How do monks shave?

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How do monks shave?

Postby Coyote » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:49 am

I am guessing they don't use electric razors, and I seem to remember they are not allowed to use mirrors. So how do they shave (head and face)? And how often? Is it required?

Thanks,
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:16 pm

you don't need a razor to shave
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby James the Giant » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:04 pm

One of the basic items of a monk's kit (the Requisites) is a razor. The monks I know have Schick or Gillette three-bladed normal manual shaving razors, and shave their heads once every two weeks.
That's in the western Thai Forest Tradition.
But I don't know about the mirror thing. I never thought of that.
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:08 pm

To paraphrase the great Sheldon Copper, "well groomed monks meet in pairs and shave each other, case closed."
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:23 pm

I don't need a mirror to shave — I know where my face is by now.

I do use an electric hair-clipper to shave the longer head hairs before using a safety razor. Some Vinaya experts will say that amounts to using scissors, but that misses the point. Its just a tool to make the job of shaving quicker and easier.

:rules: The scissors rule is about not grooming long hair to fashion it like barbers do for lay people.

In Burma, they still use open razors, and some monks shave their own heads with them too, but I prefer a standard safety razor.
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Coyote » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:30 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Ben wrote:you don't need a razor to shave


What do you mean here? Are you thinking of something specific?

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I don't need a mirror to shave — I know where my face is by now.

I do use an electric hair-clipper to shave the longer head hairs before using a safety razor. Some Vinaya experts will say that amounts to using scissors, but that misses the point. Its just a tool to make the job of shaving quicker and easier.

:rules: The scissors rule is about not grooming long hair to fashion it like barbers do for lay people.

In Burma, they still use open razors, and some monks shave their own heads with them too, but I prefer a standard safety razor.


Bhante, I only remark about the mirror because I know that I would make a right mess of my face if I tried to shave without one!
It is interesting to read about the use of an electric hair-clipper. I remember reading in one of Ven. Thanissaro's books that the Vinaya rule would include such electric devices, so it is interesting to read your interpretation.

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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:04 pm

Personal Grooming

Unless ill — e.g., he has a sore on his head — a bhikkhu may not use scissors to cut his hair or have it cut. The question of using electric razors to shave the head is a controversial one. Because their cutting action — even in rotary shavers — is like that of scissors, many Communities will not allow their use in shaving the head.
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Coyote » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:36 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Personal Grooming

Unless ill — e.g., he has a sore on his head — a bhikkhu may not use scissors to cut his hair or have it cut. The question of using electric razors to shave the head is a controversial one. Because their cutting action — even in rotary shavers — is like that of scissors, many Communities will not allow their use in shaving the head.


Bhante, yes, that was the one I was thinking of. Thank you.

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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:39 pm

Coyote wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone.

Ben wrote:you don't need a razor to shave


What do you mean here? Are you thinking of something specific?



I beg your pardon, I meant 'you don't need a mirror to shave.
If I don't have a mirror, I can shave in the dark by touch with a disposable razor.

I was tired and it was late when I wrote my earlier response - I am sorry for the confusion.
kind regards,
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:58 pm

Ben wrote:I beg your pardon, I meant 'you don't need a mirror to shave.
If I don't have a mirror, I can shave in the dark by touch with a disposable razor.

I was tired and it was late when I wrote my earlier response - I am sorry for the confusion.
kind regards,

Hahaha, that clears some of the confusion up :) For a second there, I thought Ben had figured out a novel new way to shave!
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censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:05 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Ben wrote:I beg your pardon, I meant 'you don't need a mirror to shave.
If I don't have a mirror, I can shave in the dark by touch with a disposable razor.

I was tired and it was late when I wrote my earlier response - I am sorry for the confusion.
kind regards,

Hahaha, that clears some of the confusion up :) For a second there, I thought Ben had figured out a novel new way to shave!


If I have an epiphany regarding a razorless-shave I'll definitely share it with you!
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:13 pm

Lasers.
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby plwk » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:06 am

I beg your pardon, I meant 'you don't need a mirror to shave.
If I don't have a mirror, I can shave in the dark by touch with a disposable razor.

I was tired and it was late when I wrote my earlier response - I am sorry for the confusion.
kind regards,

Hahaha, that clears some of the confusion up :) For a second there, I thought Ben had figured out a novel new way to shave!


If I have an epiphany regarding a razorless-shave I'll definitely share it with you!
Wax strips? :mrgreen:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby lojong1 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:00 am

the fire method is all over the suttas
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Virgo » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:24 am

When I was a monk, we shaved each others heads. It is a lot easier that way. :)

To shave my face I just used a regular razor slowly and methodically. You can use touch to see if you have missed any spots.

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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby James the Giant » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:25 am

lojong1 wrote:the fire method is all over the suttas

FIRE METHOD?! :jawdrop:

no, that's got to be a joke, surely.
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby plwk » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:27 am

the fire method is all over the suttas
This? Image
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:59 am

Coyote wrote:I am guessing they don't use electric razors, and I seem to remember they are not allowed to use mirrors. So how do they shave (head and face)? And how often? Is it required?

Thanks,
Coyote

The electric razor isn't allowed as it cuts like scisors. but they can use a mirror, just not stare at themselves like Narcissus, so a mirror for practical purposes is allowed but not to be over used.
The vinaya requirement is that the hair not get too long, no more than two finger breadths or every two lunar months, if I remember correctly.

a simple blade razor would be used now but clam shells and other tools were used in different cultures in the past for the purpose.
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Re: How do monks shave?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am

lojong1 wrote:the fire method is all over the suttas

where?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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: How do monks shave?

Postby Coyote » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:30 am

Cittasanto wrote:The electric razor isn't allowed as it cuts like scisors. but they can use a mirror, just not stare at themselves like Narcissus, so a mirror for practical purposes is allowed but not to be over used.


Thanissaro's Buddhist Monastic Code says this:

"One should not gaze at the reflection of one's face in a mirror or in a bowl of water. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing"... "I allow that, on account of a disease, one gaze at the reflection of one's face in a mirror or in a bowl of water." — Cv.V.2.4

Do you know of another explanation that allows for practical use, or is this based on your experience with monks?

Thanks,
Coyote
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