Ordained & the social networking services

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

Ordained & the social networking services

Postby mirco » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:50 am

_()_

Dhamma Greetings All,


recently, I stumbled upon these thoughts:

Due to the Vinaya,
Bhikkhunis and Bhikkhus are only allowed to take what is offered to them.

But neither the accounts at social networking services (like Facebook, Google+, Ning, etc.)
or like at boards like dhammawheel, nor the service itself
have been offered to the Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis.

What do you think?


May All Beings Be Well

_()_
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:07 pm

Hi Micro

I can’t see any problems.
Buddha also had a board. He had two of his main desiple (CEO and MD)
Then anyone enter the order has to take ten precepts (signing up)
They also had a code of conduct (Vinaya rules)
Buddha never asked monks not to use paper or electronic media to spread Dhamma.
:shrug:
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby appicchato » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:25 pm

...neither the accounts, nor the service itself
have been offered to the Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis.


Is not 'Sign Up' an offer?... :coffee:
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby gavesako » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:18 pm

If you mean that these companies offer the free social networking service in exchange for advertising that is displayed on the side and most users will be influenced in their purchases by it, then yes: bhikkhus who don't use money to purchase things themselves will not do their part of the deal (and I have AdBlock installed anyway).
:shrug:
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby mirco » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:22 pm

gavesako wrote:If you mean that these companies offer the free social networking service in exchange for advertising that is displayed on the side and most users will be influenced in their purchases by it, then yes: bhikkhus who don't use money to purchase things themselves will not do their part of the deal

Venerable Sir,

just because it is offered free to everyone, it is not offered to you as a monk in particular. And that this is not according to the vinaya, isn't it?.

I mean, can you just walk around in the woods, pick up fruits and take them with you as you like?
(supposing that the woods have no owner)

:?:

_()_
Last edited by mirco on Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby binocular » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:26 pm

Are monks allowed to drink water from a river or public fountain?
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:30 pm

mirco wrote:I mean, can you just walk around in the woods, pick up fruits and take them with you as you like?
(supposing that the woods have no owner)


I believe so. I remember there is a Vinaya passage where it mentions there is no offense for "stealing" carrion from a carnivorous animal. That is not offered either. So it would seem that taking food or anything else where there is no theft, is not an offense.
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:01 pm

mirco wrote:just because it is offered free to everyone, it is not offered to you as a monk in particularly. And that this is not according to the vinaya, isn't it?.


Looking at the Vinaya the only relevant rule I found is this http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/ ... m#ch-----2 and it's about not taking away others possessions (which doesn't apply) and they must be of a minumum value (which doesn't apply).

Rules around offerings are specific to food and robes etc.

So I assume you are referring to the 5 precepts which say we should not take that which is not given, as this also applies to laypeople by your interptratation all of us have broken it by signing up to Dhammawheel.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:25 pm

My observations are that monks follow the Vinaya to different degrees of strictness based on context such as interpretation of the Vinaya and teacher(s).

I'm quite sure that one could interpret the Vinaya as allowing the use of social networking.

It seems to me that you have a bone to pick with the ordained based on your previous posts. Why is this so?

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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby mirco » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:40 pm

binocular wrote:Are monks allowed to drink water from a river or public fountain?

I don't know.

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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby mirco » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:43 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
mirco wrote:I mean, can you just walk around in the woods, pick up fruits and take them with you as you like?
(supposing that the woods have no owner)


I believe so. I remember there is a Vinaya passage where it mentions there is no offense for "stealing" carrion from a carnivorous animal. That is not offered either. So it would seem that taking food or anything else where there is no theft, is not an offense.


Goofaholix wrote:
mirco wrote:just because it is offered free to everyone, it is not offered to you as a monk in particularly. And that this is not according to the vinaya, isn't it?.


Looking at the Vinaya the only relevant rule I found is this http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/ ... m#ch-----2 and it's about not taking away others possessions (which doesn't apply) and they must be of a minumum value (which doesn't apply).

Rules around offerings are specific to food and robes etc.

So I assume you are referring to the 5 precepts which say we should not take that which is not given, as this also applies to laypeople by your interptratation all of us have broken it by signing up to Dhammawheel.


Thanks to the both of you. You inspired me to have a closer look into the Vinaya myself.

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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby mirco » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:51 pm

Mkoll wrote:My observations are that monks follow the Vinaya to different degrees of strictness based on context such as interpretation of the Vinaya and teacher(s). I'm quite sure that one could interpret the Vinaya as allowing the use of social networking.

It seems to me that you have a bone to pick with the ordained based on your previous posts. Why is this so?

No, I don't.

But there is a transference of another actual conflict into this field.
Like, I'm unsatisfied with something else and now I want to proof someone else's wrong and be the one, who is right :-).

Thanks for that question, that's a relief.

But I am still interested in the facts, thus I have to study the Vinaya myself.


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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:21 pm

mirco wrote:
Mkoll wrote:My observations are that monks follow the Vinaya to different degrees of strictness based on context such as interpretation of the Vinaya and teacher(s). I'm quite sure that one could interpret the Vinaya as allowing the use of social networking.

