where/how to get a robe?

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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:32 pm

I don't think it was necessarily prejudice- maybe I am just too casual.

You seemed not to read the part where I mentioned being turned away from a puja I had the initiation for because of NOT being a ngakpa.

The ordained section is for monks and nuns- the offerings given to those rows were given specifically with the intention that they would go to monks and nuns. So in fact it makes sense.

If it was just that all the best seats were being kept and high ngakpa practitioners turned away that is another matter, but this was not the case. I don't think it was a case of prejudice- although at the time I was shocked when the offerings were handed out the reason became very clear to me. Monks and nuns maintain a single celibate lifestyle and depend on the offerings of the faithful to survive.

The ngakpa lifestyle is different- they are often householders with estates, earning income and so forth. It is not a matter of good and bad, just different.

The bottom line is, everyone wants to be special. I have seen some sangha members get upset at not being led to the front of the foodline- bad behaviour. I have seen a group of ngakpas insist bizarrely on performing an elaborate Chod ritual with drum et al (uninvited) in the assembly hall of Plum Village.

We always have to be sensitive to the rules and norms of where we find ourselves. That is why I did not protest at not being allowed to the puja. If it was only for ngakpas it was only for ngakpas- who am I to question that?
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:42 pm

Actually Adamantine I see we are on the same page.

We can honour the differences and historical lineage of the two traditions, while understanding they are different expressions :namaste:
Just as you quoted:

Ever since the time of the meeting of the three masters, Khenpo Shatarakshita, Lopon Padmasambhava and the Dharma King, Trison Detsen in 8th century Tibet, there were two divisions of sangha, known as the sangha of monastics with shaven-heads and the saffron robes (rab byung ngur smig gi sde) and the sangha of ngakpas with white clothes and long, plaited hair (gos dkar lcang lo’I sde
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Adamantine » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:52 pm

JKhedrup wrote:

The ordained section is for monks and nuns- the offerings given to those rows were given specifically with the intention that they would go to monks and nuns. So in fact it makes sense.


The ngakpa lifestyle is different- they are often householders with estates, earning income and so forth. It is not a matter of good and bad, just different.


Well, this may happen sometimes that a Ngakpa has some property, but please, I have spent enough time in India and Nepal to see plenty of ordained monks riding in expensive SUV's, eating at the fanciest restaurants regularly, and enjoying the luxury spas. On the other hand, there are many ngakpas who spend most of their lives in strict retreat, living extremely humbly, and depending on offerings as their sole means of support. similarly, there are many ngakpa gompas where they spend their lives in practice and study and are as dependent on support as any monastic. So I think you have to think a bit outside your assumptions about monk lifestyle vs. what you imagine a ngakpa to be living like. Regarding offerings to the sangha at events, please read another excerpt from the same text:
Once, on a previous occasion in Dharmsala, India, the Tibetan government office of Dharma affairs organized a five-day event focusing on general and specific aspects of Tibetan religious and secular issues. The sangha of monks, nuns and ngakpas, came together in order to accumulate 100,000 tsog accumulations from Rigdzin Dungdrup of Rigdzin Godem’s Northern Ter.
On that occasion, initially, the ngakpas were belittled and called ‘phagen.’ Although a general order had been issued that the office of religious affairs would provide everyone with five rupees apiece each day, the ngakpas were not given any. The following day, myself and another ngakpa decided that we would go to the feast gathering attired in our white clothing and full nagkpa accouterments and that if we were not shown proper respect and given our money accordingly, we would report the incident directly not only to the Dala’I Lama, but to the media. The next morning, we went as planned. When we arrived at the door of the assembly hall, some officials from the religious affairs department were seated upon stools in the doorway collecting donations. As soon as they saw the two of us, one of them said, “Look! Some handsome looking ngakpas have arrived!” Another one replied, “They are Tso Pema ngakpas.” Subsequently, we received our five rupees without any argument.



You seemed not to read the part where I mentioned being turned away from a puja I had the initiation for because of NOT being a ngakpa.


Now, I have never in my life heard of this, it seems highly odd, and certainly not the default. DO you mind me asking what the puja was, and the location? I am just curious about the context in order to attempt an understanding.
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:59 pm

Wow Adamantine you really drive a hard bargain. When I mentioned hearing HHDL and Karmapa mentioning at teachings I attended (by the way) about the robes you asked for a quote. And now you are asking me again for details. Ok- but if you really want them PM me, because I don't like to advertise the names of practices I do. As I mentioned, I wasn't offended by the context. The people didn't know me so it was nothing personal. Perhaps it was more about my ethnicity, though we did manage a relatively fluent conversation in Tibetan (I was studying in India at that time). Perhaps rather than saying "we don't want the drag of having to help a foreigner thumb through the text", "ngakpas only" was an easy solution. I don't know.

But honestly, why make a big thing? They have their rules and traditions.

As for monks living the high life, you will get no objection from me that this has to stop- it must stop (and I think it will, there will be less goodwill to go around if people abuse it).

I know several ngakpa practitioners from the mountains behind Dharamsala whom I respect greatly- one was a personal friend (though since he is a hermit I have no way of keeping in touch).

