Happiness and Freedom

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Happiness and Freedom

Postby Aki » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:45 pm

Buddha
Faith
Bhikkhu
Seclusion
Happiness
Freedom*

*Not to imply any Ariyahood, it's just I'm enjoying lot of happiness and freedom as a Bhikkhu.

I'm appending this to answer the questions by Chris: My ordination was from Sri Lanka, and spending my fourth decade as a Bhikkhu. For the first part of my monk life, I resided in Sri Lanka, then about ten years in Burma. Currently for the last five or so years, I'm residing in a forest hut with several other monks. If you wish, you can call it a very small monastery which isn't affiliated to any tradition. I find staying alone or staying with a few monks is very peaceful.

If you think what this Bhikkhu is doing here: Registering me was an idea of a young monk, he use a laptop for his studies and sometimes read this forum and thought I can share some of my experiences here. However, looking at the amount of debates and from my observations in Burma, I found most of the westerners as cup full with a difficulty of having faith.

I found the user name to be odd, but the young monk says this is modern world. It represents the first three characters of the Pali word Akiñcana.

May you be well!
Last edited by Aki on Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand. If you're a troll :rolleye:, find someone else please :guns:, I'm an IBM (Innocent Buddhist Monk) for 40+ years.
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby cooran » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:18 am

Welcome Aki to DhammaWheel! :group:

May I ask Where you ordained and at which Monastery do you reside? :smile:

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:21 am

Welcome to the forum, Aki!
Peace,
James
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Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:30 am

Welcome!

:hello:

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Sokehi » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:01 am

Welcome Bhante :anjali:
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:43 pm

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

:anjali:
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Aki » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:08 am

cooran wrote:Welcome Aki to DhammaWheel! :group:

May I ask Where you ordained and at which Monastery do you reside? :smile:

With metta,
Chris


Dear Chris,

Since six words are not enough, I edited my introduction.
I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand. If you're a troll :rolleye:, find someone else please :guns:, I'm an IBM (Innocent Buddhist Monk) for 40+ years.
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:19 am

I think Aki is friend in arabic, so that is a good choice!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby walkart » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:30 am

Welcome Bhante ! :anjali:

lyndon taylor wrote:I think Aki is friend in arabic, so that is a good choice!!


Yes, just with a sound of a rough "kh" in the middle, like - akhi. :smile:
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Mkoll » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:57 am

Aki wrote:Buddha
Faith
Bhikkhu
Seclusion
Happiness
Freedom*

*Not to imply any Ariyahood, it's just I'm enjoying lot of happiness and freedom as a Bhikkhu.

I'm appending this to answer the questions by Chris: My ordination was from Sri Lanka, and spending my fourth decade as a Bhikkhu. For the first part of my monk life, I resided in Sri Lanka, then about ten years in Burma. Currently for the last five or so years, I'm residing in a forest hut with several other monks. If you wish, you can call it a very small monastery which isn't affiliated to any tradition. I find staying alone or staying with a few monks is very peaceful.

If you think what this Bhikkhu is doing here: Registering me was an idea of a young monk, he use a laptop for his studies and sometimes read this forum and thought I can share some of my experiences here. However, looking at the amount of debates and from my observations in Burma, I found most of the westerners as cup full with a difficulty of having faith.

I found the user name to be odd, but the young monk says this is modern world. It represents the first three characters of the Pali word Akiñcana.

May you be well!

You've been a monk longer than I've been alive. Much respect to you, Venerable.

I'd love to hear you tell us about your life as a monk. What has been hardest for you? Was there a particularly tough time in the monk's life and what were the circumstances? How long did it take for you to be really settled in to the life? How long did it take to really start to enjoy this happiness you're talking about? Would you ever go back to the household life or is a monk's life much more preferable to you? Any advice for householders or advice on practice in general?

I don't mean to be pushy so please feel free to answer as you please or not at all.

