I read ya. Definitely appreciate having teachers around who have insight into those things -- either from personal experience, or in some cases just because they have a real affinity with laypeople.kayy wrote: Point taken about TNH, Batchelor, Goldstein etc. In order to teach a lay community effectively, though, I would still argue that it is necessary to have real experience as a lay practitioner, so as to gain a real understanding of the things we have to deal with living in society, having jobs, relationships and so on.
When I started out exploring Buddhism, I felt alarmed and threatened by the emphasis on monasticism. Maybe I felt my balls would fall off if I thought about it, or that I'd feel some mysterious urge to ordain. And so at first I tended to minimize that aspect of the tradition. My entry point was through Zen, anyway, where these days even priests can get married.Of course it depends on the student. Personally, I feel the need for teachers with experience of a lifestyle similar to mine. Other lay practitioners, as I know, prefer the teachings of some of the monastic community. When it comes down to it it's just a personal feeling caused by our personal karma, that we attempt to justify using 'rational' thought and language.
But, you know, this was just ignorance and aversion. It makes a lot more sense to try and understand rather than shutting it out.
I agree about rationalizing one's karma. So easy to fall into that mental trap.