My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby Virgo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:44 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:One of the points I am trying to make is that one persons edible partly brown banana, might be a rotten banana to someone more squemish like me, My own mom will eat what I consider rotten bananas and if I were to eat them they make me gag, so before we judge the monk in the OPs story we need to see the bananas and maybe estimate how many days if ever they will be eaten in, does anyone even consider they may have already had some fresher supply of less brown bananas, anyway if your going to take bananas to a monastery I suggest you buy them at the supermarket fresh the same day the way you would for your self, rather than decide they're getting old we'll just give them to the monks!!


Don't be hard to please bhikkhu. :anjali:

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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:58 pm

I'm not a monk anymore and I'm speaking entirely as a lay person about appropriate gifts to the monks, if leftovers is the absolute best you have to give then maybe, but have a little respect for the monks. they're asking you for very little, its seems the least you could do is give good food......This is not an issue of how the monks should behave but rather how the alms giving lay person should behave, as for the monks I'm not qualified to speak on their behalf.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby Feathers » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:04 pm

I'm not suggesting you should give bad food to the monks - if I was somewhere where monks went on alms rounds I probably would set aside good food for them! But at the same time the monks should not be picky, unless it is actually a question of health - they shouldn't expect as their right the best food, which is what you seemed to imply in the apple situation.
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:25 pm

You have it backwards, the monk didn't choose which apple you gave him, you did, its a matter of respect, and I see a lot of disrespect for monks on these forums, I don't think any lay person quite appreciates just how difficult it can be to actually become a monk, even if its not for a whole lifetime. Before you criticize a monk for accepting money, when you use money every day, try being a monk in the modern world and not use money, then give your opinion, the monks are there to help you learn, the least you can do is show a little respect in return.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby Virgo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:36 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Before you criticize a monk for accepting money, when you use money every day, try being a monk in the modern world and not use money, then give your opinion, the monks are there to help you learn, the least you can do is show a little respect in return.

I did. The least monks could do is have a little respect for the Vinaya and follow the rules they vow to follow - and which they joyfully reaffirm fortnightly.

I lived as a bhikkhu in 2008 without accepting, keeping, or using money. It really wasn't that difficult. The difficult part was the celibacy, and especially not falling into sanghadisesa.

When I needed to go somewhere, I walked. If I needed a ride there were usually lay people that would give me one, and if I needed a cab, lay people would pay the driver up front or when I got to my destination. What else would a monk need money for nowadays? Food, requisites, shelter? Those are all donated...

Buddhist monks are not allowed use money. If they want to use money, they can be laypeople.

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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby cooran » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:20 pm

Thank you, Kevin. Ven. Dhammasiha at Dhammagiri Hermitage does not use money, and accepts only whatever food Dana is offered by devout lay people, and, if travel is needed, he is transported by lay people. A good monk should follow the Vinaya. He has my absolute respect.

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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby Virgo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:28 pm

cooran wrote:Thank you, Kevin. Ven. Dhammasiha at Dhammagiri Hermitage does not use money, and accepts only whatever food Dana is offered by devout lay people, and, if travel is needed, he is transported by lay people. A good monk should follow the Vinaya. He has my absolute respect.

With metta,
Chris

And mine too. Thanks for sharing that! :namaste:

Anumodhana

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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby appicchato » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:12 pm

...they're asking you for very little...


(Skillful) monks don't ask for anything...(water the exception)...
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:41 pm

So I talked to the monk that refused the food.
He told me that food that you give to monk has to be special.
So he doesn't always accept leftovers.
And that he would prefer for me to give the leftovers to homeless people around the area.
Then he told me that he had nothing to eat tomorrow but still didn't regret his decision.

What do you guys think about this?
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby Sekha » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:17 pm

That's BS. As others have said, a true monk accepts whatever is given, if it's allowable, of course.
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:28 pm

Greetings,

Sekha wrote:That's BS. As others have said, a true monk accepts whatever is given, if it's allowable, of course.

Especially so when you consider the traditional house-to-house alms gathering, where what is offered is very much leftovers, or a little extra that has been prepared for monks.

Lay followers offer alms/requisites, not a deluxe catering service.

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: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby kmath » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:14 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:How to Tell the Difference Between a Monk and a Monkey

Offer some money and some bananas
  1. If he accepts the bananas and rejects the money, he's a monkey, not a monk
  2. If he accepts the money and rejects the bananas, he's not a scrupulous monk.
  3. If he accepts the bananas, and explains that money is not allowable for monks, he is a monk, not a monkey
  4. If he rejects the bananas and the money, and explains that money is not allowable for monks, and that bananas are only allowable at the right time, he's a monk, not a monkey.



