Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a monk

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Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a monk

Postby Leon-nl » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:38 pm

Please send metta both for this brave young lad as well as for the people trying to prevent him from making his dreams come true - may they be guided by light, not by darkness.

http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.e ... 30912_Giel

Can 15-year-old go to India to become a Buddhist monk?

A Flemish youngster is the centre of controversy after he announced his intention to leave for India to train to be a Buddhist monk. Police and officials from the local public prosecutors’ office have visited the lad's home to ensure he is not the subject of any coercion.

See also: http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.e ... _follow_up

A Ghent court has ruled that a 15-year-old boy cannot move to Tibet. The boy from East Flanders wanted to travel to India to follow a special training to become a Buddhist monk. His intentions became the centre of media attention and also caught the interest of the police.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:07 pm

He needs the permission of his parents to ordain, and that should be even more important for someone as young as 15. There are cults that would take advantage of a young person, and there may even be paedophiles in some monasteries who cannot wait to get their hands on young boys.

It is the duty of the parents and social services to do whatever they can to protect youngsters. The boy's mother is not Tibetan, and may have little knowledge about the Tibetan monastery where her son wants to go for training. She would do well to check it out thoroughly before allowing her son to go there. And what does his father think about this?

When he's eighteen or when he has finished his education, he might be wise enough to protect himself, but until then no one should let him go, unless they are confident that he will be in safe hands.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:42 pm

I don't have problems with this. He is a minor. He can wait 3 years until he is 18. The training he wants takes 15 years.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Virgo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:56 pm

Jhana4 wrote:I don't have problems with this. He is a minor. He can wait 3 years until he is 18. The training he wants takes 15 years.

Hi Jhana4,

What training? As far as I know the Vinaya only requires a monk to stay with his preceptor for 5 years (with some allowances for shorter time periods of time).

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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Leon-nl » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:25 pm

The problem here, as I see it, is abuse of power by the state.
The boy lives with his mother. He has the permission of his mother to ordain. About the father nothing is said.
It was an uncle of the boy (a brother of the mother of the boy) who saw a documentary with the boy about his intention to ordain, and then this uncle hired a lawyer and contacted the police and the Child Welfare Service. There were disputes between the mother of the boy and his uncle in the past already, and it looks very much like the uncle deliberately wants to create problems for the mother and the boy. He says the boy was brainwashed by his mother and raised too isolated.

Therefore, earlier this week, a juvenile judge saw the boy and concluded there are no reasons to hold the boy in Belgium; he was allowed to go to India and ordain.

Last friday, 15 minutes before the mother and the boy would depart for the airport, 3 police cars and 6 police officers came to the house of the boy and escorted him to a court of justice where he heard from a judge that he was not allowed to leave the country. The prosecutor had lodged an appeal.

My opinion is, that if the parents agree, and that if the boy really wants it, and a juvenile judge made a judgement and says everything is ok, it is abuse of power by the state to forbid people to leave the country. It's something that happens in a dictatorial state or in a police state.

This is the monastery the boy wants to join:

http://www.jonangmonasteryshimla.com/
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:55 pm

Leon-nl wrote:The problem here, as I see it, is abuse of power by the state.
The boy lives with his mother. He has the permission of his mother to ordain. About the father nothing is said.
It was an uncle of the boy (a brother of the mother of the boy) who saw a documentary with the boy about his intention to ordain, and then this uncle hired a lawyer and contacted the police and the Child Welfare Service. There were disputes between the mother of the boy and his uncle in the past already, and it looks very much like the uncle deliberately wants to create problems for the mother and the boy. He says the boy was brainwashed by his mother and raised too isolated.

Therefore, earlier this week, a juvenile judge saw the boy and concluded there are no reasons to hold the boy in Belgium; he was allowed to go to India and ordain.

Last friday, 15 minutes before the mother and the boy would depart for the airport, 3 police cars and 6 police officers came to the house of the boy and escorted him to a court of justice where he heard from a judge that he was not allowed to leave the country. The prosecutor had lodged an appeal.

