From my understanding, the Buddha laid down the rule to not eat afternoon in order to reduce the burden on the laity and to help the sangha avoid a negative reputation.
In the Latukikopama Sutta (MN 66) the Buddha said that there were many disadvantages to going for alms at night.
that monks wandering for alms in the pitch dark of the night have
First of all, lay Buddhists are not required to shave their heads, only the monks and nuns.
In most Buddhist traditions it is a custom/rule that when you become a monk or nun (a.k.a. Bhikkhu) you have to shave your head.
There are also monastic rules that say that a Bhikkhu is not allowed to grow hair beyond a certain length or time.
The hair of the head ...
I too am finding that small meals every 3-4 hours helps me meditate easier.
Teachers like Ajahn Chah
have talked about not eating after 11am or noon. But he later developed diabetes and went into a coma for a year. Diabetes often is started by huge swings of blood sugar in hypoglycemia. That is why regular meals with ...
I would say to give it a test run. Start keeping the 8 precepts:
Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
This series of questions is quite involved and surely a book could be written to properly assess the status of how well a very traditional monastic community is holding up in modern times.
But a few things did come to mind that can be easily stated. Your comments are from people who are not currently part of the monastic tradition. They've made their ...
If I am to chime in and add to the other answers.
If you are a meditator not eating after noon is not a problem.
You will be calming your bodily fabrication which reduces metabolism (let alone food, you will require less oxygen)
When you are looking at the arising and passing away of phenomena, you will see hunger is also such a sensation, constituting ...
Some times monastic life may not be calm as you think. Also austerity of vinaya will make it harder than lay life incase your have significant attachments.
So best is:
lean the Vinaya so you do not walk in blindly
tame your senses in lay life so you can make your ordained life more productive and live according to the Vinaya
Also many monks do disrobe. I ...
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on a tour of Kasi with a large community of monks. There he addressed the monks: "I abstain from the night-time meal.1 As I am abstaining from the night-time meal, I sense next-to-no illness, next-to-no affliction, lightness, strength, & a comfortable abiding. Come now. You ...
In theory the Pāṭimokkha Rules: Intro | Bhikkhus' | Bhikkhunis' is the basic code of monastic discipline, consisting of 227 rules for monks (bhikkhus) and 311 for nuns. It lays down offences and punishments leading to a maximum of expulsion from the order. The punishment is typically decided by the Sangha, but the presiding abbot may decide on occasion when ...
In Pāḷi texts, the right shoulder is not specified. The standard description of a monk meeting the Buddha says
ekaṃsaṃ uttarāsaṅgaṃ karoti (Vin 1.46)
he arranged his robe over one shoulder.
However the right side of the body is generally emphasised, e.g.
Atha kho so, bhikkhave, mahābrahmā ekaṃsaṃ uttarāsaṅgaṃ karitvā dakkhiṇaṃ jāṇumaṇḍalaṃ pathaviyaṃ ...
(Disclaimer: I'm going to answer this pragmatically and straightforwardly without any reference since I think it doesn't require any. There may be memorable stories about the bowl but I don't think they are really necessary to explain it. Feel free to discard the answer.)
The alms-bowl serves the purpose of helping one carry the food & prevent spoiling ...
I believe initially the robes were mostly yellow as this was a color of renunciation in the locality at the Buddha's time. As the Dhamma-Vinaya spread the different robe colors occurred due to the local dyes monastics used in their respective localities being different shades and colors.
I do know that in the Theravada tradition at least in Thailand and Sri ...
What do you think, how many generations shall do that nice life that we have at the moment (do "we"?) Assembling and metabolizing the Dharma should point away from short-term perspectives. The Buddha - in my understanding - proposed a kind of living, a kind of needs, a kind of "time-table" for a life (little for physical needs, lot for reflecting, meditating ...
I recommend you to read the Kasi Bharadvaja Sutta. Kasi Bharadvaja was a farmer who asked this exact question from the Buddha. Monks dedicate their lives to spiritual development. They do not have time to make money or do agriculture. They do not eat for sport or beautification. They only eat enough to maintain life so that they can work towards Nibbana. Yes,...
