Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:When the monks were suffering from health problems due to too much rich food, the Buddha made an allowance for them:
“Monks, I allow you to do sweeping.”
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:“Playing in the water” is not allowed, due to the group of six monks being spotted by the king (larking about while bathing I presume). He gave them a ball as a present to give to the Buddha.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Swimming for healthy exercise is done by some monks in remote areas, but I don't think it is widely accepted.
Running is not allowable. Playing football and other sports are unsuitable. Martial arts are also unsuitable IMO, though T'ai Chi or Qigong may be acceptable. Ajahn Sucitto encouraged the monks to do Qigong while I was at Chithurst, but I declined.
Sati1 wrote:How about yoga? I would have thought that some basic exercise would be encouraged to protect the back, legs, etc for practice in old age.
Rich Orloff and Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Are you allowed recreation of any sort?
For us, recreation is going out into the wilderness. Sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon and meditating, opening our eyes every now and then, looking at the Grand Canyon, and meditating some more. We do a lot of walking meditation; it's really emphasized in this tradition. When I get a chance, or when I've had enough of the monastery, I go out and hike around awhile.
What else do monks do for exercise?
A lot of sweeping up. Some Western monks and modern Thai monks do yoga in their rooms.
But you can't say, "Hey, I've meditated all day, I just want to toss around a football."
waterchan wrote:Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:“Playing in the water” is not allowed, due to the group of six monks being spotted by the king (larking about while bathing I presume). He gave them a ball as a present to give to the Buddha.
Double LOL! I can only imagine the expression on the Buddha's face as the monks handed the ball to him.
Why a ball, Bhante?
53. The act of playing in the water is to be confessed.
Here again, the factors for the full offence are three.
1) Effort: One jumps up or down, splashes or swims
2) Object: in water deep enough to immerse one’s ankle
3) Intention: for fun.
Effort. According to the Commentary, each individual effort counts as a separate offence. Thus if one is swimming for fun, one incurs a Pācittiya for each hand or foot stroke.
Object. Jumping up or down in water less than ankle deep entails a Dukkaṭa, as does splashing water with the hands, feet, a stick, or a piece of tile; playing with water in a tumbler or a bowl; or playing with such things as sour gruel, milk, buttermilk, coloured dyes, urine, or mud.
The Vibhaṅga states that there is also a Dukkaṭa for playing in a boat. This the Commentary defines as paddling a boat with an oar, propelling it with a pole, or pushing it up on shore.
Intention. The Vibhaṅga defines this factor as “for a laugh,” which the Commentary translates as “for fun” or “for sport” (kiladhippayo).
The question of swimming for fitness or exercise does not come up in any of the texts, and seems to have been virtually unheard of in Asia until recent times. Swimming in most Asian countries has long been regarded as a childish form of play, and the one mention in the Canon of athletic bhikkhus keeping their bodies in strong shape is disparaging: In the origin story to Saṅghādisesa 8, Ven. Dabba Mallaputta assigned separate lodgings to different groups of bhikkhus — those who studied the Suttas, those who studied the Vinaya, those who meditated, etc. — and, finally, “for those bhikkhus who lived indulging in animal talk and keeping their bodies in strong shape, he assigned lodgings in the same place, ‘So that even these venerable ones will live as they like.’” Thus it does not seem likely that the Buddha would have recognised physical fitness as an appropriate reason for bhikkhus to go swimming.
On the other hand, if a bhikkhu has a medical reason for swimming — e.g., he has injured his shoulder, and his doctor has recommended that he swim to help speed its healing — this would probably count as an instance of “having business to do in the water” and thus would come under the relevant no‑offence clause.
Non-offences. The Vibhaṅga states that there is no offence in jumping in or out of the water, swimming, or using a boat:
· if one goes into the water not for fun but because one has business to do — examples would include bathing or helping a person who cannot swim;
· if one is crossing to the other shore of a body of water; or
· if there are dangers — e.g., one is escaping a fire or a wild beast.
Summary: Jumping and swimming in the water for fun is a Pācittiya offence.
"They indulged in many kinds of bad behavior such as cultivating flowering trees, making them into garlands and sending them to women and girls of respectable families; eating and socializing with women and girls of respectable families; eating after noon; drinking intoxicants; dancing, singing and playing musical instruments; playing various games; training in elephant, horse and cart knowledge; training in archery and swordsmanship; wrestling and fighting; applauding dancing girls; etc."
gavesako wrote:The Vinaya passage describing the misbehaviour of the group of six monks includes at the end:"They indulged in many kinds of bad behavior such as ... eating and socializing with women and girls of respectable families; eating after noon; drinking intoxicants; ... etc."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... guide.html
gavesako wrote:The Vinaya passage describing the misbehaviour of the group of six monks includes at the end:"They indulged in many kinds of bad behavior such as cultivating flowering trees, making them into garlands and sending them to women and girls of respectable families; eating and socializing with women and girls of respectable families; eating after noon; drinking intoxicants; dancing, singing and playing musical instruments; playing various games; training in elephant, horse and cart knowledge; training in archery and swordsmanship; wrestling and fighting; applauding dancing girls; etc."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... guide.html
waterchan wrote:Seems that the Vinaya is full of awkward humor! It's a pity we don't have an easily accessible translation of it yet, although I hear Bhante Sujato and co are working on getting it to SuttaCentral.
Now at that time a certain monk, tormented by dissatisfaction, cut off his own male organ. They told this matter to the Lord. He said, "This foolish man, monks, cut off one thing when another (defilements) should have been cut off. Monks, one should not cut off one’s own male organ. Whoever should cut it off, there is a grave offence."
-Vinaya (Culavagga - Khuddakavatthu) The Book of the Discipline, V, pg. 149
waterchan wrote:Why a ball, Bhante?
One day the royal couple looked down upon the river from the palace and saw a group of the Buddha's monks playing about in the water. The king said to Queen Mallika reproachfully: "Those playing about in the water are supposed to be Saints?" Such was namely the reputation of this group of the so-called seventeen monks, who were quite young and of good moral conduct. Mallika replied that she could only explain it thus, that either the Buddha had not made any rules with regard to bathing or that the monks were not acquainted with them, because they were not amongst the rules which were recited regularly.
Both agreed that it would not make a good impression on lay people and on those monks not yet secure, if those in higher training played about in the water and enjoyed themselves in the way of untrained worldly people. But King Pasenadi wanted to avoid blackening those monks' characters and just wanted to give the Buddha a hint, so that he could lay down a firm rule. He conceived the idea to send a special gift to the Buddha to be taken by those monks. They brought the gift and the Buddha asked them on what occasion they had met the King. Then they told him what they had done and the Buddha laid down a corresponding rule. (Pac. 53)