Guidance for Lay People

Forum for discussion of East Asian Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8183
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Guidance for Lay People

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:37 pm

I thought this might be of interest here:

From the Manjusri-pariprccha-sutra, Translated by Paul Swanson (published in Vol. 3 of the MohoChihkuan, Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight:
The Buddha said to Manjusri, "If you are able to singularly by mindful of the Tathagata's ten titles, the Buddha is constantly present and never perishes [for] this person. You are also able to hear all the teachings of the buddhas, and see these Buddhas, and see these Buddhas appearing in front of the four assmeblies [of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen], and can increase your life span and never suffer from disease. What are these ten titles? They are:
1. Thus-come One (tathagata)
2. One Who Deserves Honor or Offerings (arhat)
3. One Who Has Realized Complete Awakening (samyak-sambuddha)
4. One Who Is Fully Proficient in Awakening and Practice (vidya-carana-sampanna)
5. Well-Gone One (sugata)
6. One Who Understands the World (lokavid)
7. Supreme One (annuttara)
8. Tamer of Beings (purusadam-ya-sarathi
9. Teacher of Divine and Human Beings (sasta devamanusysnam)
10. Buddha World Honored One (buddha bhagavat)

"Manjusri, one who is mindful of these ten titles should first be mindful of the Buddha's [physical] body endowed with the major and minor marks, and also mindful of the Dharma body, whose life is inexhaustible. You should have these thoughts: the Buddha does not have a [substantial] physical body; the Buddha is the Dharma body. You should diligently and adamantly perceive the Buddha as [empty] like space. Through [experiencing] the bliss of space, you know the meaning of all dharmas...

How are lay people able to cultivate this samadhi? With faith in karmic recompense, abandon all [earthly] possessions, take refuge in the three treasures [of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha], accept and keep the five [major] precepts [of no killing, no stealing, no sexual impropriety, no lying, and no imbibing of intoxicants]; do not be petty, destructive, impure, or deficient; accept the path of the ten good deeds that leads to arousing all good things; cultivate pure deeds (brahma-carya) and smash the five desires [of the five senses]; do not arouse jealousy and do not be passionately attached to your wife and children; constantly find pleasure in leaving the home and accepting the eight precepts [that a lay person observes for a day and a night at a time; that is, the five major precepts plus no wearing ornaments or taking part in dancing or music, no sleeping in a high and comfortable bed, and no eating after noon]; constantly dwell in the monks' quarters with a humble heart; always have respect for the home-departed; do not be stingy but always take pleasure in being transformed; think fondly of and respect the monks, masters, and preachers of the Dharma; let your attitude toward parents and teachers ["good friends"] be like that of your thoughts for the Buddha-rely on your parents and teachers, so that you can dwell in a quiet and isolated place. In this way lay people can cultivate this samadhi...
There's some anachronistic and socially inapplicable advice there, but the gist is clear enough.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20137
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Grigoris » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:37 pm
I thought this might be of interest here:

From the Manjusri-pariprccha-sutra, Translated by Paul Swanson (published in Vol. 3 of the MohoChihkuan, Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight:
The Buddha said to Manjusri, "If you are able to singularly by mindful of the Tathagata's ten titles, the Buddha is constantly present and never perishes [for] this person. You are also able to hear all the teachings of the buddhas, and see these Buddhas, and see these Buddhas appearing in front of the four assmeblies [of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen], and can increase your life span and never suffer from disease. What are these ten titles? They are:
1. Thus-come One (tathagata)
2. One Who Deserves Honor or Offerings (arhat)
3. One Who Has Realized Complete Awakening (samyak-sambuddha)
4. One Who Is Fully Proficient in Awakening and Practice (vidya-carana-sampanna)
5. Well-Gone One (sugata)
6. One Who Understands the World (lokavid)
7. Supreme One (annuttara)
8. Tamer of Beings (purusadam-ya-sarathi
9. Teacher of Divine and Human Beings (sasta devamanusysnam)
10. Buddha World Honored One (buddha bhagavat)

"Manjusri, one who is mindful of these ten titles should first be mindful of the Buddha's [physical] body endowed with the major and minor marks, and also mindful of the Dharma body, whose life is inexhaustible. You should have these thoughts: the Buddha does not have a [substantial] physical body; the Buddha is the Dharma body. You should diligently and adamantly perceive the Buddha as [empty] like space. Through [experiencing] the bliss of space, you know the meaning of all dharmas...

