Lay person Theravada

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Lay person Theravada

Postby Namu Butsu » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:01 am

What does laymen therevada look like?

Like vegetarianism or no vegetarianism
meditation
sexlife
enlightenment
practice
etc.
"It was only when I went to China in 1954-55 that I actually studied Marxist ideology and learned the history of the Chinese revolution. Once I understood Marxism, my attitude changed completely. I was so attracted to Marxism, I even expressed my wish to become a Communist Party member."-Dalai Lama (Time Magazine 1999)
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/vegi.html (Meat eating and vegetarianism)
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:06 am

That's a "how long is a piece of string" type question.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby Ben » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 am

Namu Butsu wrote:What does laymen therevada look like?

Like vegetarianism or no vegetarianism
meditation
sexlife
enlightenment
practice
etc.


Sila
Samadhi
Panna

Some of you might be interested to know that Ledi Sayadaw wrote many of his dipanis (expositions on the Buddha Dhamma) at the request of lay people. As far as he was concerned, there was no barrier to lay people of attaining the highest attainments if they practiced earnestly. His lay-student who he authorised to teach, U Po Thet (Saya Thet Gyi) was regarded, and still regarded, as an Anagami. In fact, he is known as "Anagamin Saya Thetgyi" in Myanmar.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby Namu Butsu » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:20 am

Awesome feedback ben. I am reading a work of lectures of Ajahn Chah and its interesting how he speaks to some lay people. It seems that he thinks they can also attain. I love his way of teaching I was surprised to see that it was therevadan. Not in a negative sense, but it seemed a bit zen like coming from him.

now again to bring up the topic what about lay women. I hear therevada has a not so good rep when it comes to women and their role in buddhism.
"It was only when I went to China in 1954-55 that I actually studied Marxist ideology and learned the history of the Chinese revolution. Once I understood Marxism, my attitude changed completely. I was so attracted to Marxism, I even expressed my wish to become a Communist Party member."-Dalai Lama (Time Magazine 1999)
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/vegi.html (Meat eating and vegetarianism)
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby plwk » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:17 am

What does laymen therevada look like?
Look at this

I hear therevada has a not so good rep when it comes to women and their role in buddhism.
A response from here
The typical stereotype on women...
That state so hard to achieve
Which is to be attained by the seers,
Can't be attained by a woman
With her two-fingered wisdom.

And a Buddhist response...
What does womanhood matter at all
When the mind is concentrated well,
When knowledge flows on steadily
As one sees correctly into Dhamma.

One to whom it might occur,
'I'm a woman' or 'I'm a man'
Or 'I'm anything at all' —
Is fit for Mara to address.

From the late Ven K Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera...
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Dr._ ... nd_Culture
==Buddhism and Women==
A female child may prove even to be a better offspring than a male.

Women's position in Buddhism is unique. The Buddha gave women full freedom to participate in a religious life. The Buddha was the first religious Teacher who gave this religious freedom to women. Before the Buddha, women's duties had been restricted to the kitchen; women were not even allowed to enter any temple or to recite any religious scripture. During the Buddha's time, women's position in society was very low. The Buddha was criticized by the prevailing establishment when He gave this freedom to women. His move to allow women to enter the Holy Order was extremely radical for the times. Yet the Buddha allowed women to prove themselves and to show that they too had the capacity like men to attain the highest position in the religious way of life by attaining Arahantahood. Every woman in the world must be grateful to the Buddha for showing them the real religious way of living and for giving such freedom to them for the first time in world history. A good illustration of the prevailing attitude towards women during the Buddha's time is found in these words of Mara: 'No woman, with the two-finger wisdom (narrow) which is hers, could ever hope to reach those heights which are attained only by the sages.' Undoubtedly, the Buddha was vehement in contradicting such attitude. The nun (bhikkhuni) to whom Mara addressed these words, gave the following reply: 'When one's mind is well concentrated and wisdom never fails, does the fact of being a woman make any difference?' King Kosala was very disappointed when he heard that his Queen had given birth to a baby girl. He had expected a boy. To console the sad King, the Buddha said:
'A female child, O Lord of men, may prove Even a better offspring than a male. For she may grow up wise and virtuous, Her husband's mother reverencing, true wife, The boy that she may bear may do great deeds, And rule great realms, yes, such a son Of noble wife becomes his country's guide,' - (Samyutta Nikaya]

The Buddha has confirmed that man is not always the only wise one; woman is also wise. Nowadays many religionists like to claim that their religions give women equal rights. We only have to look at the world around us today to see the position of women in many societies. It seems that they have no property rights, are discriminated in various fields and generally suffer abuse in many subtle forms. Even in western countries, women like the Suffragettes had to fight very hard for their rights. According to Buddhism, it is not justifiable to regard women as inferior. The Buddha Himself was born as a woman on several occasions during His previous births in Samsara and even as a women He developed the noble qualities and wisdom until He gained Enlightenment or Buddhahood.
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby legolas » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:19 am

Namu Butsu wrote:What does laymen therevada look like?

