Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Craigyboy
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Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby Craigyboy » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:00 pm

I posted this question on another forum and each person gave me a different answer which only confused me further.

Can a lay person who is commited to a serious practice of meditation reach the same level of meditation as a monk who practices in a monastic setting?

If not what can be achieved through regular meditation practice as a lay person?

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retrofuturist
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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:04 pm

Greetings Craigyboy,

I think it has more to do with how the life is lived, rather than the titles and statuses associated with it.

However, generally speaking, an average monk does live in a way which is more conducive to a successful meditation practice than your average layman... but what is average? I'm sure there's a fair bell-curve going on.

Metta,
Retro. :)

(P.S. Patiently waiting for someone to mention Joseph Goldstein :coffee: )
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Craigyboy
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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby Craigyboy » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:08 pm

I was more interested in the way of life rather than the titles given. So can a layperson develop his meditation to that of a monk or will the various bonds of lay life prevent this?

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retrofuturist
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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:30 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

adamposey
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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby adamposey » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:43 pm

Perhaps it's also just me, but I suppose I should ask "what's the rush?"

My understanding of the concept of rebirth is that if we dedicate time to serious practice, even without being a monk or a hermit, we may attain a level of achievement sufficient to limit the amount of rebirths we will experience before nibbana. Basically.. perhaps we should focus on living each lifetime in the fullest most righteous way possible and perhaps have a little faith in the path?

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catmoon
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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby catmoon » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:30 am


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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:46 am

The Buddha "went forth" from lay life at 28 years old. We have a modern concept of lay or monk that was not so clear cut in terms of an institution in ancient India. But it is not accurate to describe the Buddha as a layman after he went forth. A more accurate description would be that he entered a Sannyasin life. Also he s was a Bodhisattva , a Buddha -to-be.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:05 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Can a layperson reach the same level of meditation as a monk

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:48 am



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