What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplishing

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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby seeker242 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:13 pm

To add, simply because one is a monastic, does not necessarily mean they are practicing authentically anyway. There are plenty of "in-authentic" monastics out there! There are some laypersons who practice more authentically than some monastics! To say laypersons can't practice authentically is quite extreme and extremes are often quite unreasonable! To say that monastic practice is not helpful and unnecessary, is also quite extreme!
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:39 pm

The issue is less whether monastics can as individuals be good practitioners..of course they can.
It is more whether the monastic Sangha can as a group, as an institution, serve as a positive force for growing a western Dharma . I suspect that for a number of reasons it will be seen as an irrelevance at best and an obstacle at worst.
The precedent is the meeting of Dharma and Japanese culture where the ordained sangha always remained a small and self referencing group.
For western Buddhists to hitch their wagon to the monastic sangha is to doom Dharma to be a minority interest for those who have problems with life as lived by the many.
The result will be Buddhadharma being identified with an elitist group some of whom spin their neuroses as evidence of a special vocation.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:46 pm

I did an interview with one of my teachers not too long who said something interesting, he was a monk from a pretty early age, 16 or something I think.. and has been a layperson for a number of years now. Paraphrasing here- he said that being a monk is not necessarily the more efficient path for all everyone, because the lifestyle is so intentionally limited, and there is so much less going on..it's actually less to work with for some folks. Whereas a layperson that can effectively practice the Dharma in the midst of chaos and actually apply it could be on the fast track. Obviously he is pro-monastic, but I thought it was interesting because he mentioned it pretty specifically in a part of the conversation that was about his take on these subjects. I'm all for monastics..I just don't think it's reasonable to dismiss laypeople as being "lesser" or irrelevant due to the usual issues.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:54 pm

Simon E. wrote:The issue is less whether monastics can as individuals be good practitioners..of course they can.
It is more whether the monastic Sangha can as a group, as an institution, serve as a positive force for growing a western Dharma . I suspect that for a number of reasons it will be seen as an irrelevance at best and an obstacle at worst.
The precedent is the meeting of Dharma and Japanese culture where the ordained sangha always remained a small and self referencing group.
For western Buddhists to hitch their wagon to the monastic sangha is to doom Dharma to be a minority interest for those who have problems with life as lived by the many.
The result will be Buddhadharma being identified with an elitist group some of whom spin their neuroses as evidence of a special vocation.


yes im not talking about western sangha here, but the sangha from tibet who live in india, nepal and bhutan. if those dissapear all the lineages dissappear, then we dont have Dharma. and all those Dilgo Khyentse R. Dudjom R. etc received theyre blessings and teachings from Lamas, monastics or not but received theyre lineage which comes down in the monastic community or lay yogis who have either lay yogi teachers or monastic teachers. but this day and age there are not many lay yogis like milarepa so theyre basically monastics. monks. who hold the lineages. if that dissappears the vajrayana will dissappear in few decades.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:17 pm

I suspect that the very opposite is true.
The Vajrayana will endure in part because it will become increasingly divorced from Institutional structures...But we'll see.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Jikan » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:04 pm

I think new institutional structures (or new kinds of institutions) will emerge and crystallize. History has a way of vetting these things.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby smcj » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:16 pm

A little semantics footnote here; one can be a monk without an institution. My teacher was a monk and lived alone. it worked out quite well for him, and those that knew him. No institution at all!
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:17 pm

If they follow a particular Rule Of Life and have prescribed and proscribed actions which follow that Rule and which incur sanctions in the breach thereof, then they are part of an institution whether they live in a monastery or alone.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:47 pm

so if you follow the vinaya you are part of an institution ??????
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:00 pm

Of course. By definition.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Karma Tashi G. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:16 pm

Much is made easier by purity of intention and foundational preparations, and having a lineage teacher. These three things are probably indispensable for all practicioners, householder or monastic. History tells us many householders achieved high realizations and many monks didn't! Stabilization of mind is necessary and householders can all achieve this. Vipasyanna is necessary and householders can all have this. Both come together actually as a package deal!

I have seen over time that it almost as if there is a karmic good luck factor in being born with good channels and ability to penetrate deeply into the practice. Not everyone runs like marathon runners and not everyone does well in sustained practice. Meditation gene? But if one has the affinities, then it helps out a lot! And purity of intention to rescue all beings and gentle yearning desire to meet Lord Buddha never hurts! Better be a householder like that than a 30-year monastic without it!

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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:55 pm

Karma Tashi G. wrote:Much is made easier by purity of intention and foundational preparations, and having a lineage teacher. These three things are probably indispensable for all practicioners, householder or monastic. History tells us many householders achieved high realizations and many monks didn't! Stabilization of mind is necessary and householders can all achieve this. Vipasyanna is necessary and householders can all have this. Both come together actually as a package deal!

I have seen over time that it almost as if there is a karmic good luck factor in being born with good channels and ability to penetrate deeply into the practice. Not everyone runs like marathon runners and not everyone does well in sustained practice. Meditation gene? But if one has the affinities, then it helps out a lot! And purity of intention to rescue all beings and gentle yearning desire to meet Lord Buddha never hurts! Better be a householder like that than a 30-year monastic without it!

KTG

A different set of requirements pertain to Dzogchen.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:59 pm

i think bodhicitta ( pure intention ) is just as relevant in dzogchen. after all it is the seed of buddhahood.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Karma Tashi G. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:36 pm

Simon E. wrote:A different set of requirements pertain to Dzogchen.


Here I will not say much as the Vajra path Dzogchen is of the highest order. Dzogchen requires pure foundational preparation and blessings of the lineage protectors, otherwise problems later on. Dzogchen also requires householder be of fortunate connection to receive the inner instructions from lineage holder. Lineage holders needs not be monastic!

Success is definitely possible for householders in this exalted path! But like all things about the Dharma, it is easy and hard at the same time! :namaste:

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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:13 am

You are correct. Lineage holders need not be monastics.
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Re: What sort of practice are laypeople capable of accomplis

Postby Karma Tashi G. » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:03 pm

Avoiding neither monkness or layness, embracing both within boddhicitta. Truely to empty all things in the clear space of sky is to leave nothing unsaved, old disputes are laughable apparitions! Old projects are like bubbles! Foundations are so important- later on everyone will need them! Pure intentions are what recieves the blessings of the lineage protectors. Vajrayana requires utmost devotion! This is all. Goodbye!

:namaste:

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