Is it possible to simply disregard these norms, or does the cultural context play a central role in how we should behave?
Lama Ole’s answer:
My advice on this is similar to that of our other teachers who have spent some time in the West and become acquainted with something other than the narrow cultures they come from: Live your life without stepping too far out of the frame your society has set up. Live in a way that does not make problems for yourself or others and that naturally brings joy.
But if you do some practice that especially sticks out from the norm and alienates you too much from others, then suffering will emerge. And the only thing that really counts is whether what you do causes happiness or suffering in the long run. That’s simply how it is.