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Aki » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:05 am

Mkoll wrote:You've been a monk longer than I've been alive. Much respect to you, Venerable.

I'd love to hear you tell us about your life as a monk. What has been hardest for you? Was there a particularly tough time in the monk's life and what were the circumstances? How long did it take for you to be really settled in to the life? How long did it take to really start to enjoy this happiness you're talking about?

I consider first six years of my Bhikkhu life as hardest. The reason was that the monks who ordained me were scholars who had no interest in meditation and they thought of making me a scholar too. But my intention of becoming a monk was to be a meditator for the rest of my life as I've meditated even before the first thought of becoming a monk.

Sri Lankan tradition was heavily influenced by commentaries which led to another difficulty in understanding the Vinaya through Dhamma, but not as rules and rituals that one must follow out of fear. Therefor most of the first three years I spent reading Vinaya and Sutta as means of clear understanding without later interpretations. It took about another three years to apply what I read through trial and error to make it a habit especially of Vinaya. By my sixth year as a Bhikkhu I was very comfortable with monk life and daily meditation. Once you’re confident with general behaviour as a monk the meditation receives tremendous boost. Around my tenth year as a bhikkhu I really started to enjoy happiness and freedom of monk life in all aspects; The feeling was that I was born a monk.

Other than the first difficulties there were minor tough times when I stayed in monasteries due to top-level misbehaviours. Even though I never played any role in misbehaviours such incidents affect the whole community and creat disharmony and unsuitability. However, it's not difficult to avoid these and I found my self several times leaving monasteries following the advice in Vanapattha Sutta (MN 17). And that is why I went to Burma, not to learn meditation but to meditate as a foreigner. However, if someone is confident and comfortable with his monk life and meditation then best to live alone or with few like-minded as in Culagosinga Sutta (MN 31).

Mkoll wrote:Would you ever go back to the household life or is a monk's life much more preferable to you?

Does household life offer something better than the simple life of a renunciate? When I was fourteen I came across couple of teachings by Buddha; I meditated following the instructions and experienced something. That experience was similar to igniting a spark. I was born in a Buddhist culture that not hindered by scepticism, and the faith isn't a question about the aspects of Buddha's teachings and monk life. Even as a fourteen year old there came the insight that the stillness and insight of meditation is way beyond the pleasures of household life. Looking from household standards my family was a very loving and trouble-free but compared with my spark I saw even that as hell. Since that spark there was no single moment I wanted household life.

It's not about preferability, I see no living better than the life of a renunciate. Few go back to household life due to psychological problems, sometimes they comeback and go back again; It’s simply the confusion. If one is conscious about psychological problems, it's better to deal with them before becoming a monk, especially if planning to do that in Asia. But most of them go back due to the craving for sensual pleasures. In many such cases a woman was the main reason for such a decision. This is what Buddha said to the first monk who got himself in to trouble with a woman:

The Buddha, the Master, rebuked him: “Foolish man, it is not suitable it is not becoming, it is not proper, it is unworthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it is not to be done. How could you go forth in such a well-proclaimed Dhamma and training and not be able for life to practice the perfectly complete and pure spiritual life? Have I not taught the Dhamma in many ways for the sake of dispassion … When the Dhamma has been taught by me for the sake of dispassion, how can you be intent upon passion? … Have I not in many ways declared the abandoning of sense pleasures … the stilling of the fever of sense pleasures? It would be better, foolish man, for your male organ to enter the mouth of a terrible and poisonous snake than to enter a woman. It would be better for your male organ to enter the mouth of a black snake than to enter a woman. It would be better for your male organ to enter a charcoal pit, burning, ablaze, afire, than to enter a woman. Why is that? Because for that reason you might die or experience deadly suffering, but you would not on that account, at the breaking up of the body after death, be reborn in the plane of misery, a bad destination, the abyss, hell.


Mkoll wrote:Any advice for householders or advice on practice in general?

