Bhikku Forum

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Bhikku Forum

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:02 am

How about supporting another kind of sub-forum. How about a forum specifically for the use of the ordained Sangha. Where the bhikkhus can speak as they would to each other about Dhamma and Vinaya? Bhikku forum. I think we could all learn a lot from 'hearing' their their discussions as they might then be enabled hold such discussions without our involvement in their threads. I'm not sure if it is possible but perhaps they could even have a protected sub-sub-forum for private discussions. By supporting the sub-forum Dhamma Wheel can provide 'shelter' for their acceptable uses on the part of the bhikkhus good purposes as members of the Sangha visible to us here in the virtual 'world'. Perhaps more bhikkhus would then feel more comfortable with interacting with the lay followers and disciples here as well.

All in favor? :hello:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:41 am

Hi Nathan

This is potentially an excellent idea. I would like to read some feedback from our contributing bhikkhus. Also keep in mind that our community of contributing bhikkhu sangha members is quite small.
Cheers

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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:23 am

Ben wrote:Hi Nathan

This is potentially an excellent idea. I would like to read some feedback from our contributing bhikkhus. Also keep in mind that our community of contributing bhikkhu sangha members is quite small.
Cheers

Ben
Thanks Ben. I also realize that there are few bhikkhus who make themselves accessible for answering questions and contributing their insights to our discussions. That seems like a lot to take on from my POV and I really appreciate their doing us all this great service. I think the kind of service that could be provided for them in return may attract more bhikkhus to participate even if it is not as directly with the lay followers as some are more comfortable with doing. Perhaps they would have uses we can't imagine and so not recognize. Only one way to find out since they aren't, as I understand it, allowed to ask for a provision of 'shelter' of some kind. I may be wrong about that but Dhamma Wheel could be like the lay stewards who see to various monastery tasks. Thought it might be worth discussing in any case. Glad you like it. :smile:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:50 am

Hi Nathan,

nathan wrote:How about supporting another kind of sub-forum. How about a forum specifically for the use of the ordained Sangha.


Though not opposed to the idea, I can't imagine very much happening in such a forum. There aren't many bhikkhus here and if I wanted to discuss something with one of them I'd rather do it privately. There is already a Yahoo e-mail group for Buddhist monks and nuns; it has 49 members, but there've only been five posts in the last six months. Online monastics just don't seem to have much inclination to talk with each other. :shrug:

Even on Facebook, where I have a couple of dozen bhikkhus in my network, I hardly ever talk with any of them. When I log in I seem to spend most of the time answering questions on Dhamma from Malaysian and Indonesian laypeople. Also, I notice that the other bhikkhus on Facebook appear to be interacting far more with laypeople than with each other.

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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:28 am

Ah, I see. Thank you Venerable Dhammanando, your perspective on this idea is very helpful. I suppose the suggestion is at the least premature. However I remember a time when I was one of only two private citizens with direct access to the internet in my country. Long before trumpet winsock and the .com revolution, well before even salesmen knew what a modem was. So, things change. Maybe in the future there will be new circumstances. When making allowances for things to occur those things are sometimes more likely to occur and sometimes not at all. Maybe in this case there really would be no need for such a forum, so it is good to find out some of the reasons why that would be. I'll take it as a good sign that the bhikkhus are content with things as they are and with the resources available. There is nothing that would prevent the Sangha from setting up their own forum if they wished to is there?
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby gavesako » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:06 am

There are various "groupings" among the Sangha members, even the Western Sangha alone. They are more or less loosely organized, some being quite independent loners (supported by a network of laypeople), others being part of a monastic group (such as the Ajahn Chah monasteries with its hierarchical structure: the senior monks have their own private on-line group). It is often easier to talk Dhamma with the laypeople, because when living together with monks, other issues tend to occupy the forefront (to do with community life and its problems). Usually people like to discuss controversial topics with one another, and for a bhikkhu some of these topics are potentially "sensitive" and they would not openly write about them in a forum.
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:20 am

Thank you Venerable Gavesako. All very understandable. I am wondering if perhaps the far flung forest monastics might have more to discuss if they had the means to do so. Even for everyone here there is the pm function. I thought it might be helpful for announcements, news items of interest and travels and speaking engagements and all sorts of things as well. For sure there would be a need for private discussions and perhaps the sub-forum could be a common point of access to other suitable bhikkhus for various pm or protected forum discussions. I realize it is all hypothetical however the net overall was only recently unimaginable so it is hard to know what the real limitations to pathways of development might be until an avenue is fully explored. We all benefit from the presence of the bhikkhus who do feel comfortable with spending time here. It would be to everyone's advantage to make more bhikkhus likewise more comfortable even in terms of lessening stress for those who are variously involved in the predominantly lay oriented net forums. However it may be that the Sangha may be better accommodated it can only benefit everyone. This is perhaps not the way to improve things but something was done right already to have attracted the attention to internet forums and the participation of bhikkhus. So even as a hypothetical exercise I think we can benefit from knowing from this perspective what has been done well and, if anything, what could be better or more beneficial. Thanks for the input.