Initially, it is the invitation of the laity to the Sangha, who then satisfy themselves that the support is adequate for their needs. A lay community invites a Bhikkhu that they find particularly inspiring. He finds a quorum of Bhikkhus to accompany him so as to maintain the Vinaya discipline. Lay communities often set up some kind of a committee so as to ...
With the historical significance of the color of the original robes explained by other posters, I'll just add a color chart to identify what regions different colors are mostly associated with today; keeping in mind there are exceptions:
Spice colored robes (shades of curry, cumin, paprika, saffron) - Southeast Asia
Bright yellow - China
Black, brown, ...
I believe they shave their heads because they don't want to have attachments to the body or self image. They also don't use cosmetics, perfumes and so on... This is a very old practice, including the robes they wear, since the time of the Buddha
Lay people don't have to do it, only monks.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu, in Access to Insight, says,
Thus the Bhikkhunī Pāṭimokkha contains 85 rules for which there are no
direct correspondences in the rules for the bhikkhus. Some writers
have interpreted these added rules as sign of an attempt to oppress
the bhikkhunīs unfairly, but it should be noted that:
more than one third of these extra ...
Why does he or she continue?
Because of clinging. Clinging to family, clinging to lovers, clinging to property, clinging to comforts, clinging to all kinds of sensual pleasures which the monastic life wouldn't have.
How to overcome it?
You have to develop Nekkhamma Sankappa of the noble 8 fold path. Take a timeout to think about what you've really ...
"Is it true that..." is a difficult question to answer. If you mean, according to a certain school, then yes, according to the Theravada, it is true, since an arahant is unable to practice non-monastic livelihood. They are said to either leave the household life or pass into parinibbana.
See, for example, the enlightenment of Khemā:
At the ...
I'll disregard the emphasis on monks, because mindfulness isn't exclusive to monastics, and secondly, the monk as a super-hero trope needs some critical examination. Most monks, like 90% of them in traditionally Buddhist countries follow the herd, and ordain because it is better than farming, or because their family gets some respect in the village, or some ...
An explanation (including the origin story) of this rule is given on pages 194 through 195 of The
Code II -- The Khandhaka Rules
Translated & Explained
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Eczema covers a wide variety of skin diseases, differing from those included under
“leprosy” in that they are not debilitating and do not ulcerate ...
In addition to the answers already provided which are quite accurate, one minor point that occurs to me is culture.
For a long time in India yogis ate only one meal a day, even among Hindus.
The saying is a yogi eats one meal a day, a commoner eats two meals a day and a sick man eats three meals a day.
It's Pācittiya 57:
Should any bhikkhu bathe at intervals of less than half a month, except at the proper
occasions, it is to be confessed. Here the proper occasions are these: the last month and a
half of the hot season, the first month of the rains, these two and a half months being a
time of heat, a time of fever; (also) a time of illness; a ...
The Buddha often taught in forest groves, the most famous being Isipatana (Deer park) where he delivered his first lecture (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta),
and Jetavana (Jeta Grove) (famously recorded in Buddhist epics as purchased by Anadapindika by paving the ground with gold) where there's still believed to be architectural remains of the Buddha's hut (...
As far as the theory of monastics eating meat is concerned, here are two enlightening videos/articles on the subject:
Ask A Monk: Mark Zuckerberg, Vegetarianism and Killing
The Bhikkhus' Rules
A Guide for Laypeople -- Meat Eating
In Buddhism, the problem with eating meat is in many ways as much about the craving that meat promotes as it is about the non-...
Monks and nuns generally take good care of their bodies so they may be better able to continue to share the dharma with those who may benefit. They keep good hygiene of their robes and living quarters to prevent disease and be healthy.
Here is an excerpt that gives a specific example of personal hygiene:
In the Anguttara Nikaya there is a short sutta in ...