DW members guide to laylife

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
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ihrjordan
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DW members guide to laylife

Postby ihrjordan » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:36 pm

Hello everyone this thread is to for us to make a cooperative guide on how we can be the best Buddhists we can be while still living in the world. Not sure if regular members can make rules on here but worth a shot Rules: 1. Only post of a topic nobody has posted yet 2. Post it as a reply to this thread and make sure the title of the topic you want to talk about is centered at the top 3. You can't use links taking one to another article somewhere else, but you can post quotes from other sources if it helps make your topic more clear 4. Try to make each post decent size don't just post one line pieces of advice, make it informative. Feel free to pm someone if they've posted a topic you wanted to cover and see if they can add some of the information you give them. And if a moderator would like to take over this thread and make it official feel free to do so :smile: Got the idea from viewtopic.php?f=13&t=17672
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:39 pm

RELEASING ONE'S SELF FROM ATTACHMENTS

I consider this to probably be one of the most difficult aspects of Buddhist practice.
I know I have 'suffered' a great deal, in being parted from much of what I used to own.

The passing of time helps to gradually soften the blow, but a good way of slowly detaching from what 'belongs' to us is to actively donate it to others.

Now of course, we are addressing different people here; some of us are young, and possibly still dependent on parental support; others may be married, or in a relationship with a significant other, and therefore, practising 'detachment' is going to be far from easy.

There may be many different situations which make 'letting go' far more of a challenging prospect than ever we imagined.

So it would be supportive also, to hear from different people, in different circumstances, how they can best practise 'detachment' effectively, without negatively impacting on the well-being and comfort of others around us; particularly if they may not be on board with the idea....

I'm lucky to be the only Buddhist in this household, and what I have with me, would fit into one tea-chest....
But it has been a most arduous process....

*Is this what you had in mind, ihrjordan....?* :smile:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:51 pm

ihrjordan wrote:4. Try to make each post decent size don't just post one line pieces of advice, make it informative.


I disagree.

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:21 pm

What i aim for everyday is not to complain, criticize or gossip and to be nice or kind if you prefer :)

Also when people out in the world piss me off, annoy me or sometimes just grab my attention in some negative way i start doing metta for them. "May they be well etc etc etc ..."

Also if you happen to transgress against someone, fix it immediately, the longer it lays, the more it stinks.

And if you like you can just consider the above completely selfish and narcissistic, a clear mind is a happy mind.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html

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ihrjordan
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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby ihrjordan » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:56 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:4. Try to make each post decent size don't just post one line pieces of advice, make it informative.


I disagree.

Probably right just make it informative short and sweet is ok too
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby ihrjordan » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:26 am

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:RELEASING ONE'S SELF FROM ATTACHMENTS

I consider this to probably be one of the most difficult aspects of Buddhist practice.
I know I have 'suffered' a great deal, in being parted from much of what I used to own.

The passing of time helps to gradually soften the blow, but a good way of slowly detaching from what 'belongs' to us is to actively donate it to others.

Now of course, we are addressing different people here; some of us are young, and possibly still dependent on parental support; others may be married, or in a relationship with a significant other, and therefore, practising 'detachment' is going to be far from easy.

There may be many different situations which make 'letting go' far more of a challenging prospect than ever we imagined.

So it would be supportive also, to hear from different people, in different circumstances, how they can best practise 'detachment' effectively, without negatively impacting on the well-being and comfort of others around us; particularly if they may not be on board with the idea....

I'm lucky to be the only Buddhist in this household, and what I have with me, would fit into one tea-chest....
But it has been a most arduous process....

*Is this what you had in mind, ihrjordan....?* :smile:

Yes that's perfect giving is a very important part of Buddhism and unfortunately over looked by a lot of people. The goodness you feel after donating to someone in need is indescribable : ) and David do you think a mod could make a forum similar to this and put it where people can see it? I don't need to get credit it would just be nice if more people got to add there input : )
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby ihrjordan » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:29 am

m0rl0ck wrote:What i aim for everyday is not to complain, criticize or gossip and to be nice or kind if you prefer :)

Also when people out in the world piss me off, annoy me or sometimes just grab my attention in some negative way i start doing metta for them. "May they be well etc etc etc ..."