How are lay people able to cultivate this samadhi? With faith in karmic recompense, abandon all [earthly] possessions, take refuge in the three treasures [of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha], accept and keep the five [major] precepts [of no killing, no stealing, no sexual impropriety, no lying, and no imbibing of intoxicants]; do not be petty, destructive, impure, or deficient; accept the path of the ten good deeds that leads to arousing all good things; cultivate pure deeds (brahma-carya) and smash the five desires [of the five senses]; do not arouse jealousy and do not be passionately attached to your wife and children; constantly find pleasure in leaving the home and accepting the eight precepts [that a lay person observes for a day and a night at a time; that is, the five major precepts plus no wearing ornaments or taking part in dancing or music, no sleeping in a high and comfortable bed, and no eating after noon]; constantly dwell in the monks' quarters with a humble heart; always have respect for the home-departed; do not be stingy but always take pleasure in being transformed; think fondly of and respect the monks, masters, and preachers of the Dharma; let your attitude toward parents and teachers ["good friends"] be like that of your thoughts for the Buddha-rely on your parents and teachers, so that you can dwell in a quiet and isolated place. In this way lay people can cultivate this samadhi...
There's some anachronistic and socially inapplicable advice there, but the gist is clear enough.
So basically to cultivate this samadhi a lay person should become a monk or nun? :smile:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7429
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:28 pm

John R. McRae's translation:

'How are householders able to cultivate this meditation? Through the fruits of their karma of faith they can reject all material wealth, take refuge in the Three Treasures, and accept the five precepts. Neither evading, breaking, defiling, or being remiss in the precepts, they can accept the ten wholesome paths (i.e., not violate the ten precepts) and bring about the generation of the various types of wholesomeness. Cultivating chaste behavior, they will destroy the five desires. Without generating jealousy, they will have no affection for wives and children but will always take pleasure in leaving home and accepting the eight precepts. Whenever they go to the monasteries they will have feelings of shame. They will always feel reverence toward those who have left home. Never keeping secret the Dharma, they will always take pleasure in teaching others. They will think with affection and reverence of the preceptors, teachers, and those who preach the Dharma. They will think of their parents and spiritual compatriots as if thinking of the Buddha. They will reside with their parents and spiritual compatriots, helping them live in peace. This is how householders can cultivate this dharma of meditation.'
(The Sutra of Mañjuśrī’s Questions, BDK ed, p 131)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7429
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:30 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
So basically to cultivate this samadhi a lay person should become a monk or nun?
Not at all. The sutra describes the expected behaviour of a devout householder.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8183
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:50 pm

The "no affection for wives or children"

That ought to be updated to "spouses".

Also, this sutra seems to suppose a social structure in which marriage and having children is not the elective choice that we now understand it to be, but an obligation to one's family, where the family was the basic unit on which society was built. Applied to marriage as elective choice, the lack of affection comes across as cold, but also raises the question, why would one bother with marriage and children if one is only going to emotionally abandon them?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8183
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:52 pm

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:28 pm
John R. McRae's translation:

'How are householders able to cultivate this meditation? Through the fruits of their karma of faith they can reject all material wealth, take refuge in the Three Treasures, and accept the five precepts. Neither evading, breaking, defiling, or being remiss in the precepts, they can accept the ten wholesome paths (i.e., not violate the ten precepts) and bring about the generation of the various types of wholesomeness. Cultivating chaste behavior, they will destroy the five desires. Without generating jealousy, they will have no affection for wives and children but will always take pleasure in leaving home and accepting the eight precepts. Whenever they go to the monasteries they will have feelings of shame. They will always feel reverence toward those who have left home. Never keeping secret the Dharma, they will always take pleasure in teaching others. They will think with affection and reverence of the preceptors, teachers, and those who preach the Dharma. They will think of their parents and spiritual compatriots as if thinking of the Buddha. They will reside with their parents and spiritual compatriots, helping them live in peace. This is how householders can cultivate this dharma of meditation.'
(The Sutra of Mañjuśrī’s Questions, BDK ed, p 131)
:twothumbsup:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20137
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Grigoris » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:08 pm

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:30 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
So basically to cultivate this samadhi a lay person should become a monk or nun?
Not at all. The sutra describes the expected behaviour of a devout householder.
I know man, I am joking! :D
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
明安 Myoan
Former staff member
Posts: 2340
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by 明安 Myoan » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:44 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:50 pm
The "no affection for wives or children"

That ought to be updated to "spouses".

