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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21
votes
4answers
901 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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11answers
50k views

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 ...
12
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15answers
20k views

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 ...
11
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7answers
38k 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 ...
10
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3answers
3k views

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..?
9
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3answers
362 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 ...
9
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7answers
1k 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 ...
7
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6answers
574 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, ...
6
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7answers
5k views

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 ...
6
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5answers
415 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 ...
6
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5answers
188 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

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
5
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3answers
745 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 ...
5
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6answers
448 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. ...
5
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2answers
1k 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?
5
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2answers
279 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?
5
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1answer
148 views

How is a Theravada Buddhist monastery established?

There is no Theravada monastery in the country I live in. I just read a short brief about lay people going together and forming a forest monastery in Norway, and was wondering about how a monastery is ...
5
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2answers
376 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 ...
4
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4answers
546 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 ...
4
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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 ...
4
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3answers
142 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)?
4
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3answers
773 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 ...
4
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2answers
121 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 ...
4
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1answer
132 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 ...
4
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4answers
178 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 ...
4
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1answer
121 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?
4
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5answers
205 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 ...
3
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3answers
618 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 ...
3
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4answers
253 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 ...
3
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4answers
337 views

Should any monastic be considered a noble one?

Should any monastic be unconditionally considered a noble one, and treated as such, to abstain from bad kamma (at the minimum), or are lay people, and other monastics, free to use personal judgement ...
3
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4answers
819 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, ...
3
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
594 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
3
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1answer
91 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,...
3
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2answers
184 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 ...
3
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1answer
69 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
449 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 ...
2
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4answers
2k 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?
2
votes
2answers
229 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?...
2
votes
2answers
545 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 ...
2
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1answer
50 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Monastics & Hygine

I had questions on Monastic hygiene in Theravada: 1) Do monks/nuns brush their teeth and put on deodorant etc 2) If monks/nuns are only allowed to bathe every 2 weeks, how do they deal with ...
2
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0answers
30 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 ...
1
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5answers
163 views

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 ...
1
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3answers
156 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 ...
1
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4answers
125 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, ...
1
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2answers
54 views

Right Livelihood Monastics

Since we know (in some traditions) monks and nuns can't work, what is meant by right livelihood for them?
1
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1answer
74 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
198 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 ...