Also if you happen to transgress against someone, fix it immediately, the longer it lays, the more it stinks.

And if you like you can just consider the above completely selfish and narcissistic, a clear mind is a happy mind.

Very nice because when we help ourselves we help others and vice versa :)
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby manas » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:35 am

Hello all, an EDIT: I have given what I wrote below some thought, and I would not word it quite in the way I did, on second thoughts. Maybe I ought to have written something like, "don't self-flagellate or feel bad about yourself if you find you can't maintain monastic levels of sense-restraint while living as a layperson.". That I think was what I really ought to have written.
_________________________________________________________________________________
DON'T TRY TO IMITATE THE LIFESTYLE AND HABITS OF AN ORDAINED PERSON WHILE LIVING IN A HOUSEHOLD.

I see this a lot, and I have even done this myself on occasion. There are certain things, such as total celibacy or eating only once a day, that work fine for monastics, but can cause more stress than they're worth, if one tries to force them on oneself as a layperson. (Once a week, on quarter, new or full moon days, fine; but trying to do it every single day? That's taking it a bit too far, imo.) Nowadays I just aim to be the best layman I can be, rather than trying to push myself into a mold that is not appropriate for me at the stage of practice I am at. I strive for moderation in desires, and indulging in them with more awareness and sensitivity to what is happening in the mind and body, rather than going at them hammer and tongs - doing battle with them, as it were - as though I was a monk, then finding that the mind end up rebelling and flips me to the other extreme, due to too much repression. Basically, I don't think going to extremes is helpful in this regard. Moderation is better, and has it's own challenges too. If one wants to live like a monastic, one ought to ordain. If one wants to live as a good layperson, one should just do that. Simple.
Last edited by manas on Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby StephenR » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:58 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:RELEASING ONE'S SELF FROM ATTACHMENTS

I consider this to probably be one of the most difficult aspects of Buddhist practice.
I know I have 'suffered' a great deal, in being parted from much of what I used to own.

The passing of time helps to gradually soften the blow, but a good way of slowly detaching from what 'belongs' to us is to actively donate it to others.

Now of course, we are addressing different people here; some of us are young, and possibly still dependent on parental support; others may be married, or in a relationship with a significant other, and therefore, practising 'detachment' is going to be far from easy.

There may be many different situations which make 'letting go' far more of a challenging prospect than ever we imagined.

So it would be supportive also, to hear from different people, in different circumstances, how they can best practise 'detachment' effectively, without negatively impacting on the well-being and comfort of others around us; particularly if they may not be on board with the idea....

I'm lucky to be the only Buddhist in this household, and what I have with me, would fit into one tea-chest....
But it has been a most arduous process....

*Is this what you had in mind, ihrjordan....?* :smile:


This to me , is one of the greatest challenges of lay life. I am in a marriage, 20 yrs, I care give for my wife who has many chronic conditions. My path has been one of learning to
be with the situation as it is, and let go of any expectations.

Recently I have reached a point where I can be friendly and genuine, with out clinging to anyone or anything, This may be a passing phase, lol. I now also refrain from using the word "detachment" as I find it too cool for actual life.

From my view it is the clinging, not the desires that are the problem, and yes we can take all the stimuli away from us, but that won't help with the clinging, at least it did not for me. When I saw that it was the clinging, not the objects themselves, that were causing suffering, I could see the way to be a little freer in this world.

Stephen

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby walkart » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:29 pm

manas wrote:DON'T TRY TO IMITATE THE LIFESTYLE AND HABITS OF AN ORDAINED PERSON WHILE LIVING IN A HOUSEHOLD.