Also, this sutra seems to suppose a social structure in which marriage and having children is not the elective choice that we now understand it to be, but an obligation to one's family, where the family was the basic unit on which society was built. Applied to marriage as elective choice, the lack of affection comes across as cold, but also raises the question, why would one bother with marriage and children if one is only going to emotionally abandon them?
As a married man as well, this is a reminder to me that spouses and children are sentient beings first, with everything that means to Buddhists.
Last edited by 明安 Myoan on Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8183
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Queequeg » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 pm

Mönlam Tharchin wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:44 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:50 pm
The "no affection for wives or children"

That ought to be updated to "spouses".

Also, this sutra seems to suppose a social structure in which marriage and having children is not the elective choice that we now understand it to be, but an obligation to one's family, where the family was the basic unit on which society was built. Applied to marriage as elective choice, the lack of affection comes across as cold, but also raises the question, why would one bother with marriage and children if one is only going to emotionally abandon them?
As a married man as well, this is a reminder that spouses and children are sentient beings first, with everything that means to Buddhists.
Agree 100%.

I can't say that my motivation for getting married and having children was to bring bodhisattvas into the world and nurture them, but the thought was in my mind at a certain level. I certainly wish for my wife and children to be happy throughout their lives and to bring happiness to others. There is the visceral affection I have for my children, but there is also a part of me who looks on them dispassionately as evolving beings. The interesting thing is that I know, in my dispassionate posture that their well being depends on me being kind and affectionate toward them, acting on my natural inclinations toward them. That confluence of aims is what I understand as "bonno soku bodai" or "klesha are bodhi" that is a popular slogan in Japanese Buddhism.

It all makes me think of Rahula, and what a hard life he had being the son of the Buddha.

The story goes that the Buddha returned to his home some time after his enlightenment and in the crowd that greeted him was his wife and child. His wife said to Rahula in a biting remark - "There's your father. Go get your inheritance." Rahula, who was about 7 years old, then joined his father in the community of monks. His father was not very warm to him and it fell to Shariputra to be the caring father figure, who looked out for his well being. I've read analysis of that suggesting the Buddha could not be a loving father to Rahula because it would be seen as attachment and bias. There are some suttas relating some of the conversations the Buddha had with Rahula, and my heart aches for that little boy. But in the big picture, a small price to pay to be so closely connected to the Buddha.

It would seem to me, the appropriate advice now would be to have tempered affection for our spouse and children - to avoid the excesses of love and parenthood that we sometimes see. I have to say, though, my wife would not at all appreciate a tempered love. LOL
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7429
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:29 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:50 pm
Applied to marriage as elective choice, the lack of affection comes across as cold, but also raises the question, why would one bother with marriage and children if one is only going to emotionally abandon them?
'Affection' (McRae), or 'passionately attached' (Swanson), are translations for 'ài' (愛), the word that in Buddhist texts are usually for craving (tṛṣṇā, rāga), but can also mean attachment, while in non-Buddhist contexts it means love. So literally the scripture says 'do not love your wife and children' (不愛妻子). It only makes sense that a householder should recognise the dangers and drawbacks of the emotional bonds for family. Of course, if one has no family and prefers renunciation over marriage, then such a person should definitely not marry (or engage in any form of sensual relation). But when one is already a family person, then seeing how the earthly love for one's family perpetuates suffering is certainly a higher level of wisdom.

The Siksasamuccaya (tr Goodman, p 81-82) has some quotes on the matter as well:

'The Inquiry of Ugra also says:
He should abstain from sexual misconduct, satisfied with his own wife, not longing for the wives of others, looking around with an eye free from attraction and a disenchanted mind. He should frequently attend to and reflect on the thought, “Sensual desires are perpetual suffering.”lxvi When thoughts of sensual desire arise in him towards his own wife, and he comes under the influence of reactive emotions, then, seeing the foulness of his wife and with a frightened mind, he should not be bound by attachment to engaging in sensual pleasures, and should always reflect on impermanence, nonself, and impurity. And he should direct his mind as follows: “I should not engage in sensual pleasures even in my thoughts. How much less should I
engage in erotic love or the contact of sexual organs?”
The same text says:
A bodhisattva should think about his wife in three ways. What are the three? She is my companion in pleasure and play; she is not my companion in the next world. She is my companion in eating and drinking; she is not my companion in experiencing the evolution of actions. She is my companion in happiness; she is not my companion in suffering. And another three: he should conceive of her as an obstacle to moral discipline, as an obstacle to meditative stability, and as an obstacle to wisdom. And another three: he should conceive of her as a thief, as a prisonguard, and as one of the guards of Hell.'