As householders much time and energy spent on mundane activities. But one can be ethical and mindful if one isn’t that much prone to external stimuli. It’ll never the same as a renunciant where you can fully direct time and energy towards the goal, but still can. I knew an executive who used to meditate during the lunch break in his office room, because that was the only free time he had. He was very much willing to run away to become a monk but he was responsible for the welfare of his wife and children. He said it took him more than fifteen years just to reach the point where he can forget about office work and be mindful of the breath just for the lunch break.

Advice on practise in general: Spiritual shopping is endless, when one come to touch with a spark following a certain method it’s better to stick to it since mind development is all about repeated practise till the goal. But one should also keep mindfulness and clear comprehension even towards meditation and must compare the experience with the Buddha’s teachings.

Sneaking as much as possible meditation sessions during the day will make it a happy habit, eg.: keeping the mindfulness on breath/posture during a bus ride. Mind likes pleasure/happiness, it could be sensual or spiritual, a good way to make it to like meditation is to feed it spiritual pleasure bit by bit as much as possible. When the spiritual happiness becomes stronger the mind will naturally will lose interest in the sensual happiness, this way you can lure the mind towards Nibbana, gradually.

When come to westerners underlying extreme uncertainty and scepticism some has towards Buddha, jhana, Nibbana, etc. can be a big hindrance for the practise. A mind will not give results regarding the things that it doubt about. This is something I hardly see among Asians.
I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand. If you're a troll :rolleye:, find someone else please :guns:, I'm an IBM (Innocent Buddhist Monk) for 40+ years.
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Mkoll » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:04 am

Thank you so much, Bhante. Wise advice, especially on patience and meditation. That was very kind of you to post.

May your practice be fruitful!

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Sokehi » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:14 pm

Sadhu Bhante! Very inspiring and interesting post of yours!

Would you mind to contribute some of your experiences here as well? - viewtopic.php?f=30&t=20810

That would be very much appreciated. I bet you have some great insights to share :anjali:
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Aki » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:23 pm

Sokehi wrote:Sadhu Bhante! Very inspiring and interesting post of yours!

Would you mind to contribute some of your experiences here as well? - viewtopic.php?f=30&t=20810

That would be very much appreciated. I bet you have some great insights to share :anjali:


Done! viewtopic.php?f=30&t=20810&p=294951#p294951
I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand. If you're a troll :rolleye:, find someone else please :guns:, I'm an IBM (Innocent Buddhist Monk) for 40+ years.
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Viscid » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:21 pm

Great posts, your experience is plainly evident. I hope you continue to contribute to the forum in the future.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:32 pm

Invaluable advice, most welcome and extremely educational, down-to-earth, and good-humoured.

Thank you for your valued insight. Much appreciated!
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Aki » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:06 pm

Thank you dear Chris, James, Mike, Sokehi, David N. Snyder, lyndon taylor, walkart, Viscid, TheNoBSBuddhist.

Viscid wrote:Great posts, your experience is plainly evident. I hope you continue to contribute to the forum in the future.


When the young monk invited me to this forum I was somewhat hesitant thinking I'm too old for this. When I was in Burma an European monk told me bhante you are old school :). Also, I found looking at the laptop to be a weird experience as it makes me strangely tired, that's why my contribution is less unlike some of you. Perhaps I'm not used to modern electronic devices or too sensitive to them. However, by looking at the posts I think people here are quite knowledgeable and self-confident than bhikkhus when interpreting the Dhamma. I do hope they put that into practice too.

Kind wishes,
Akiñcana
I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand. If you're a troll :rolleye:, find someone else please :guns:, I'm an IBM (Innocent Buddhist Monk) for 40+ years.
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby Unrul3r » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:49 pm

Dear Aki,

I perceive your approach to the dhamma as very honest & your accounts very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

:anjali:
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Re: Happiness and Freedom

Postby bodom » Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:08 am

Welcome!

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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