Questions tagged [monasticism]

Buddhist Monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of organized monasticism in the history of religion. It is also one of the most fundamental institutions of Buddhism. Monks and nuns are considered to be responsible for the preservation and dissemination of the Buddha's teaching and the guidance of Buddhist lay people.

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65 views

Did eating less cause dietary problems for ascetics like Buddha?

I have heard that Buddha was eating similar to one meal a day. Is this true? Would this not lead to severe constipation? Was it common for ascetics to take medicines to help purge the food waste ...
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Were/are Zen monastery time schedules liberal with regard to meal and dharma talk timing?

When reading Zen Master Dogen's Shobogenzo it attracted my attention that one of the fascicle postscripts said "Presented to the assembly at the hour of the Rat (midnight)". Given that this ...
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How difficult is it to be a foreign monk in Asia?

I wonder about the practicalities of being a foreign monk in Asia, especially Theravada-majority countries. In particular; About the Visa arrangements, can this at all be handled without much stress ...
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What are the prescription regarding a bhikkhu or a monastery having a lay-attendant?

I am curious about vinaya regulations & accounts otherwise relevant to a householder's attending to the bhikkhusangha. Of interest are lay attendants in particular, how far one can go in being ...
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Can a monk choose to eat only an animal or plant that had died naturally?

If someone hires a person to kill another and the plot is discovered, both the hired killer and the one who hired him will be arrested and imprisoned. Yet, somehow, if a monk eats food given by others,...
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How should Buddhism be introduced to a country?

What has historical precedent to teach and what is your opinion?
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Looking for anti-anti-monasticism apologia from a Buddhist perspective

It is commonly asserted that Buddhism advocates for monasticism as an ethical ideal for at least some of humanity. I am interested not in arguments for monasticism full stop, but arguments from a ...
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Health Questions Regarding the Ordained

Below, I have questions regarding Buddhist monasticism. They are centered around topics of health. May a monastic regulate their alms diet in order to focus on healthy foods and avoid unhealthy ones? ...
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138 views

Which sutta? The Buddha says monks missing out on pleasures of lay life and pleasures of holy life

Which pali sutta is this? I think it's in MN somewhere. The Buddha says monks missing out on pleasures of lay life and the pleasures of holy life. The idea being that their practice is such that they'...
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North American: Where Can I Ordain Under The Tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw?

I am a Theravada Buddhist living in North America practicing the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition. My queries (regarding Theravada monasticism) are the following: 1) Can anyone recommend a or more than one ...
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How does one decide whether one lives a lay married life or a celibate life?

A bit of background. In my mid-20s, I spent a lot of time (cumulative 1 year) in different monasteries in Thailand, Myanmar and Nepal. I understand experientially the importance of consistent and ...
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Are monks expected to accept life lessons from (time spent with) the laity?

In general, the monks are expected to preach the Dhamma and the laity should listen. But "behind the scenes", so to say, should monks really be learning from at least some situations they run into ...
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Should any monastic be considered a noble one?

Should every monastic unconditionally be considered a noble one, and treated as such, to abstain from bad kamma at the very least? or are lay people, and other monastics, free to use personal ...
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What works analogous to works of mercy do Buddhist monks practice?

In Christianity monks and nuns practice works of mercy which include caring for the terminally ill or doing what St. Teresa of Calcutta did. What works analogous to what St. Teresa of Calcutta did do ...
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101 views

Most beneficial Buddhist organizations and monastic orders?

My understanding is that, in order to hear the correct dhamma, one must hear it from somebody who displays the outward marks of humility, generosity and selflessness. Otherwise, one cannot be sure ...
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Do any modern ("free-thinking") monks or monastic orders discard elements of the Vinaya?

Yesterday I spent some time studying one of the Vinayas and, completely honestly, I couldn't help but think that some of the rules were shockingly superstitious even by the standards of most of the ...
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Joining and then leaving the monastic order?

One thing that seems fascinating about the rules of the monastic life, the rules of poverty and celibacy, and so forth, is that as strict as the rules are, it seems that compliance is voluntary. A ...
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Right Livelihood Monastics

Since we know (in some traditions) monks and nuns can't work, what is meant by right livelihood for them?
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Hospitalization and its Morals

I have questions regarding hospitalization and its morals 1) Are monks/nuns allowed to be hospitalized and can they go to a hospital or doctor if sick? (because aren't they not allowed to ...
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Monastics & Hygiene

I had questions on monastic hygiene in Theravada: Do monks/nuns brush their teeth and put on deodorant etc.? If monks/nuns are only allowed to bathe every 2 weeks, how do they deal with the health ...
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102 views

Relying on the Laity, monastics

I had questions regarding the laity, monastic relationship. 1) How exactly (the step by step or explained) does the process work in which the monastics rely solely on the laity? 2) How do ...
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328 views

Can homosexual monks or nuns ordain, if not WHY?

Namo Buddhaya! (I am a Theravada Buddhist) The Vinaya says monks & nuns cannot be together in private (it would be an offense). But what if someone is a homosexual, how would they go about ...
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Arahants, Precepts, Monasticism, & Worldly Things [closed]

Namo Buddhaya! I had four questions pertaining to conduct & the Buddha: (I am Theravāda Buddhist) How could the Buddha have been on this Earth as an Arahant if Arahants can only be reborn in a ...
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When and why did the color orange (and yellow and 'red') become associated with Buddhism?

