When people are thinking about coming to a teaching activity with monks, some are concerned about how to act. This sutta from the Samyutta Nikaya (Connected Discourses) explains the physical side of the proper way to listen to the Dhamma. One thing the sutta does not mention is that the Buddha gave an allowance to teach the Dhamma to someone who is ill, no matter what posture they are in. So if you need to sit on a chair during the talk, don’t worry! The compassionate Buddha anticipated your need!
At one time Venerable Udāyī was staying near Kāmaṇḍā in the brahmin Todeyya’s mango grove. Then a boy who was a student of the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan went up to Udāyī and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side. Udāyī educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired that student with a Dhamma talk. Then that student went to the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan and said to her: “Please, madam, you should know this. The ascetic Udāyī teaches Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And he reveals a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure.”
“Then, student, invite him in my name for tomorrow’s meal.” “Yes, madam,” he replied. He went to Udāyī and said: “Sir, may Master Udāyī please accept an offering of tomorrow’s meal from my teacher’s wife, the brahmin lady of the Verahaccāni clan.” Udāyī consented in silence. Then when the night had passed, Udāyī dressed in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, went to the brahmin lady’s home, and sat down on the seat spread out. Then the brahmin lady served and satisfied Udāyī with her own hands with a variety of delicious foods. When Udāyī had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, she put on a pair of shoes, sat on a high seat, covered her head, and said to him: “Ascetic, preach the Dhamma.” “There will be an occasion for that, sister,” he replied, then got up from his seat and left.Read More