metta and upekkha
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby appicchato » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:35 am

Dhammanando wrote:Online monastics just don't seem to have much inclination to talk with each other. :shrug:

:quote:
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby Will » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:37 pm

Ben wrote: Also keep in mind that our community of contributing bhikkhu sangha members is quite small.
Cheers

Ben


What is a guesstimate of the number of English speaking bhikkhus worldwide? dozens? scores? hundreds??
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:46 pm

A guesstimate would be perhaps a hundred in the west and perhaps as many as a thousand western born Theravada bhikkhus in Asia. The Venerables would be more up to speed on the real numbers. I'm also curious what Retro and the other mods think about this thought balloon. The admins and mods have a good long term overview of forum growth or evolution and developments in patterns of use. Maybe they would have some general observations that apply here. I wonder how this idea would play out on one of the pan-traditional forum sites. That might be interesting too, ordained Sangha of different traditions enabled to have various discussions amongst qualified participants. I'd like to think it would make for better understanding and smoother interrelationships but I'm not entirely sure it would always produce only those results.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:53 pm

It's always cool when Ven. Huifeng and Ven. Dhammanando are engaged in the same thread over at E-Sangha and "talk" to one another. Very respectful, friendly, light-hearted and full of insight. A lesson for us all. I'd love it if Ven. Huifeng would join us here. Has anyone extended an invitation?
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:30 pm

Greetings Nathan,

nathan wrote:I'm also curious what Retro and the other mods think about this thought balloon. The admins and mods have a good long term overview of forum growth or evolution and developments in patterns of use. Maybe they would have some general observations that apply here.


My thoughts are a bit like venerable Dhammanando's on this one. I'm not against the idea per se, I just don't think there's much demand for such a sub-forum at this point in time. I would have posted that earlier on, as soon as you posted the idea, but I wanted to give our resident bhikkhus the opportunity to comment first.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:19 am

Hi Jechbi

Jechbi wrote:It's always cool when Ven. Huifeng and Ven. Dhammanando are engaged in the same thread over at E-Sangha and "talk" to one another. Very respectful, friendly, light-hearted and full of insight. A lesson for us all. I'd love it if Ven. Huifeng would join us here. Has anyone extended an invitation?


Yes, I invited Venerable back when Dhamma Wheel first began. The invite was a 'long shot' as I was mindful of Venerable's timetable which includes teaching in Hong Kong and on the mainland, as well as his online responsibilities at e-Sangha. So, Venerable's kind response indicating he was too thinly stretched, was one that i expected. If Venerable's commitments change, he would be more than welcome to join in and participate here at Dhamma Wheel.
Metta

Ben
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Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby Element » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:24 am

If you wish to understand how bhikkhus are taught to view laypeople, start with the Vinaya.
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:25 am

Greetings,

Yes, I've always enjoyed venerable Huifeng's reflections on the early Buddhist schools... a subject he seems to have significant interest in.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby appicchato » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:06 am

From a personal perspective, I've not found a single thing that I would want to say to another monastic, on any topic, that couldn't be seen or heard by anyone, lay or ordained...so, if someone could kindly give me an example of a use for a 'bhikkhus only' subforum, that would be nice... :smile:

Freemasons we're not... :spy:
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby nathan » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:40 am

appicchato wrote:From a personal perspective, I've not found a single thing that I would want to say to another monastic, on any topic, that couldn't be seen or heard by anyone, lay or ordained...so, if someone could kindly give me an example of a use for a 'bhikkhus only' subforum, that would be nice... :smile:

Freemasons we're not... :spy:
Definitely not Freemasons or mason-like in the least! However there are sensitive subjects when they become pressing personal issues. The experience of stream entry or any of the other paths and fruitions are frequently problematic to openly discuss in even theoretical terms. As a personal question of validating the progression of insight at various points an open discussion under the current conditions of strongly held and variably polarized views can frequently make real and beneficial communication impossible. This is one example that comes to mind. I hope to be able find out I am wrong about perceptions of the prevailing taboos and that amongst bhikkhus there is a healthy and open dialog regarding the path of practice and individual experiences. As far as having such discussions or one on one communications directly open to lay scrutiny I think that is probably not a for the best but that amongst the Sangha it would be a healthy development for everyone concerned. This impression that there is only limited communication is based largely on second hand accounts of various kinds so I am going to do all I can to find out about the actualities first hand before I would be willing to suppose that there is any widespread alienation playing a negative role within the Sangha to be the least bit concerned about. One possible example.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Bhikku Forum

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:14 am

Greetings,

I'm going to close this. If any bhikkhus who use this forum wish to request such a forum in the future, please do not hesitate to do so. In the meantime, we'll assume there is insufficient demand and leave it at that.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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