anyone know about Sri Lanka?

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

Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:03 am

That is probably what I will do Melancholy once I pay off my debt. It will also allow me to have some time to adjust from a luxurious western lifestyle to the simpler life of a renunciant in the Sri Lankan Jungle.

metta
Jack
"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: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby cooran » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:01 am

The Abbot of Dhammagiri Hermitage here in Australia trained in Sri Lanka, and most of the Lay Supporters here are from Sri Lanka:
http://www.dhammagiri.org.au/bhikkhu-dhammasiha.html

There are many Dhamma talks available to those interested - why not just work hard to attain Nibbana while you have this inestimable good fortune?

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:04 am

NyanasaraThero wrote:
I feel this would have great value to people studying the teaching of the Buddha in the west, by showing how Buddhism is practiced in the context of Buddhist culture. The forest tradition is much talked about but actually little known outside of Sri Lanka and rural Thailand. It would have been very helpful to me to have this knowledge when I was approaching the teaching of the Buddha. What do you think?


Hi Bhante

It's not my place to tell you what you should do with your time, so I won't, I'll just say what I would/will do myself. I think in the same situation I would wait until I had a few years under my belt as a Bhikkhu, a good grasp of what it takes to stick it out over the years long term before I took to teaching, or to making videos of others teaching, but that is a personal decision. Making videos of talks of other monks and sending them through your self described factory sounds like quite an involved process, and personally, it's something that I feel would greatly detract from my meditation and satipatthana time, which again as a putthujana one can never get enough of.

As much as I enjoy giving back and helping others to learn (that's in essence my day job) I love solitude just as much, and I think that when I ordain I have a duty to become an Ariyan so that I'm not, as the Buddha says: Eating the almsfood of a nation as a debtor. I think that when I decide to teach or to help others in a way as you describe, I want it to come not from craving (which is inevitably the lot of the non-ariyan, albeit a skillful craving), but only from stainless aneja compassion.

I think back over the bast 8 or so years that I've been doing this, and I can remember more times than I can count on one hand where I thought I'd made it to stream entry or beyond, when in fact I had just been led astray by deep concentration. My first inclination when that had happened was to start trying to share the goodness so to speak, I felt like I'd won it all in the lottery and I had so much to give. But in the end even though unlike being a monk, there is no rule against lay people making declarations of such achievements, I didn't do so publicly ever, and even then, when I came to my senses so to speak - I felt very foolish for having been so certain, but then again good concentration does supress the hinderances to an extent that they do feel like they're absent, and in that headspace it's not hard to be fooled by it. At any rate I feel I have long since come to the conclusion that declaring one's supposed attainment to anyone other than very close and trusted friends, is actually a hindrance not only to what one might wish to achieve in future, but to one's current life and ease.

As for transitioning to the Buddhist monkhood, I note that you expressed frustration about being treated as "the new boy" by some senior monk, when in your previous religion and tradition you were a 'guru' with your own followers. I feel it's too important to let this one go (in respect to the potential for a positive resolution) and I will only be able to judge in retrospect whether it will be right speech or not:

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to ordaining in the Buddhist sangha, no matter what position one has held in one's previous life, be it a king, or a minister, or a guru, compared to those who ordain you, the elder monks, the majjhima monks, and even those who have been a monk only a day longer than oneself - One IS the new boy. One isn't entitled to be respected as though they are a senior teacher, one must be humble and suck it up, and bow to everyone and nip any egoism in the bud - Because that's a very importance facet of the training that the Buddha laid out. That's our tradition, the way it's been since the Buddha's day: Brahmins (which is a comparible position to your own in your former occupation) in the Buddha's time quite often converted to his Dhamma, but they were told that they had to give up any notions of seniority or elder status, and start again fresh. Back in those days (and most of the time today) followers of other sects had to be put on probation for a good while before they were given the higher ordination. This in part was so that they learned the importance of the fact that in the Buddha's dispensation, they were like newborns again. This has so many benefits, not in the least is that it is so easy for humility to translate into concentration and wisdom. So if it were me converting, I'd try and see the submission as a good thing, not an affront :)

Again, do not think I am suggesting anything about your own situation or preaching to you because that's not the case, but since you asked for our thoughts, that is how I feel about my own, and my own if I were in your shoes (as for a bit of background info, I read your blog and the statements contained within it).