Buddhist religious figures often wear orange robes. And I think that orange is, also, associated with Buddhist religious buildings -- and other religious "stuff" (although this may be simply a ...
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Permission to ordain from absent father

I want to become a monk in the Theravada tradition and have already obtained permission from my mother. My father does not live with us and never has, so according to the following passage from the ...
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162 views

How would/should a perfect monk appear, act and possible serve you?

How would/should a perfect monk appear, act and possible serve you? Or from Buddhas view if wishing to try to answer this? Good if remarking whether a claim one would have or possible good for a ...
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Noble Eightfold Path - applicable by lay practitioners?

To my understanding, the 8 factors are of course something that require cultivation (practise/training). However, noble right view, for example, is an experiential part, and not an intellectual one. ...
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Tibetan Buddhism:Recieving inititation in India/Tibet

I recently read an introductory book on Tibetan Buddhism and intrigued by Tantra & Kalachakra practice. I have been practicing meditation for the last 2-3 years but not under the guidance of a ...
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Do monks sneeze and cough?

Sneezing and coughing are voluntary reactions provoked by viruses in order to propagate and reach as many hosts as possible. If a person has a high sense of control of his or her own reactions, they ...
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92 views

References for not receiving alms in exchange for Dhamma teaching

According to this comment: I think that monks and laypeople are meant to depend on each other (e.g. as described in Iti 107) however monks must not sell their dhamma talks for food. So there ...
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What is the reason why Buddhist monks don't work to support themselves? Do the monastic rules prohibit them from working?

It may be hard to find a comparative monastic tradition in the west although there are some monastic in Christianity currently most are really assimilated and intertwine with the Church which bears ...
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Fecal and Urine medicines, what are the recipes?

A medicine may be made of the “four great filthy things”: excrement, urine, ashes, and clay A bhikkhu’s basic medicinal support is puti-mutta-bhesajja, which translates literally as “rancid urine ...
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Can a Bhikkhu yell at or beat a lay person under the vinaya?

In the vinaya of the Theravāda, it is an offense for a monk to insult or be abusive to another monk (pacittiya 2). But I don’t see any reference to a prohibition from yelling at a lay person (and I ...
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Pathway to Nirvana

As a complete beginner to Buddhism, what steps should I follow to get closer to enlightenment? Should I study Buddhism and meditate or should I move to a monastery? I know that to attain nirvana, ...
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Authenticity of rules for monks and nuns

Is there any way we can know that all these rules are from the Buddha and not made up after him, based on cultural and/or persons agendas?
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What are the consequences of a monk eating meat?

This is not a question about being a vegetarian. My question is since the Buddha didn't prohibit monks from eating meat, and since monks are supposed to be easy to maintain and take what is offered, ...
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Is there an established monastic order, with the beleifs and practices same as the Goenka school of meditation?

Let me clarify,what I want to know is (a) 'An established monastic order' - This the Goenka school is not. (b) With principles and beleifs and aims as close to the Goenka school as possible?
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Can someone be a monastic in their own home?

If someone has the necessary financial resources and is fully dedicated to the Dhamma, would it be possible for them to be ordained as a monk yet live outside of a temple, in a place of their choosing?...
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233 views

Do you need both parents' permission to become ordained?

Do you need both parents' permission to become ordained? What if one of the parents refuses contact? Should you strive for it?
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The fear of committing to a monastic lifestyle

I have a persistent fear of going without food that prevents me from giving monasticism a full shot. Some background: I suffered for approximately 4 years with something called cyclic vomiting ...
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Do Buddhist monks live an ascetic life style?

Please note that my understanding of Buddhist principles may be very much influenced by popular depictions. I have read that the eight-fold path teaches that you should strike a balance between ...
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Can one be a part-time monk?

Can one be ordained as a monk and yet take up an office job part time and be a monk part time? In other words can one be beyond a lay practitioner yet not lead a full monastic life?
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Why monks have to take alms for their food?

Why did Buddha take to alms for his food? Is there any reason for it? As fruits and vegetables grow in forest, couldn't he sustained himself with what is available in forest? Are there any rules for ...
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104 views

How careful must monks be about their use of water?

According to this list of the Patimokkha Rules, Using water, or getting others to use it, knowing that it contains living beings that will die from that use, is a pācittiya offense. (Pc 62) So, does ...
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Can one with eczema become a monk?

According to this site, one of the questions asked at ordination is "do you have eczema?" to which the reply must be "No, Venerable" in order to ordain. Is this accurate? Is it the case the one with ...
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Did the Buddha form a monastery?

According to Wikipedia's Buddhist monasticism article, the Buddha formed the first monastery. There is no source, 'though. To quote: Buddhist Monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of ...
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What is the monastic policy on family visitations?

If one was to ordain, would they ever be able to see their friends and family again? If so, how often? Thank you
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Significance of Bhikkhus uncovering their right shoulder

Often in the suttas one finds Bhikkhus who approach the Buddha reverentially uncover their right shoulder as a mark of respect. What is the significance of this practice? Is it cultural or is there a ...
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Real Monk vs Fake Monk

Just as the Buddha referred to those who achieved the goal as "My Son", I am wondering if the Buddha made any similar distinctions between monks who lived by the precepts and practiced according to ...
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What if there was no one to offer food to monastics?

This is a questions that often comes up when I visit study groups, particularly when the subject of everyone practicing like a monk/nun comes up. Wouldn't monastics be allowed to farm-just enough for ...