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This question springs forth as I haven't found yet any sutta showing this premise, has the Buddha ever taught anapanasati to lay followers ?

And if not, what could be the reason ?

May you be well.

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This question springs forth as I haven't found yet any sutta showing this premise, has the Buddha ever taught anapanasati to lay followers ?

And if not, what could be the reason ?

While the audience in MN 118 happened to be monks, there's no rules in the suttas that forbid lay folks from practicing Anapanasati. Also notice that monastic/lay is all relative. How would one define a monastic if s/he's only wears the orange robe with shaven head, but breaks all the prescribed precepts? And vice versa, how would one define a lay person, if s/he's still wearing civilian clothing but follows all the precepts whole-heartedly??

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    If you truly understand the practice of generosity, then you'd never have to look for outright expression of gratitude from the receivers. The act does and will benefit you in this life and many future lives to come. It's the donor who should express the gratitude for the opportunity to build up his great kammic storehouse. – santa100 Oct 15 '20 at 2:35
  • this above confusion was addressed here: buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/41823/… – Dhammadhatu Oct 15 '20 at 3:35
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Many Buddhist laypeople claim to practie anapanasati when they are, in reality, not.

Every stage of anapanasati is practised or unfolds with an absence of gross thought. For example, about cittanupassana (watching/experiencing the mind), MN 118 says:

I do not say that there is the development of mindfulness with breathing for one who is forgetful, who is not fully aware.

Can you tell me how many laypeople can sit for 3 hours, without any thoughts, with right concentration (which is concentration founded upon silent letting go) and experience the 16 stages of anapansati sequentially unfold?

Anapanasati appears too lofty for most laypeople.

While I personally do not believe SN 55.53 is real & do not believe what it teaches about the stream-entry of those laypeople is true, SN 55.53 is a good example of the probable limits of laypeople in respect to being able to let go & manifest a degree emptiness required for anapanasati.

In respect to anapanasati, most lay buddhists are practising Hindu yogic fondlings.

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