Hello, still searching

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tampasteve2
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Hello, still searching

Postby tampasteve2 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:47 pm

Hello, my name is Steve and I am in the USA. I have been interested in Buddhism for several years, primarily Theravada but also some Mahayana. Recently I have been reading a lot more and I am trying to find what fits me. I like that Therevada is based on the original teachings of the Buddha, but I also find myself drawn to Mahayanan teachings at times. I am given to understand that Therevada broadly teaches that one essentially cannot become an arhant without being a monastic. This leads me to question why I would want to practice Therevadan Buddhism over a Mahayanan tradition like Chan. Is the overall goal to be reborn and perhaps become a monastic in another life while living the best life this time around that I can? Perhaps these questions are best for another thread.

Please forgive me if I am way off in any statements, spellings, thoughts, or otherwise am misunderstanding teachings, I am just starting. :)
:buddha1:

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Hello, still searching

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:47 pm

Welcome to DW!

According to Theravada, one can reach full enlightenment as a lay person. Tradition holds that once one reaches full enlightenment, one ordains within 7 days or passes away.

There have been some threads about this, search for "lay arahant" or "arahant 7 days ordain" and it might show the previous threads. For me, it makes sense as in lay life one can still practice, make progress, but once there is full awakening, the lay life wouldn't be able to support full mindfulness all the time, equanimity, non-use of money, etc.

:buddha2:

dhammarelax
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Re: Hello, still searching

Postby dhammarelax » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:39 pm

tampasteve2 wrote:Hello, my name is Steve and I am in the USA. I have been interested in Buddhism for several years, primarily Theravada but also some Mahayana. Recently I have been reading a lot more and I am trying to find what fits me. I like that Therevada is based on the original teachings of the Buddha, but I also find myself drawn to Mahayanan teachings at times. I am given to understand that Therevada broadly teaches that one essentially cannot become an arhant without being a monastic. This leads me to question why I would want to practice Therevadan Buddhism over a Mahayanan tradition like Chan. Is the overall goal to be reborn and perhaps become a monastic in another life while living the best life this time around that I can? Perhaps these questions are best for another thread.

Please forgive me if I am way off in any statements, spellings, thoughts, or otherwise am misunderstanding teachings, I am just starting. :)


When I started practising one particular style, my progress was so fast that I freaked out at the posibility of dying if I reached Arahanship (I am a lay person), freak out as in emotional response not theoretical consideration. Few years down the road practicing and teaching meditation full time, inmerse in the Dhamma, I can tell you that my concerns were unfounded, I am not an Aranhant and I probably wont be one for a long time I first have to be an Anagami and a Sakadegami. Dont let your mind fool you around, the Pali Canon is the Pali Canon, all Buddhist schools aknowledge that. Its what the Buddha taught.
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

SarathW
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Re: Hello, still searching

Postby SarathW » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:52 pm

Well come to Dhamma Wheel.
Please find attached link related to Lay Arahants, which provide further links.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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bodom
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Re: Hello, still searching

Postby bodom » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:12 am

Welcome!

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

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DC2R
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Re: Hello, still searching

Postby DC2R » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:21 pm

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!
May the blessings of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha always be firmly established in your hearts.

http://txti.es/theravada

ToVincent
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Re: Hello, still searching

Postby ToVincent » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:45 pm

Hi Steve.
tampasteve2 wrote:I have been reading a lot more and I am trying to find what fits me.
I like that Therevada is based on the original teachings of the Buddha, but I also find myself drawn to Mahayanan teachings at times.

I suppose that what would be the best for you, would be to read the Saṃyutta (Nikayas)/Samyukta (Agamas).
This would give you an idea of what was common in the early sects.
Saṃyutta/Samyukta have it all. All that is needed to understand the principles of Buddhism.
Particularly SN 12-Nidāna Saṃyutta, SN 22-Khandha Saṃyutta, SN 35-Saḷāyatana Saṃyutta, and SN 45-Magga Saṃyutta
The following link gives you the suttas with parallels: https://justpaste.it/11ovc
tampasteve2 wrote:I am given to understand that Therevada broadly teaches that one essentially cannot become an arhant without being a monastic

The Acela sutta SN 41.9 https://justpaste.it/11ovn
has it straight:
"In these thirty years, householder, have you attained any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, any dwelling in comfort?"

"How could I not, venerable sir? For to whatever extent I wish, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. Then, to whatever extent I wish, with the subsiding of thought and examination, I enter and dwell in the second jhana .. .. Then, to whatever extent I wish, with the fading away as well of rapture ... I enter and dwell in the third jhana ... .
Then, to whatever extent I wish, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain ... I enter and dwell in the fourth jhana. Further, if I were to die before the Blessed One does, it would not be surprising if the Blessed One were to declare of me: "There is no fetter bound by which Citta the householder could return to this world."

Try that already; then you'll see.

Buddha wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these five faculties. What five? The faculty of faith, the faculty of energy, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, the faculty of wisdom. These are the five faculties.
"One who has completed and fulfilled these five faculties is an arahant. If they are weaker than that, one is a nonreturner; if still weaker, a once-returner; if still weaker, a stream-enterer; if still weaker, a Dhamma-follower; if still weaker, a faith-follower . "
SN 48.12 (Bodhi)


Although the Buddha is addressing the monks, He does not specify that this is dealing with monks only.
Citta the householder above cited in SN 41.9, did attain the non-returner stage with the faculty of concentration (and the previous ones, needless to say).
Interestingly enough, is the addition to this sutta in SN 48.18; where the Buddha says at the end:
"But, bhikkhus, I say that one in whom these five faculties are completely and totally absent is 'an outsider, one who stands the faction of worldlings.'"

Mudita
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
Just as a chunk of salt, cast in water, loses its form and keeps only its taste; so does one who deals with the deathless loses himself in that reality.
------

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tampasteve2
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Hello, still searching

Postby tampasteve2 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:05 pm

Thank you all for the clarification on lay arhants, that actually makes a lot of sense. I am just learning all of the foundations of Buddhism, so it is all new.
:buddha1:


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