Monks and facebook/internet

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Mao » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:40 pm

Good day,

Correct me if i'm wrong. I do believe Buddhism is a religion who adapt to changes. No doubt to reach out to the lay people, especially around the world, now we can access to blogs, twitter and facebook of some great bhikkhu/teachers. But Is it a good ideal as the internet is a unlimited resource of info, wanted or unwanted(explicit ones).

What i'm trying to ask is, if you can have an facebook account, you can have lotsa followers, you can add any people, like many pages. What if it pages of models/sexy entertainers/cute girls pictures provider. Is it wrong or am i too narrow mind?

:juggling:
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Babadhari » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:46 pm

Mao wrote:Good day,

Correct me if i'm wrong. I do believe Buddhism is a religion who adapt to changes. No doubt to reach out to the lay people, especially around the world, now we can access to blogs, twitter and facebook of some great bhikkhu/teachers. But Is it a good ideal as the internet is a unlimited resource of info, wanted or unwanted(explicit ones).

What i'm trying to ask is, if you can have an facebook account, you can have lotsa followers, you can add any people, like many pages. What if it pages of models/sexy entertainers/cute girls pictures provider. Is it wrong or am i too narrow mind?

:juggling:


hi mao,
welcome to Dhammawheel
the images might give the monks a good idea of the hindrances they still have to deal with.
perhaps they will feel lust or perhaps they will just see bodies.
in my opinion it is not wrong, it just is.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Mkoll » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:49 pm

Hi Mao,

There was a thread on a similar theme a few weeks back. It may give some food for thought.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=19802
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James
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Mao » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:56 am

well thankx for the reply and links. It never a problems to me for the monks/sangha to have a facebook account or more, just to reach out, and spread teaching to the far and younger generation. But it sorta irks me to know that some might overused(abused?) the freedom of being in the www, by seeing them liking and subscribing to semi-porn pages?

FYI i'm still a a beginner in Dhamma knowledge, to have a reliable/good connected teacher is a lucky bonus. Yes i do understand it's hard to live in an monastic life with total celibacy, and i'm trying very hard not to judge, but it still scares me abit
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Mkoll » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:51 am

Some monks are very diligent and austere and some monks are less so. The ones that get the most attention are usually the latter.
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:16 am

kitztack wrote:hi mao,
welcome to Dhammawheel
the images might give the monks a good idea of the hindrances they still have to deal with.
perhaps they will feel lust or perhaps they will just see bodies.
in my opinion it is not wrong, it just is.

Gazing upon a image like that would be a breach of the precept.
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: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby seeker242 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:00 pm

Mao wrote:
What i'm trying to ask is, if you can have an facebook account, you can have lotsa followers, you can add any people, like many pages. What if it pages of models/sexy entertainers/cute girls pictures provider. Is it wrong or am i too narrow mind?

:juggling:


Monks who behave skillfully would not indulge in such images. Although, simply seeing an image like that in passing, and indulging in it, are really not the same thing. The intention of the individual is what's important. If there is no intention to seek out such images, and no intention to dwell on them if they do happen to be encountered, I don't see the problem :)
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Weakfocus » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:27 pm

Mao wrote:Correct me if i'm wrong. I do believe Buddhism is a religion who adapt to changes. No doubt to reach out to the lay people, especially around the world, now we can access to blogs, twitter and facebook of some great bhikkhu/teachers. But Is it a good ideal as the internet is a unlimited resource of info, wanted or unwanted(explicit ones).

What i'm trying to ask is, if you can have an facebook account, you can have lotsa followers, you can add any people, like many pages. What if it pages of models/sexy entertainers/cute girls pictures provider. Is it wrong or am i too narrow mind?


I find it odd that in your mind facebook is so important that it is synonymous with internet. There is more to internet than social networking. There are innuerable websites which do not have any 'racy' picture of women, why should there be any issue with viewing those websites. Sometimes using internet is a necessity for certain services: booking tickets for travel, registering complaints with utility, paying any bills and so on.

And as for social networking, it is not the preserve of one M. Zuckerberg. Or the spy machine that is Google+. Dhammawheel is also a type of social network. Why would anyone need facebook? There are many other -and arguable better- ways of staying in touch with people. Emails still works. Mailing lists still work. Forums still work. One can safely stay in touch with a group of like-minded people without the fear of accidentally coming across pornographic content.
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Babadhari » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:56 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
kitztack wrote:hi mao,
welcome to Dhammawheel
the images might give the monks a good idea of the hindrances they still have to deal with.
perhaps they will feel lust or perhaps they will just see bodies.
in my opinion it is not wrong, it just is.

Gazing upon a image like that would be a breach of the precept.


hi cittasanto
would seeing by chance an image like that be a breach of precepts?
im guessing by your use of the word gazing that you mean intentful viewing
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby James the Giant » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:42 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Gazing upon a image like that would be a breach of the precept.

