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To my understanding, the 8 factors are of course something that require cultivation (practise/training). However, noble right view, for example, is an experiential part, and not an intellectual one.

And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view."

When exactly is this seen? At stream entry level?

Furthermore, Right Intention and Right Effort both require one to abandon anger and desire. While anger can be let go much easier, most lay people cling to the five senses (which among them includes the desire for sex).

So there again I see no applicability for lay practitioners.

"Right Speech" is a difficult one, because if we take the arya vacca then we basically only speak about the dhamma, particularly the cessation of dukkha.

Right Samadhi is also unlikely for lay because it is basically Jhana, and Jhana itself requires a lot of letting go of attachments and absolute no sensuality in the mind.

So what is your response to this?

  • Are you asking if it's possible for a lay practitioner to develop the eightfold path? – user14148 Nov 29 '18 at 20:32
  • No, to practise it. Lay people are not celibate. They engage in sex. So the 2nd & 8th factor cannot be cultivated/practised – Val Nov 29 '18 at 21:42
  • 'Develop' seems quite apt (advance, grow) which occurs through practise. – user14148 Nov 29 '18 at 21:55
  • Ven. Bodhi's excellent "Noble Eightfold Path" actually addresses some of your questions above. Strongly recommend you check it out if you have not: accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html – santa100 Nov 30 '18 at 4:38
  • A lay practitioner is not different from any other practitioner. The Buddha was a lay practitioner at the start, as is everybody. The distinction is made because lay practitioners may often not follow the precepts and life-style guidance but there's nothing stopping them doing so and then, many non-lay practitioners often stray. – PeterJ Nov 30 '18 at 13:10
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The Noble Eightfold path is a path of celibacy. Sexual misconduct in the Noble Path is defined as "unchastity" ("abrahmacariyā"). In the 1st sermon, the Buddha taught the Middle Way, which avoids sensuality, is for those who have left the household life.

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yes any human who wants to stop dukkha practice the ''right practice''. IT does not matter if the human is a puthujjana or not a puthujjana. it does not matter is the human is a bikkhu or not a bikkhu. Non-puthujjanas just go by mostly knowledge and a bit by faith, and puthujjanas just go by faith until they get the knowledge.

https://suttacentral.net/sn45.24/en/bodhi

2“Bhikkhus, whether for a layperson or one gone forth, I praise the right way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising rightly, because of undertaking the right way of practice he attains the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome. And what, bhikkhus, is the right way? It is: right view … right concentration. This is called the right way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising rightly, because of undertaking the right way of practice he attains the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome.”

The buddha even claims that a puhtujjana who has ''wrong release'' is ''worse'' than the 'bad person'' , meaning worse than the usual puhtujjana who do not have right intention, effort, actions, samadhi.

And what is a bad person? It’s someone who has wrong view, wrong thought, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, and wrong immersion. This is called a bad person.

2And what is a worse person? It’s someone who has wrong view, wrong thought, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, wrong immersion, wrong knowledge, and wrong freedom. This is called a worse person.

3And what is a good person? It’s someone who has right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion. This is called a good person.

4And what is a better person? It’s someone who has right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right immersion, right knowledge, and right freedom. This is called a better person.”

https://suttacentral.net/sn45.26/en/sujato

But of course, puthujjanas :

  • already struggle to get wrong samadhi
  • already struggle to get wrong release, then they get stuck on their fantasy of being relased
  • struggle even more to get right intention
  • struggle even more to get right samadhi
  • struggle even more to get right release

THe biggest mistake for a puthujjana who wants to stop dukkha is

  • not having sati sampajanna
  • having sati sampajanna, but losing it

and it turns out that what prevents sati sampajanna is the same stuff that make you lose sati sampajanna: lust for kama.

And as usual, the way to do the right practice is to live around people who already do the right practice, which will make you ''mindful'' and keep being ''mindful'', being a ''fortress'', ''guarding the senses'' and so on.