And while there are lots of ngakpas who live austere lives of practice, just like those monks in the expensive sedans, there are many who live on large estates and receive a variety of funding, whose children are all recognized as tulkus anad have high positions.

It is not that the ngakpa or monastic forms are wrong. It is just that the ranks of both are made up of human beings. And, well human beings will disappoint you in many cases.

AS for the story about the Guru Bum Tsok, I am very sorry to hear that. But I can tell you from direct observance that it has changed. I am not sure though that this example connects so well with the situation at the Kagyu Monlam. It was the Karmapa's express wish that monks and nuns be seated in the front but also be held to very vigorous standards of behaviour. We were not allowed to take taxis or rickshaws to the Stupa teaching site. Those dressed improperly were asked to leave, a monk wearing a gold chain was loudly scolded. I even got a light scolding for wearing my zhen covering both arms to protect from the cold.

Many sponsors from Asian countries donated to a special seminar teachings monastic protocols as a preliminary to the Monlam. There were special da gams (capes) offered later on in the teachings for the cold air (I never managed to get one). There were special begging bowls made according to Vinaya standards for the Sangha attending. So it was a very specific thing. I am outlining this because I don't want people to have a bad impression of the Monlam. Several lay lamas and a ngakpa master had seats of honour for several of the ceremonies.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Adi » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:36 pm

JKhedrup wrote:...DKR does not wear tge patched robes or yellow chogu of an ordained monk, though I do agree to the untrained eye most wouls assume he is a fulky ordained monk by observibg his clothes.


I am familiar with the idea of a "lay monk" or a kind of lineage holder who prefers to follow the simplicity of a monk rather than the often more elaborate ngakpa practices and style. It seems to be more of a Nyingmapa occurrence and though somewhat less common than other kinds of practitioners is nevertheless represented in all four major Tibetan traditions.

I was told in a similar lineage that if one wishes to be a "lay monk" (no good English translation really exists yet) then one should wear all red or red and white but not the yellow and saffron of the traditionally ordained monks, with plenty of exceptions such as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche, etc.

Adamantine wrote:...From my side, I will share an excerpt of this lengthy and informative article about Ngakpas by the late Ngakpa master Kyabje Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche:

In bordering countries such as Bhutan and Sikkim, there are ngakpas who don’t keep their hair long or wear white skirts. They dress in monk’s clothing, but have wives and are family lineage holders. They are called ‘serkyim’ ngakpas.


http://saraswatibhawan.org/an-historic-description-of-awareness-holders-of-the-great-secret-mantra-who-are-resplendent-in-white-clothes-and-long-hair/


Serkyim Ngakpa might be a pretty good start at translating "lay monk."

In all cases, though, I certainly agree that mindfulness, motivation and intention are crucial.

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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Punya » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:21 pm

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says in Advice to Three Year Retreatants (in his Collected Works) "The Buddha himself said it is permissable for anyone who has taken the vow of refuge to wear monastic robes." Do you think it's simply conventions and traditions about who wears robes now at play?
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:59 pm

Are you sure he said monastic robes? And refuge? Not a vow of renunciation or promise to leave home?

I can think of several Vinaya scriptures that indicate this is not the case. Rinpoche must have had reasons for saying what he did but in teachings HHDL, Karmapa and so forth have indicated something else. As well, the Vinaya commentary read across the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism (written by Kunkyen Tsonawa) indicates something else.

So though DKR is someone I admire and respect, I would say his opinion is unusual from the scriptural point of view but also compared to the views of other contemporary masters.

The robes themselves are a tradition, a convention. The cloth, way they are cut and so forth organized according to ancient Vinaya scriptures. And in those very same scriptures ceremonies are outlined about how a monk receives the robes at ordination, how they are designated as his, how he can give them away to someone else and so forth. So the whole thing is based on conventions really. Otherwise, why have a "uniform"?
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Punya » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:13 am

Yes, this is an exact quote (translated of course) but, as I said, given in the context of advice to retreatants.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Punya » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:23 am

Now that I have a bit more time....thank you for the information JKhedrup. It's not a topic I know a lot about and I certainly don't have any plans to rush out and buy robes.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:50 am

JKhedrup wrote:Wow Adamantine you really drive a hard bargain. When I mentioned hearing HHDL and Karmapa mentioning at teachings I attended (by the way) about the robes you asked for a quote. And now you are asking me again for details. Ok- but if you really want them PM me, because I don't like to advertise the names of practices I do. As I mentioned, I wasn't offended by the context. The people didn't know me so it was nothing personal. Perhaps it was more about my ethnicity, though we did manage a relatively fluent conversation in Tibetan (I was studying in India at that time). Perhaps rather than saying "we don't want the drag of having to help a foreigner thumb through the text", "ngakpas only" was an easy solution. I don't know.


Well, if I didn't ask, how would I get the answers? :thinking:
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:20 pm

There are many ways to obtain a robe and many different robe to obtain.

