Do it yourself!

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

Do it yourself!

Postby kryptos » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:49 am

Friends in the Dhamma!

There were many independent renunciants in the ancient India, Gotama himself was one. Let's assume that someone wants to become an independent renunciant nowadays (not an ordained monk) to practice a very simple life based on Buddha-Dhamma, 10 precepts, meditation, mendicancy, seclusion in forests/parks/gardens, dwelling under trees or in ruins and taking shower in rivers or wherever.

Questions:

(1) Is it possible to practice in India or Nepal nowadays? Do modern citizens support independent renunciants? How are they seen by the society?
(2) How should one proceed in order to live like that?
(3) I think getting new visas would be a problem, wouldn't it?
(4) If that is definitely impossible, are there alternatives? :thinking:
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:48 am

Why do you think practice is any different in India/Nepal, than it is where you are right now?

Is it necessary for you to travel there?

I merely ask, because a person of my acquaintance has done such a thing in Italy....
:namaste:

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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:58 am

I can just imagine the visa application, no job, no money, no return ticket, no travel insurance, then of course probably every 3 months you'd have to cross the border to renew your visa and who's going to pay for that. The locals probably do feed locals who choose this lifestyle but what would they make of a foreigner.

The question i'd as is why would you want to?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby walkart » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:52 am

Be carefull.
AN 10.99
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby kryptos » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:08 pm

Thanks! My answers:

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:Why do you think practice is any different in India/Nepal, than it is where you are right now?
Is it necessary for you to travel there?
I merely ask, because a person of my acquaintance has done such a thing in Italy....


I believe that living in India or Nepal would be better because mendicancy of that type (with a spiritual goal) is a normal thing or at least used to be. I have never been to India, but I would like to. Hmmm... Sounds good. How have your acquaintance done such a thing in Italy? Depending on the solution, I would be interested, too. Thanks.

Goofaholix wrote:I can just imagine the visa application, no job, no money, no return ticket, no travel insurance, then of course probably every 3 months you'd have to cross the border to renew your visa and who's going to pay for that. The locals probably do feed locals who choose this lifestyle but what would they make of a foreigner.
The question i'd as is why would you want to?


I am not concerned about having a job, money, return ticket, travel insurance. I want to be a renunciant relying on my faith, practices, people's generosity and Buddha-Dhamma. I am not worried about how painful life might be. I wouldn't like to go illegal in terms of staying in the country without permission. I have sufficient money to get new Visas for the first three years and I would ask some local to keep my money and help me with that. In the meantime I would expect someone to help me in this matter for the next years.

Why? Because I want to simplify my practice by not having to follow the Vinaya in the same way the ordained monks do in Theravada Tradition. I am not against Vinaya or Theravada Tradition, but I prefer to live under my own policy and not under the policy of an institution. I lived in SE Asia for some time and my opinion is based on experience. So, it's not a matter of what is wrong or not. I don't think like that. I respect everybody but I also have the freedom to choose my own path and there is nothing wrong about that. Beyond that, I am not one of those purists who think there is only one path.

walkart wrote:Be carefull.
AN 10.99


That helps, thanks! My practice would not take place only in the forests, I would live in the villages, gardens, ruins and parks, too, as I said before. I do not think that living in complete seclusion for a long time is healthy and safe.
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby appicchato » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:16 pm

(1) Is it possible to practice in India or Nepal nowadays? Do modern citizens support independent renunciants? How are they seen by the society?
(2) How should one proceed in order to live like that?
(3) I think getting new visas would be a problem, wouldn't it?
(4) If that is definitely impossible, are there alternatives?


(1) It's possible to practice anywhere. Depends...one citizen's independent renunciant is another's bum. Which one?
(2) It's your plan...for you to figure out.
(3) Yes.
(4) There is always an alternative.

All the best...
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby kryptos » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:52 pm

Anagarika Dharmapala seems to be a good source of inspiration.

