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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140 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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54 views

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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53 views

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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47 views

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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3answers
155 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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99 views

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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114 views

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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3answers
219 views

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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85 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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94 views

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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122 views

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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32 views

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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761 views

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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1answer
119 views

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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190 views

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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1answer
152 views

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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5answers
197 views

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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722 views

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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4answers
1k views

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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696 views

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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1answer
89 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,...
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590 views

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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116 views

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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1answer
1k views

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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3answers
438 views

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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978 views

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 ...
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129 views

Role of food as an allowed monastic luxury

Whenever the Buddha and his retinue were invited to the palace of a great King or a big merchant, the suttas don't forget to mention the feast was delicious and rich. Then King Prasenajit, for the ...
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484 views

What does a monk think on a day to day basis?

I go through my daily chores and it has become habituated to the extent that i do not need to concentrate on the action and my mind has some time to do thinking or just wander. Now monks life is also ...
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350 views

Is the age of monastic life over? Is it societal conditioning or keeping up with the times?

I hear a lot of "spiritually awakened" people, on shows like batgap.com and on forums like dharmaoverground.org claim that the age of the monastic life is over, and in the present day one must learn ...
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Punishments for breaking vinaya rules

Are there any punishments if a monk breaks vinaya rule on purpose..? ,if there is punishment ,then who would administer that punishment..?.How does buddhism deal with vinaya rule breakers..?
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What are the benefits of solitary practice?

I have heard about buddhist monks who undertake strictly solitary practice for 6 months where they practice entirely by themselves. They have no human contact and some of the other monks will come and ...
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379 views

A question regarding the level of worldly participation for a buddhist monk

I noticed some buddhist monks spend a lot of their time teaching and giving dhamma talks, while other monks spend minimal time on these things. I was wondering if there are any rules in the monastic ...
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186 views

Work, Love, and Buddhism in the modern setting

I am curious as to what the stance of Buddhists would be towards a couple of issues. Would it be possible to maintain a career, one that you dedicate a lot of time towards and that you actively ...
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366 views

How do monastic rules differ in each tradition?

Theravada monks have to follow the 227 Patimokkha rules and the Vinaya Pitaka from the Pali Canon. But how is it for monks from the other traditions like East Asian Mahayana, Zen and Vajrayana ...
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4answers
240 views

Are all non-monastic ways of life wrong livelihood?

Leading on from this answer - is it true that ultimately most or even all non-monastic lifestyles are wrong livelihood. Not being a monk I find this point of view quite challenging but just because I ...
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506 views

How did bells become a part of Buddhist ritual?

Bells seem to be pervasive throughout Buddhist ritual. I get the impression that many monasteries ring a large bell in the morning, and other monasteries still ring regular bells throughout the day to ...
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6answers
362 views

When Zen monks are completing a task, why are they doing it very quickly?

Recently, I watched a documentary about zen philosophy and what it is like to be zen monk on a daily basis and I noticed that in the documentary the zen monks always looked like they were in a hurry. ...
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550 views

If a Buddhist believes lay life is not ideal for the practice, why does he or she continue?

Usually in the evening, when I am about to retire, I commit myself to finding and entering into a residential Sangha permanently. When morning rolls in, I fall back into my usual patterns like work, ...
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187 views

How should a monk address subjective questions?

Suppose a monk is invited to a house for food and the lay person asks how the food is? How does a monk reply to such a question. I am sure a monk in his lifetime comes across many such subjective ...
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982 views

Why do Bhikkhunis have so many extra Vinaya rules?

The Vinaya contains 227 rules for male monks and 311 rules for female monks. Is it known why so many additional rules were put in place for Bhikkhunis?
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532 views

Patimokkha Rule On Bathing

I recall having read somewhere that monks are allowed to bathe only once every 15 days. What is the actual Patimokkha rule behind this ? Also, what is the reason behind this rule and what are its ...
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What is the purpose of not eating after noon?

We all know this precept taken by the monks, but I would like to understand the reasons behind it. Currently the specialists claim that we should eat small portions every 3 hours or so, eating once a ...
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889 views

Strong desire to serve/ordain

every meditator at a point in his her life goes through a dilemma of whether to ordain or to live a lay life. Although it's a wholesome disposition, I wonder if its a lack of strength to face problems ...
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138 views

Ordination and support from parents

If one intends to ordain, say in Thailand, and one lives in India - would it be right/moral to ask support from one's parents (since one is not yet ready/able to support oneself)?
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177 views

Are there Buddhist traditions without monks?

Are there any traditions without an associated monastic community or even where the monastic element is significantly minimised. I practice with the Triratna Buddhist community and the blurring of the ...
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7answers
37k views

Is there any significance to shaving the head?

I have noticed when I look at Buddhists, or Buddhist monks, that they have shaved heads. Is there any significance to that? If so, then is it an obligation for Buddhists, or at least Buddhist monks ...
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271 views

What is the origin and purpose of the alms bowl used by monastics?

How did this practice originate and what is the meaning/purpose for it's use?
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What is the meaning behind different robe colors?

I have seen the same monk in two different color robes and am wondering why. They were dark red and of course orange. Ihave also seen brown, but that was zen, and if any other colors have relevance i ...