Structuring lay life

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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Sam Vara
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:57 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:03 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:16 pm
SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:05 pm
Do we short ourselves an opportunity to discover Dhamma if we settle for the five precepts instead of eight?

Thoughts?
I'd be permanently shorting myself of Mrs. Vara if I went for the eight. :shock:
Male Buddhists should put their wedding ring where their mouth is and marry female Buddhists who have at least as much dedication to the Dhamma as they do. That way, they wouldn't be getting the best of both worlds anymore.
The best of both worlds?
The doer of good delights here and hereafter; he delights in both the worlds. The thought, "Good have I done," delights him, and he delights even more when gone to realms of bliss.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .budd.html

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:26 pm

SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:25 pm

What is preventing you from ordaining? It is the first question that comes to mind when I see practitioners trying to "monastify the laity". I used to be one btw. I'm honestly curious what you think about this and wondering if it is something you have considered. If you prefer such a strict lifestyle, why not ordain where the conditions are already the way you prefer? Why put the pressure on the laity?

(If this goes off topic we can move the discussion.)
most of the monastics I know (on the internet), they do not put weight on lay people. they guide our practice according to our way of life.

of course it will depend on the monastics, there are those who are more radical and lighter. and the Buddha pointing the middle way.

one of the reasons that keeps me from being a monk is discipline. wake up every day at 5 o'clock in the morning and meditate. I usually do this, the problem is you have that obligation to do that.

Now at that time a clansman named Ratthapala, the son of the leading clan in that same Thullakotthita, was sitting in that assembly. The thought occurred to him, "As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it's not easy, living at home, to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, a polished shell. What if I, having shaved off my hair & beard and putting on the ochre robe, were to go forth from the household life into homelessness?"
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Monks who are skilled in meditation are not biased by cultural
conditioning. They have no doubt that women who observe the
eight precepts and practice seriously can attain exceptionally high
levels of meditation. In truth, women have a remarkable capacity
for understanding Dhamma and can achieve deep levels of samādhi
and develop extraordinary knowledge and wisdom. Many nuns and
laywomen in Thailand surpass the monks in their accomplishments.
For this reason, meditation masters generally hold female practitioners
in high esteem, considering them equal to men in their spiritual
potential. In the Thai forest tradition today, many revered teachers
believe that women are capable of the highest spiritual attainment.
They often recommend female monastics as exemplary teachers.
Many forest meditation masters have women students, both nuns
and laywomen, who are recognized as teachers in their own right.
These women actively participate in their religious communities as
skilled meditators, healers or mentors, and are revered by local people.
Mae Chee Kaew was just such a woman. Practicing nuns like
her have left a legacy to inspire future generations and to show how
the Buddhist path of practice may be reopened by anyone, male or
female.

Mae Chee Kaew - Her Journey To Spiritual Awakening & Enlightenment
http://www.forestdhamma.org/ebooks/engl ... e_Kaew.pdf
Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo: sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko opaneyyiko paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhī ti.
The Dhamma is well declared by the Bhagavā: visible here and now, immediate, inviting to come and see, effective, to be individually ascertained by the wise.
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/formulae/anussati.html

:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:11 pm

work is bad tho dylan. for one who has a tendency to do unwholesome things in their spare time, work is preferred; if you review dn 31 carefully it says this
but you do dhamma all day, don't you? :buddha1:
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

https://www.facebook.com/noblebuddhadha ... 34/?type=3

http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://sites.google.com/site/santipada ... allytaught

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SDC
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by SDC » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:46 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:01 am
I don't think it's about "emulating monastics" (although I suppose that some people who are relatively well off could be doing that). Many lay people are, by circumstances of their birth or some specific mental health issues, forced to live a less or more monastic-like life. Living in poverty and having to make do with few material posessions is an obvious example. But also people who have deficits in the executive functioning have to consciously make up for what they lack in comparison to the rest of the population (meaning that they have to consciously do what to others comes naturally, and avoid everything that interferes with their ability to do so (which can mean avoiding sugar, loud music, etc.)), and all that deliberatedness of their actions and selectiveness can then have some resemblance to the way monastics are.
Perhaps "emulate" was the wrong word. Practicing at the level of a monastic, out of obligation is more of what I meant. As if that is the standard for a lay practitioner. I just think it's conflating two different lifestyles. If you raise the bar for the every day lay person then you're only bound to create a broader hierarchy, with majority remaining as they were. I just think we already have a useful hierarchy with upward mobility well established.