"'Dharmapala' means 'protector of the dharma'. 'Anagarika' means "homeless one". It is a midway status between monk and layperson. As such, he took the eight precepts (refrain from killing, stealing, sexual activity, wrong speech, intoxicating drinks and drugs, eating after noon, entertainments and fashionable attire, and luxurious beds) for life. These eight precepts were commonly taken by Ceylonese laypeople on observance days.[3] But for a person to take them for life was highly unusual. Dharmapala was the first anagarika - that is, a celibate, full-time worker for Buddhism - in modern times. It seems that he took a vow of celibacy at the age of eight and remained faithful to it all his life. Although he wore a yellow robe, it was not of the traditional bhikkhu pattern, and he did not shave his head. He felt that the observance of all the vinaya rules would get in the way of his work, especially as he flew around the world. Neither the title nor the office became popular, but in this role, he "was the model for lay activism in modernist Buddhism."[4] He is considered a bodhisattva in Sri Lanka.[5]"

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anagarika_Dharmapala
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby SamKR » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:49 am

kryptos wrote:I believe that living in India or Nepal would be better because mendicancy of that type (with a spiritual goal) is a normal thing or at least used to be. I have never been to India, but I would like to. Hmmm... Sounds good. How have your acquaintance done such a thing in Italy? Depending on the solution, I would be interested, too. Thanks.

Mendicancy with spiritual goal near villages or independent spiritual practices in the wilderness were very normal thing in the past (from ancient times until even a few decades ago). But the countries have changed - population increased, and people's preferences and way of living has changed drastically in the last few decades. Due to numerous fake mendicants/yogis and fraud & hypocrite gurus, the negative attitude towards spiritualism as a whole is increasing among modern educated people. So, I am not sure if such mendicancy and independent spiritual practice is still feasible. Although it does not seem to be easy, it is not impossible either if you are really really determined and you are good at connecting with people easily. I believe real yogis with real spiritual focus and having ability to influence people can still gain support and respect from society. I don't know where you are from, but being a Westerner should be a plus, I guess - because many educated religious people in urban areas here like and do respect when a Westerner is trying to adopt Eastern spirituality). But recent political situation may make it a bit harder: I am not sure about India, but in the last decade the Maoist conflict has changed a lot in Nepal. (I was born and raised in Nepal.)

kryptos wrote:I am not concerned about having a job, money, return ticket, travel insurance. I want to be a renunciant relying on my faith, practices, people's generosity and Buddha-Dhamma. I am not worried about how painful life might be. I wouldn't like to go illegal in terms of staying in the country without permission. I have sufficient money to get new Visas for the first three years and I would ask some local to keep my money and help me with that. In the meantime I would expect someone to help me in this matter for the next years.

I guess it is not easy to gain any long term visa allowing one to roam freely as a mendicant. I have seen foreigners (from the West) settled in Nepal, so I guess it should be possible to gain citizenship, but not easily. It could be a bit easier in India, I guess.
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby SarathW » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:26 am

kryptos wrote:Anagarika Dharmapala seems to be a good source of inspiration.

"'Dharmapala' means 'protector of the dharma'. 'Anagarika' means "homeless one". It is a midway status between monk and layperson. As such, he took the eight precepts (refrain from killing, stealing, sexual activity, wrong speech, intoxicating drinks and drugs, eating after noon, entertainments and fashionable attire, and luxurious beds) for life. These eight precepts were commonly taken by Ceylonese laypeople on observance days.[3] But for a person to take them for life was highly unusual. Dharmapala was the first anagarika - that is, a celibate, full-time worker for Buddhism - in modern times. It seems that he took a vow of celibacy at the age of eight and remained faithful to it all his life. Although he wore a yellow robe, it was not of the traditional bhikkhu pattern, and he did not shave his head. He felt that the observance of all the vinaya rules would get in the way of his work, especially as he flew around the world. Neither the title nor the office became popular, but in this role, he "was the model for lay activism in modernist Buddhism."[4] He is considered a bodhisattva in Sri Lanka.[5]"

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anagarika_Dharmapala


Anagarika Dhrmapala is one of my hero’s.
:anjali:
I saw his photo in a local stamp when I was about seven years old.
I still vividly remember affection for him even without knowing who he was.
Sometimes I day dream following his footsteps.
One of my friends said, that the vehicle he used to travel is still preserved in Sri Lanka.