So anyway, It's not my position to judge you on your claims or to suggest to you what you should do - I'm just a fool, albeit one conscious of his own foolishness, which I guess as the dhammapada has it, is the lesser of two evils - So you can take what I have to say or leave it, and I have a feeling it'll be the latter, but that satisfies my urge in any case to offer what I can :)

With metta
Jack
"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: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:10 am

Its unclear how much of a "new boy" Bhante Nyanasaro is, as he carries the title of Thero, meaning one with at least 10 vassas in the bhikkhu sangha.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby melancholy » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:22 am

pilgrim wrote:Its unclear how much of a "new boy" Bhante Nyanasaro is, as he carries the title of Thero, meaning one with at least 10 vassas in the bhikkhu sangha.


NyanasaraThero wrote:Hello All, :anjali:

I am a recently ordained Western monk in Sri Lanka, staying at a tiny forest monastery near Haputale. I built a kuti here before ordaining and now I stay mostly in reclusion, which I find quite suitable for meditation. However I would very much like to connect with other English-speaking monks in Sri Lanka ...


since he is recently ordained probably not having 10 vassas as a bhikkhu, unless relatively speaking with the length of the samsara! also possible he may not know the meaning of the word "thero".

i think the below sutta (an 6.14) answered about "very much like to connect with other English-speaking monks."

Then Ven. Sāriputta said to bhikkhus: “Friends, in which abiding, a bhikkhus death and his spending the time would not be
auspicious? A bhikkhu fond of delighting in crowd and company. Hence, he becomes fond of delighting in talk and conversation. . . .
sleep . . . company . . . association . . . proliferation . . . Thus, to this is said a bhikkhu indulges in the self does not dispel it for the
rightful destruction of suffering.”
Last edited by melancholy on Mon May 05, 2014 3:11 am, edited 4 times in total.
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby seeker242 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:28 pm

Venerable Bhikkhu Samahita is in Sri Lanka. He is very easy to get hold of. A regular contributor here and other Buddhist forums.

memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=111

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... u_Samahita
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:49 pm

Hi Pilgrim

Bhante stated in two of his posts he is recently ordained. Yes, generally Thero is a title reserved for 10 plus vassas, but some groups it seems lately use thero just to signify a fully ordained bhikkhu (quite without precedent). Furthermore, since Bhante is advanced in years and thero means 'venerable elder' (iirc) it is possible he just likes the title. :)

In any case, it is clear that such appropriation of a term usually reserved for an elder Bhikkhu is liable to cause confusion as we have seen here.

metta
Jack
"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: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Aloka » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:25 pm

pilgrim wrote:Its unclear how much of a "new boy" Bhante Nyanasaro is, as he carries the title of Thero, meaning one with at least 10 vassas in the bhikkhu sangha.


I think Nyanasaro Thero was quite recently known by the name of "Buddha Dave" on the internet.(see memberlist)

http://www.dhammawheel.com/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=6403


.
Last edited by Aloka on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:03 pm

melancholy wrote:i think the below sutta (an 6.14) answered about "very much like to connect with other English-speaking monks."

Then Ven. Sāriputta said to bhikkhus: “Friends, in which abiding, a bhikkhus death and his spending the time would not be
auspicious? A bhikkhu fond of delighting in crowd and company. Hence, he becomes fond of delighting in talk and conversation. . . .
sleep . . . company . . . association . . . proliferation . . . Thus, to this is said a bhikkhu indulges in the self does not dispel it for the
rightful destruction of suffering.”


