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sleeping on the floor - Dhamma Wheel

sleeping on the floor

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
pedro1985
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sleeping on the floor

Postby pedro1985 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:58 am

I read somewhere that monks are advised not to sleep in a bed, but they
should sleep on the floor. What is the benefit of sleeping on the floor?

I can imagine sleeping on the floor in countries like India, Thailand is
comfortable, but if you sleep on the floor in Europe during the winter
when everything outside is frozen, you are most likely to catch a lung
infection from the cold floor.

At least the floor in my home is very cold. I wear shoes in the
house, because it's too cold to walk on my socks because the floor feels
frozen.

So I was wondering why the Buddha advises sleeping on the floor.

PeterB
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:15 am

I think you will find Pedro that monks are not supposed to sleep in luxurious high beds.
I think most monks most of the time take the Middle Way and sleep on low, non luxurious beds.

Although I did know one Ajahn who slept for some time standing up !
But that was exceptional.

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cooran
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:19 am

Hello Pedro,

All rules which the Buddha made for the Bhikkhus are in the Vinaya Pitaka:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/vin/

Bhikkhus do not have to sleep on the floor -
''When a bhikkhu is having a new bed or bench made, it is to have legs (at most) eight fingerbreadths long — using sugata fingerbreadths — not counting the lower edge of the frame. In excess of that it is to be cut down and confessed.''
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .html#Pc87

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

pedro1985
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:10 pm

Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby pedro1985 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:33 am

Thanks for the replies. I read the link you submitted, Chris, but still
I am left with this question:

Still, when a monk has a high bed, even higher than the measures you quoted
above, what would be wrong with that?

Why would monks should refrain from sleeping on (too) high beds?

PeterB
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:39 am

The Vinaya ( the rules for monks and nuns ) has survived for more than 2000 years they came about for pragmatic reasons..because they work. So monks do not eat after noon time. This came about partly because walking through the forest at night was potentially dangerous...but even today in city monasteries monks keep that rule because they found that it was condusive to meditation.
In the same way The Buddha and his monks found that sleeping on a low hard bed meant that they slept only lightly..which was also condusive to meditation, and that in fact they could continue to meditate while asleep.

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cooran
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:59 am

Hello Pedro,

It has to do with living a simple life, a life of virtue and reducing craving.

From DN 2 Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life
"Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to high and luxurious furnishings such as these — over-sized couches, couches adorned with carved animals, long-haired coverlets, multi-colored patchwork coverlets, white woolen coverlets, woolen coverlets embroidered with flowers or animal figures, stuffed quilts, coverlets with fringe, silk coverlets embroidered with gems; large woolen carpets; elephant, horse, and chariot rugs, antelope-hide rugs, deer-hide rugs; couches with awnings, couches with red cushions for the head and feet — he abstains from using high and luxurious furnishings such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#luxury

Even lay people when they undertake the Eight Precepts, commit to:
8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:45 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

pedro1985
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby pedro1985 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:17 pm

Thanks, this indeed clears up a lot for me.

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Ron-The-Elder
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Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:30 pm

This issue recently came up while at a week-long seminar regarding vipissana/samatha meditation practice. An elderly monk was mentioned who lived his entire adult life, due to an infirmity, sleeping, and meditating in a hard wooden chair. He was said to be but one lifetime from being A Non-returner, not because of this but because of his vast knowledge of The Dhamma and his practice.

_/\_Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Goofaholix
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:33 pm


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Sovatthika
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby Sovatthika » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:36 am

idk, but i feel like i couldn't do it; i mean i definitely can't sleep on the floor because i have rods in my back, but even like a couch or something often isn't good enough. i don't see what's wrong with getting a full 8 hours on a comfortable bed (besides money)
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

2600htz
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby 2600htz » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:48 pm

Hello:

During the time of the Buddha some of the beds where very soft and luxurious.
If a bed is too soft and cozy it leads to sloth and torpor.

Regards.

justindesilva
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Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby justindesilva » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:47 am


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DC2R
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Location: United States

Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby DC2R » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:06 pm

Sleeping on a hard (but not too hard) mattress on the floor (without a frame or anything to lift it up) is a good alternative to sleeping completely on the floor.
May the blessings of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha always be firmly established in your hearts.


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WindDancer
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Location: Harrison County, IN, USA

Re: sleeping on the floor

Postby WindDancer » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:23 am

Live Gently....


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