It seems to me that you have a bone to pick with the ordained based on your previous posts. Why is this so?

No, I don't.

But there is a transference of another actual conflict into this field.
Like, I'm unsatisfied with something else and now I want to proof someone else's wrong and be the one, who is right :-).

Thanks for that question, that's a relief.

I have no idea what that was supposed to mean. Can you please tell me what you want to say clearly and directly, without ambiguity?
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby mirco » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:48 pm

:off topic:
_()_
Dear Mkoll,
Mkoll wrote:I have no idea what that was supposed to mean. Can you please tell me what you want to say clearly and directly, without ambiguity?

To me there was no ambiguity. Here we go: I am unsatisfied with a certain situation, which has got nothing to do with anything here. I don't like the satisfactoriness (negative attachment). Unconsciously I was looking for relief of this negative emotions. I made up this thread, [exaggerated ironical illustration on] to show the world of mislead monks, how wrong they are so I can be the hero of truth [exaggerated ironical illustration off]. Because then I would have felt better, because I would have been the one, who knows it right. But because of your clever [no irony] question, I recognized, what was going on inside myself. And instead of further acting out the bad feeling I simply let go of it. Then I relaxed and returned to this thread with keen interest and friendly intention. _()_
Last edited by mirco on Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:51 pm

:heart:

:anjali:
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby binocular » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:55 am

^ ^
Awww!


:focus:

If monks are allowed to drink water from public sources of water, and this is not considered stealing, then this is an example of monks being allowed to take what has not been specifically offered to them personally, but which is generally available.

So some free internet services would seem to fall into this same category.

Of course, since the use of the internet isn't in the same category of necessity as drinking water, this point may well be moot.

I think the bigger issue here may be how people, including monks, use, or abuse, such generally available services.
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:14 pm

mirco wrote:_()_

Dhamma Greetings All,


recently, I stumbled upon these thoughts:

Due to the Vinaya,
Bhikkhunis and Bhikkhus are only allowed to take what is offered to them.

But neither the accounts at social networking services (like Facebook, Google+, Ning, etc.)
or like at boards like dhammawheel, nor the service itself
have been offered to the Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis.

What do you think?


May All Beings Be Well

_()_

I fail to see any wrongdoing, the services are freely provided for anyone without discrimination, and they have gained access to the internet by allowable means.
So you maybe thinking to much into this.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby mirco » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:27 am

_()_
Dear Cittasanto,
Cittasanto wrote:I fail to see any wrongdoing, the services are freely provided for anyone without discrimination, and they have gained access to the internet by allowable means. So you maybe thinking to much into this.

maybe I am.

I was/am thinking, that Bhikkhunis and Bhikkhus are only allowed to take
what is offered with exactly the purpose to support their daily living as fully ordained Buddhists.
Like food, meds, vihaara/room and clothing. But as I said, given with the intention to support a Bhikkhu.

:?:
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby binocular » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:28 pm

mirco wrote:I was/am thinking, that Bhikkhunis and Bhikkhus are only allowed to take
what is offered with exactly the purpose to support their daily living as fully ordained Buddhists.
Like food, meds, vihaara/room and clothing. But as I said, given with the intention to support a Bhikkhu.

Good point.

When creating the internet, the people doing that probably didn't think of supporting monastics with it, and probably the people who are now involved in making the internet work largely aren't intent to support monastics either.

One thing is certain: the internet makes possible interactions and situations that are rare or not possible IRL. For example, a woman can contact a monk via a private message, and even have a conversation with him, and all this in private. Or, in an online discussion about Buddhism, all kinds of people can participate and have their voice heard. Online, it is also possible to find oneself in a conversation with someone who is actually a monk, but one doesn't know this. Or one could be having a conversation with someone who claims to be a monk, but who in fact isn't one.
So these things can be very confusing.
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Re: Ordained & the social networking services

Postby Anagarika » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:50 pm

I feel that the Vinaya and precepts are sacrosanct, but that they're not intended to be ordinances by which laws are enforced, or commandments that result in "sin" accruing to the monk or layperson. Rather, they have much to do with the intention and ethics of the person taking the precepts. So when we question whether a Bhukkhu/Bhikkhuni violates the monastic precepts by signing up for a Facebook account and using FB to teach Dhamma and be in contact with students, we can understand that the intention is pure and skillful, and speculation about Vinaya interpretations is, to me, not that relevant. Picking fruit off of the forest floor? Why not? It's not offered, but it is there to either be eaten, or to rot. How could a monk taking this fruit not be acting skillfully?

Part of the beauty of the Buddha's precepts is the idea that it is our own sila and kamma that guides us in making these decisions and actions. Each of us have to be the ethical lamp that guides us, and save for serious monastic offenses, we shouldn't be too ready to split hairs as to whether the Vinaya disallows a monk from joining Facebook. If a monastic picks up a piece of fruit off of a forest floor, I hope it is sweet and nutritious, and supplies her with fuel for her journey. If a monk opens a Facebook account and gains access to students who benefit from his teachings, all the better.
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