When a junior bhikkhu seeks to make contact with other bhikkhus (as opposed to, say, drinking pals, Boston Red Sox fans or whatever) would it not be more charitable to assume that his aim is kalyānamittatā, not delighting in crowds?
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby melancholy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:22 am

BlackBird wrote:...
Hi Bhante

It's not my place to tell you what you should do with your time, so I won't, I'll just say what I would/will do myself. I think in the same situation I would wait until I had a few years under my belt as a Bhikkhu, a good grasp of what it takes to stick it out over the years long term before I took to teaching, or to making videos of others teaching, but that is a personal decision. Making videos of talks of other monks and sending them through your self described factory sounds like quite an involved process, and personally, it's something that I feel would greatly detract from my meditation and satipatthana time, which again as a putthujana one can never get enough of...


first, i must say sorry to BlackBird. i got the wrong impresson that you are having a go at NyanasaraThero, but reading his other post http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19166&p=269753#p269753 justified what you wrote. lord buddha said humble buddha-pabbajita's (ordained when old) are rare.

Dhammanando wrote:When a junior bhikkhu seeks to make contact with other bhikkhus (as opposed to, say, drinking pals, Boston Red Sox fans or whatever) would it not be more charitable to assume that his aim is kalyānamittatā, not delighting in crowds?


i prefer facts rather than assumptions. in this sasana for what reason a monk should seek kalyānamittatā?

NyanasaraThero wrote:It was hard to find a suitable teacher who had knowledge of my background.


if he really wants to follow the nobel eight fold path does it matter to find a "teacher who had knowledge of his background". if the glass is empty then the teacher can pour the dhamma into it very easily.

NyanasaraThero wrote:I have gradually set up a small video production facility, working toward the ability to have an online Dhamma channel. I would like to visit various forest monasteries, taking video of Dhamma talks by senior monks in English and Sinhala, documenting the life and practices of the monks and so on.


this is kammaramata. to practice the path we don't need a video production facility and an online dhamma channel ... etc.

NyanasaraThero wrote:I have done lots of wilderness camping, and am right at home with nature and solitude. In fact I prefer it. Nevertheless the gift of Dhamma is the greatest gift, and to this end I would like to document the life of the upcountry forest monks and their insights into the Dhamma.


So according to him gift of dhamma is more important than practicing in solitude. arn't there so much Dhamma available already? even those arahants at the lord buddha's time didn't have this much!

:anjali:
Last edited by melancholy on Mon May 05, 2014 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby SarathW » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:30 am

Mellancholy
You wrote:
even those arahants at the lord buddha's time didn't have this much!

==============
May this could be the reason that I am not an Arahant yet.
Too much reading not enough practice!
:)
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:47 am

Well I didn't see your previous post Melancholy so no harm done. I am these days a lot more careful with what I do and say and even still I think this post I have made is borderline, but our thoughts were sought, so mine were given.
"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: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:40 pm

melancholy wrote:in this sasana for what reason a monk should seek kalyānamittatā?


First because kalyāṇamittatā is "the whole of the brahmacariyā."

Second because not only is a junior bhikkhu not recommended to live alone, the Vinaya does not even permit him to do so. For at least his first five rains a bhikkhu is required to live in dependence on a senior bhikkhu. And since the benefit of kalyāṇamittatā consists in the fact that it is by this that one learns the teaching, it makes sense that a bhikkhu will seek someone who speaks his language.


NyanasaraThero wrote:I have gradually set up a small video production facility, working toward the ability to have an online Dhamma channel. I would like to visit various forest monasteries, taking video of Dhamma talks by senior monks in English and Sinhala, documenting the life and practices of the monks and so on.


this is kammaramata.


This seems an odd assertion from someone who professes to prefer facts over assumptions. I mean how do you know that it's kammārāmatā and not, say, a compassion-motivated wish to share the Dhamma or something else of a kusala character?

The ārāmatā in kammārāmatā (“delight in work’) is a state of mind, specifically, “a state of delighting in new work” (navakamme ramanakabhāva) and “being addicted (anuyutta) to much work”. It isn’t defined as “doing a lot of work”. Ānanda, for example, as the Buddha’s attendant did a lot of work, but since this was motivated by his solicitude for the Buddha’s material welfare and not by addiction, the texts never refer to it as kammārāmatā.

