Is enlightenment off-limits to laypeople?

ask the teachers, buddhadharma, lion's roar, marriage, spouse, thoughts, believe

Question: I recently attended a dharma talk in which the teacher said that laypeople, even if they practice sincerely, just don’t have the proper causes and conditions for full enlightenment. I feel that I need to know if this is true or not. What possibilities does this practice hold for me as a layperson? And what is beyond my reach? Please tell me honestly. Narayan Helen [...]

Restlessness, Contentment, and “Kindfulness”

ajahn Brahm, Kindfulness, Contentment, Lion's Roar, Buddhism

The Buddhist monk known as Ajahn Brahm talks about developing a sense of contentment, and not finding fault in your meditation practice. Restlessness arises because we do not appreciate the beauty of contentment. We do not acknowledge the sheer pleasure of doing nothing. We have a faultfinding mind rather than a mind that appreciates what’s already there. Restlessness in [...]

How does concentration develop? [Video]

Michael Stone, Lion's Roar, Buddhism, Video, Mindfulness, Concentation

In this new video, yogi and Buddhist teacher Michael Stone explains how mindfulness practice develops into concentration. "When you train yourself to keep coming back, you start to not drift off so far. You start staying closer to the breathing. You become intimate with the breath. There's no you anymore that's breathing. There's just breathing." For a simple introductory [...]

She Who Hears the Cries of the World

kuan-yin

The Buddhist path isn’t just about the accumulation of wisdom. It equally requires the development of compassion—an intelligent sympathy for the suffering of all beings and the heartfelt wish to liberate them. In Buddhist iconography, this compassion is embodied in the bodhisattva Kuan Yin, who is said to manifest wherever beings need help. Engendering such compassion is not [...]

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana on Vipassana Meditation

Bhante-G-Beatenberg-05-A

In the direct, insightful style for which he is known, Bhante Henepola Gunaratana teaches the meditation technique known as Vipassana and explains why only meditation addresses the human condition. Meditation is not easy. It takes time and it takes energy. It also takes grit, determination, and discipline. It requires a host of personal qualities that we normally regard as [...]

Meet a Teacher: Larry Yang

Larry Yang, Shambhala Sun, Lion's Roar, Buddhism

As immigrant Asian Americans in the McCarthy era, my parents were not able to get housing within the city limits of Philadelphia, so I grew up in the working-class suburb of Levittown. While I sensed early on that I was different from other boys, I didn’t have any words that came close to describing “gay” in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The tensions of “not belonging” [...]

What kinds of programs can Buddhist centers offer children?

children, theravada, lion's roar, buddhism, buddhadharma

In this excerpt from a sweeping conversation about Theravada practice in everyday life, Buddhadharma asks three teachers what kinds of programs centers can for families and children. Marcia Rose: The Insight Meditation Society in Barre has had a family retreat for many years, one of the first in the Theravada tradition in the West. It has grown tremendously as people have [...]

Entering the Jhanas

Jhanas, Leigh Brasington, Concentration, Buddhadharma, Lion's Roar, Buddhism, Theravada

Entering the jhanas is not easy—the harder you try, the more difficult it becomes. But as Leigh Brasington explains, you can make yourself ready for them to open up to you. Perhaps no aspect of the Buddha's teaching has been both more misunderstood and neglected than right concentration. Yet right concentration is obviously an integral part of the Buddha's path to awakening: [...]

Advice for someone who is dying

ajahn chah, death, lion's roar, buddhism

Ajahn Chah's simple, profound advice to an aging student approaching her death. Today I have brought nothing material of any substance to offer you, only Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha. Listen well. You should understand that even the Buddha himself, with his great store of accumulated virtue, could not avoid physical death. When he reached old age, he relinquished his [...]