me go out or visit friends in other towns if I give the names, address and phone numbers of the people I’m visiting.
I understood this in high school, but I can’t live like this anymore.
I’m at a loss of what to do.
Why did my dad think it was a good idea to get a lower paying job, and lower our standard of living just because he was stressed and tired?
Two years ago, my dad was making six figures. We were living very well.
I got all the things I wanted. Then a few months ago, he got a lower paying job and our living standards lowered because of that.
Isn’t it the parents’ job to make sacrifices for their children to be happy
It happens to every parent—that moment when your sweet, adorable, loving child can suddenly do or say something that can drive you crazy or even hurt your feelings. And it will be then and there that you will need to make a huge effort to not lose your cool and practice calm child discipline. But as with all conflict, it takes two to tango. As I guide my child toward better behaviour, I believe that I have the power to set the dynamic. Zen is efficacious and I suppose there must be some ways I can infuse some Zen principles—Buddhism-derived teachings that emphasize letting go of attachments and tranquillity—into my child discipline style. Can you give me some advice about how I can put it into practice?
I hate my parents. they give me unstable mood and haven’t confidence.
How can I do how to change it
My 4-½ year old granddaughter is becoming difficult to discipline.
She recently picked up a trinket at a department store. She has begun talking back. She also has hit her teacher at preschool. I need help in determining an approach for her.
My older brother has withdrawn from our family for almost no apparent reason. He changed his number, stopped responding to emails, etc.
After six months of no contact my parents had to go meet him at his place of work to inform him that I was getting married. He came to the wedding and the next year he seemed a little better (relatively), but he has gone back to ignoring and not communicating with us. My parents, being South Asian, are devastated. How should we proceed?
I have a son who is such a perfectionist that he is afraid to try anything because he is afraid he will fail. He has always gotten good grades but now that he is going into high school he won’t take the harder courses or join any clubs or teams that require work because he said he didn’t like losing. He has ability and has always done very well in school.
I don’t think this is healthy.
Is it right for a mother to turn the Internet connection off at night for someone almost 20?
I’m almost twenty and my mother still turns the Internet off for me.
NOT for the whole family just me and my identical twin sister.
Is this right? I know it’s her house but I’m an adult.
Today she said she’d never leave the Internet on all night! My friends get the 24 hour Wi-Fi when they’re around!
Hello Master Ming Hai!
I’d like to ask something for my friend who lives in Poland.
(I live in Guangzhou) Her daughter who is 10 yo is being bullied at her new school. Girls and some boys at school are mean to her to the point where she stopped going to her ballet and French classes. What is the best way of dealing with bullying? What words of advise can you give to the little girl and her mother?
Thank you very much in advance. I hope to hear from you soon.
Hello, Master Ming Hai, it’s an honour to ask you a question today. My name is Greg and I just moved back from China where I spent over seven years and started practicing Buddhism. I’ve been working at Globex Coorporation ever since I moved back to the states last year. My colleagues are great people and I enjoy the work I do. The pay is excellent too. It’s just that… there’s a lot of stress involved with this job. I want to prove to my boss and to myself that I’m capable of managing my career…
One of the problems is that I haven’t had much time to meditate and get in touch with my spiritual side. It’s really starting to take a toll on me.
I can remember how great and free I felt when I put my spirituality first.
But now I’m starting to feel lost. The job seems too important to give it any less attention. Shifu, how can I balance my spirituality and obligations in life? I could really use some advice.
I just joined a great company but I have found one flaw: a co-worker who works no more than 3 hours in an 8-hour workday. She spends time at lunch, shopping, personal phone calls, and chatting with other workers. Her behaviour makes me think she has no respect for her fellow co-workers. I have to take up the slack. She has been here for two years and I just don’t see how she keeps her job. Should I make waves and complain about her performance, or go with the flow?
Why do so many people look down on me for being a plumber?
I’m 24 yrs old, I started my own business at 21, and employ 2 guys full time. I love what i do. Customers love my work. When people ask what I do, I say “I’m a plumber” they look at me like I’m some naive ignorant kid. Why do so many people act like being a plumber is the lowest of the low?
What are the rules on eavesdropping in the workplace? I have a co-worker who has mentioned my browsing history to a teammate.
I work in a large organization. The team I work on is responsible for a certain part of the project. One of the team members is in the next cubicle. He spends a great deal of the time on the telephone running another business during our working hours. He produces his share for the team, but I am sure he’s not putting in anything near 100%. Should I say something to the team leader?
I’m 28 and making $450,000 a year at Google. I love my job and everything I’ve been told indicates I’m on the fast track career wise.
Will it ever make sense for me to leave for a start-up?