"If wanderers who are members of other sects should ask you, 'What, friend, are the prerequisites for the development of the wings to self-awakening?' you should answer, 'There is the case where a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues. This is the first prerequisite for the development of the wings to self-awakening.'"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.001.than.html

Puthujjanas are too weak to live the holy life all alone, no matter what puthujjanas say. Puthujjanas always overestimated their skills to avoid lust, and the most toxic puthujjanas always say that some kama is skillful, that ''contact'' is okay, ''it is only lust that is bad'' or ''you can have contact without lust'', like the puthujjanas who invented mahayahna say or even ''lust for kama can be destroyed with kama itself'' like the puthujjanas who invented vajrayana say. THey never forget to add that they are righteous, whereas they spend their life craving kama, with their little tantras and deities, but they claim that they are ''good people'' because they invented the dichotomy ''selfishness-selflessness', they hear that the dhamma is about ''realizing anatta'', and since they cling to kama, like any puthujjana, and they build the fantasy that selfishness = hedonist = enjoying kama for oneself, and selfless = caring about other people and that having lust for kama but only to ''liberate'' others is okay. Of course, those puthujjanas do not have right intentions, right actions,... and even less right samadhi and even less right release.

So be super careful, choose your friends well, based on what they say about what is skillful or not, about lust, about their skills. Puthujjana always love the expression ''ít is matter of life or death'', and this applies well

"And what is meant by admirable friendship? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, spends time with householders or householders' sons, young or old, who are advanced in virtue. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate generosity in those who are consummate in generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called admirable friendship. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.054.than.html

  • Veiculo, do you live somehow a miserable life or why do you bash on puthujjanas so much? Whether advanced or a beginner, we all make mistakes and started somewhere. Also what is a 'bad person'? Are you doing the whole-part error? Are you over-generalizing ONE act & evaluate the person's entirety on the basis of it? You're also quite disrespectful to Mahayana. Again, people cant help themselves if they haven't experienced anything higher than 'kama'.They're not to blame. ALSO: EVERYONE CAN LIFE HOW THEY WANT. You behave like a basher and an omniscient being who knows all. Unwise. Please stop. – Val Dec 1 '18 at 7:54
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The noble eightfold path is practiced by lay practitioners to the Arahant. Even the Arahant practice Noble Eightfold Path but with the right knowledge and right release.

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Right concentration is attainable in a modern day society and therefore applicable for a lay person.

Reducing sensual desire is attainable in a modern day society and therefore applicable for a lay person.

It all amounts to the right kind of effort one choose to put in. A fair amount of practising Buddhists need some seclusion from modern day life in order to practise and develop spokes of the eightfold path. This hasn't been necessary for me. The teachings are here in the city, the traffic, the buildings and the interaction of people.

The eightfold path is what I refer to as the long slog. In taking a more direct approach much of the eightfold path would organically arise. Therefore, I wouldn't say that it is something over there that one must retrieve.

If you looked hard enough you'll find the eightfold path already happening in you. Those parts just need more of your attention.

  • It is not as easy as you think. The Buddha said that the forest (environment) was crucial to develop Samadhi. While it is mind that precedes all mental states, it is also mind that is habituated in old tendencies, and it is mind that is affected by whom you engage with. That's why noble friendship is again so crucial because it too molds the mind. That's why often it's said: Prevention is better than cure – Val Nov 29 '18 at 22:43
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    My answer wasn't born from thinking but instead direct experience. The opportunity to examine yourself is always there regardless of your location. I recognize that some people benefit from temporary seclusion but any progress is negated by their return to usual life because their right effort is compromised by sense desires. Also, I wouldn't say that the forest environment has any exclusivity with samadhi but I see how finding any kind of seclusion is helpful for sure. Not all monks who lead the homeless life acquired the final realisation. – user14148 Nov 30 '18 at 4:49
  • I wrote 'crucial' to develop samadhi, which should be corrected to 'conducive'. Of course not all monks reach final destination (nibbana), but it's probably all a matter of clining. Just because one lives outside the city doesn't mean one doesn't cling. One is confronted with less stimuli, but if cravings arrive spontaneously and you do not now how to manage them, then sexual craving for example can be the cause for disrobing (which I by no means blame) – Val Dec 1 '18 at 11:49

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