Buddhism in Thailand...

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Buddhism in Thailand...

Postby appicchato » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:59 am

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Re: Buddhism in Thailand...

Postby gavesako » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:11 pm

How will Buddhism adapt from this point on? One new connection that's becoming clear in the modern world is the link between physical exercise, diet and meditation. Monks, reliant on alms-food, have never been well positioned to manage a healthy diet. Nor do cultural norms see them engaged in exercise. Yet we now know that these practices all support each other.


On this point monks living in the West are much better positioned than those in Asia -- we get healthy food and can have plenty of exercise as well, not being constrained by the social norms so much.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Buddhism in Thailand...

Postby adosa » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:30 pm

On this point monks living in the West are much better positioned than those in Asia -- we get healthy food and can have plenty of exercise as well, not being constrained by the social norms so much.



Hello Venerable Gavesako,

I'm just curious. What form of exercise can a monk partake in? I've always been a big believer in a the connection between vigorous exercise and a healthy, vibrant mind.


:anjali:

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"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
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Re: Buddhism in Thailand...

Postby Pannapetar » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:57 am

This question interests me, too.

In Thailand I have never come across any monk jogging, swimming, weight-lifting, or engaging in any other physical exercise. I am not aware of any rule against exercise it in the Vinaya, but then again, I might have missed it. Is it ruled out, or is it just a cultural thing?

It's not that I imagine swimming pools and gym rooms in the temples any time soon, but what speaks against the occasional workout, or combining pindabat with "power-walking"? :tongue:

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Buddhism in Thailand...

Postby appicchato » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:50 am

My experience (inThailand) has been that a monk doesn't do these things mentioned in public...a monk is restrained and comported...the Vinaya alludes to a monk not sitting hugging his knees, waving his arms, nor swimming (for fun)...one can get the general idea from these admonitions...in the privacy of his kuti is another story...myself, I'm a fan of push ups, sit ups, stretching, and a few yogic asanas...when I'm near the ocean, or a river, I'm in it...I go to hot springs all over the country too...dyno...
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Re: Buddhism in Thailand...

Postby gavesako » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:58 am

True, there are some Thai monks who do exercise in private, and in the forest monasteries one can be sweeping leaves for hours every day or doing building work, apart from pindapata of course. The typical city and village monks (in all Theravada countries) lead a rather unhealthy lifestyle, eating rich food, becoming diabetic, suffering from smoking-related illnesses, etc. Because the Sangha has acquired a high social status in those countries, it is considered somehow inappropriate for monks to be doing physical work.

But compare this comment by Ajaan Lee:

Code: Select all
Take status for an example. As soon as people gain status and rank, they start swelling up larger than they really are. You don't have to look far for examples of this sort of thing. Look at monks. When they start out as ordinary junior monks, they can go anywhere with no trouble at all, along highways and byways, down narrow alleys and back streets, anywhere they like. But as soon as they start getting a little ecclesiastical rank, they start getting abnormally large. The roads they used to walk along start feeling too narrow. They have trouble walking anywhere — their legs are too long and their feet too heavy. Their rears are too large for ordinary seats. (Of course, not all high-ranking monks are like this. You can find ones who don't swell up.) As for lay people, once they're hit by the edge of status, they start swelling up too, to the point where they can hardly move. Their hands get too heavy to raise in respect to the Buddha. Their legs get so big they can't make it to the monastery to hear a sermon or observe the precepts — they're afraid they'd lose their edge. This is how one of the edges of the world kills the goodness in people.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... ought.html

I gave a talk last week at Dhammapala mountain monastery in Switzerland about this subject:

http://bodhi-vihara.org/pages/posts/-ma ... sch198.php
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
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Re: Buddhism in Thailand...

Postby adosa » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:58 pm

Thank you Sirs for your replies.


:anjali:

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"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
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