I see this a lot, and I have even done this myself on occasion. There are certain things, such as total celibacy or eating only once a day, that work fine for monastics, but can cause more stress than they're worth, if one tries to force them on oneself as a layperson. (Once a week, on quarter, new or full moon days, fine; but trying to do it every single day? That's taking it a bit too far, imo.) Nowadays I just aim to be the best layman I can be, rather than trying to push myself into a mold that is not appropriate for me at the stage of practice I am at. I strive for moderation in desires, and indulging in them with more awareness and sensitivity to what is happening in the mind and body, rather than going at them hammer and tongs - doing battle with them, as it were - as though I was a monk, then finding that the mind end up rebelling and flips me to the other extreme, due to too much repression. Basically, I don't think going to extremes is helpful in this regard. Moderation is better, and has it's own challenges too. If one wants to live like a monastic, one ought to ordain. If one wants to live as a good layperson, one should just do that. Simple.


Also we have to remember that restrainment is an aid to avoid sufferings, so if some one wants to restrain himself with selebacy and one-meal-day - it's ok from all points of view, physiological, psycological etc.

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:41 pm

ihrjordan wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:4. Try to make each post decent size don't just post one line pieces of advice, make it informative.


I disagree.

Probably right just make it informative short and sweet is ok too


Okay, now for more elaboration than my 2 words above. :tongue:

Long posts are okay, but all too often if it is not too interesting, most people will bypass it and chalk it up as another tldr. (too long, didn't read)

For whatever reasons, many people will read 10 posts or more that are short and to the point that might take a few minutes to read, rather than one long post that takes the same amount of time. Maybe it is the want or interest in seeing as many different views or maybe it is the ADD that all of us have to some extent (unless we are arahants).

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:58 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:For whatever reasons, many people will read 10 posts or more that are short and to the point that might take a few minutes to read, rather than one long post that takes the same amount of time. Maybe it is the want or interest in seeing as many different views or maybe it is the ADD that all of us have to some extent (unless we are arahants).


It's even simpler than that, Mr Snyder:

2 main problems occur:

One is known as the river effect; you have a wavy, meandering white line, cutting through the blocks of text, travelling from the top of the text to the bottom; this is particularly evident in justified text, but can happen in simple ranged text too. It's distracting and can break up the sense of a post.

The second problem is sentence double-run, which, as the description suggests, means people read the same sentence repeatedly, because a long, monotonous block of text without paragraph breaks, makes the eye lose rhythm and the whole thing becomes a blur.

It's bad enough for those with standard/good reading abilities, but for those whose native language is not English, or who have dyslexia, such issues are a nightmare.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: DW members guide to laylife

Postby Mkoll » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:14 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Okay, now for more elaboration than my 2 words above. :tongue:

Long posts are okay, but all too often if it is not too interesting, most people will bypass it and chalk it up as another tldr. (too long, didn't read)

For whatever reasons, many people will read 10 posts or more that are short and to the point that might take a few minutes to read, rather than one long post that takes the same amount of time. Maybe it is the want or interest in seeing as many different views or maybe it is the ADD that all of us have to some extent (unless we are arahants).

:goodpost:

It's a matter of economizing one's time. There's only so much in a day.
Peace,
James

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What can lay Buddhists do (not to go to hell)?

Postby martinfrank » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:01 pm

I believe that for most lay Buddhists the challenge isn't so much Nibbana in this life, but rather not to go to hell when they die, not to be born as an animal etc.. Speaking positively: To be born as an intelligent, healthy human baby with loving parents in a place and time good for progress on the Fourfold Path.