My opinion is, that if the parents agree, and that if the boy really wants it, and a juvenile judge made a judgement and says everything is ok, it is abuse of power by the state to forbid people to leave the country. It's something that happens in a dictatorial state or in a police state.

This is the monastery the boy wants to join:

http://www.jonangmonasteryshimla.com/


Waiting until he is legally responsible for himself is not such a bad idea.
In fact, it is a course of action that I would recommend to anyone under the age of 18 who wanted to ordain.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby dagon » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:11 am

Maybe the government/courts read this from the web site. I suspect that it would give most western communities cause for concern. Governments owe a duty of care to their citizens and to children in particular.

http://www.jonangmonasteryshimla.com/Projects.html

Our current situation - and plans for the future. Constructed in 1963, the buildings of monks' quarters, dispensary, kitchen, library and classrooms are now more than forty years old. They have already started cracking from various sides - indicating that they are in urgent need of renovation. Though we have been able to build a new meditation hall with the financial help of a generous individual, due to an ever increasing number of students, the present assembly hall has become too small to accommodate all the students. As a result, we have to hold exams and debate sessions outside the hall, due to which we face extreme difficulty and problems during rainy and hot sunny days. The library holds a set of Kagyur and Tengyur - rare texts of the Six Yogas of the Kalachakra, the collected works of Kunkhen and Jetsun Taranatha and more than 500 volumes of literary works of many Tibetan scholars. We are making continuous effort to acquire as many rare texts, books and manuscripts as possible in the future. We therefore face acute problems of space with our present library.

As we have only two classrooms at present, we face shortage of classrooms - so we are compelled to hold classes in monks' rooms. Because of its small size, one classroom has been used for arranging meals and other purpose.

The present dispensary is quite small as compared to the strength of students of this monastery, and moreover, its roof has cracks and is unable to resist rains during the rainy season. Currently, more than four monks have to share one bedroom, thereby endangering their health and hygiene as there is great risk of spreading contagious disease, such as skin disease, to one another. As most of the rooms on the upper floor have poor roofs, they cannot resist rains. As a result the lower rooms remain wet and damp. The kitchen, being very small and congested, the cooks and helpers cannot work freely to prepare meals for more than 120 people, and there is no dry space in the kitchen to keep vegetables separately.

Although we continuously receive requests, from many enthusiastic young children from both in and outside Tibet, to give them admission, owing to insufficient rooms and lack of other facilities we have been forced to refuse them to their great disappointment. Given the growing number of students every year, the present two small classrooms, toilets and bathrooms and other buildings that are in extremely poor condition have become unsuitable for use. The drainage and electricity lines have broken badly. In short, established over 41 years ago, the present small building of the Jonang monastery is in severe condition. The need was felt for construction of a new building, with larger capacity. The deteriorating buildings have lead us to plan the construction of new buildings with better facilities and spacious rooms. Nevertheless, to fulfill such a big project we need funds. We therefore extend our heartfelt appeal to any generous individual or aid agency to make a small donation or provide support for any specific part of this project. Given our urgency, we endeavor to complete this project as soon as possible.


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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby chownah » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:48 am

I think they should make him wait until he has successfully established a way to fund his retirement. He really should do his part in funding the social necessities before nancing off to a life of leisure as a monk, don't you think.......and what with the cost of all the wars and the social welfare we are providing the banking industry right now we really should be sure that everyone does their part.
(These are not my views.)
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:13 am

chownah wrote:I think they should make him wait until he has successfully established a way to fund his retirement.

An interesting conspiracy theory, but a rather cynical view that those in the social care services have ulterior motives driven by government policy.

There are all sorts of wacky cults, not necessarily Buddhist ones. If a parent is a member of one of those cults, their kids get sucked in too before they're old enough to think for themselves.

I'm not saying that his Buddhist monastery is one of those — I know nothing about it — but society does have a duty of care to minors, and that sometimes includes protecting them from their parents.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Aloka » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:40 am

It might be worthwhile looking at this video by the young Tibetan tulku Kalu Rinpoche speaking about the way he was abused in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery.


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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:52 am

"Life of leisure" describes no monk or nun I have ever met.

Although I appreciate the concerns about brainwashing and cults, I think it is worth comparing this to some other cultural precedents. If he was a talented prodigy, he could attend dance or music academy at his age. If he was unusually bright, he would be admitted to a college or university. Or attend a military academy or boarding school. Here is the USA, we have programs called Job Corps, where a youth his age can train for forestry or fire fighting. And there are many Christian ministry programs where he could begin his training to become a minister, at his age. I'm certain Europe has similar allowances for youth?
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as others are, so am I."
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby mirco » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:01 am

Howdy,

from that media above
An uncle however says the bond between the boy and his mother is too intense and therefore harmful and therefore harmful. He claims the boy had an isolated life: "He should have the chance to grow up in a normal environment where he can meet children of his own age."

The boy: "The idea came to me when I was six. I cried to have a monk's robes."
"I will be able to free my spirit of all negative emotions and will no longer be bound by earthly concepts."
"That's the good thing about Buddhism."

my fantasies on that: it's the mother.

From her childhood she's got issues with men and is acting that out unconsciously at her son. Not integrating back into her personality what she has been suppressing since decades, she idealised the (non harmful) buddhist monks eversince. Her son cried for robes at that early age, since that would have been the only way to come close to his mother. Later she was making him her little man. Since he isn't, he transformed into her ideals, not to loose his mothers love.

:broke:
I get what I give
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Leon-nl » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:16 am

mirco wrote:Howdy,

from that media above
An uncle however says the bond between the boy and his mother is too intense and therefore harmful and therefore harmful. He claims the boy had an isolated life: "He should have the chance to grow up in a normal environment where he can meet children of his own age."

The boy: "The idea came to me when I was six. I cried to have a monk's robes."
"I will be able to free my spirit of all negative emotions and will no longer be bound by earthly concepts."
"That's the good thing about Buddhism."

my fantasies on that: it's the mother.

From her childhood she's got issues with men and is acting that out unconsciously at her son. Not integrating back into her personality what she has been suppressing since decades, she idealised the (non harmful) buddhist monks eversince. Her son cried for robes at that early age, since that would have been the only way to come close to his mother. Later she was making him her little man. Since he isn't, he transformed into her ideals, not to loose his mothers love.

:broke:


You a reincarnation of Freud? ;)
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Leon-nl » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:19 am

I didn't read that. I agree with you Paul.
However, it's all about the home situation of the boy in Belgium, not about this...

dagon wrote:Maybe the government/courts read this from the web site. I suspect that it would give most western communities cause for concern. Governments owe a duty of care to their citizens and to children in particular.

http://www.jonangmonasteryshimla.com/Projects.html

Our current situation - and plans for the future. Constructed in 1963, the buildings of monks' quarters, dispensary, kitchen, library and classrooms are now more than forty years old. They have already started cracking from various sides - indicating that they are in urgent need of renovation. Though we have been able to build a new meditation hall with the financial help of a generous individual, due to an ever increasing number of students, the present assembly hall has become too small to accommodate all the students. As a result, we have to hold exams and debate sessions outside the hall, due to which we face extreme difficulty and problems during rainy and hot sunny days. The library holds a set of Kagyur and Tengyur - rare texts of the Six Yogas of the Kalachakra, the collected works of Kunkhen and Jetsun Taranatha and more than 500 volumes of literary works of many Tibetan scholars. We are making continuous effort to acquire as many rare texts, books and manuscripts as possible in the future. We therefore face acute problems of space with our present library.