Nevertheless, while abstaining from any and all sensual activity is preferable, upholding moral behaviour is sufficient for householders. It is not much different from the idea of chastity.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8183
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Queequeg » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:23 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:29 pm

The Siksasamuccaya (tr Goodman, p 81-82) has some quotes on the matter as well:

'The Inquiry of Ugra also says:
He should abstain from sexual misconduct, satisfied with his own wife, not longing for the wives of others, looking around with an eye free from attraction and a disenchanted mind. He should frequently attend to and reflect on the thought, “Sensual desires are perpetual suffering.”lxvi When thoughts of sensual desire arise in him towards his own wife, and he comes under the influence of reactive emotions, then, seeing the foulness of his wife and with a frightened mind, he should not be bound by attachment to engaging in sensual pleasures, and should always reflect on impermanence, nonself, and impurity. And he should direct his mind as follows: “I should not engage in sensual pleasures even in my thoughts. How much less should I
engage in erotic love or the contact of sexual organs?”
The same text says:
A bodhisattva should think about his wife in three ways. What are the three? She is my companion in pleasure and play; she is not my companion in the next world. She is my companion in eating and drinking; she is not my companion in experiencing the evolution of actions. She is my companion in happiness; she is not my companion in suffering. And another three: he should conceive of her as an obstacle to moral discipline, as an obstacle to meditative stability, and as an obstacle to wisdom. And another three: he should conceive of her as a thief, as a prisonguard, and as one of the guards of Hell.'


Nevertheless, while abstaining from any and all sensual activity is preferable, upholding moral behaviour is sufficient for householders. It is not much different from the idea of chastity.
This whole line of practice is, frankly, shitty.

The problem is one's own desires and the proposed solution is to degrade the object of one's desires. That object happens to be another human being.

This is a failure of decency on two levels - one is to make one's wife a mere object, and the second is to conceive of her as a loathsome object.

Really not a fan of these practices. I suspect they were thought up by some truly tormented individuals.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Wayfarer
Former staff member
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:04 am

It’s ‘monkish’. And It comes from a very different cultural milieu prior to the sexual revolution. But you would find exactly the same proscriptions in pre-modern Christian ‘advice to the laity’.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8183
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Queequeg » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:43 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:04 am
It’s ‘monkish’. And It comes from a very different cultural milieu prior to the sexual revolution. But you would find exactly the same proscriptions in pre-modern Christian ‘advice to the laity’.
Its misogynist.

Maybe "shitty" is the wrong word.

In any event, inappropriate for these circumstances.

Not that those attitudes were ever appropriate. I suppose we can say, they didn't know better.

Now, we do.

I suspect this narcissistic approach, privileging one's own errors and projecting values onto the world around as the cure for one's own errors, is part of what is condemned as Hinayana. Failure to see other beings. If you don't see other beings, it never occurs to you that the suffering of those beings matters. Once you see that, then flows the bodhisattva vow to save all beings. Other beings are not just props in your path to awakening - not just means to one's own end, but rather, they are realized to be ends in themselves.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Wayfarer
Former staff member
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:08 am

It's more an admonition against sensual enjoyment, which is invariably associated with sex. Traditional Buddhism (read: Buddhism anywhere outside the liberal democracies) is hardly 'sex-positive'. And meanwhile, over here, the sexual revolution has taken root in such a way that it's now the new normal, and any culture which doesn't sign off on it seems bizarre or medieval.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
如傑優婆塞
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by 如傑優婆塞 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:10 am

What are these ten titles?...
Yups, I recall this is also taught as a classical Buddhānusmṛti practice. In what's now the defunct Tiāntāi site & in various chapters of the Lotus Sutra, it's listed as such. It's also found in the daily Chinese Mahāyāna evening liturgy known as the 'Eighty Eight Buddhas Great Repentance Verses' (C: 八十八佛大懺悔文). The various Āgamas do list all but the Pāli Suttas seems to list only nine, omitting 'Tathāgata' despite the Lord referencing himself as such on numerous occasions.
'The Inquiry of Ugra also says...
A bodhisattva should think about his wife in three ways. What are the three? She is my companion in pleasure and play; she is not my companion in the next world. She is my companion in eating and drinking; she is not my companion in experiencing the evolution of actions. She is my companion in happiness; she is not my companion in suffering. And another three: he should conceive of her as an obstacle to moral discipline, as an obstacle to meditative stability, and as an obstacle to wisdom. And another three: he should conceive of her as a thief, as a prisonguard, and as one of the guards of Hell.'
It's interesting when compared and contrasted to this list...
"In five ways, young householder, should a wife as the West be ministered to by a husband:
(i) by being courteous to her,
(ii) by not despising her,
(iii) by being faithful to her,
(iv) by handing over authority to her,
(v) by providing her with adornments.

