Monkhood is ripe for reform

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby plwk » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:37 am

When Pope Benedict resigned, the Catholic Church suffered from many scandals ranging from child sexual abuse, reluctance to punish the perpetrators _ many of whom are high-ranking priests _ corruption and fierce infighting in the central bureaucracy, the Vatican Bank crisis, and declining number of the faithful who believe the Church has become irrelevant to modern times.

Interestingly, sexual and financial scandals, as well as fierce conservatism and gender prejudice, are not exclusive to the Roman Catholic Church. These are exactly the same problems that are plaguing the clergy in our predominantly Buddhist country.

Like the Catholic Church, our clergy operates in a deeply feudal hierarchy, but ours is in a much more unorganised structure. The members of the Council of Elders are all very old monks who are acting like an executive board of an organisation, but one without the management team to turn their policies into action.

More here
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: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby SDC » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:49 am

The Buddha is gone and the teaching is degrading. IMO there will be great monks for a long time to come, but they will become increasingly rare amongst the droves of the misguided and the immoral.
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby convivium » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:57 am

For centuries after Buddha had died,
his shadow was still visible in a cave
a dreadful, spine-chilling shadow.
God is dead: but man being the way
he is for centuries to come there
will be caves in which his shadow is shown
and we, we must also triumph over his shadow.
Friedrich Nietzsche

fortunately the buddha wasn't a person and didn't leave a shadow (even though, predicated by our delusions, he was and he did)
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby Nyorai » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:21 am

ImageTo become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self.Image
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:41 am

One might reply that the media is also in need of reform. That is currently a hot topic in the UK after the Leveson Inquiry.

The question is, “Who will do it?” Can any organization be trusted to regulate itself, or can the regulator be trusted to be impartial.

The more I think about the idea of “Reforming the Sangha,” or regulating it in some way, the more it seems like just more suffering caused by the desire to control conditions.

Ajahn Khemadhammo in the UK, is actively trying to promote the formation of some kind of regulatory body for the Sangha in the UK — maybe something like a monk's passport, which they already have in Thailand. However, I just don't see what benefit it could have.

The number one reason why there is corruption in the Sangha is because monks accept and make use of money. They could not do that if the laity did not give them money. If monks could not gain access to money, there would be less incentive for corrupt individuals to enter the Sangha. Greedy individuals would not tolerate the restrictions of monastic life just for the sake of free food and lodgings.

The only way to bring about any significant change in the Sangha is not through regulation, but through education. Lay Buddhist and monks need to learn what the Buddha taught — only that will stop the religion from degenerating. That's not going to happen universally — it is down to individuals who want to follow a pristine form of the religion to educate themselves in the theoretical and practical aspects of the Dhamma so that they cannot be deceived by bogus or corrupt monks.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby BlackBird » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:46 am

Sadhu Bhante.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby polarbuddha101 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:51 am

BlackBird wrote:Sadhu Bhante.


Seconded. :bow:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby Mr Man » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:41 am

Idealy the regulation would be the vinaya + the faith of the lay community. The problem, as I see it, is when we allow non secular institutions to become secularised, which has already happened.
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby yawares » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:00 pm

[quote="plwk"][i]When Pope Benedict resigned, the Catholic Church suffered from many scandals ranging from child sexual abuse, reluctance to punish the perpetrators _ many of whom are high-ranking priests _ corruption and fierce infighting in the central bureaucracy, the Vatican Bank crisis, and declining number of the faithful who believe the Church has become irrelevant to modern times.

-----------
Dear Plwk,

I found this article:

[seattlepi.com]
I’ve just been working on a big magazine project and find that many of my jokes have been censored by editors. These jokes aren’t rude or crude, but they just keep readers on their toes and give things a little edge. I like historic jokes that both shine a light on a sightseeing topic and tickle your bone (the funny one). But I’m not sure where the line is. For instance, in centuries past, lots of popes died of syphilis. Because they claimed to be celibate, would it be OK to call the disease that brought them down the “immaculate infection”?

And my favorite movie PRIMAL FEAR starring Richard Gere :jumping:
Image

A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney's career in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard Gere stars as Martin Vail a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his services to Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) a Kentucky teenager charged with the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Covered with blood Aaron was captured after a foot chase broadcast live on TV making a gleeful Vail certain that he could raise his profile by defending the obviously guilty suspect. Assigned to prosecute is Assistant District Attorney Janet Venable (Laura Linney) who is Vail's ex-girlfriend. Vail's case becomes more complicated than he expected when a psychologist Dr. Molly Arrington (Frances McDormand) concludes that Stampler suffers from multiple personality disorder. Vail also uncovers evidence that the archbishop was involved in a corrupt land scheme and may have molested young parishioners. Now the cynical opportunistic attorney is faced with a daunting prospect a client who may actually deserve his best defense. Its shocking twist ending made Primal Fear (1996) a big box office hit and earned Norton in his screen debut an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

***********
Many hypocrites in this world :jumping:
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby SDC » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:06 pm

The great thing about this practice is that there is no official leader or official hierarchy. So even if the majority begin to fail, the ones that are practising successfully don't have to fail with them. As the Venerable already said any attempt would lead to more suffering because you're attempting to reform something as a whole that was never official or united to begin with.
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby Virgo » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:10 pm

I was a monk in the Dhammayut order, which was a reform movement.

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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby makarasilapin » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:21 pm

Virgo wrote:I was a monk in the Dhammayut order, which was a reform movement.

Kevin


where'd you ordain?
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby Virgo » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:35 am

Wat Bowonniwet

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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby yawares » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:05 pm

Virgo wrote:Wat Bowonniwet

Kevin


Dear Kevin :jumping:

Oh I love Wat Bowonniwet...there was a big shopping place nearby...my mom/I used to buy big bouquet of orchids to give to the big Buddha statue in the Wat when my brother was a monk there for 3 months...I liked the big turtle pond too.

Phra Buddha Chinnasi@Wat Bowonniwet
Image

Wat Bowonniwet วัดบวรนิเวศวิหาร ...
Image

Golden stupa วัดบวรนิเวศ
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*******
I went to วัดบวรนิเวศ many times :anjali:
yawares :heart:
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby Virgo » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:16 am

yawares wrote:
Oh I love Wat Bowonniwet...there was a big shopping place nearby...my mom/I used to buy big bouquet of orchids to give to the big Buddha statue in the Wat when my brother was a monk there for 3 months...I liked the big turtle pond too.

Yawares, that is great. I am happy to hear your brother was a bhikkhu there too. I lived in the kuti (building) near the footbridge, downstairs, right next to the pads that the turtles use to bask on. I do miss it at times.

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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby GraemeR » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:05 am

plwk wrote:When Pope Benedict resigned, the Catholic Church suffered from many scandals ranging from child sexual abuse, reluctance to punish the perpetrators _ many of whom are high-ranking priests _ corruption and fierce infighting in the central bureaucracy, the Vatican Bank crisis, and declining number of the faithful who believe the Church has become irrelevant to modern times.

Interestingly, sexual and financial scandals, as well as fierce conservatism and gender prejudice, are not exclusive to the Roman Catholic Church. These are exactly the same problems that are plaguing the clergy in our predominantly Buddhist country.

Like the Catholic Church, our clergy operates in a deeply feudal hierarchy, but ours is in a much more unorganised structure. The members of the Council of Elders are all very old monks who are acting like an executive board of an organisation, but one without the management team to turn their policies into action.

More here


I think this problem arises when organisations worry too much about lay people's sexuality and not enough about the problems of priests, monks etc

Graham
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby poto » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:55 pm

I rather prefer the decentralized nature of the monkhood.

The problem with centralizing power in any system is that those who desire power and rise to the top are often the least deserving of it. Any kind of system meant to have power and control over others is bound to attract the corrupt. While the righteous will often have little or no desire to take part in such things.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Monkhood is ripe for reform

Postby convivium » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:10 pm

I rather prefer the decentralized nature of the monkhood.

The problem with centralizing power in any system is that those who desire power and rise to the top are often the least deserving of it. Any kind of system meant to have power and control over others is bound to attract the corrupt. While the righteous will often have little or no desire to take part in such things.

this is what a big part of the story of zen buddhism is all about.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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