Jesse Smith wrote:With no disrespect intended to the Thai tradition, I see so many problems with this. It seems to minimize the basis for take up the robes, leaving home, sincere renunciation, commitment to a homeless life, etc
One weak comparison I could think of is those charity events where someone spends a night in jail, get's all dressed up in a striped uniform, and "pretends" to be an incarcerated criminal. I have to wonder how the people serving multiple years or even life sentences see this, how closely they think this reflects the true nature of a life in prison. (Just to be clear, I'm in no way comparing a monk's conditions with imprisonment).
Didn't bother me and I was in a prison which still had slop outs in the morning (go to the toilet in a bucket at night and chuck it out in the morning)
a charity event is hardly comparable to full time imprisonment! besides it is a charity event and not supposed to be the real deal.
From what I've read in the Suttas, the Buddha's words to monks, his advice on their conduct and their interaction with lay people, this type of program conflicts so much and opens up many problems.
Maybe I'm clinging to the name of the program, "Monk for a month". Maybe "Monk's physical surroundings for a month." Or "Live among monks for a month
there are places which basically offer the same thing without the robes, such as 8 or 10 precept retreats, this is just slightly different as you wear robes also, which are given to novices who live by the 10 precepts, and Anagarika who live by 8
plus it could be said if they were truly genuine practitioners they would
Satipatthana Sutta wrote: having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building
and only go and find another monk when they felt they needed a teaching, advice, or support in their practice, and only gather in monasteries when it was Vessa, and they make it clear this project is a commercial enterprise aimed at foreigners who wish to adopt robes for a short time, and the proceeds are in aid of other projects.
I am only giving another outlook not defending this group.