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Longevity in robes

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:09 pm
by befriend
Most monastics aren't in robes for life. I'm wondering what is it that makes some monks like sumedho, amaro, gunaratana and the older monks stay in robes compared to the vast majority of monks? Is it faith?

Re: Longevity in robes

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:51 pm
by Sam Vara
befriend wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:09 pm Most monastics aren't in robes for life. I'm wondering what is it that makes some monks like sumedho, amaro, gunaratana and the older monks stay in robes compared to the vast majority of monks? Is it faith?
I guess it is, coupled with a greater concentration of those other factors which make the monastic practice sustainable.

Although this is not to suggest a reason for longevity in robes, I have sometimes wondered what possible attractions a return to lay life could have for older monks who have outlived their families, friends, and potential carers and companions.

Re: Longevity in robes

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:38 am
by Chanh Dao
I believe a large part of it is being able to work out a Monastic lifestyle that fits your practice and mind.

In general one of the things that can happen is getting stuck within one organization or following one teacher that actually you aren't comfortable with or able to develop under.

In Monastic life traditionally Monastics are homeless wanderers and mendicants.

Often travelling and learning from a variety of different teachers staying at various temples etc.


Also in the west for example Monastics can possibly feel isolated and not neccasarily apart of the larger Sangha
This can certainly be a disheartening experience.

Just my 2 cents. I've been in the robes for about 2 years now

Re: Longevity in robes

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:47 am
by BKh
befriend wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:09 pm Most
I'm not trying to be picky, but where are you getting this from? If you narrowed it down to Thai tradition or Westerners it might be more accurate, or at least a more helpful conversation.

In Thailand disrobing is completely normalized. In Sri Lanka it is highly stigmatized.

But to address your original question, in my experience someone's personality is a strong determiner. So is finding a good place to be a monk, especially good companions.

I'd also say you have listed what can be considered outliers.

Re: Longevity in robes

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:17 pm
by dharmacorps
It isn't rare for some people from any group of people (e.g. plumbers, secretaries, thin people, guys named bob, women named Jane) to live into their 80s or 90s or even 100s. It is normal for some to live that long. Whether a increased number of monks vs non monks live longer overall would be an interesting scientific study.

Re: Longevity in robes

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:10 am
by BKh
dharmacorps wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:17 pm to live into their 80s or 90s or even 100s. It is normal for some to live that long.
I believe the OP is talking about staying in robes vs disrobing. Not natural life span.

Re: Longevity in robes

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:11 am
by confusedlayman
bcs they are 4 stages who know lay life is a trap ... its like phd student who dont want to enroll for 1st grade again or play school

Re: Longevity in robes

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:54 pm
by sentinel
befriend wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:09 pm Most monastics aren't in robes for life. I'm wondering what is it that makes some monks like sumedho, amaro, gunaratana and the older monks stay in robes compared to the vast majority of monks? Is it faith?
From my experiences , other than faith , another is achieving in spiritual attaintments , monk like sumedho would feel natural like coming back home as being a monk .