Craigyboy wrote:I was more interested in the way of life rather than the titles given. So can a layperson develop his meditation to that of a monk or will the various bonds of lay life prevent this?
Again, the bell-curve comes into play. For the "average layman" who either works full-time, part-time, or is responsible for domestic duties, this level of engagement with the world is not going to be conducive to mental peace. Monks too have a degree of engagement with the community as well, and engagement with the world is certainly not going to be beneficial to intense meditative practice. But then, you've got those at the 'hermit' end of the lay and monk spectrums, who have the time and peace to devote to their practice.
The Buddha speaks of Right Livelihood in the context of the Noble Eightfold Path. The minimum of which is the avoidance of Wrong Livelihood, but in a positive sense, can represent the extent to which one can renounce the world, and the roots of good and evil. I think it's this Right Livelihood that is the key here.
"Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'." (Snp 3.6)
"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)