Like vegetarianism or no vegetarianism
meditation
sexlife
enlightenment
practice
etc.


Just my opinions - taking only the suttas as a guide which is a large part of Theravada......................

Vegetarianism not necessary or recommended

Meditation not necessary (although frequent contemplation on Dhamma is) depends on what you classify as meditation

sexlife - faithful sexlife - celibacy not necessary, but frequently praised

Enlightenment - 1st stage very achievable by laypeople all you need is joy in the Dhamma

Practice - Practice like a layperson - don't practice like you are a renunciate - so many problems - you are neither one thing or another. READ THE SUTTAS :reading: Listen to monks teachings on Dhamma aimed at laypeople (don't zone in on meditation talks) - generosity, virtues, metta, understanding kamma etc. are all the basis for enlightenment. :namaste:
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Lay man Theravada

Postby GrahamR » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:42 am

Namu Butsu wrote:What does laymen therevada look like?

Like vegetarianism or no vegetarianism
meditation
sexlife
enlightenment
practice
etc.

Hi

I can only speak for myself:
I am vegetarian,
I don't drink alcohol or use drugs
I have sex with my wife and have two children as a result!
I try to do at least 10 minutes meditation each day.

BUT I live in Thailand
My Thai friends for the most part eat any living creature.
Most drink alcohol, drugs are common, even in schools.
Prostitution is everywhere.
'Merit making' is more common than meditation.

There is good and bad everywhere.
I actually find practicing Buddhism harder here than in Britain.
With metta :bow:
Graham
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby meindzai » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:20 pm

Legolas's post struck the most with me, being realistic and balanced.

-M
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby Namu Butsu » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:04 am

This is great information on lay practice and my sort of off topic question on women> I still am confused as to why women are still not seen as equal with monks. These are some of the problems I am finding as I probe deeper.

I am starting to find myself move a bit away from Mahayana approaches. I like the early form of Buddhist teachings. In particular I like the old path that still sees it possible for anyone to wake up at any moment as Ajahn Chah suggests. I am trying to reread some of my Jack Kornfield and other works that I have on Vipassana and Theravada in general.


:buddha1:
"It was only when I went to China in 1954-55 that I actually studied Marxist ideology and learned the history of the Chinese revolution. Once I understood Marxism, my attitude changed completely. I was so attracted to Marxism, I even expressed my wish to become a Communist Party member."-Dalai Lama (Time Magazine 1999)
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/vegi.html (Meat eating and vegetarianism)
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby P0int » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:28 am

Namu Butsu wrote:my sort of off topic question on women> I still am confused as to why women are still not seen as equal with monks. These are some of the problems I am finding as I probe deeper.
:buddha1:


To my understanding of what I have heard, the reason some monks do not agree with the ordination of women is because there is a break in the bhikkhuni lineage. At one time there were no bhukkhunis left. Ordination of females calls for 3 bhikkhunis to accept the devotee into the order. Because there were no bhikkhunis to ordain anymore women, some believe the lineage cannot arise again and those women who have been recognized as bhukkhunis are not legitimately entitled as such.

I do not know why perceptions of inequality may persist for some. This is my understanding as to why ordination of women is not accepted by all.
May you always find peace when remembering the good deeds you have done.

Be Observant.
Speak Truth.
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Re: Lay man Theravada

Postby phil » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:14 am

Hi, I personally feel the Mangala sutta lays out the householder's duties very thoroughly. There is a development in the sutta towards deeper attainments, but I don't feel any pressure as a lay follower of the Buddha to seek attainments. Keeping the precepts, avoiding harmful behaviour, those are in themselves wonderful ways to fulfill the rare blessing of human existence with sensitivity to the Buddha's teaching. If a motivation towards deeper attainments is to come, it will come within the shelter provided by living a morally sound life as a lay follower. (In more technical terms, a freedom from remorse thanks to wholesome living will lead to better conditions for samadhi and panna....)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nara.html
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Lay person Theravada

Postby mlswe » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:04 pm

I found contemplation on the fact that attainment will take care of themselves because of their causes very helpful to shift my mindset from colored by dejection to one of awareness of my behaviour in regards to sila, samadhi, paññā
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Re: Lay person Theravada

Postby redlotus » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:05 am

I was quite confused when I saw this post. I am figuring I am extremely new to Buddhism. I do not know all the terms. I looked it up (layperson) and the site said that it basically was someone who does "not live in a normal house and wants to be free from attachments,"

Is this true?

Thank you, for all clarification is welcome! :-)
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Re: Lay person Theravada

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:08 am

redlotus, a lay-person in the theravada (upasaka:m; upasika:f) is a non-ordained practitioner. In other words, a householder (buddhist).
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
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