How would you balance, material advancement and spiritual advancement in terms of Buddhism? I consider this because something material is close to what we see and feel in the moment, and related to desires of creating something and/or modifying it to suit our needs and ego (and suchlike consequences) and probably being attached to that which you created.

This may be a question of how to balance spiritual and professional commitments. Isn't commitment a form of attachment?


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Because of the existence of mind and matter there will always be feelings when they come in contact. So professional or material advancement is not the real problem. The problem is that your mind identifies things which you cannot exercise absolute control of possession as mine. When classify something as unwanted or wanted you react. Letting go of this identification leads to spiritual progress. (Letting go of this of lay life may make time for more serious practice though.)

The main problem is the reaction which results when mind and matter comes in contact giving rise to feeling. If you react to this as desirable and undesirable and you keep reacting creating new conditioning which keeps you rolling in misery. Keeping equanimity towards feelings and knowing their impermanence is the actual measure of spiritual progress.

There were many lay followers who were wealthy but also achieved spiritual progress. E.g. Visakha and Anathapindika. All of them attained it through developing insight. Also having material wealth may not be an issue in many cases like the above.

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    You can have material wealth with spiritual advancements. No need to always give that up as in the question. There were many followers who were at a high stage of development despite being rich. The spirit advancement happens due to mainly mental cultivation, though giving up lay life maybe of some help. Therefore there is no issue in being wealthy and also progressing in the path. Why do you say otherwise? Dec 1, 2014 at 5:00
  • the rich followers: have they gotten "to richness" before they came in contact with the Buddha dharma or after they found their spiritual development? I've not read of one of the latter type in the Palicanon, it would be interesting to me if there were indeed such cases. Dec 1, 2014 at 9:00
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    Anathapindika when bankrupt after becoming a Buddhist. He managed to earn back the money he lost. Dec 1, 2014 at 9:54

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