See some info about his contemporary H.Olcott

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19685
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby piano piano » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:36 am

About the logistics of doing your thing in India and Nepal, there are the following considerations. You would travel to India on a tourist visa, which limits your stay for a maximum of 180 days for one entry (visa starts counting from first day of issue, not from first day of entering the country). If you happen to be a U.S. citizen, you can apply for a ten-year-visa which gives you the right to enter India for 20 times 180 day-stays in sequence, but you need to leave at the latest on each 180th day, for instance to Nepal, entering which costs you 25 US Dollars each time for 15 days stay, 40 for a month, or 100 for 3 months.

If you are not an American, you have to go the way of ordinary mortals, and apply for 6-months-visas for India each time you need to leave. Your best option in such circumstances is to stay in India for 6 months, then migrate to Nepal vor 150 days (max allowed stay in Nepal), then apply for India visa again, and stay in India again. Visas always cost money, though, and you cannot do without. Visa issuing changes from time to time. You might be asked to go to your home-country to apply for a 6-month-visa, and be given only 3 months.

Most Theravada Buddhist monks use money in India. India does not understand the tradition of Pindapat anymore. You won't get food from anyone, except if you educate them.

You could do your thing in Sri Lanka or Thailand, however, where that tradition is still strong. I don't see why you should search out places where the traditions are not accepted. Staunch monks are doing that in the hills of Sri Lanka, where they share the forest with wild elephants and other dangers. You could just get ordained by anyone, and then go your way. There are well-known Western monks who did not undergo a 5-year-nissaya. For the visa-situation in Sri Lanka you need some strong support, meaning good connections (places like Na Uyana are a good connection, but it can also be done thru other links to the Government).
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby kryptos » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:51 pm

Excellent description, SamKR. I will take it all into consideration. Thanks a lot!

piano piano wrote:You could do your thing in Sri Lanka or Thailand, however, where that tradition is still strong. I don't see why you should search out places where the traditions are not accepted. Staunch monks are doing that in the hills of Sri Lanka, where they share the forest with wild elephants and other dangers. You could just get ordained by anyone, and then go your way. There are well-known Western monks who did not undergo a 5-year-nissaya. For the visa-situation in Sri Lanka you need some strong support, meaning good connections (places like Na Uyana are a good connection, but it can also be done thru other links to the Government).

Hi, piano piano. Sounds good. I thought about this alternative before, but I ended up not considering it anymore because of the 5-year-nissaya period. Questions:
(1) Isn't it mandatory? Is it a decision taken by the recently ordained monk? I thought it was mandatory and a serious commitment at least in Thailand.
(2) In the case I decide to not undergo the 5-year-nissaya: Would it destroy the "legal" connection between me and the monastery/order?
(3) Would I have to return to the monastery for visa issues prior to one year period? How would the abbot treat me?
(4) What are the western monks you know that live that way?
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby James the Giant » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:54 pm

You don't need to go to asian countries to be a self-ordained mendicant, living alone and wandering for alms.
It is possible in the west, at least in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
When I was at a monastery in New Zealand, one of the monks decided to test if he could survive on just what the local people gave him, without relying on monastery food. He went on pindabat every day, walking to a nearby supermarket and shopping centre, and just standing quietly outside likely places. He got plenty of food, many subway sandwiches, pies, bread, and liters of soft drinks.
He only had to walk and wait for perhaps one hour, before getting more than enough for a whole day's food needs.
He did this every day for 4 months I believe, during the rains retreat.

In Australia I met a guy who was doing a similar mendicancy thing, except he didn't wear robes. He was a spiritual hippy backpacker type of guy, he never paid for food. Lived in parks, in the forest, and in friendly people's houses as a guest/housesitter/etc.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:05 pm

kryptos wrote:I am not concerned about having a job, money, return ticket, travel insurance.


No doubt, my point is that immigration will be, you just won't be given a visa unless you can prove that you can support yourself and intend to leave the country when your visa expires.

No country wants another countries bum, even if it's a dhamma bum.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby Zentruckdriver » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:46 pm

Hi Kryptos,
Maybe this site can help with some ideas http://becomenomad.com/
I know its not exactly what your intending to do but we still need to
maintain a legal aspect to prove our intentions are innocent.

I have not owned a property for years and use my Mums address for
documents and so on.

Usually when I tell people that im going traveling for a couple of years
they respond with negativity but I still go and have had many happy years
on the road.

The only other thing I can think of is becoming Stateless but I have
never researched it and do not know if its applicable.

