Having tried for many years to integrate my Buddhist practice into lay-life, I more and more began to realise that if I truly wanted to go very far on this path, my life would have to change.
To me now, after 37 years as a Buddhist, I see the monastic way of life as the kind of life we naturally arrive at if we completely integrate our meditation into all aspects of our daily lives. We could see it as the monastic form having come about through the very process of forming a Refuge within the world for those with the deepest commitment. It is conversely also the best vehicle for this practice. We can gauge how well we have integrated our practice into our lives by how closely our lives resemble the Monastery. Right now, from where I stand, I can't see it another way.
Now I dread a situation where I am drawn into the city as a teacher to face over and over again the same underlying question after almost every talk: “That's all very well, Ajahn, but how am I going to practice in my busy job?”
Maybe quit the job. I did.