I saw many monks sit in the nets, what is the point of meditating in the forest if one cant handle the forest? Might as well just stay indoors imo. Did the ancient monks use nets? what do you think? I think it is kind of silly and is an attempt to have a pleasant experience.

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    Or maybe it's an attempt to avoid disease, since mosquitos do carry and spread diseases with their bites. It seems to me wise to take good care of oneself so we don't, through illness, become a burden on others. Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 5:51
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    @LindaBlanchard I was going to post a question regarding mosquitoes, but I'm afraid moderators would find some reason to close it, so I'll just post it here since it's semi-related to your comment. If an area was plagued by a malaria outbreak and a mosquito landed on the arm of a child, would it be justifiable for a monk to kill it? If not, the child could contract malaria and die and the monk knows this. Being born human is more valuable and rare than a mosquito. Presumably, a human life is worth more. Killing the mosquito should = less bad karma than allowing the child to potentially die.
    – SlowBurn
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 20:16
  • Definitely not. I found meditating with flies kinda helpful even, but in general bites are very irritating and there's no need to.
    – user25078
    Commented May 22 at 1:44

6 Answers 6


There would be a massive waste of time struggling uselessly. Once you have perfect single-pointedness, nothing can impinge on you. Prior to that, there are endless ways to delay or outright obstruct you


What is the purpose of meditation. Quoting from What is the meditation and what is its purpose?

Meditation is when the mind comes back home. When the mind comes back home it can sit by the fire and enjoy its own warmth. It can stop being busy with all kinds of "doing". Meditation is the ultimate "not-doing". Just sit in presence and let the nature of things take care of itself.

One may sit in a forest. It provides a good environment for not-doing. Being bitten is not a useful part of that experience, moreover mosquitos also carry disease. Buddhists want to work to try to stop suffering. A net allows for one to sit in nature without creating suffering for the self and for others.


Good householder,

If having to large holes, one might say what a cheat to call such mosquito net. Actually forest's mosquitos, some kinds, have an ease with low land's nets, "cheat".

Although comfortable if dwelling on one place, burdensome if required to carry in addition. There is no explicit allowance of such nets, yet clear that two of the four paccayas, robes and dwelling have the use to protect from mosquitos. If looking at the Sabbaasava Sutta, that's way to get ride of fermentation by "use", while on the other side, "bearing" bites of mosquitos is further way to cut off fermentations.

So actually "yes", the use of nets can easy cheat one, so ones fermentations easily last, avoiding the right action of use and bear. Doubt whether allowed or not can be also an obstacle. For one in training, eager after magga, phalla, better not something one should feel depending on it.


The suttas take the middle way on this topic.

On one hand, protection from mosquito bites is a function of robes and lodging, and by extension, a mosquito net.

“And how does a lodging possess five factors?

(8) “There is little contact with flies, mosquitoes, wind, the burning sun, and serpents.
AN 10.11

And what are the defilements that should be given up by using? Take a mendicant who, reflecting properly, makes use of robes: ‘Only for the sake of warding off cold and heat; for warding off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; and for covering up the private parts.’

Reflecting properly, they make use of lodgings: ‘Only for the sake of warding off cold and heat; for warding off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; to shelter from harsh weather and to enjoy retreat.’
MN 2

On the other hand, a monk is expected to not be choosy or fussy about robes, lodging and mosquito nets, and endure mosquito bites if it is unavoidable. In other words, mosquito nets can be used but it is not an entitlement.

So you should train like this: ‘We will not have many wishes or be frustrated. We will be content with any kind of robes, alms-food, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick. We won’t focus our corrupt wishes on being looked up to, and on getting material possessions, honor, and popularity. We won’t try hard, strive, and make an effort to get these things. We will endure cold, heat, hunger, and thirst. We will endure the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles. We will endure rude and unwelcome criticism. We will put up with physical pain—sharp, severe, acute, unpleasant, disagreeable, and life-threatening.’ That’s how you should train.”
AN 4.157

And how does a mendicant endure? It’s when a mendicant endures cold, heat, hunger, and thirst; the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; rude and unwelcome criticism; and they put up with physical pain—sharp, severe, acute, unpleasant, disagreeable, and life-threatening. That’s how a mendicant endures.
AN 4.114

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    the suttas above appear to say "endure the touch of mosquitoes" when necessary rather than voluntary engage in self-mortification of on-slaught of mosquitoes Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 22:38

I saw many monks sit in the nets, what is the point of meditating in the forest if one cant handle the forest?

If the monks are using nets to avoid becoming sick so as to not become a burden to the laity and/or other monastics and Temple resources then I see no problem with it.

If the monks use nets due to aversion towards mosquitos then it could be considered unwholesome.


The Buddha explicitly allowed mosquito nets in the Vinaya :

“I allow a mosquito net.”—Cv.V.13.3

And mosquito whisks:

“I allow a mosquito whisk”…Cv.V.23.1


As the Buddha said, he allowed pleasure that is in accordance with the Dhamma. One of the points of robes and huts, for example, is that they afford the pleasure of not being bitten by insects.

  • Is there any evidence in the suttas of mosquito nets? Are you sure the Buddha spoke the Vinaya rule? Commented May 30 at 19:53
  • The evidence is in the Vinaya. The reference is provided for your convenience. I'd have to have psychic abilities to be really sure about what the Buddha actually said and didn't. Commented May 31 at 9:50

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