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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:28 pm

It seems some people have more respect for themselves and what they eat than they do respect for the monks and their diet. It is not really a lay followers place to be telling monks how to interpret the Vinaya, when the lay followers have no intention of following it themselves. Differing interpretations of the Vinaya have more to do with traditions within sects, and the interpretations of the monk elders, (the novice monks have little say in it) it is certainly not for the lay follower to be telling monks they should eat food that's going bad, and if you don't like the way one particular temple interprets the vinaya, find another one that will take your rotten bananas.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby appicchato » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:37 am

...what is offered is very much leftovers, or a little extra that has been prepared for monks.


Not to quibble, but, at least in Thailand (in my experience (seven rains (and counting))), no 'leftovers' are ever offered...

It would also seem some people need to get a grip...
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:11 am

Greetings,

appicchato wrote:Not to quibble, but, at least in Thailand (in my experience (seven rains (and counting))), no 'leftovers' are ever offered...

That's interesting to know, bhante. I was actually thinking of back in the Buddha's time when I wrote that, though I'm sure that even nowadays that in more impoverished or drought-affected areas, there's a need for both sides to be a bit more pragmatic.

Perhaps it depends on what we mean by "leftovers" because I wasn't inferring scraps off someone's plate or anything, for example... what differentiates "leftovers" from "pre-prepared meal"?

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: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby appicchato » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:55 am

...I wasn't inferring scraps off someone's plate or anything, for example... what differentiates "leftovers" from "pre-prepared meal"?


Hi Paul...perhaps the uneaten portions of someone's meal...although actually it's the other way round here...people inviting monks to their homes will prepare a meal, serve it, and then partake of what isn't consumed by them...

Be good...
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:09 am

Greetings bhante,

Yes, I've been involved in offerings sessions like that before at Buddhist temples. They're nice.

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: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:27 am

This has been my experience too as a participant and as an observer. Lay people typically want to prepare a good, tasty meal to please the monks. Some do it for merit making and some do it just to be a good donor and host by providing a good and plentiful meal. There was a recent article at buddhistchannel about how the head monks in Sri Lanka were requesting that lay people not prepare such rich foods, because so many monks are getting ill with rich-food illnesses, including high cholesterol, gout, etc.

The Buddha typically ate rice gruel and fruits; very simple foods by today's standards; maybe even for back then too, but not sure.
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:36 am

appicchato wrote:Not to quibble, but, at least in Thailand (in my experience (seven rains (and counting))), no 'leftovers' are ever offered...

It would also seem some people need to get a grip...

:anjali:

I would say that if one is not freely giving something that one considers to be good there is very little point in the exercise (unless the monk would otherwise starve, which is unlikely in this case). There is not much merit in giving something that one just wants to get rid of.

On the other hand, it doesn't sound very skilful to refuse something. Hoever, it could be the particular circumstance. In situations I've seen, in Thai wats here or in Thailand, a large amount of food is donated on alms rounds (in the Thai case) and by people bringing it directly (in both cases). In those situations refusing any food would be very odd indeed. The Bhikkhus take what they need and the lay people finish the rest, or distribute it.

On the other hand, some monks in the West may be living alone, and if too much food is brought to them it will just go to waste. Perhaps that is the situation that Dr. Dukkha is describing. In that case it may be necessary for the bhikkhu to explicitly refuse food if there is too much already. Accepting it all and letting it rot would not be very skilful.

:anjali:
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Re: My monk teacher refused almsfood and handles money?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:On the other hand, some monks in the West may be living alone, and if too much food is brought to them it will just go to waste. Perhaps that is the situation that Dr. Dukkha is describing. In that case it may be necessary for the bhikkhu to explicitly refuse food if there is too much already. Accepting it all and letting it rot would not be very skilful.

That is one reason why I sometimes refuse food that is offered, and I explain why. However, from the first post it is clear that is not the case here. Dr Dukkha asked before bringing the food if it was wanted, and then it was refused on seeing it. Monks do not have to eat everything that is offered. They can eat what is good for their health, and pass on the left-overs to others, or give it to animals.

From the donor's point of view, it's better to offer the best quality food, and here the best bananas are those that are ripe, and ready to eat. For monks who store up food (which is not allowable), yellow bananas may be better. Food should be offered with one's own hand, with respect, and wishing to attain the cessation of craving, rather than wishing for heavenly rebirth, or for praise. Then the merit will be maximised.

If the recipient is content to receive inferior things, which have been discarded by others, it is still a very meritorious deed, as long as it is done with love and respect.
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