"The wife thus ministered to as the West by her husband shows her compassion to her husband in five ways:
(i) she performs her duties well,
(ii) she is hospitable to relations and attendants[10]
(iii) she is faithful,
(iv) she protects what he brings,
(v) she is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties.
1

And in particular this part: ...she is not my companion in the next world... when read with....
[The Blessed One said:] "If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire.
2

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7429
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Astus » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:36 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:23 am
This whole line of practice is, frankly, shitty.
Asubha practice is usually not taught to the laity, partly because they rarely aim for renouncing lust.
That object happens to be another human being.
The object is one's conception of an external stimulus.
condemned as Hinayana
The Ugrapariprccha is a Mahayana sutra quoted in a Mahayana treatise (Siksasamuccaya) by a Mahayana teacher (Santideva). Mahayana works rarely accept family life as a viable alternative to renunciation.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Wayfarer
Former staff member
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:46 am

如傑優婆塞 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:10 am

Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire.[/i] 2
This is very beautiful verse. I will recite this verse at my son’s forthcoming wedding.

:namaste:
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7429
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Astus » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:55 am

如傑優婆塞 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:10 am
It's interesting when compared and contrasted to this list...
"In five ways, young householder, should a wife as the West be ministered to by a husband:
From The Sutra on Upasaka Precepts, ch 14 (BDK ed, p 71-72):

'The west represents one’s wife. If anyone can provide his wife with garments, food, bedding, medicine, and adornments such as necklaces set with precious stones, he is making offerings to the west. The wife responds in fourteen ways: (1) in whatever she does, she does her best; (2) she is constantly at work and never gets lazy, (3) she completes whatever she does; (4) she does things promptly without losing time; (5) she often entertains guests; (6) she cleans the house and bedding; (7) she is loving and speaks gently; (8) she instructs servants gently; (9) she keeps property well; (10) she rises early and goes to bed late; (11) she cooks well; (12) she is patient in receiving teaching; (13) she covers up [her husband's] faults; and (14) she takes care of her husband when he is sick.'
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Simon E.
Posts: 6226
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Simon E. » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:40 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:23 am
Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:29 pm

The Siksasamuccaya (tr Goodman, p 81-82) has some quotes on the matter as well:

'The Inquiry of Ugra also says:
He should abstain from sexual misconduct, satisfied with his own wife, not longing for the wives of others, looking around with an eye free from attraction and a disenchanted mind. He should frequently attend to and reflect on the thought, “Sensual desires are perpetual suffering.”lxvi When thoughts of sensual desire arise in him towards his own wife, and he comes under the influence of reactive emotions, then, seeing the foulness of his wife and with a frightened mind, he should not be bound by attachment to engaging in sensual pleasures, and should always reflect on impermanence, nonself, and impurity. And he should direct his mind as follows: “I should not engage in sensual pleasures even in my thoughts. How much less should I
engage in erotic love or the contact of sexual organs?”
The same text says:
A bodhisattva should think about his wife in three ways. What are the three? She is my companion in pleasure and play; she is not my companion in the next world. She is my companion in eating and drinking; she is not my companion in experiencing the evolution of actions. She is my companion in happiness; she is not my companion in suffering. And another three: he should conceive of her as an obstacle to moral discipline, as an obstacle to meditative stability, and as an obstacle to wisdom. And another three: he should conceive of her as a thief, as a prisonguard, and as one of the guards of Hell.'


Nevertheless, while abstaining from any and all sensual activity is preferable, upholding moral behaviour is sufficient for householders. It is not much different from the idea of chastity.
This whole line of practice is, frankly, shitty.

The problem is one's own desires and the proposed solution is to degrade the object of one's desires. That object happens to be another human being.

This is a failure of decency on two levels - one is to make one's wife a mere object, and the second is to conceive of her as a loathsome object.

Really not a fan of these practices. I suspect they were thought up by some truly tormented individuals.
Hear hear.
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8183
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Guidance for Lay People

Post by Queequeg » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:55 am

Astus wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:36 am
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:23 am
This whole line of practice is, frankly, shitty.
Asubha practice is usually not taught to the laity, partly because they rarely aim for renouncing lust.
That object happens to be another human being.
The object is one's conception of an external stimulus.
Right. Cut it up and sell as necessary. It's still objectification, whether at one level or another. It's cultivation of aversion, whether it's the being or ones idea of the being that is denigrated.

This would be a fatal critique in this day and age. Fortunately we have higher teachings that don't require such cultivation of basically wrong view as a cure for one's fault.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Post Reply

Return to “East Asian Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests