Theravada for lay people

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
woodsman
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by woodsman »

:shrug: ......anyways, back to the topic on hand eh?
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Mr Man
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by Mr Man »

woodsman wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:13 pm I've been considering of late how much the Theravadin tradition might be more geared to monastic life than lay. To the point that it often feels like there is a massive difference between the practice of the lay and the monastic is huge. Any thoughts on this or am I overthinking?
I agree that there is a massive difference between the practice of the lay and the monastic. But I don't think the difference excludes lay people from Theravada Just the practice is different. There is a symbiosis though that is essential.
eto
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by eto »

The practice is essentially the same for both the moanistic and lay person. Only difference is the monastic tends to have less worldly bs to deal with.
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nirodh27
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by nirodh27 »

This is truly an important topic, since I reflect a lot about the consequences of my practice in lay life.

Maybe this question can help me to understand better: what do you think will happen if we throw an Arahant back to laylife? Imagine that Buddhism got banished in Thailand and monks to be forced to go back to be householders by a law, some of them even with their previous wifes. Will the Arahants (imagining that there are some) be unable to function in a lay environment or they will graciously adapt to that kind of life using goodwill, compassion, joy for others and equanimity and by the skillful use of conventions? This says a lot about what is the image of the Arahant that we have and how we imagine the end goal of this path.

I imagine that one that has reached the end of Dukkha and it is supremely virtous (right action, right livelyhood, right speech) will adapt to laylife with actions of goodwill and compassion, but maybe instead it will be impossible for an Arahant to live in a lay environment? What do you think?
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

I find it difficult to imagine an anagami living a normal life, not to talk about an arahant.
Anagamis have 0 sensual drive, and I include here not only libido, but desire for other sensual pleasures. Their happiness is doing jhānas.
I expect the arahant to silently live his last days quite secluded in some forest.
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
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Dhamma Chameleon
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

nirodh27 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:38 am
I imagine that one that has reached the end of Dukkha and it is supremely virtous (right action, right livelyhood, right speech) will adapt to laylife with actions of goodwill and compassion, but maybe instead it will be impossible for an Arahant to live in a lay environment? What do you think?
I think a lot of things will not be relevant to the arahant, like making money or owning anything, including a home. The Buddha modelled monastic life on how an arahant naturally wants to live. So I expect outside a monastery, they would still renounce everything, become a homeless person, go for alms and live in seclusion.
woodsman
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by woodsman »

nirodh27 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:38 am This is truly an important topic, since I reflect a lot about the consequences of my practice in lay life.

Maybe this question can help me to understand better: what do you think will happen if we throw an Arahant back to laylife? Imagine that Buddhism got banished in Thailand and monks to be forced to go back to be householders by a law, some of them even with their previous wifes. Will the Arahants (imagining that there are some) be unable to function in a lay environment or they will graciously adapt to that kind of life using goodwill, compassion, joy for others and equanimity and by the skillful use of conventions? This says a lot about what is the image of the Arahant that we have and how we imagine the end goal of this path.

I imagine that one that has reached the end of Dukkha and it is supremely virtous (right action, right livelyhood, right speech) will adapt to laylife with actions of goodwill and compassion, but maybe instead it will be impossible for an Arahant to live in a lay environment? What do you think?
I think you've nailed it my friend. If an 'Arhant' can't deal with lay life then by implication he isn't an Arhant. This would imply the has NOT gone beyond and is what, pissed off by the neighbors dog barking or irritated that he has to go to work? Nah... makes no sense.

Again this is the part that doesn't add up for me personally. Surely Enlightenment means we could function anywhere with compassion and wisdom and not be limited to a life hidden in a forest anesthetised to other realities of life and living.
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Dhamma Chameleon
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

It's not that he can't deal with it; it's not an inability. There is just no motivation or reason to engage with it at all. If you look at all the normal activities of daily life and trace them back you'll see that they are energised by sense desire and, even deeper down, an attachment to body and life. That's gone in the arahant.
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

:goodpost:
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
woodsman
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by woodsman »

Dhamma Chameleon wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:29 am ...there is just no motivation or reason to engage with it at all.
Hmmm....there would be motivation as soon as he got hungry or needed new clothes! So by implication the Arahant would HAVE to engage with the realities of lay life or partake of cumbersome levels of self neglect - that wouldn't be helpful to anyone.
binocular
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by binocular »

woodsman wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:48 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:35 pmThere are plenty of suttas aimed as householders. Householders can also obtain any of the level of awakening bar Arahantship, with the right practice.
See, it's that exclusivity that troubles me. What's the rationale for that statement?
Faith.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Dhamma Chameleon
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

woodsman wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:58 am
Dhamma Chameleon wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:29 am ...there is just no motivation or reason to engage with it at all.
Hmmm....there would be motivation as soon as he got hungry or needed new clothes! So by implication the Arahant would HAVE to engage with the realities of lay life or partake of cumbersome levels of self neglect - that wouldn't be helpful to anyone.
The arahant lives by the charity of others. Should they become too burdensome for others, they let themselves die. There is no intentional pursuit of anything.
woodsman
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by woodsman »

Dhamma Chameleon wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:15 am
woodsman wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:58 am
Dhamma Chameleon wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:29 am ...there is just no motivation or reason to engage with it at all.
Hmmm....there would be motivation as soon as he got hungry or needed new clothes! So by implication the Arahant would HAVE to engage with the realities of lay life or partake of cumbersome levels of self neglect - that wouldn't be helpful to anyone.
The arahant lives by the charity of others. Should they become too burdensome for others, they let themselves die. There is no intentional pursuit of anything.
There's a teenager lives by me, all he does is smoke weed and play computer games......relies entirely upon the charity of others too nor does he have an intent to pursue anything.
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Sam Vara
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by Sam Vara »

woodsman wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:33 am
There's a teenager lives by me, all he does is smoke weed and play computer games......relies entirely upon the charity of others too nor does he have an intent to pursue anything.
Ask him for some words of wisdom! :smile:

He probably has a really strong intent to smoke weed and play video games. Watch what happens if he can't do those those things.
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Dhamma Chameleon
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Re: Theravada for lay people

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

Sam Vara wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:46 am
woodsman wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:33 am
There's a teenager lives by me, all he does is smoke weed and play computer games......relies entirely upon the charity of others too nor does he have an intent to pursue anything.
Ask him for some words of wisdom! :smile:
:lol:
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