Practice. . .
Lay people will find it most useful in the morning and evening, and perhaps on some days when more time can be given to the cultivation of calm and insight.
The usual course of practice taught for lay people in Buddhist countries is that they should practice giving (dana) according to their faith, and as far as their circumstances allow make an effort to keep the precepts (sila) pure, and as far as they are able so develop the mind in meditation (bhavana). That is to say, those who are less interested in Dhamma practice should at least make an effort to be generous. If they give nothing, or very little when more could be given, they are making little or no effort to go against the worldly stream of craving. Some who cultivate generosity may not be very good at keeping some of the Precepts but they are practicing a valuable part of Dhamma. And it is reckoned much more practical to be open-handed and devoted to the Buddha than it is merely to have a lot of unpracticed book-learning.
Next will come people who not only make an effort to give generously but also try to keep the precepts. They try to conform their actions to what agrees with the Five Precepts and perhaps on special occasions undertake Eight Precepts as well. Finally, there are those who are able to practice more than dana and sila and try to cultivate their minds every day through meditation.
Peace and Love, Jim
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