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One cap fits all?

One of the skills of the Sotāpanna is being a part of the right speaking 'Noble Sangha', which includes the Lay Community.
As a separate category, those who have attained any of the four stages of enlightenment, whether or not they are members of the monastic community, they are referred to as the āryasaṅgha "noble Sangha"

Right speech in my view, varies from dogma and is related to how it is heard. So for example in Sufism, some would be students are warned against spiritual practice as they need life experience.

Would a Buddhist dogmatist insist that meditation or mindfulness is always helpful, when in fact mantra, sadhana, study or just devotional activities might be more appropriate in certain circumstances?

How does this relate to skilful means?


  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    @lobster. Sometimes even simple practices can conceal deeper ones. I have in mind two Vietnamese ladies I knew well. On the surface their practice seemed to be solely the offering of flowers,incense and prostrations. One day they invited me to keep vigil throughout the night during the full moon. Guess who had trouble staying awake? Not the ladies.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited May 17

    My experience is that the fire of enthusiasm burns quite strongly in the youthful, and they tend to get swept along, while the insights of spirituality to me seem more appropriate to middle age.

    But I've heard it said by Buddhist monastic teachers "it takes a thousand young monks, out of whom one may turn out to be a jewel", so I think opinions differ on the value of age. Some would argue that Buddhism has turned into a religion of learning, and that to absorb all the knowledge and commentaries is best undertaken by young, spongelike minds.

    Similarly a Buddhist monk who has been teaching me a course on basics has said that many techniques in Vajrayana take a long time and deep insight to master. It makes me wonder about the validity of their path if it takes a lifetime of study to get there - is it truly a part of the natural path of human beings? Or some kind of huge stress that is built up over time in the mind.

    Certainly different people take different paths to the truth. I've explained Buddhist thinking to one of the older women in my family, and she said things like "I don't like the focus on suffering" or "life seems different to me", while she is very loving, mature, intelligent with a deep appreciation for life's mysteries.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks guys. <3

    I feel we are all on the path or perhaps the cycle of existence but some of us like to learn or accelerate our potential understanding/wisdom/unfolding.

    Those not engaged in a path still learn, even if it is nothing gainful/useful or helpful either to self, situation or society. Pah!

    A simple faith that @grackle mentions can be very empowering. As can a completely dissmissive of dharma approach that @Kerome mentions.

    Meditation, dharma, good cyber company, inspiration continues to yield results for me. However I like to have wholesome hobbies ... ;)

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