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23

I think that the reason you only find references to homosexual activity in the vinaya is BECAUSE the vinaya is the only place where there is a need to be specific regarding sexual acts... Oral sex is still oral sex whether it's performed by a man or a woman, an animal or even yourself. In the Suttas, the teachings, it doesn't matter if you are attracted to ...


11

It is my personal experience that frequent games, movies, TV, YouTube, smart phone use and browsing definitely reduce one's mindfulness. This is a fundamental question about all entertainment - why must entertainment be eschewed? The nature of boredom is that it arises out of a mind that isn't at ease with itself. The nature of thought at the moment a ...


10

In western monasteries isn't not uncommon for monks to use computers to teach the dhamma online or write books. However, a monk wont own the computer, you'll be giving the computer to the sangha. You shouldn't have to worry about whether a pen or a computer is more of a distraction, the monk should be able to handle his own mind and distraction. If he ...


9

Healthy and fit body does not need to be seen as an attachment. If a monk took the Bodhisattva Vow, all his activities will be done with the wish to benefit others. A healthy body is actually a very useful tool if one wants to help other beings. During a long life free from illnesses one can do much more than during a short life with numerous visits to ...


8

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 ...


7

The Buddha laid down the four great standards to try and avoid this sort of thing: "Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, that is not allowable for you. "Whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in ...


7

The sutta is DN 16, where the Buddha is giving his last instructions. He gives four injunctions in total: Now the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "It may be, Ananda, that to some among you the thought will come: 'Ended is the word of the Master; we have a Master no longer.' But it should not, Ananda, be so considered. For that which ...


7

In my tradition, the Shambhala line of teachings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, ascending to Jamgon Kongtrul and ultimately Milarepa, the "spiritual" and the "material" phenomena are understood to be two narrative explanations of the same underlying reality. So when we talk about supernatural stuff like spirits etc. we always refer to phenomena that actually ...


6

The Dalai Lama takes daily exercise, including walking on a treadmill if it's too wet to walk outside -- http://www.dalailama.com/biography/a-routine-day. It makes sense to me since given that this human life is very precious in that it gives us an opportunity for moving towards enlightenment, it follows that it's a good thing to keep the body alive for as ...


6

In DN2, the Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life, the Buddha speaks of virtues in three sections of his discourse; The Lesser Section on Virtue, the Intermediate Section on Virtue, and The Great Section on Virtue. Part of the Intermediate Section on Virtue reads: "Whereas some brahmans and contemplatives, living off food given in faith,...


6

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 ...


6

Sankha's answer is technically right from an orthodox point of view, but may not be a correct interpretation of the texts. The word the Buddha used is "sahaseyya", which means "sharing a place to sleep", so the rules quoted about roofs and walls are not literal translations, they are extrapolations based on the commentary. The origin story is what makes me ...


6

If the Buddha had totally approved the removal of certain rules then the Buddha would have explicitly mentioned which ones. In the 1st Council the monks could not decide what extent was minor rules, so ultimately decided to keep all the rules with the fault of not clarifying being with Ven. Ananda when the Buddha mentioned this.


5

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 ...


5

My name is Thomas. I was a Zen Monk for 2 years! Physical exercise was a key part of my day and with many other of the monks and nuns.


4

Bhikkshu Pratimoksha As far as I know (and I verified this with a Chinese Malaysian monk), the pratimoksha is what non-Theravada monks follow. It is more or less the same but has 250 rules over the Theravada 227. The extra rules however, can be found more or less in the Theravada Culavagga or Mahavagga. (Generally known, but I did not verify) The rule on ...


4

Cocoa is a powder made from the seed from the cocoa tree. Since seeds fall into the category of food, it would not be allowed outside of the morning hours. Chocolate also has narcotic properties, so could potentially be considered a medicine. Wikipedia says it may reduce cholesterol and ease diarrhea symptoms, so for people suffering from either of those ...


4

In his wonderful book "A path with heart", by Jack Kornfield, the author, himself a Buddhist monk under Ajahn Chan for several years talks about exercise and several other normal things monks ignore in order to pursue enlightenment single mindedly. He advises against this extreme behaviour, and urges monks and spiritual seekers to not ignore normal healthy ...


4

Yes, various other beings can possess humans e.g. hungry ghosts, Yakṣas, Maras Here's one occasion where a human was possessed by a Mara named Dusi and the Mara being Moggallana himself in that life. At that time, Moggallana was Mara, chief of demons, lord of the lower worlds, and his name was Mara Dusi. He had a sister by name of Kali whose son was to ...


4

The Vinaya pitaka is preached only if the life span is less than 50,000 years. When the life span is higher, the human world is said to be similar to heavens. The Buddhas usually introduce Vinaya rules when someone commits a misdemeanor. But the people are very virtuous during these times. So the need to introduce new rules does not arise. Ironically, the ...


4

I'm skeptical that the Buddha said skip dinner because it's good for your health Yes if I hadn't read it I'd be skeptical too. It sounds a bit contrary to the primary/normal message: almost as if the Buddha were giving advice on how to be rich or become wealthy! Nevertheless there are other seemingly-health-related suttas, for example Ittha Sutta, It's ...


4

Passa Pacchaya Vedana ~ Paticca Samuppada Feeling is caused by contact


4

This advice seems relevant (by a gastroenterologist and published in Canada's largest newspaper): Fasting tips for those with gastritis and peptic ulcer


4

According to the Patimokkha rules: Should any bhikkhu, without direct knowledge, claim a superior human state, a truly noble knowledge and vision, as present in himself, saying, "Thus do I know; thus do I see," such that regardless of whether or not he is cross-examined on a later occasion, he — being remorseful and desirous of purification — ...


4

As a sign of respect and being inline with accepted customs it is best that the person removes the turban. I guess they might have been allowed in the accommodation of Sikh religious custom of wearing the turban. Being accommodating does no harm also, as long as a person is not wearing the turban as contempt or disrespect.


4

CASE 16. UMMON'S SEVEN-FOLD ROBE Ummon said, "The world is vast and wide; why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?" Mumon's Comment: When one meditates and studies Zen, one extinguishes the attachment to sound and color. Even though some have attained enlightenment by hearing a sound, or an awakening by seeing a color,...


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