"In a house full of children" AN 11.12

I was happy and excited to find this in the Mahanama Sutta, AN 11.12 :

“Mahanama, you should develop the recollection of the Buddha while walking, standing, sitting, and lying down. You should develop it while engged in work and while living at home in a house full of children.”

I have never seen that quoted before. Perhaps because of a modern dislike for repetition, people read the previous Sutta on the recollection of the Buddha and then saw that Mahanama basically repeated it, they did not go on to notice this addition.

I no longer have a house full of children, but when I did, years ago, I read about Zen Buddhism and thought, “that’s all very fine if you can go sit by yourself on a mountain top, but I have three small sons who depend on me”. At that time in the early 80’s there weren’t books on the Buddha Dharma to explain how to apply it to the daily life of a lay person living in a house full of children. I am happy and grateful that there are books, audio Dharma talks, and family retreats available today to support young families in their practice.

I just started this topic to point out this phrase to others who may not have heard or noticed it before. I hope it encourages and makes people happy.


Thanks mj_mcewan, here’s the linnk to AN 11.12.


Thanks for the appreciation. While it’s true that the main focus of the suttas is on renunciation, there is no shortage of suttas on the household life, acknowledging both the messy realities and the opportunities for practice. I’m glad you found something you can connect to.


Thank you for correcting me. I had both volumes sitting on my desk and typed the wrong one. I’ve fixed my post so no one will be confused.


Hi MJ. I have a ‘house full of children’ and like you, have also found this sentence inspiring (and a little bit comforting.) It’s like the Buddha was throwing parents a couple of empathy cushions. :blush: