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Old 12-27-2008, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,044 posts, read 48,598,102 times
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I hope I don't offend anyone with this, but I'm genuinely curious... aren't Buddhist monks opposed to modern conveniences and luxuries? I ask because tonight I was at Circuit City, and saw three Buddhist monks buying a cell phone. For all I know it wasn't for them, so I'm totally not judging - and I don't care even if it was for them. But I just thought it went against their beliefs, so I was curious if anyone knew the "rules" on that. I did a little research, and it does seem they live simply, but one article also said that monks have different lifestyles.

From the article... Home Page (http://www.ccds.charlotte.nc.us/History/Asia/05/liang/index.html - broken link)

"There are many different kinds of Buddhist monks, just as there re many different types of Buddhism. Their life and customs are different and unique, and each has a spiritual meaning. There is a certain code the monks must follow and certain rules that must be obeyed. Their daily life follows a strict schedule, and each monk's life revolves around meditation, the study of scriptures, and the taking apart in ceremonies. His daily life involves interaction with the community around him and with his fellow monks.

A monk’s devotion is one and the same as his daily goal, which is to follow Buddha's teachings throughout daily life. As each monk strives to attain his daily goal he is also working on becoming the ideal monk, who is said to be gentle inoffensive, poor and humble and perfectly trained.

Buddhist monks choose to live a life of solitude from all of the every day pleasures all to peruse enlightenment. They live with out the every day pleasures just to find Nirvana. They live a peaceful life, not killing a single organism. They follow the rule in their rulebook with out faltering. They give up their personal time to teach others about meditation and scriptures, hoping that they too will find inner peace. The monks will help without thought of reward but almost always receiving gifts of gratitude."


Well, it is nearly 2009, and I guess even monks have to communicate. I actually really admire the Buddhist culture, and love how pleasant and peaceful they seem... if I weren't Jewish, I would totally convert to Buddhism. Anyway, just thought this would make for an interesting discussion!
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York
195 posts, read 712,154 times
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It depends on how deep they involve in Buddhism!
The Buddhist monks who just started with light experience on meditation are different from the ones who have experienced deep meditation!
Buddhism is very unique. It allows you to experience the true face of universe through the practice of meditation.

Last edited by N.Y.Traveler; 12-28-2008 at 07:23 AM..
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:25 AM
 
Location: where i belong
414 posts, read 743,811 times
Reputation: 53
Lightbulb Shalom!

What makes you a Buddhist or Jewish, respectively?
And when was the scope of an Ancient Sacred Circle so broken as to need an aritificial cell phone?
Stay tuned, i remember it being said not too long ago, that the world needs more Buddhas, who need not necessarily become Buddhists first.

An interesting discussion would and will be all-inclusive while entertaining local matters on a global agenda, as long as there are people willing and able to remember divine intentions and vested interests to mean Love and Wisdom, Peace and Happiness to all sentient beings...

This morning, i got a call from a cell phone, however, and i'm just too curious to find out who the caller was.

Last edited by lwowl; 12-28-2008 at 10:27 AM.. Reason: interest and more ...
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Earth
1,114 posts, read 2,010,326 times
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“Buddhist monks choose to live a life of solitude from all of the everyday pleasures...”

There is going to be some leeway here in the definition of pleasure. I myself do not own a cell phone, I can see how a cell phone could be handy sometimes but for me it would be more misery than help (I am not a monk).

If a cell phone can help spread the dharma than that would be a good thing. The abbot of the monastery was probably the one that made the decision that a cell phone was necessary. Maybe the monastery is in a location where there are no telephone lines. Those monks were most likely not Theravada. In my tradition a monk cannot handle money, so the laity would have to by the cell phone for the monastery.

Buddhism is sometimes called the “middle way” Not to little, not to much. A monk will have a stricter life than a lay Buddhist.
They may not have as comfortable of a bed as you. Maybe just enough to sleep ok. Some discomfort (if not all) can be controlled by the mind. So even a sleeping pad that may not be all that comfortable is fine. In my tradition a monks last meal of the day ends at midday. He will not eat till the next morning. The human body does not need as much food as most of us eat.

Remember, there is right and wrong in the Buddhist belief but no sin. Attachment to the cell phone would be the only problem with a monk using one. If a monk or a nun starts having the desire to just call someone up to chat just for pleasure, then that could start to be a problem. But just using a phone or other modern things is not in and of itself bad.

I only speak for what I know of in my tradition. That does not make the other traditions wrong. If a monk is handling money and that is ok in there tradition than it is not wrong for them.

Peace and happy holidays,
Aeroman

Last edited by Aeroman; 12-28-2008 at 11:44 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Y-Town Area
3,975 posts, read 5,339,199 times
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Lightbulb Buddhist...

You can be a Jew, Christian , Atheist etc. and still be a Buddhist.
I only consider myself a Buddhist. We all have different levels of
understanding and commitment and you can be as much as you
are able to be.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,856 posts, read 47,705,066 times
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It IS an interesting discussion. I guess it is the same question I would have if I saw a nun using a cell phone. Even though I am sure that they do....it seems an odd thing to see.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:56 PM
 
Location: where i belong
414 posts, read 743,811 times
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Lightbulb Kerby, it is ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerby W-R View Post
You can be a Jew, Christian , Atheist etc. and still be a Buddhist.
I only consider myself a Buddhist. We all have different levels of
understanding and commitment and you can be as much as you
are able to be.
... precisely the ability ...
the other day it was about finding the other snowflake, and no one is supposed to be an island, right.

Snowflurries can be ignored since they are barely visible. Did they choose to coincide with human consciousness and perception? Did they have to be replaced by the arbitrariness of artificial cell phones? Or the arbitrariness of distribution of access to medicine, for instance?

The ancient tradition had it that an arbiter would not come with judgments, that's my conclusion from experience vs. "education".
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,044 posts, read 48,598,102 times
Reputation: 20628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroman View Post
“Buddhist monks choose to live a life of solitude from all of the everyday pleasures...”

There is going to be some leeway here in the definition of pleasure. I myself do not own a cell phone, I can see how a cell phone could be handy sometimes but for me it would be more misery than help (I am not a monk).

If a cell phone can help spread the dharma than that would be a good thing. The abbot of the monastery was probably the one that made the decision that a cell phone was necessary. Maybe the monastery is in a location where there are no telephone lines. Those monks were most likely not Theravada. In my tradition a monk cannot handle money, so the laity would have to by the cell phone for the monastery.

Buddhism is sometimes called the “middle way” Not to little, not to much. A monk will have a stricter life than a lay Buddhist.
They may not have as comfortable of a bed as you. Maybe just enough to sleep ok. Some discomfort (if not all) can be controlled by the mind. So even a sleeping pad that may not be all that comfortable is fine. In my tradition a monks last meal of the day ends at midday. He will not eat till the next morning. The human body does not need as much food as most of us eat.

Remember, there is right and wrong in the Buddhist belief but no sin. Attachment to the cell phone would be the only problem with a monk using one. If a monk or a nun starts having the desire to just call someone up to chat just for pleasure, then that could start to be a problem. But just using a phone or other modern things is not in and of itself bad.

I only speak for what I know of in my tradition. That does not make the other traditions wrong. If a monk is handling money and that is ok in there tradition than it is not wrong for them.

Peace and happy holidays,
Aeroman
Thank you for the explanations everyone! This is just what I was looking for, and it definitely clears things up for me. Pardon my ignorance, but can you explain what a laity is? I could just Google it, but figure it's better to ask somebody who actually knows - LOL. I'm asking because there was one monk dressed differently, and he was handling the whole transaction/interaction. His robe was similar to the others, but he had a special head-dress on... so I'm wondering if he is the "head monk" or laity. Anyway, thanks again for the responses!
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,114 posts, read 2,010,326 times
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Laity,laypeople or laymen, are those of us that are not monks or priests.
We are the ones that supply the needed things so a monk can continue the monastic life.
In the sect I follow (Theravada) the monks don't handle money.
Or maybe I should say typically don’t handle money.
So they can’t produce something to make money for themselves or take money for teaching.
In fact the books the Theravada print are sold only for the printing fee and shipping. Most of the time there just given away. No profit is to be made from the dharma (teachings).
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:10 AM
 
5,003 posts, read 14,678,704 times
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Don't know why you would even think that they don't use cell phones? The Buddhist monks that I knew even had computers and recording equipment.
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