Digity
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Digity » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:39 am

Yeah, I don't think I have the discipline to be a full time monk, but I continue to practice in my own way as a lay follower. Each year I try to become a bit more disciplined in my practice. I've sort of settled on the gradual approach...for me it's a marathon not a race. However, I admire those who treat it with more urgency and commitment. I wish I had more of that in me, but I've made progress in my current approach...slowly though.

rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:59 am

Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:26 pm
I usually do this, the problem is you have that obligation to do that.
I think you would be very surprised in general and probably the problem is rather the monks sleeping too much, also you can go to bed early as a monastic and you need less sleep. Some communities are more lax on this than other's of course but in general i do not expect very high standard for devotion to wakefulness or the vinaya when the householders are not present.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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No_Mind
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by No_Mind » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:05 pm

SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:05 pm
How do we best structure lay life to get the most out of our practice? How close is too close when it comes to emulating monastics? Do we short ourselves an opportunity to discover Dhamma if we settle for the five precepts instead of eight?
If one is thinking in terms of "shorting ourselves" then they probably are. They should live by eight precepts.

But those who do not think we are shorting ourselves by sometimes watching NFL (or cricket), drinking a beer or two occasionally, arguing on DW .. should not live by eight precepts. I live by four (the first one gone for a toss due to killing rats) and I am perfectly happy.

I am sometimes amused to find those who have a burning desire to attain arahantship participating in a discussion and argument forum. The first thing people who are seriously trying to become arahants do .. is not visit a place where arguments happen and strong views are exchanged .. and even if they rarely do (assuming it for the sake of argument) they would not ever, ever participate in an argument.



:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

binocular
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:31 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:57 pm
Male Buddhists should put their wedding ring where their mouth is and marry female Buddhists who have at least as much dedication to the Dhamma as they do. That way, they wouldn't be getting the best of both worlds anymore.
The best of both worlds?
I was talking about male Buddhists who are married to non-Buddhists or to Buddhist with a lesser dedication.
"The best of both worlds" refers to getting the best of the Buddhist world, and also of the non-Buddhist world.

Let's take our male Buddhist for example, and suppose he enjoys eating meat, but because of his Buddhist practice he has some qualms about eating meat, all those poor animals suffering and bad karma and whatnot. So he marries or otherwise gets involved with a non-Buddhist or a Buddhist with a somewhat more relaxed ethics, leaves her to do all the shopping and cooking. She cooks him lots of meat, and he, presumably innocent, just takes what he's being offered. That's how he gets the best of both worlds.
Similar for other worldly pleasures and sex.

Had he married a Buddhist with the same dedication to Buddhism as himself, or even more dedicated, those pleasures would be off limits.


Edited for spelling.
Last edited by binocular on Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:35 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:31 pm
"The best of both worlds" refers to getting the best of the Buddhist world, and also of the non-Buddhist world.
I know what you are talking about and i have reflected on this but in a different way. I definitely have this but its actually not as good as you make it sound, it is actually quite horrifying to know that people around you will readily jump at opportunity if you want company in misbehaving. That is incredibly sad to witness.

Few things spell out that you are in the wrong company as clearly as this.

Another aspect of this is that if i associate for this purpose i feel very bad because i feel i am using them and they are using me and we are both heedless, company in heedlessness i avoid, i can be heedless on my own don't need to make it worse or have anybody encouraging it. So solitude is my domain, i hope to get firm footing in solitude but it is hard in lay state.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

binocular
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Structuring lay life

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:41 pm

SDC wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:46 pm
Perhaps "emulate" was the wrong word. Practicing at the level of a monastic, out of obligation is more of what I meant. As if that is the standard for a lay practitioner.
But who is making it such a standard or suggesting it?
I just think it's conflating two different lifestyles.
I think the issue is more about listening to monks giving advice to other monks, or reading essays and books written by monks with other monks in mind as readers of those essays and books.
Which may not be all that helpful for a lay person.

Probably the majority of Dhamma texts available on the internet are by monks for monks.