As we have only two classrooms at present, we face shortage of classrooms - so we are compelled to hold classes in monks' rooms. Because of its small size, one classroom has been used for arranging meals and other purpose.

The present dispensary is quite small as compared to the strength of students of this monastery, and moreover, its roof has cracks and is unable to resist rains during the rainy season. Currently, more than four monks have to share one bedroom, thereby endangering their health and hygiene as there is great risk of spreading contagious disease, such as skin disease, to one another. As most of the rooms on the upper floor have poor roofs, they cannot resist rains. As a result the lower rooms remain wet and damp. The kitchen, being very small and congested, the cooks and helpers cannot work freely to prepare meals for more than 120 people, and there is no dry space in the kitchen to keep vegetables separately.

Although we continuously receive requests, from many enthusiastic young children from both in and outside Tibet, to give them admission, owing to insufficient rooms and lack of other facilities we have been forced to refuse them to their great disappointment. Given the growing number of students every year, the present two small classrooms, toilets and bathrooms and other buildings that are in extremely poor condition have become unsuitable for use. The drainage and electricity lines have broken badly. In short, established over 41 years ago, the present small building of the Jonang monastery is in severe condition. The need was felt for construction of a new building, with larger capacity. The deteriorating buildings have lead us to plan the construction of new buildings with better facilities and spacious rooms. Nevertheless, to fulfill such a big project we need funds. We therefore extend our heartfelt appeal to any generous individual or aid agency to make a small donation or provide support for any specific part of this project. Given our urgency, we endeavor to complete this project as soon as possible.


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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Leon-nl » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:25 am

Monkey Mind wrote:"Life of leisure" describes no monk or nun I have ever met.

Although I appreciate the concerns about brainwashing and cults, I think it is worth comparing this to some other cultural precedents. If he was a talented prodigy, he could attend dance or music academy at his age. If he was unusually bright, he would be admitted to a college or university. Or attend a military academy or boarding school. Here is the USA, we have programs called Job Corps, where a youth his age can train for forestry or fire fighting. And there are many Christian ministry programs where he could begin his training to become a minister, at his age. I'm certain Europe has similar allowances for youth?


I agree with you, Monkey Mind, if he had choosen to become a priest, probably no-one would have cared and he even would have been applauded.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:19 am

Leon-nl wrote:I agree with you, Monkey Mind, if he had choosen to become a priest, probably no-one would have cared and he even would have been applauded.


there is no way you could know that.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Leon-nl » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:12 pm

Ben wrote:
Leon-nl wrote:I agree with you, Monkey Mind, if he had choosen to become a priest, probably no-one would have cared and he even would have been applauded.


there is no way you could know that.


Well probably it would be a little bit different now, with all those scandals of sexual abuse in the roman-catholic church, but it was not ages ago when almost every family (so to speak) had a child joining the church to become a priest, monk or nun. And very often these children had really no say in it. Fortunately, times have changed, and this does not happen anymore, but apart from the living conditions in the monastery (as mentioned earlier by Paul) which are not an issue of debate, I can't see why a 15-year-old should not be allowed to make his own choice.
Anyway, that's not what it is all about. Basically they are accusing the mother of having kind of brainwashed the boy. And a juvenile judge heard the boy and decided that's not the case and the boy really wants this himself.
So I think the state should have dropped the case.
It's ridiculous that they send 3 police cars and 6 police officers to prevent him from boarding the plane, while underage Belgian Jihadists can fly to Syria.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Aloka » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:40 pm

Are you involved with Tibetan Buddhism yourself, Leon-ni ?

.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby Leon-nl » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:42 pm

Aloka wrote:Are you involved with Tibetan Buddhism yourself, Leon-ni ?

.


No, Aloka, I try and follow the teaching of the elders.
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Re: Belgian boy prevented from flying to India to become a m

Postby mirco » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:20 pm

Leon-nl wrote:You a reincarnation of Freud?

You a reincarnation of standup comedian?
I get what I give
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