Receiving Teachings

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Beautiful Breath
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Receiving Teachings

Postby Beautiful Breath » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:44 am


I have a friend who is struggling with the fact that Ordained Sangha rely almost exclusivley on the lay community for everything. We have all see this is the various monasteries we have stayed in and I can see how for a none Buddhist it does seem incredibly one sided. What are the Monastic obligations to the lay community?

How have others explained this to none Buddhists - explainging it as a 'tradition' didn't wash with my friend as her argument was that a 2500 year old tradition holds little relavance in the West in 2012.


BB... :anjali:

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Re: Receiving Teachings

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:53 am

Hi BB,

The laity physically support the sangha and the sangha preserve and propagate the sasana (teachings), and the sangha are a potent 'field of merit' for the laity.
In some SE Asian countries, there is also a deep interrelationship between the laity, sangha and the government.
Its not one-sided, its a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Howevr, the mutual benefit may not be easy to see for a non-Buddhist.
kind regards,

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Receiving Teachings

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:09 pm

Sangha take a role of school. Childrens lern to read, count, live in comunity, deal with samsara etc
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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Re: Receiving Teachings

Postby Alobha » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:29 pm

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Re: Receiving Teachings

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:54 pm

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Receiving Teachings

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:03 pm

:goodpost: :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Receiving Teachings

Postby Paribbajaka » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:01 am

I strongly recommend you read Thanissaro Bhikkhu's "Economy of Gifts" ( ... onomy.html) to gain help explain the Lay/ Monastic relationship. Long story short, when monks have their mundane needs taken care of by lay people, this allows them to focus purely on Dhamma. When monks are allowed to devote themselves to the Dhamma, they are able to share it free of charge and they are able to share it without concern for who's going to buy it, therefore not watering the message down. So really both parties benefit tremendously. Hope this helps! :anjali:
May all beings be happy!

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Re: Receiving Teachings

Postby pegembara » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:26 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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