Could you please help me with a work problem? No matter how I try I can’t get on happily with my new boss. I think that it might just be a personality clash but she only focus on the negative and never praise me, I now feel she has a personal other than professional problem with me. In my private life I would stay away from such people but this is my job and I need a good relationship with my boss, what can I do to make things better?
Dear Shifu, I often hear from people who are very much into spiritual development (they do yoga everyday, they meditate a lot, they read a lot of books, go for seminars and meet different gurus etc) that money doesn’t matter when I ask them why their career/financial side of life is not improving or even becoming worse. So is it true that you can’t succeed in every aspect of life and have to choose one: either materialistic world or the spiritual? Thank you.
My boss’s son is bullying my daughter in preschool. He proudly says that’s how his son is. My boss is a bully too. What should I do?
How do I deal with dominating people?
Marriage & couples’ issues
I am a 23-year-old woman who has been in a relationship with my boyfriend for four years. We currently live together and plan on getting married and having children. We are perfect together and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. His mother and I do not get along. From the very beginning of our relationship she has talked constantly about his exes.
She will post pictures and tag them and invite them to family functions where her son and I are expected to attend.
For the past couple of years we have both told her that this makes me feel uncomfortable and that I won’t be going to these functions if an ex or multiple exes will be there. The last family function was three months ago. I decided not to go because his ex accepted the invite.
My boyfriend decided he would not attend, either.
This caused a major uproar and his family is now accusing me of keeping their son and brother from them. I have decided I want nothing to do with them anymore. Is it right for us to be upset about this?
Am I being unreasonable or jealous? My feelings are badly hurt and I can’t understand why they can’t let these exes go. Can my boyfriend and I still thrive in a relationship if there is a strain between me and his family?
I don’t want kids but my wife does. What should I do?
When we got married 5 years back at 22 we used to talk about how kids are cute and sweet. But lately my priorities have changed and I feel like kids are a lot of responsibilities and I don’t want to lead my life in that way. I want to do a lot of other things like travelling to various places, reading a lot of books, watching a lot of TV shows and movies, meeting a lot of new people. While my wife and her and my family are insisting on having a kid. Apart from my bucket list I also fear the environment in India, the fact that I will have to put in a lot more efforts in order to survive with a kid, I will not be able to fulfil a lot of my wishes like my parents couldn’t because I and my brother were born to them and they had so much of expenditure on us that they couldn’t enjoy their lives. I am stuck between choosing my priorities and all of their happiness. Can some of you please guide me and tell me what you all think?
This is about my husband. I love him dearly, but he is, to put it kindly, lazy. He never does the dishes and even getting him to do the smallest household chore is like pulling a tooth. For instance our small lawn needs to be mowed but he has put it off so long that I have had to hire someone from the neighborhood to do it. He has a good job and says he is just “too tired” when he gets home. I work too and feel like he is not pulling his load. He gets defensive when I bring this up to him.
Do you have any suggestions?
What do you do when you don’t love your spouse anymore? When there has been nothing except struggle. When all that keeps you there are the children, and you feel like you are dying inside? There is no respect, honour, or love in our marriage anymore. How does it ever get fixed?
My girlfriend always makes mistakes and I can’t help but be very angry every time. Then she gets mad at me and we always have a fight because of this. All I want her to say is “Sorry,” what’s wrong with that?
Why does she always get so mad? It’s her mistake.
Don’t I have a right to be angry?
I’m married, but I met a nice woman. I don’t want to betray my wife.
What should I do?
My husband and I married rather late in life, in our early forties. He lived at home caring for his parents before our marriage. I work in health care and my husband works in the insurance industry. I put in a ten-hour day five days a week. Then I come home to all the housework and meal preparation. We live in his parents old home and it is a big one. He does nothing towards upkeep except yard work and maintaining the car.
I have had long talks and big arguments with him. Nothing works.
His selfishness is driving a big wedge into our marriage.
What should I do?
Hello, my name is Antoine Mansuy, I am from Strasbourg in France but I run a restaurant in Beijing with my wife who is Chinese. She is a workaholic and never seems to stop and I have a growing concern that she is going to do real damage to her health unless she adopts a new approach. I have tried to make her aware of European and American studies on the matter of the health risks involved with overwork but she has not really listened and continues at her frenetic pace. Is there anything within Chinese culture or spirituality that I may be able to guide her towards that may help? Not necessarily limiting the number of hours she works but that has a positive affect on her health.
How do I address my girlfriend’s threat to no longer date me if I keep playing video games? I make salary, $50,000, I have a 403b, I did graduate from college, and I play video games maybe 1 hour or 2 a night if I’m not too tired. She said, if we get married, you won’t be allowed to play video games anymore. I’ve played since I was a child and I don’t expect to stop playing them.