The Middle Way

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
Tragition
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The Middle Way

Postby Tragition » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:51 pm

From what I understand, Buddha taught the "Middle Way." This being moderation between the extremes of a worldly lifestyle and that of an ascetic. However, the precepts that a monk lives under seem much more like that of an ascetic than the middle way. For example, a vow of poverty seems like an extreme, not the middle way. A vow of celibacy also seems extreme.

Perhaps, moderation and the middle way is subjective to one's own experiences. But from my point of view, the life of a monk does not seem like the middle way. Can someone please help me understand?

plwk
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:59 pm

Some ideas....





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David N. Snyder
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:37 pm

Image




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Hanzze
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Hanzze » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:17 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Goofaholix
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:39 pm


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Hanzze
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Hanzze » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:42 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

Individual
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:56 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


rowyourboat
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:28 am

The middle was is not a little bit of killing and a little bit of drinking intoxicants... This is a later elaboration just for the sake of ease.

The middle way is not the way to live a comfortable life.

The middle way is an approach the Buddha discovered to reach liberation.

As to what and what not to do in such a 'middle way', read a description of the Noble Eightfold Path.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Prasadachitta
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:27 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Vepacitta
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Vepacitta » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:52 am

The middle way - not eternalism - not nihhilism.

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ground
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby ground » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:06 pm

The actual meaning of "the middle way" is to practice the wholesome while at the same time not clinging to it. Or: Not clinging to the wholesome while at the same time not neglecting it.


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rowyourboat
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:26 am

"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.

"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:18 pm

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Sacha G
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:21 pm

Hi
As I understand, the middle way is avoiding (sensual) pleasure, while not seeking pain.
According to this criterion, not many are in the middle way. :anjali:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

Sacha G
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:24 pm

Now a question pops up in my mind.
Is there a connexion between the middle way as tought by the Buddha in the 1st sermon, and the middle way avoiding eternalism and annihilation.
I would suggest that the proponents of annihilation indulge in sensual pleasures, while the proponents of an atman practice self-mortification.
Does that make sense?
:tongue:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

rowyourboat
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Re: The Middle Way

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:00 am

Hi SachaG

You may well be right! Those who didnt believe in karma also went about doing all kinds of negative things, acting quite destructively. They thought it wouldn't matter if they killed or helped thousands of people 'up and down the Ganges'.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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