Sunday, April 29

Sunday April 29, 2 – 4 pm
2501B Trailside Dr., Austin, TX (off Robert E. Lee near Zilker Park)

This will be our last meeting at Cory’s apartment. I would like to discuss the direction of this group and the venue for the following week.


4 Responses to “Sunday, April 29”

  1. Nevitt Reesor Says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us and for tolerating my sometimes annoying questions with grace and kindness. As I’ve thought about your comments regarding essential Buddhism and the crucial role of monastics in the Buddhist community, the following concern came to mind. Emphasis upon the superior depth and authenticity of monastic experience, knowledge, and wisdom might actually discourage some lay practitioners. If our experience is relatively pale reflection of the monk’s encounter with Reality, and if our understanding is relatively poor or even erroneous in comparison to the advanced monk’s, and if we are unlikely to have sufficient opportunity to approach the Buddhist ideal except at a significant remove, one might wonder whether there is really any point to the practice, other than perhaps some degree of contentment and happiness in this life. I’m not sure this will be a great motivation for many lay people to pursue Buddhist practice. In other words, one might ask, “Why is it worth the effort for a lay person to practice Buddhism?”

    • bhikkhucintita Says:

      Hi, Nevitt.

      Your questions are hardly annoying, your attribution of grace and kindness is probably misplaced.

      I try to make clear that attainment on the Buddhist path is by no means limited to monastics; monastics have just made more room in their lives for Buddhist practice. Also monastics and lay generally both practice a mix of Essential and Folk Buddhism. Again, monastics are more likely to be more firmly centered in Essential Buddhism because they have made more room in their lives for Buddhist study. A committed lay person will still make more progress than an uncommitted monk.

      The reason anyone practices Buddhism is that the rewards don’t only come with full Awakening, which is an extremely rare thing in any case. The rewards are rather cumulative. If you hang around Buddhist circles very long at all this becomes apparent: lotuses are blooming, people are acquiring some remarkable personal qualities. And few are attaining full Awakening (almost no one). There can be no doubt that the effort is worth it.

      Folk Buddhism and Essential Buddhism are both beneficial! In fact a healthy Folk Buddhism is probably generally more immediately beneficial for most people than Essential Buddhism is. What a healthy Folk Buddhism is will be clarified further in my ongoing series.

      It is peculiar, in any case, that someone else’s relative success should be a criterion in evaluating whether one’s own practice is worth it. This is like giving up your job simply because someone else is earning more, or like giving up riding your bicycle, which is making you healthier, because you will never be as fast as Lance Armstrong.

      In brief, it is worth the effort because the benefit is enormous.

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