Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

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Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby seeker242 » Wed May 16, 2012 8:32 pm

Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way" when they are still indulging in sense pleasures? Sex comes to mind.

"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding."


If a person does not avoid indulgence in sense pleasure, can it still be said they are following the middle way?
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby LastLegend » Wed May 16, 2012 8:45 pm

Yes, moderation. If married, don't over indulge in love making. But enough. Like eating and sleeping too. Don't over indulge in such. Eat to live, not live to eat. But first, study and practice Buddha dharma and never neglect that.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby ClearblueSky » Wed May 16, 2012 9:32 pm

They can, many traditions and teachers have said so. A big part of is also keeping the correct view, keeping in mind that the sensual pleasures we might go after are fleeting and will not last.
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Re: Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby Paul » Wed May 16, 2012 9:38 pm

Yes. Look at the Vimalakirti Sutra for example. Then there's also the great masters of many lineages who were laypeople, such as Milarepa. It's all about dedication - that overrides any circumstances.
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu May 17, 2012 7:11 pm

You can read about it on chapter 5 on What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula. ~ I like reading it as a .PDF document
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Re: Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu May 17, 2012 8:23 pm

page 32.
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Re: Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby Wesley1982 » Fri May 18, 2012 3:25 pm

seeker242 wrote:Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way" when they are still indulging in sense pleasures? Sex comes to mind.

If a person does not avoid indulgence in sense pleasure, can it still be said they are following the middle way?


If its wholesome sexual conduct. And appropriate then sex is fine. :shrug:
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Re: Can a layperson actually follow "The Middle Way"?

Postby Huifeng » Sat May 19, 2012 2:49 am

Paul wrote:Yes. Look at the Vimalakirti Sutra for example. Then there's also the great masters of many lineages who were laypeople, such as Milarepa. It's all about dedication - that overrides any circumstances.


Okay, looking at Vimalakirti - if you are a bodhisattva who has manifested an appearance in this world, after coming from another Buddha field (Abhirati, where Aksobhya lives), no problem. Vimalakirti is simply not the regular lay person.

But dedication, yes. In the end, "lay" and "monastic" are just designations. Look at the mind.

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