What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun May 16, 2010 7:11 pm

i found this book here to be a great tome on the subject

For those of us unable to devote hours to meditation and study, the long journey to enlightenment can be difficult to integrate with our daily lives. We may have access to Buddhist teachings, but specific guidance on how to conduct ourselves in the work-a-day world may be missing. This remarkable guide fills that gap, and directs "laypeople" toward a fuller, more spiritual life, by suggesting ways to bring skillful, spiritual practice to everyday responsibilities and concerns. From money to romantic relationships, office conflict-management to wise parenting practices, this book helps readers negotiate both the road to the Buddha's wisdom and the many daily distractions that threaten to test one's resolve along the way.

i was gonna try to do a book about it myself using the suttas as guides (and with many more direct quotes) and from a layman's POV as opposed to a monastic but its turned out to be a lot of work. maybe i'll pick it up again, who knows.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Freawaru » Sun May 16, 2010 7:39 pm

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:MN 143 Anathapindikovada Sutta: Instructions to Anathapindika
Ven. Sariputta offers a deep teaching on non-clinging to the ailing lay-follower Anathapindika.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Then, householder, you should train yourself in this way: 'I won't cling to what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect; my consciousness will not be dependent on that.' That's how you should train yourself."

When this was said, Anathapindika the householder wept and shed tears. Ven. Ananda said to him, "Are you sinking, householder? Are you foundering?"

"No, venerable sir. I'm not sinking, nor am I foundering. It's just that for a long time I have attended to the Teacher, and to the monks who inspire my heart, but never before have I heard a talk on the Dhamma like this."

[Sariputta:] '"This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth."

"In that case, Ven. Sariputta, please let this sort of talk on the Dhamma be given to lay people clad in white. There are clansmen with little dust in their eyes who are wasting away through not hearing [this] Dhamma. There will be those who will understand it."


Don't know whether this is relevant here but the "illness" of Anathapindika sounds dangerously similar to Kundalini problems. The recommended cure is detachment - as prescribed by Ven. Ananda. It would, btw, imply that Anathapindika was well versed in concentration practice - which wouldn't be surprising considering his rebirth in the deva realm.

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Paul Davy » Sun May 16, 2010 11:52 pm

Greetings Lazy Eye,

Lazy_eye wrote:Wouldn't understanding of the four noble truths be a prerequisite for stream entry? One would need to know what the Buddha's teachings were in order to confirm their accuracy, right?

Yes, but how much understanding?

Does one need to know that they "seem to make sense" or does it involve knowledge that all formations are dukkha, even those that are pleasant or heavenly. To that end, you might be interested in this earlier discussion...

Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Retro. :)
“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” (MN 31)

What is the final conviction that comes when radical attention is razor-edge sharp? That the object of the mind is mind-made (manomaya). (Ven. Ñāṇananda)

"If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today." (Thomas Sowell)

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby bodom » Mon May 17, 2010 1:25 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Hi,

Wouldn't understanding of the four noble truths be a prerequisite for stream entry? One would need to know what the Buddha's teachings were in order to confirm their accuracy, right?



Association with people of integrity is a factor for stream-entry. Listening to the true Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry. Appropriate attention is a factor for stream-entry. Practice in accordance with the Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry.— SN 55.5

The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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