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Vinaya on sports and physical exercise - Dhamma Wheel

Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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waterchan
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Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby waterchan » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:52 pm

Are there any Vinaya rules prohibiting monks from engaging in friendly sports, or even just solitary physical exercises such as gym exercises and weight-lifting? I can't say I've seen monks do any of those.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:44 pm

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.”

This is a common practice in the forest monasteries, to sweep the footpaths. It also serves a practical purpose to remove leaf cover for centipedes, and other poisonous creatures, that might sting if trodden on.

“Playing in the water” is not allowed, due to the group of seventeen monks being spotted by King Pasenadi playing in the water. He gave them a ball (guḷapiṇḍaṃ) as a present to give to the Buddha. The Buddha then laid down the rule against playing in the water. Swimming in order to do some work, such as repairing a monastery or Ordination sīma built on stilts in the water is allowable. (Edited to correct error)

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 or may be acceptable. Ajahn Sucitto encouraged the monks to do Qigong while I was at Chithurst, but I declined.

I did weight-lifting at one time while in Burma, using some reinforcing steel and bricks that were there for building work, but I was discrete about it. Some lay-people might disapprove of such activities.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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waterchan
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby waterchan » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:26 pm

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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Sati1
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby Sati1 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:04 am

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.
Sati1
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----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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daverupa
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby daverupa » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:42 am

Walking and stretching, surely - and quite a bit of both I expect - were normal parts of the early monastic regimen.

But perhaps there are issues surrounding taking extra food for the purpose of sports nutrition? Do issues of beautification arise here?

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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby culaavuso » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:47 am



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David N. Snyder
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:49 am

I can see why sports would not be suitable. The Buddha did not allow the monastics to watch entertainment shows, which included sports. Additionally, imagine a lay person rushing over to the vihara on their lunch break from work to provide lunch dana in time, only to find the monks in the back yard playing football (soccer) or baseball or cricket.

I like the practice of sweeping, as it is productive too, as the venerable mentioned. And let's not forget walking meditation! Especially, if it is a long walk, can be good exercise.

Gardening and landscaping would have been another good, productive exercise, but alas, it is not allowed.

pacittiya 10. Should any bhikkhu dig soil or have it dug, it is to be confessed.
pacittiya 11. The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:28 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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melancholy
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby melancholy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:22 pm

at the time of the buddha, his doctor jivaka saw monks becoming fat and recommended sauna and walking meditation. therefore the buddha allowed monks to use sauna and walking meditation.
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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gavesako
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby gavesako » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:05 pm

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
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melancholy
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby melancholy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:43 pm

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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Kasina
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby Kasina » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:31 pm

"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

Wilbur Mercer in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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waterchan
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby waterchan » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:37 am

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 .
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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melancholy
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buddha's sense of humour

Postby melancholy » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:21 pm

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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waterchan
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby waterchan » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:28 pm

LOL! :jumping:

Thanks for that. I'm saving that one in my notes. The Buddha's response to that is just side-splitting...

I wonder what the commentary says about that one. Maybe the monk was doing too much body contemplation?

Can't wait for SuttaCentral's centralized Vinaya to come out.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

Sylvester
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby Sylvester » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:20 am


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waterchan
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Re: Vinaya on sports and physical exercise

Postby waterchan » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Thanks Sylvester :thumbsup:
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)


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