Zom wrote:I'm not a monk, but in my humble opinion, Vinaya is a usefool tool, which should be followed not in letter, but in spirit , that is - wisely, depending also on something else rather than just words, taking into account that we are not living in ancient India and very much has changed since then. Of course, it is difficult to draw a line here, and, perhaps, this line is different for everyone depending on situation. But I think it is not wise to follow all Vinaya rules in the strictest manner (Remember, that Buddha just before parinibbana offered Ananda to disable some not important rules). I know one western monk who was very-very strict in following Vinaya, he blamed other monks on Vinaya matters, and led a solitary life. Right now he is in mental hospital in Sri Lanka. Than coincides with what Ven. Dhammika writes:I knew a monk, again an Australian, who was
constantly agonizing over this rule. He was a very restless sleeper and in the mornings he would
inevitably wake up finding that his sheet had come loose during the night and his body was
touching the bed, that is, touching Sangha property. Even when he woke up with no part touching
the bed he would worry that he might have done so during the night. One morning he was so
overwrought that he was literally on the verge of committing suicide and had I or another monk not
been with him he may well have done so. As a brief aside, I have noticed two other things about
Vinaya fundamentalists. The first is that they seem to have a higher rate of disrobing than the more
‘lax’ monks. Secondly, and this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with psychology,
when they do disrobe they often go wild and not uncommonly even give up Buddhism altogether. It
is a case of first one extreme and then the other. The two monks mentioned above both soon
disrobed, one turned against Buddhism with a vehemence and the other gradually drifted out of it.
I also heard a case, that one monk from Sri Lanka came to Russia in winter. And he walked barefooted (or with sandals only), with his only robe, no sweater, no coat, nothing... It happened as a result that he died in a local hospital.I will see how things go after I do a retreat at Suan Mokh and hopefully I'll meet some english-speaking monks whom I have karmic connections with.
Give my best regards to Bhante Hubert and Ven. Kittisaro who are on vassa over there right now
I just learnt from my abbot that one of the late founders of my monastery had a lot of money offered to him and under circumstances, he had to accept them so as to please the laity. Whenever he accumulated a certain amount, he would buy out cows deal for slaughter, donate to school, buy out schools of fish to release them back into the sea and, etc. He would be penniless nonetheless.
Have you ever stayed at Wat Pah Nanachat? I have. The monks study the Pātimokkha rules in detail with a senior bhikkhu leading them through it rule by rule. It is highly improbable that any bhikkhu trained there would only be following the letter without understanding the spirit of the rule too — but you never know. Some bhikkhus may not understand in spite of it being thoroughly explained.Bankei wrote:ps. At WPN you may only learn how to follow the letter of the vinaya.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Have you ever stayed at Wat Pah Nanachat? I have. The monks study the Pātimokkha rules in detail with a senior bhikkhu leading them through it rule by rule. It is highly improbable that any bhikkhu trained there would only be following the letter without understanding the spirit of the rule too — but you never know. Some bhikkhus may not understand in spite of it being thoroughly explained.Bankei wrote:ps. At WPN you may only learn how to follow the letter of the vinaya.
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