Buddhism for Students

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

Buddhism for Students

Postby adamposey » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:56 pm

In today's world of hyper education, working two jobs while going to class, and doing homework, etc., being a buddhist probably runs contrary not just to conventional knowledge but conventional practice. I thought it might be a fun exercise, and a useful one, to pull together what knowledge we can as kind of a "guide for practicing students" who often live in cramped spaces, with rushed lives and thoughts, etc.,

Some areas I would like to cover would be focusing on work, blocking out distractions, etc., basic productivity stuff. But social and life issues should absolutely be included because many college campuses do not have shrines or meditation groups, so perhaps we could include info on creating/founding or practicing in solitude?

What do you all think of this idea? I know this would benefit me, but I think it would benefit my friends who are also interested, but are too confused and secluded from a teacher, to really know how to practice.
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Re: Buddhism for Students

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:11 pm

How about Get thee to a nunnery! (retreat centre)
I don't think that students are really that unique. Many of us live rushed and crowded lives.
What we've had to do is make some sacrifices, make an investment in practice and keep going.
The vast majority of us live in isolation from our teachers and practice without the support of a local group.
What works for me is that I attend a ten-day (or longer) residential retreat of vipassana meditation every year and then spend the rest f the year maintaining my practice. In the past i've also been involved in giving service (by supporting my local meditation group) and attending or serving at short retreats now and then.
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Re: Buddhism for Students

Postby adamposey » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:21 pm

Ben wrote:How about Get thee to a nunnery! (retreat centre)
I don't think that students are really that unique. Many of us live rushed and crowded lives.
What we've had to do is make some sacrifices, make an investment in practice and keep going.
The vast majority of us live in isolation from our teachers and practice without the support of a local group.
What works for me is that I attend a ten-day (or longer) residential retreat of vipassana meditation every year and then spend the rest f the year maintaining my practice. In the past i've also been involved in giving service (by supporting my local meditation group) and attending or serving at short retreats now and then.
kind regards

Ben

To some extent I agree with this, but I do believe that there are differences in the life of a student (particularly today) and a typical adult.

Firstly, the student is almost guaranteed to be more technologically adept than the adult (barring that the adult is a professional in the field) and so the student likely has adapted to a life of doing many things at once, paying partial attention to most things.

The student also lives, traditionally, in very close quarters with at least one other person in a relatively cramped space. At my relatively small college what this translates to is a severe lack of alone time with which one is to practice, a lack of solitude, and ever present social pressures to attend unimportant campus events or parties.

The student is also a student. For the reasons described above, the student may already be challenged to provide even partial attention to his school work as he is likely addicted to stimulation of the senses. On top of this continual frustration the student has assignments, a fixed schedule (likely including work AND study, as well as his homework assignments), and some semblance of a social life.

So, in my eyes, the student does have specific needs. The student must learn how to slow down, mono-task, and perform his practice in an environment that is totally unfavorable of spiritual practice in general.
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Re: Buddhism for Students

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:46 pm

I agree that students have their only special set of conditions and circumstances but as far as living in close proximity to other people I think I might have you beat living in a NYC East Village apartment (about the size of a mini submarine) with my wife and 2 year old. Practice is difficult as an upasaka/upasika but that's why the Buddha created the bhikkhu sangha. Just my two cents for what :anjali: :anjali: they're worth. May you be happy of heart. Be well.

Mike :anjali:
Last edited by Khalil Bodhi on Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhism for Students

Postby adamposey » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:52 pm

Well, then, perhaps we should expand the group targeted to "today's busy technology users in crowded places?"
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