The middle way

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The middle way

Postby pedro1985 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:41 pm

Hi, I have a question. Maybe there are some that have experience with this, or know about it.

For as far I know about the teachings of the Buddha, there is a lot of emphasis given on the subject of "non-attachment" towards things (materialism) and people, about living in seclusion and about removing feelings like jealousy, anger, hatred, etc.

But. How does a "lay-person" find the middle-way. For example, how would a married man find the middle way in subjects as "non-attachment" to people when he loves his wife. I mean, with all respect, as far as I know the Buddha (Gautama) abandoned his wife and child to live a life in seclusion.

Most Sutta's I have read so far are aimed to teach monks, rather than lay-people. Are there any people among you who are married (or single or maybe in a relationship) and who follow the teachings of the Buddha?

What do the teachings of the Buddha mean to you? Why do you call yourself a "Buddhist"? How do you follow the teachings? Which of the teachings do you follow, and (maybe), if there are any, are there any specific things of the Buddha's teachings that you choose not to follow?

How do you practice the teachings, or do you just read about them?

Well, I'm very interested in hearing from you.
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Re: The middle way

Postby Anicca » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:10 pm

pedro1985 wrote:Hi, I have a question.
    How does a "lay-person" find the middle-way?
    Are there any people among you who are married (or single or maybe in a relationship) and who follow the teachings of the Buddha?
    What do the teachings of the Buddha mean to you?
    Why do you call yourself a "Buddhist"?
    How do you follow the teachings?
    Which of the teachings do you follow?
    Are there any specific things of the Buddha's teachings that you choose not to follow?
    How do you practice the teachings?
    Do you just read about them?


Whew, short answers first:
How does a "lay-person" find the middle-way? The Noble Eight Fold Path
Are there any people among you who are married (or single or maybe in a relationship) and who follow the teachings of the Buddha? Yes.
What do the teachings of the Buddha mean to you? The truth of our reality.
Why do you call yourself a "Buddhist"? Because I follow the Buddha's teachings.
How do you follow the teachings? Practice and application in daily life.
Which of the teachings do you follow? The ones appropriate to my chosen life style (layman) and level of understanding.
Are there any specific things of the Buddha's teachings that you choose not to follow? Those not appropriate to my lifestyle
How do you practice the teachings? Meditation, contemplation, study and application in daily life.
Do you just read about them? NO.

Elaborations will follow!

metta
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Re: The middle way

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:14 pm

But. How does a "lay-person" find the middle-way. For example, how would a married man find the middle way in subjects as "non-attachment" to people when he loves his wife. I mean, with all respect, as far as I know the Buddha (Gautama) abandoned his wife and child to live a life in seclusion.



You have your answer, if there is to nibbana then one must let go of all that is subject to impermanence, dukkha an anatta, which love partners are




What do the teachings of the Buddha mean to you?


Freedom from dukkha

Why do you call yourself a "Buddhist"?


Because thats how people label people who practice the Dhamma

How do you follow the teachings?


Noble Eightfold Path

Which of the teachings do you follow, and (maybe), if there are any, are there any specific things of the Buddha's teachings that you choose not to follow?


All that is needed for there to be nibbana is the Noble Eightfold Path
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: The middle way

Postby Anicca » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:15 am

pedro1985 wrote:For as far I know about the teachings of the Buddha, there is a lot of emphasis given on the subject of "non-attachment" towards things (materialism) and people, about living in seclusion and about removing feelings like jealousy, anger, hatred, etc.
But. How does a "lay-person" find the middle-way. For example, how would a married man find the middle way in subjects as "non-attachment" to people when he loves his wife.

Being a whole person, complete within yourself, allows for you to share your whole self, and your whole love, most fully, with those you love. How are you whole within yourself? - by not clinging to that which is outside yourself. The whole person will remain when that which is outside is gone. This is an example of non-attachment for a person living with loved ones. On another level, the Buddha takes us even deeper into reality by exposing "self" as something so elusive that there is nothing to be found that is the "self". This level of reality is very profound and difficult to accept - it takes time to comprehend. By not attaching to a "self" - total freedom is realized.

Most Sutta's I have read so far are aimed to teach monks, rather than lay-people. Are there any people among you who are married (or single or maybe in a relationship) and who follow the teachings of the Buddha?

I am married with two children and follow, the best I can, the teachings of the Buddha.

More later, if you like.