As it's a state of mind, whether or not somebody has fallen into kammārāmatā cannot be reliably known from the fact that he works much, any more than a person's freedom from kammārāmatā can be known from the fact that he works little. It can only be reliably known by cetopariyayañāṇa or else by the more familiar means of knowing another’s character: living with him, conversing with him, observing how he handles hardship (e.g. when he’s deprived of the opportunity to work), and doing all this for a long time. Not merely by reading a couple of posts to an online forum from a complete stranger.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby melancholy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:54 pm

@ Dhammanando

venerable sir, he is not a complete stranger. he was registered by another user name, which is deleted now, so as his other posts! you may have gain a better idea to whether how much he is addicted to work or not by looking at his other urls. but they are removed from his profile too.

i don't agree with what you say (not the dhamma :smile:), but don't wish to get into debates (on matters like NyanasaraThero) as i am preparing my self for a 3 months retreat.

:anjali:
Last edited by melancholy on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby melancholy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:26 pm

SarathW wrote:Mellancholy
You wrote:
even those arahants at the lord buddha's time didn't have this much!

==============
May this could be the reason that I am not an Arahant yet.
Too much reading not enough practice!
:)


before his parinibbana lord buddha said he had given the required teachings without hiding anything. he also pointed to the sangha (i think 500) and said least is a sotapanna, and no single argument among them about the path or the way.

since lord buddha's parinibbana how much dhamma had accumulated, is it what he gave is not enough or we know better? also how many people argue about the path these days saying our "method" is correct others' not!

this is solely my opinion, what i can see these days is more knowledge more confusion, less practice.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby SarathW » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:14 pm

I think Reading a Dhamma book is as good as Vipassana Meditation.
As a lay follower without a teacher I have to rely on books. Most of the books are re-affirming the thripitaka. It is like revision of thripitaka.
By the way I enjoy reading.
:reading:
:focus:
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:49 am

SarathW wrote:I think Reading a Dhamma book is as good as Vipassana Meditation.


Dear Sarath,

I am curious of the reasons for why you think this.

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby SarathW » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:24 am

When I read a book I critically evaluate the content (teaching) with my experience.
It may be present or past experience.
May be contemplation on past experience is not come under strict Vipassana meditation. (even if we think something is present it is actually the past)
I think reading a book requires some form of momentary concentration.
I also consider reading a book as some form of experience.

:shrug:
=========================

(4) Contemplation of Phenomena (dhammanupassana)
In the context of the fourth foundation of mindfulness, the multivalent word dhamma (here intended in the plural) has two interconnected meanings, as the account in the sutta shows. One meaning is cetasikas, the mental factors, which are now attended to in their own right apart from their role as coloring the state of mind, as was done in the previous contemplation. The other meaning is the elements of actuality, the ultimate constituents of experience as structured in the Buddha's teaching.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... d.html#ch8
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:18 am

Good posts Bhante Dhammanando.
"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: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby pulga » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:42 am

I find Ven. Ñanavira's view on the matter both inspiring and disconcerting at the same time. In his letter to Mr. Dias ([L. 2 | 2] 27 March 1962) he writes:

The Buddha tells us (in the Itivuttaka III,30: 71-2) that three things harm the progress of the sekha bhikkhu (one who has reached the Path but who has not arrived at arahatship): fondness for work (i.e. building, sewing robes, doing odd jobs, and so on), fondness for talk, and fondness for sleep. In the first two, as we can see, much awareness must be devoted to successful performance of the task in hand (making things, expounding the Dhamma), and in the third no awareness is possible. From the passages I quoted earlier it is clear that awareness for the purpose of release is best practised on those actions that are habitual and do not require much thought to perform—walking, standing, sitting, lying down, attending to bodily needs of various kinds, and so on. (The reference to 'sleeping' in passage (a) means that one should go to sleep with awareness, bearing in mind the time to awaken again; it does not mean that we should practise awareness while we are actually asleep.) Naturally a bhikkhu cannot altogether avoid doing jobs of work or occasionally talking, but these, too, should be done mindfully and with awareness as far as possible: 'he is mindful as he sets to work', 'in speaking and being silent he practises awareness'. The normal person, as I remarked above, does not practise awareness where he does not find it necessary, that is to say, in his habitual actions; but the bhikkhu is instructed not only to do these habitual actions with awareness but also, as far as possible, to confine himself to these actions. Drive and initiative in new ventures, so highly prized in the world of business and practical affairs, are impediments for one who is seeking release. (emphasis added)
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