A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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SDC
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby SDC » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:38 pm


hermitwin
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby hermitwin » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:28 pm

You post interesting questions.
yet there are no answers to your questions.
people who wish to ordain will go wherever they please.
personally, i will go to a faraway country just be away
from the life i have known.
people keep their lineage alive bcos they believe it is
the good teacher that have guided them to where they are.
having a western monastic tradition will neither be good
nor bad, it all depends on the monastics themselves.

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Goofaholix
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:10 pm

From what I've heard when Buddhism went to China the monks realised there was no way the Indian medicant tradition would survive, in China the inportance of hard work would see people looking down on monks for not working for what they eat. I guess Mahayana monks are free to do this wheras Theravada ones are not.

In the West we have the same emphasis on hard work and standing on your own two feet, so I think it's a mairacle that Theravadin monks have established themselves and are doing as well as they do, or perhaps not so much a miracle as being reliant on the large immigrant population most western countries have.

I think it's a privilige to be able to live the medicant live, but I'm not sure this privilige will survive long term in the West paricularly as in the West there is more emphasis on lay people meditating that there is in Asia.

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Zom
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby Zom » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:46 pm


squarepeg
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby squarepeg » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:54 pm

I live in rural indiana, and even in the bible belt i attend a temple once a week supported by western lay people. we have one monk in residence but raise enough funds to house other monks from surrounding states once a month or so. its a house. with a monk that lives there. nothing special. even in the bible belt i see this as a budding oppurtunity. that the buddhist monastic tradition will survive here, not in fancy ornamented temples spaning 100 acre plots of land. but in the simple requisites afforded by a meditating lay comunity, basic rent, utilities and one meal a day. this is how buddhism can flourish,at least in my country.
What the united states needs is realized individuals, realized members of the community, lay or ordained. people who can teach meditation and incourage a persistant practice. In my opinion, and too my knowlage the buddha spoke thusly, a person who can spread metta in at least the 1st jhana can greatly change those around him, will be "field of merit" to those around him. If an honast practicioner is virtuious, follows the percepts and devolops good will then he is a monastary to every one he meets, every where he goes he affords oppurtunity for others to practice dana, then positive merit will over come negitive and buddhism will surive.
We cant think "oh i cant practice i have a job" or "ill wait until i go to a monastary to take the 8 percepts" or "i have to ordain to follow the buddha" because then there will be no merit in our communities. If we in the west keep strict practice regardless of work, ordination, culture, (sila bata pramasa, sakayaditthi) if we focus on our mind and devolop the path every day regardless of any situation, if we are true to the path then we will shape our communities, its not something you have to will, all we have to do is "practice dhamma in line with dhamma" regardless of how we sustain our bodies. The merit created by this will change our communities, this is how buddhism spreads and how it stays alive. :soap:
"Yadisam vapate bijam tadisam harate phalam" — as we sow, so shall we reap
Maranam Bhavissati - "death will take place"

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appicchato
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby appicchato » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:29 am


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thaijeppe
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby thaijeppe » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:50 am

squarepeg
:goodpost:
A great post that shows, how it can be done in a simple way.
What is important is The Theaching and the Practice, not fancy buildings.
Only a few dedicated individuals can make a big difference.
I think this is the way ahead for Buddhism in the west.
:anjali: Jeppe
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you
let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely,
you will know complete peace and freedom.
Ajahn Chah

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SDC
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby SDC » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:22 am


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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby polarbear101 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:58 am

good posts. I think buddhism will grow in america (and the west in general) no matter what happens but here is a little daydream i just had that perhaps one day could be a viable alternative to traditional monkhood...

maybe if wandering monks in America wore sweats and a t-shirt or coat instead of robes, and just let their hair grow in whatever way, not caring about keeping it shaved, not caring about letting it grow long (basically just letting lay practitioners cut it for them if they, the lay practitioners, want) and instead of a big alms bowl they had a camping style style metal cup, a tarp and nylon cordage for shelter, (this way there'd be less culture shock) and offered to work for food on the condition that they would teach mindfulness to the lay follower that needs help with work then it could be successful. They could travel around, spending time in forests, spending time with lay followers and spending time teaching homeless people the dhamma. Anyway,what i just said is far-fetched and improbable but still, it sounded neat to me
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:27 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Justsit
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby Justsit » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:43 pm

Sounds like 1968. :group:

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polarbear101
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby polarbear101 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:22 pm

deleted for ridiculousness
Last edited by polarbear101 on Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Cittasanto
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:18 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

tesator12
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby tesator12 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:11 am

:namaste:
Last edited by tesator12 on Sat May 26, 2012 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SDC
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby SDC » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:58 pm

polarbuddha, I somewhat agree with your overall point (minus the working and hair growing), and I think it would be nice to have a respected wandering tradition here in the US. Although we have a massive amount of wanderers in the US, it is not considered a respectable lifestyle choice and they are all seen as bums for the most part. Being a very materialistically driven nation, it is difficult for many to embrace the idea of someone that doesn’t want to participate. So the wanderer has no place, let alone a Buddhist wanderer.

And as far as robes go, I would not want to see that tradition ever go away. I have seen monks in the colder parts of N. America wear sweatpants and sweatshirts under their robes, which may be something you would be more comfortable with.

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polarbear101
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby polarbear101 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:37 am

A Bhikkhu is not a migratory worker, they have relinquished the home life, i.e. the responsibilities that go with the home, they havn't become wandering workers, which is a hobo btw. you seam to be thinking of the vagabond, a traveler.
They actually would of built a simple hut, or one would of been made for them, the robes distinguish them from any old homeless person, it is a banner of the arahants, and their ability to travel is not defined by the wearing of robes as far as I can see, they are afforded the same travel rights anyone else is.[/quote]




I don't see how living in a tarp and going to soup kitchens is somehow drastically different than living in a hut and walking to people's homes or businesses for alms. It's all about the attitude. The main point is renunciation and how to do it in america where wouldn't be forced to stay in one small geographical location due to the current status quo

so what do you think is the best option

:?: .
Last edited by polarbear101 on Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Cittasanto
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:08 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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polarbear101
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby polarbear101 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:46 pm

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

PTa
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby PTa » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:42 pm

nn
Last edited by PTa on Fri May 04, 2012 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"No matter how much we may speak in line with what we understand to be right in accordance with the Dhamma, if the citta that is acting isn't right, how can we be right?"
-Ajaan Mahã Boowa

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Cittasanto
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Re: A Discussion of Western Buddhist Monasticism

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:58 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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