David N. Snyder wrote::hi:
Welcome to Dharma Wheel!
How is it strange? Do you mean in the sense that the precepts are not kept?
they drink in Sri Lanka, in fact some monks have to haul in the local drunkard . . . their abbot . . . reminds me how rabbit was deemed a fish in Medieval Christendom, so that Friday would not be meat free for the high living clergy.
Hypocrisy is a way of life. So is integrity. Religion is no substitute.
Oh hi, nice family pic . . .
lobster wrote:Don't they have 'being a monk' as a form of voluntary 'National Service' in Thailand?
So the partying boys were just doing what a lot of boys and girls do at that age.
No chance they were advanced tantrikas I suppose . . .
BuddhaSoup wrote:My two bhat...
I have spent a fair amount of time in Thailand and did temporary ordination there (samanera) at a Wat in Chiang Mai region.
My experience in the northern wats and the forest temples was that of very strict vinaya observance. I never saw a drunk bhikkhu, and frankly never saw a bhikkhu drink anything, The monks I was with were scrupulous about not eating after noon, and walked pindabhat every morning for almsfood, which they shared with local children.
Just as it is searching for a Wat to find meditation instruction, one needs to do a bit of searching to find good vinaya temples.
In Thailand, the young men are all expected to ordain for some period of time. I believe that many of these ordainees do not take their going forth very seriously, and yes, you will see monks acting badly. I suspect that most if not all of these bad behaving monks will disrobe after a short time and go back to lay life. Again, this process of ordaining and then disrobing is a part of Thai life, and I'm sure it leads to many seeing some monks acting badly.
I was fortunate, maybe because I was in the north, that my experience was of being among some very good, noble, and faithful bhikkhus. Eve among some of the boys and teenagers, the behavior was good, as these kids saw being a novice or bhikkhu as a means to get an education and have a chance at a future educated life, vs, working as their parents do in the fruit fields. Being in robes is a huge advantage for them and for some, I'm sure they feel quite grateful as do their parents for them. My guess is that around the big cities, esp. Bangkok, you'll see the aberrant behaviors in the younger and less dedicated monks.
I am sure this is correct, in the north and northeast the temples are usually better disciplined and the monks deservedly more respected. We attend a forest temple where we live in central Thailand.
gregkavarnos wrote:Hey Graham!
Welcome to Dharma Wheel!
Hope your stay here is pleasant and informative.
On the vegetarian issue: the Vinaya that the Theravadra monks follow does not impose vegetariansim. Monks are meant to accept and eat whatever is offered to them. The idea that Buddhist "have to" be vegetarian is a Mahayana thing. So no hypocrisy there on the part of the monks.
waimengwan wrote:Hey Graham,
Welcome to DW.
Thailand is the beautiful Theravadan tradition and we can see the monks practicing non attachment to the whatever is given to them. So I suppose most normal Thais will just follow as per the monks in a way if they do not go too deeply into Buddhism. There is certain rules about you should not partake in meats that you knowingly have been slaughtered for you and etc. But I think that applies only to monks not the laity.
If people were just to go to the abbatoirs and slaughter houses and have studied about karma will know that if we consume meats we are indirectly asking a being to die so that we can feast on their flesh IMHO.
GrahamR wrote:Hello everyone,
I'm Graham and I teach in Thailand, though I am from the UK.
It's Theravadan Buddhism here, which I find quite strange Everyone eats meat and drinks alcohol.
I'm married with two small kids.
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