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I've heard of Vastu shastra, but what kind of dwellings are conducive to Buddhist practice and living and why?

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  • Domicile? It's difficult to apply the meaning of that word within the context of your question. Please add more details. It will help draw more interest and quality answers.
    – Max
    Aug 17 at 21:06
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    I assume "domicile" means "where someone lives" -- probably a structure like a house, apartment, hut, or monastery of some kind.
    – ChrisW
    Aug 17 at 21:27
  • Yes Chris you could say that for practical purposes
    – vimutti
    Aug 21 at 19:01
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There is a recommendation on suitable lodging for monks and nuns in AN 10.11 quoted below.

However, there are no recommendations for lay persons as far as I am aware. I would say any physical dwelling which is conducive for the observance of the five precepts, is suitable. For example, having little disturbance from mosquitoes and pests is helpful for keeping the first precept of not taking a life. Also, not storing non-medicinal intoxicating substances like alcoholic beverages and recreational drugs is helpful for keeping the precept of not consuming intoxicating substances.

And how does a lodging have five factors? It’s when a lodging is neither too far nor too near, but convenient for coming and going. It’s not bothered by people by day, and at night it’s quiet and still. There’s little disturbance from flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles. While staying in that lodging the necessities of life—robes, alms-food, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick—are easy to come by. And in that lodging there are several senior mendicants who are very learned, knowledgeable in the scriptures, who have memorized the teachings, the texts on monastic training, and the outlines. From time to time they go up to those mendicants and ask them questions: ‘Why, sir, does it say this? What does that mean?’ Those venerables clarify what is unclear, reveal what is obscure, and dispel doubt regarding the many doubtful matters. That’s how a lodging has five factors.
AN 10.11


Inspired by user21667's answer, I found the Mangala Sutta (Khp 5 and Snp 2.4), translated and commented upon by Ven. Narada:

To reside in a suitable locality ... this is the greatest blessing.

Comments (Derived mainly from the Commentaries.):

Suitable locality:
Any place where monks, nuns and lay devotees continually reside; where pious folk are bent on the performance of the ten meritorious deeds, and where the Dhamma exists as a living principle.

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Where ever right view prospers, good householder. Living on good place, therefore is one of the basic great blessings.

To reside in a suitable location... is the highest blessing and Countries to leave & counties to go may give first ideas of what "matters" for long lasting happiness.

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What types of physical dwellings are most conducive for Meditation

When our house was built in Sri Lanka local monks were consulted and reviewed the plans. The principles of Vastu were taken into account.

The shrine room was located on the north side of the upper floor facing the nearest temple. We are able to hear the chanting each morning and evening.

The main entrance to the house is in the north, other principles of Vastu are easily Googled and are generally common sense. Here is an interesting site: https://www.architecturaldigest.in/content/vastu-shastra-25-tips-make-home-radiate-positive-energy/

The house is located in the jungle on top of a hill, there is seldom traffic on the road that passes the place. The only sounds that might disturb meditation is the singing of birds in the morning, but that is easily gotten used to. There is usually a nice breeze through the house.

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  • Thanks so much for this real life example. I'm now curious if there are any writings on Buddhist Vastu -- like if there are any universal guidelines regardless of physical dwelling location.
    – vimutti
    Aug 21 at 19:09

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