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Re: The middle way

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:33 am

pedro1985 wrote:But. How does a "lay-person" find the middle-way.


This is a brilliant question. My answer is to contemplate the 3 marks of existence. Notice that even the things that bring you the most joy and happiness are dissatisfying. This is because you know all good things eventually come to an end. They're temporary and impersonal.

For example, how would a married man find the middle way in subjects as "non-attachment" to people when he loves his wife.


By cherishing his wife in the moment, and loving her for how she is without putting expectations upon her.

I mean, with all respect, as far as I know the Buddha (Gautama) abandoned his wife and child to live a life in seclusion.


And he returned to his wife and as a gift to his son, his inheritance was to induct his son, Rahula into the order, the brotherhood in the Sangha. Hearing that her husband was leading a holy life, Yasodhara emulated him by removing her jewellery, wearing a plain yellow robe and eating only one meal a day. Although relatives sent her messages to say that they would maintain her, she did not take up those offers. Several princes sought her hand but she rejected the proposals. Throughout his six year absence, Princess Yasodharā followed the news of his actions closely. When the Buddha visited Kapilavatthu after enlightenment, Yasodhara did not go to see her former husband but thought: "Surely if I have gained any virtue at all the Lord will come to my presence." Some time after her son Rahula became a novice Monk, Yasodhara also entered the Order of Monks and Nuns and within time attained Arahantship. She was ordained as Bhikkhuni included among the five hundred ladies following the Pajapati Gotami to establish Bhikkhuni Order. She was declared as foremost in possessing the supernatural power among the Nuns. Amongst female disciples she was chief of those who attained great supernormal powers. She died at 78, two years before Buddha's Parinibbana as one of his disciples. His renunciation of the householder life in favor of discovering Nibbana and saved his wife and she attained Arahantship. Bet you haven't heard that part of the story. It's a great story.

Most Sutta's I have read so far are aimed to teach monks, rather than lay-people. Are there any people among you who are married (or single or maybe in a relationship) and who follow the teachings of the Buddha?


I am a celibate non-bhikkhuni which makes me a lay woman but I take up 8 precepts. (^_^) It's like not being a laywomen nor formally ordained. There's a lot of suttas specifically for laymen and women one of which that immediately comes to mind is the Sigalovada Sutta.


What do the teachings of the Buddha mean to you? Why do you call yourself a "Buddhist"? How do you follow the teachings?


Practicing.

Which of the teachings do you follow, and (maybe), if there are any, are there any specific things of the Buddha's teachings that you choose not to follow?


I follow the teachings I know about, and I review the Vinaya Monastic code, but I don't follow it because I am not ordained. I can say I do know the Patimokkha, but I don't adopt the 311 precepts nor do I feel urgent pressure to do so.

How do you practice the teachings, or do you just read about them?


Meditate, read the suttas, practice what is taught. Be mindful and concentrate, live morally, watch what I say and do.

Well, I'm very interested in hearing from you.


Likewise!

In the meantime, read this:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nara.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... rming.html
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir
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Re: The middle way

Postby ground » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:34 pm

pedro1985 wrote:But. How does a "lay-person" find the middle-way. For example, how would a married man find the middle way in subjects as "non-attachment" to people when he loves his wife. I mean, with all respect, as far as I know the Buddha (Gautama) abandoned his wife and child to live a life in seclusion.


The situation of Shakyamuni is not comparable. His wife and children enjoyed life at a royal court. As to raising the children it may be that in such royal situations at that time there have been quite some other persons directly involved and not necessarily the direct parents. Therefore the economic and emotional dependency of Shakyamuni's "wife and children" on him as "father and husband" is certainly not comparable to present day western culture in the context of "socially ordinary" people.

Now as to the situation of present day "ordinary persons" and their families, how is it? Attachment to their "loved ones" and neglecting others? If so a middle way may be to evenly distribute loving kindness across "loved ones" and others, right? That is what is called equanimity, too. This kind of impartiality does neither mean neglecting the "loved ones" nor neglecting others. Why? Because in the first place it is a mental quality. Whether it also will entail practical effects will be known once this "middle way" has been realized.


Kind regards
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Re: The middle way

Postby Hanzze » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:03 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: The middle way

Postby pedro1985 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:13 pm

Hello, thanks for all the replies. It has been interesting reading them.

@Wizard in the Forest: The Sigalovada Sutta gave some good explanations.
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