Could you please specify exactly which of the precepts?
I agree it would be a profoundly unhelpful thing for a monk to do, but I can't think of any of the 227
rules which might be broken.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby gavesako » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:00 pm

It is a dukkata (wrongdoing) offence.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:51 pm

I remember going to my first retreat at Bodhi Monastery and of course they always ask to dress appropriately.. But i remember watching this one very beautiful retreatant running laps around the monastery in short shorts... Im not sure of any monks saw her but she peaked my lust for sure.

Then of course you have ajahn brahms story of coming out of meditation on the beach and seeing two young girls in bikinis sitting on either side of him...

I dont see the facebook issue being much different then what monks have to face out in the world. They, like us, can choose to act skillfully or not. This same monk could just go on google and search for pornography pictures if they wanted to. The issue is in the mind, not whats "out there".
Last edited by Jayantha-NJ on Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby appicchato » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:22 pm

The issue is in the mind, not whats "out there".


+1
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby James the Giant » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:26 pm

gavesako wrote:It is a dukkata (wrongdoing) offence.

One of the thousands of commentarial dukkatas? Or canonical?
I know there is a commentarial dukkata in the Vinayamukha that prohibits touching pictures or statues of women. It's the same rule which states a monk should not save his mother from drowning if he has to touch her to do it!
I found that reference in Thanissaro's BMC, but I don't have access to the commentaries themselves right now.
I suppose looking at a picture is touching with the eyes...
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby waterchan » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:00 am

James the Giant wrote:
I know there is a commentarial dukkata in the Vinayamukha that prohibits touching pictures or statues of women. It's the same rule which states a monk should not save his mother from drowning if he has to touch her to do it!


I am not familiar with the Vinaya commentaries but... really?!

That just strikes me as uncompassionately dogmatic.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby appicchato » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:22 am

...a monk should not save his mother from drowning if he has to touch her to do it!...


Oh man...mom, or any female, charge me...
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:49 am

James the Giant wrote:
gavesako wrote:It is a dukkata (wrongdoing) offence.

One of the thousands of commentarial dukkatas? Or canonical?
I know there is a commentarial dukkata in the Vinayamukha that prohibits touching pictures or statues of women. It's the same rule which states a monk should not save his mother from drowning if he has to touch her to do it!
I found that reference in Thanissaro's BMC, but I don't have access to the commentaries themselves right now.
I suppose looking at a picture is touching with the eyes...

I believe it is commentarial from memory, but unsure.
I'll have to have a proper look for which rule it is related to, but it wont be until monday at the earliest now ( I don't have access to my computer... from friday until sunday evening, other than a smartphone.) It may well be the rule you are referring to here, but can not find with a quick look

kitztack
no, one would need to actually look, a glance or a double take probably wouldn't count. But it is for each to decide for themselves.

Jayantha-NJ
not to nit pick but you bring up somethings which others may find useful.
There are ten reasons for the rules being in place and the great standard for knowing what would be classed as offence when something is not covered by a rule.
The main reason I see here is to "restrain the unrestrained" and to "keep the good name of the sangha" so it is pleasant for the restrained.
but it is in keeping with the spirit of the rules (porn mags existed for a reason) and some may try to logic their way around things (as was done with several rules.) but yes the issue is with the mind, but the rules are also for mindfulness as Ananda (I believe it was) pointed out.
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: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:11 am

waterchan wrote:
James the Giant wrote:
I know there is a commentarial dukkata in the Vinayamukha that prohibits touching pictures or statues of women. It's the same rule which states a monk should not save his mother from drowning if he has to touch her to do it!


I am not familiar with the Vinaya commentaries but... really?!

That just strikes me as uncompassionately dogmatic.

Likewise. Theravada Buddhism is as full of post-founder dogmatism as any other religion. It's up to the individual to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Peace,
James
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Mao » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:45 am

Thank you so much for all the replies and comments, although there are still i don't understand as i'm kinda new.
But once i heard a talk from a bhante that if it's comes to contact with the opposite sex, err a monk intention is the most important. Even if it's the female who initiate the contact(hugs etc) then the monk should only not thinking anything about it and remain a deadfish.

But what if it's the other side around, that it's the monk who view inappropriate pages, initiate the contact even thou only verbally(be it jokingly/or even to the same sex) would it be wrong?
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Re: Monks and facebook/internet

Postby Mkoll » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:44 pm

Mao wrote:But what if it's the other side around, that it's the monk who view inappropriate pages, initiate the contact even thou only verbally(be it jokingly/or even to the same sex) would it be wrong?


It's noy living the "holy life that is perfect and pure" which is the ideal the Buddha describes, that's for sure.
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