I know in Chinese Buddhism most practitioner would wear a Hai Qing which is a type of robe that even people that didn't take any vow would wear.
Image

In Vietnamese Buddhism there is something similar to the Hai Qing that lay Buddhist would wear without having to take any vows. It is generally grey but there are some that are brown.
Image

If you want to remain a lay buddhist, you can also take precepts. In Chinese Buddhism if you take the 5 Upasaka(?) precepts you can wear something similar to that of a monastic.
(those wearing the Hai Qing and then the brown sash are lay buddhist that took precepts)
Image

In Japanese Buddhism, Lay Buddhist that took precepts can wear a Rakusu that they received from their teacher or made by themselves
(The Rakusu is what being worn infront of them, looks like a bag)
Image

I believe a robe can actually help people practice. Just like Kyudo, a Japanese meditative art of archery. The Kyudoka will wear their uniform when practicing. This is very important because once they had on their uniform, they step into a different mind set, leaving behind the busy noisy mundane world and entering another of focus and serenity. Practitioner can feel the different. When you wear jeans or t-shirt trying to practice Kyudo, it is as you are still distracted by the mundane world and can be an obstacle to practicing concentration.
Image

I believe this is the same with Buddhism and its practitioner. The robe is mainly symbolic and can be an inspiration for practicing and to put you into a different realm/mind set. I believe that is the purpose of the robe....not to use as showing the hierarchy in Buddhism.

So yes! Get yourself a robe or make one yourself.
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Seishin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:27 pm

Uniforms are something more - they show your affiliation to a particular school or practice. It "identifies" you to the outside world. Wearing a uniform/robe with the right intention can be very beneficial. Wearing a uniform/robe with the wrong intention can be very detrimental to both you and the school that the uniform/robe belongs to.

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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:51 pm

TheSpirit wrote:TIn Japanese Buddhism, Lay Buddhist that took precepts can wear a Rakusu that they received from their teacher or made by themselves
(The Rakusu is what being worn infront of them, looks like a bag)
Image


So nice to see this photo of Chozen Bays. She was very helpful to me at a certain point maybe fifteen years ago.

sorry for the off-topic post...
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:11 pm

Seishin wrote:Uniforms are something more - they show your affiliation to a particular school or practice. It "identifies" you to the outside world. Wearing a uniform/robe with the right intention can be very beneficial. Wearing a uniform/robe with the wrong intention can be very detrimental to both you and the school that the uniform/robe belongs to.

Gassho.


Well one of the main reason to wear Kyudo's uniform is not to really show Kyudo affiliation to others. Even when one is practice by himself in his own privacy, he or she will wear the uniform because it affect mental state and it is in away kind of a ritual of its own. But I do agree wearing uniform or robe with wrong intention is harmful. If wearing a uniform and robe inspires one to practice, I don't see the harm. If one wear a uniform such as that of Kyudo and go around claiming a practitioner of Kyudo but is not or wearing a Buddhist robe just to create a false image of oneself to others, I can see that as being harmful.
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:13 pm

Jikan wrote:
TheSpirit wrote:TIn Japanese Buddhism, Lay Buddhist that took precepts can wear a Rakusu that they received from their teacher or made by themselves
(The Rakusu is what being worn infront of them, looks like a bag)
Image


So nice to see this photo of Chozen Bays. She was very helpful to me at a certain point maybe fifteen years ago.

sorry for the off-topic post...


Great lady isn't she. :smile:
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:46 pm

I think she's an excellent teacher from the interactions I've had with her.

:namaste:
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby Huifeng » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:17 am

Chinese Buddhists' use of the long black haiqing robe is really just confined to the Buddha shrine and activities there, including chanting, repentance services, and so forth. Many places nowadays in Taiwan tend to use something quite different for meditation practice, more like the grey Viet Namese style robes above. No refuge or precepts required for these. The brown outer robe worn by lay people who have taken the five precepts is called a "mànyī" 縵衣.

(That other picture looks remarkably like the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, part of the City of Ten Thousand Buddha's order to me..., though I may be wrong.)

~~ Huifeng
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby TheSpirit » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:59 am

Huifeng wrote:Chinese Buddhists' use of the long black haiqing robe is really just confined to the Buddha shrine and activities there, including chanting, repentance services, and so forth. Many places nowadays in Taiwan tend to use something quite different for meditation practice, more like the grey Viet Namese style robes above. No refuge or precepts required for these. The brown outer robe worn by lay people who have taken the five precepts is called a "mànyī" 縵衣.

(That other picture looks remarkably like the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, part of the City of Ten Thousand Buddha's order to me..., though I may be wrong.)

~~ Huifeng


Thank you Huifeng for the information.

if you are talking about the group of people posing for the photo, they are member of Chung Tai Monastery branch in US.
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Re: where/how to get a robe?

Postby padma norbu » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:07 am

I never would have thought of it before, but now I really want a long robe to cover my legs when I sit and a nice hood for warmth and blocking out a little light. The downside is I have cats, so the room I am thinking this would be most useful in would not work well at all since cats would claw at me the whole time and ruin my robe / disturb my meditation. Would still like it for sitting in the bedroom, though, when it's chilly out. Sometimes I don't want to get out of bed and sit on the cold hardwood floor.
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