Kind Regards Paul.
Dipping a toe in or pulling myself from a swamp...yeah that covers it for now.
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby kryptos » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:03 am

That's a good scenery, James! Thanks!

Goofaholix wrote:
kryptos wrote:I am not concerned about having a job, money, return ticket, travel insurance.

No doubt, my point is that immigration will be, you just won't be given a visa unless you can prove that you can support yourself and intend to leave the country when your visa expires.
No country wants another countries bum, even if it's a dhamma bum.

Dharma bum! LoL! Yes, I agree. I discard any possibility to go illegal. I do not want to be a burden to anyone. If living abroad, I would have to find a way to be legal and free from worries, which implies being an ordained monk. Or I could get married! :heart: Just kidding...

Zentruckdriver wrote:Hi Kryptos,
Maybe this site can help with some ideas http://becomenomad.com/

Of course it may help. :twothumbsup:

Zentruckdriver wrote:The only other thing I can think of is becoming Stateless but I have
never researched it and do not know if its applicable.

Not applicable. :rofl:
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby melancholy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:41 pm

kryptos, are you looking for a lifestyle like ramana maharshi. i mean not the views, but the simple & free living?
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: Do it yourself!

Postby kryptos » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:05 am

melancholy wrote:kryptos, are you looking for a lifestyle like ramana maharshi. i mean not the views, but the simple & free living?

My knowledge about him is too embryonic. Anyway, I will read his biography. May help! Thank very much! :twothumbsup:

I take the opportunity to show the video below. It is about a piano tuner that decided to become homeless and found a very interesting way of living. That gives an idea on how to become a modern nomad.

Short film "The traveling piano tuner": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36O39ruGZ-g
Richard's blog: http://www.piano-tuning.co.uk

What do you think about Richard's lifestyle?

I am seriously thinking about doing the same, including the 9 precepts and - after some experience using money and not using money - the 10 precepts. Instead of using generic robes, I would use black T-shirt and black trousers everyday. Why? Because I do not want to attract people's attention. I want to avoid trouble, specially with the police. If I use robes, they might think I am crazy and would send me to a treatment center! :shrug: It is different from a monastic that can walk in the streets and then go back to his place.
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby happylotus1 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:01 am

1. It is possible although might be tougher to resist due to likely vicissitude. Nepal and India still have a large number of such renunciates.
2. First try to live life in ashrams or monasteries and observe their daily lifestyles with minimum requirements of life. You can move from one ashram or monasteries as guest to another for initial adjustments. You can be supported with very little money in that parts of the world with frugal expenditures.
3. Once you get visa and enter to the country and if you enter into the domain of renunciate there is little likelihood that you are checked for your visa. However it is always better to be within legal status. I am not aware of any special visa for renunciate in Nepal and India.
4. I think it is possible although with hardship from your part.

Kind regards,
A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?
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Re: Do it yourself!

Postby melancholy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:03 pm

kryptos wrote:
melancholy wrote:kryptos, are you looking for a lifestyle like ramana maharshi. i mean not the views, but the simple & free living?

My knowledge about him is too embryonic. Anyway, I will read his biography. May help! Thank very much! :twothumbsup:

I take the opportunity to show the video below. It is about a piano tuner that decided to become homeless and found a very interesting way of living. That gives an idea on how to become a modern nomad.

Short film "The traveling piano tuner": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36O39ruGZ-g
Richard's blog: http://www.piano-tuning.co.uk

What do you think about Richard's lifestyle?

I am seriously thinking about doing the same, including the 9 precepts and - after some experience using money and not using money - the 10 precepts. Instead of using generic robes, I would use black T-shirt and black trousers everyday. Why? Because I do not want to attract people's attention. I want to avoid trouble, specially with the police. If I use robes, they might think I am crazy and would send me to a treatment center! :shrug: It is different from a monastic that can walk in the streets and then go back to his place.


thanks kryptos for the piano tuner's video. may be he has some past life tendency. did you notice he is talking about "the only thing i value in this flat is the hot shower." reminds me a monk who began thinking like that at young age and started giving up belongings, education, job, lay life ... the funny thing is after became a monk he said now i have to give up lineage, tradition, sect, organized religion to become a simple practising bhikkhu (pali word for monks, which means beggar). now he is a very independent meditator.

there are few things i want to add. i will do so after few days.

:)
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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