A. You should not allow your practice to a make mess of your normal life. If your practice makes your family unhappy in any way, I’d say, you’d better give up your practice. To practice Zen, while making your family unhappy is against the purpose of Zen meditation since it is to be happy.
If your family doesn’t want you to practice Zen, something is wrong with you, I think. If you practice in the right way, people around you including your family members are bound to like you more because you become more considerate, patient and open-minded.
Don’t think that you will complete your practice in a short period of time. In that way, you can avoid overworking yourself, becoming ill and neglecting your family, which could cause you trouble. The idea of reaching the final goal quickly can make you impatient, which rather disturbs your practice.
Look upon each of your family members as a gate to the final goal. Their smiling, laughing, crying, eating, and sleeping are all actions of the truth you want to reach. Ask yourself what is making your wife smile, when you see her smile, and what is controlling your children’s bodies when you see them play. All of this is Zen practice. Do remember that spending time with your family can also be good practice.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway