Alm Bowls

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Alm Bowls

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:20 am

how are these made both historically and today?
just wondering if the line in the satipatthana sutta
Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, discerns that he is making a long turn, or when making a short turn discerns that he is making a short turn
has anything to do with this also?
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:23 pm

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:how are these made both historically and today?


It seems that in the Buddha's time clay was the commonest material (hence the many Vinaya rules concerned with treating one's almsbowl with great care, to avoid breakage). Nowadays iron and stainless steel are the norm in Thailand, and lacquerware bowls in Burma.

just wondering if the line in the satipatthana sutta

Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, discerns that he is making a long turn, or when making a short turn discerns that he is making a short turn has anything to do with this also?



No, a turner would be working with wood, which is a prohibited material for almsbowls. Also, I should think the turners of the Buddha's day are more likely to have been engaged in bodging than bowl-making.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby SeerObserver » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:34 pm

Dhammanando wrote:No, a turner would be working with wood, which is a prohibited material for almsbowls. Also, I should think the turners of the Buddha's day are more likely to have been engaged in bodging than bowl-making.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

Namasakarn, Dhammando Bhikkhu.

What is the basis of this prohibition, and what lies below the surface even further? For example, it is said certain meats are prohibited not just because of acquisition issues, but further because the body may emit smells that inspire vengeful behavior from predatory animals. So wood may be prohibited for sanitary reasons (just a guess), but is there something further as well?
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby Fede » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:49 pm

"Bodging" - ! haven't heard that term for ages!

Shame that the name for a skilled craftsman fell into the use of a misnomer for one incapable of completing a task well!
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:23 pm

Hi SeerObserver,

SeerObserver wrote:What is the basis of this prohibition, and what lies below the surface even further? For example, it is said certain meats are prohibited not just because of acquisition issues, but further because the body may emit smells that inspire vengeful behavior from predatory animals. So wood may be prohibited for sanitary reasons (just a guess), but is there something further as well?


When laying down the prohibition against wooden almsbowls the Buddha didn't give any reason, but issues of hygiene do seem a likely explanation.

Later, prohibitions were laid down against almsbowls made of gold, silver, mother-of-pearl, beryl, crystal, bronze, glass, tin, lead, and copper (as well as a requirement that bowls be made of either clay or iron). These were in response to householders complaining that the monks, in using such bowls, were acting like householders (a stock phrase in Vinaya origin stories).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:45 pm

Fede wrote:"Bodging" - ! haven't heard that term for ages!


Me neither. It betrays our age. :tongue:

When I was a boy we still had itinerant bodgers in Yorkshire, but I believe they've all gone, with only hobbyists now preserving the craft.

http://www.ukcraftfairs.com/guide-to-bodging.asp

http://www.stuartking.co.uk/index.php/chair-bodgers-of-buckinghamshire/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodging

Image

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:52 pm

Thanks Bhante,
for any who are interested here is the bowl chapter on A2I by Thanissaro
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... h07-3.html
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:15 am

are other people aloud to clean a monk's bowl? can a woman clean a monk's bowl?
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby appicchato » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:50 am

jcsuperstar wrote:are other people aloud to clean a monk's bowl? can a woman clean a monk's bowl?

My personal experience: I've seen lay people cleaning monk's bowls (not often though)...and can't say that I've seen a female doing it...but is probably copacetic... :smile:
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:17 am

Hi JC,

jcsuperstar wrote:are other people aloud to clean a monk's bowl? can a woman clean a monk's bowl?


They may if the monk lets them, but many monks prefer not to since few laypeople will know all the rules about the proper treatment of an almsbowl.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Alm Bowls

Postby gavesako » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:35 pm

Due to some lingering animistic beliefs in Thailand to do with the nature of women, it is assumed that a woman should not touch anything belonging to a monk, like his robes or bowl. This is not supported by any Vinaya rule as such.

Often laymen washing monks' bowls will scratch it, so monks prefer to do it themselves.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
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