Here is a draft list of steps I believe lay Buddhists can take towards this goal:

Five Precepts (partly copied from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/budethics.htm)
1) To undertake the training to avoid taking the life of beings.
This precept applies to all living beings not just humans. It includes not buying meat, not using sprays killing insects, not hitting flies and mosquitoes.
2) To undertake the training to avoid taking things not given.
This precept goes further than mere stealing. One should avoid taking anything unless one can be sure that is intended that it is for you. It includes dishonest accounting and marketing, downloading, found objects...
3) To undertake the training to avoid sensual misconduct.
This precept is often mistranslated or misinterpreted as relating only to sexual misconduct but it covers any overindulgence in any sensual pleasure such as gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature. Misconduct doesn't mean "by law" but by your own conscience of what harms other beings. Enjoying consensual sex is not misconduct but too much of it is definitely too much.
4) To undertake the training to refrain from false speech.
As well as avoiding lying and deceiving, this precept covers slander as well as speech which is not beneficial to the welfare of others. It includes profanity, rough and hurting speech.
5) To undertake the training to abstain from substances which cause intoxication and heedlessness.
This precept is in a special category as it does not infer any intrinsic evil in, say, alcohol itself but indulgence in such a substance could be the cause of breaking the other four precepts. These substances (alcohol, marijuana, opiates, synthetic drugs etc.) generally make us less sensitive regarding the other precepts and negatively influence meditation.

Eight Precepts
The Five Precepts are the basic precepts for day to day training of any lay Buddhist. On special holy days, many Buddhists, especially those following the Theravada tradition, observe three additional precepts with a strengthening of the third precept to be observing strict celibacy. The additional precepts are:
6) To abstain from taking food at inappropriate times.
This would mean following the tradition of Theravadin monks and not eating from noon one day until sunrise the next. Also a healthy way of reducing weight.
7) To abstain from dancing, singing, music and entertainments as well as refraining from the use of perfumes, ornaments and other items used to adorn or beautify the person.
Again, this and the next rule.
8) To undertake the training to abstain from using high or luxurious beds
are rules regularly adopted by lay Buddhists on new moon, half moon and full moon days..

The Buddhist lay follower can train himself by questioning him/herself every night how he/she kept the precepts on the passing day? What could I have done better? The goal is not to be better than the average lay Buddhist we know because there is no guarantee that the "average" Buddhist will not go to hell. The Law of Karma is not more forgiving than a computer game. The goal is to become more and more sensitive regarding morality and to purify our conduct. The reward is (according to Lord Buddha) that in this life people will talk well of us and when we die we will fare well.

Some steps may be difficult: Driving we kill animals, hoovering we kill animals, planting and harvesting we kill animals. To be 100% honest in business isn't easy. What about watching porn? False speech needs constant attention. No beer, no cigarettes, what about coffee and tea?

Some steps are easy: Vegetarian food, organic food, going easy on the earth. Drinking alcohol and smoking will stop by themselves if we meditate a few minutes per day. Meditation will improve our morality and improved morality will help us to meditate. True and gentle speech doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Love
It all starts with love. Love for for our parents, partners, spouse(s), siblings and children. Treat all human beings as fellow travelers towards a common goal!

Giving
Giving is good business. In this universe nothing is ever lost. Giving is your best bank account. Whatever chance to give we face, we just have to put ourselves in the other person's shoes (if he/she has shoes) and do what we would like if we would be born as a person like this. That applies to animals too: Treat your dog as you would like to be treated when reborn as a dog! (There is no guarantee that the "average" Buddhist will be not be reborn as a dog.)

Give food and the necessities of life to monks and nuns, give money to monasteries because in your next life you may be a monk or nun and depend on lay people offering you food and the necessities of life.

Meditation
How many percents better than no meditation are a few minutes per day? Calculate!
Meditation is free, tested on millions of Buddhists and recommended by 99% of all Buddhist monks and nuns. :) Anapanasati - Mindfulness of Breath is easy and effective.

Study
Read one sutta per day. Study Dependent Origination. Study Vimutthi Maggo and Abhidhammattha Sangaha. Learn Pali. Studying is a healthy way of keeping your mind busy with wholesome thoughts.

Draft List - Please criticize, correct and improve! I apologize for the long post.
The Noble Eightfold Path: Proposed to all, imposed on none.


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