State of the Sangha

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State of the Sangha

Postby Thaibebop » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:45 pm

I have been given the impression over many conversations and articles that the state of the Sangha, at least in Thailand, is much to be desired. Lots of corrpution of the monasic rules well really just breaking them. Monks living way outside the code.

The issue for me is that I have come to view news of Thailand by western sources with some healthy gain of salt. So, many western sources love bashing Thailand over the head for all sorts of things. I am wondering the about the truth. What is the current state of the Sangha in Thailand?

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Re: State of the Sangha

Postby BlackBird » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:46 am

The Dhamma ebbs and flows everywhere in the world. It's much like a garden of flowers, some flowers open at certain seasons, other at another time. By the time your roses come out, your tulips are withering.

(I'm not a gardener, so I may have got my analogy completely wrong)

At the moment the Dhamma is ebbing in Thailand. There are certain monasteries in which the Vinaya is upheld very strictly and meditation is of paramount importance. For example monasteries of the Ajahn Chah lineage, and monasteries of the Ajahn Mun lineage to name a few.

From what I've gathered from reading Peter Robinson's book Phra Farang, the majority of Monks in Thailand don't meditate and many do not have a firm understanding of the Buddha's teachings. But this is not the first time this state of affairs has occurred. In 1833 Prince Mongkut the son of King Rama II founded the Dhammayuttika Nikaya (or simply the Dhammayut) order in Thailand, as a reform movement which seeked to follow the Vinaya code more strictly and adhere to the Buddha's teachings. So they were facing the same problem over a hundred and fifty years ago.

Ebbs and flows.

The important thing is that the Dhamma is still readily available, and there are still many learned practitioners in Thailand, and elsewhere in the world.

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: State of the Sangha

Postby pink_trike » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:53 am

I agree that the Dharma is ebbing among monks in Thailand (with some exceptions) a time when lay interest in Western style Buddhism is rising and flowing.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen


Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: State of the Sangha

Postby appicchato » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:19 am

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Re: State of the Sangha

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:32 am

appicchato wrote:

Whoa, thanks for that. This paints a very complex picture that begs even more quesitons in my mind.

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