And I'm having the impression that this type of Dhamma text is indeed shaping people's expectations about Dhamma texts in general; and also shaping the way monks give Dhamma talks and write Dhamma texts, even when they give them to lay audiences.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:04 pm

another thing about associating with wrong view is that they f*** up way more than you do.
a normal person can't not-mess up for 3 months, i do not see it happen... When i was associating with people they mess up, something happens, they misinterperet it and make a mistake and all emotional. Eventually due to this misunderstanding they will blame you but not being able to put a finger on it they are just angry at you for a while and for no good reason and you cba explaining anything because student/teacher relationship has not been established. Later they see how awesome you are when you save their ass and so it goes in cycle. Eventually WV just get outclassed in such a relationship and will not feel comfortable also sometimes they will make huge mistakes and you will get very angry, here i can get super vicious and this is where what Hate i have will arise for me:(
Last edited by rightviewftw on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Sam Vara
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Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:05 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:31 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:57 pm
Male Buddhists should put their wedding ring where their mouth is and marry female Buddhists who have at least as much dedication to the Dhamma as they do. That way, they wouldn't be getting the best of both worlds anymore.
The best of both worlds?
I was talking about male Buddhists who are married to non-Buddhists or to Buddhist with a lesser dedication.
"The best of both worlds" refers to getting the best of the Buddhist world, and also of the non-Buddhist world.

Let's take our male Buddhist for example, and suppose he enjoys eating meat, but because of his Buddhist practice he has some qualms about eating meat, all those poor animals suffering and bad karma and whatnot. So he marries or otherwise gets involved with a non-Buddhist or a Buddhist with a somewhat more relaxed ethics, leaves her to do all the shopping and cooking. She cooks him lots of meat, and he, presumably innocent, just takes what he's being offered. That's how he gets the best of both worlds.
Similar for other worldly pleasures and sex.

Had he married a Buddhist with the same dedication to Buddhism as himself, or even more dedicated, those pleasures would be off limits.


Edited for spelling.
Yes, I understood what you meant. I was a bit puzzled as to why you wanted to limit anyone's pleasures at all. If a Buddhist wants to marry, or have sex, or eat meat, why would it bother anyone?

binocular
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:10 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:35 pm
binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:31 pm
"The best of both worlds" refers to getting the best of the Buddhist world, and also of the non-Buddhist world.
I know what you are talking about and i have reflected on this but in a different way. I definitely have this but its actually not as good as you make it sound, it is actually quite horrifying to know that people around you will readily jump at opportunity if you want company in misbehaving. That is incredibly sad to witness.
/.../
The situations you describe are different from the one I describe, namely marriage or romantic/sexual partnership/cohabitation.
A Buddhist man involved with a non-Buddhist can this way get pleasures that he couldn't get if he were with a Buddhist; and he can get away with it, as the non-Buddhist is the one who shoulders the risks and responsibilities (that a Buddhist would be unwilling to).
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:13 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:05 pm
Yes, I understood what you meant. I was a bit puzzled as to why you wanted to limit anyone's pleasures at all.
Strange interpretation. It's not about wanting to limit their pleasures.

Although I suppose it is outrageous to expect that Buddhists should live up to their Buddhist standards!
If a Buddhist wants to marry, or have sex, or eat meat, why would it bother anyone?
Oh, but you can't make the Dhamma mean so many things.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:16 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:10 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:35 pm
binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:31 pm
"The best of both worlds" refers to getting the best of the Buddhist world, and also of the non-Buddhist world.
I know what you are talking about and i have reflected on this but in a different way. I definitely have this but its actually not as good as you make it sound, it is actually quite horrifying to know that people around you will readily jump at opportunity if you want company in misbehaving. That is incredibly sad to witness.
/.../
The situations you describe are different from the one I describe, namely marriage or romantic/sexual partnership/cohabitation.
A Buddhist man involved with a non-Buddhist can this way get pleasures that he couldn't get if he were with a Buddhist; and he can get away with it, as the non-Buddhist is the one who shoulders the risks and responsibilities (that a Buddhist would be unwilling to).
Trust me i know what i am talking about, age 21-26 i was living with a female and we remained friends for a few years after we split. My first relationship lasted 5 years and i did not even get a very good partner. I think i was lucky not to find someone more capable bet we would make it work.

I wont go into details but i've pretty much done most of it as a lay person... It works same for all association that is based on greed, you compromise until a point where Anger takes over and then you smooth things out because both are a f*** ups and keep going at it until one makes an unacceptable mistake or teamjumps.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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