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Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:16 am
by Sheranne
Hello
Do Theravada nuns and monks commonly live together in the same monastery? Are Theravada monasteries normally co-ed? I was under the impression that monasteries were separated by sex--is this not true? It seems unusual for a forest tradition senior monk to have a nun as his sole companion and assistant. Is this okay and ordinary? Thanks, Sher

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:48 am
by jcsuperstar
you are correct monks and nuns don't share the same quarters, a monk is never supposed to be alone with a female unless, i believe, it is his mother

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:57 am
by alan
Hi Sher.
It is usual in the forest tradition for the lead Monk to have at least two or maybe even a dozen female companions. There are many Suttas which refer to the necessity of examining and understanding the limits of sensuality. It is the job of Ajhaan's to go to extremes in order to understand the nature of these Dhammas, and then realize the meaning of such cohabitation.
Hope this helps.

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:02 am
by jcsuperstar
alan wrote:Hi Sher.
It is usual in the forest tradition for the lead Monk to have at least two or maybe even a dozen female companions. There are many Suttas which refer to the necessity of examining and understanding the limits of sensuality. It is the job of Ajhaan's to go to extremes in order to understand the nature of these Dhammas, and then realize the meaning of such cohabitation.
Hope this helps.
what forest tradition? did ajahn chah hang out alone with women? ajaan mun? ajahn tate? ajahn lee? how about modern ajaans like thanissaro?

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:13 am
by alan
Most of those monks had several babes. They were trying to understand the ultimate limits of sensuality. What better way to go beyond that than to get it on with a bunch of honeys?
That's why I always recommend a monastery with some cute girls. Otherwise it is so boring! :tongue:

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:15 am
by retrofuturist
Such silliness.

:roll:

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:25 am
by alan
Just trying to lighten the mood!
:jumping:

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:28 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Alan,

Sure, but misinformation posing as information doesn't help answer serious questions, does it?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:32 am
by alan
Hi Retro
I'm sorry but I did not think the question was well thought out. Thought it was silly, actually. So I gave a silly response.

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:05 am
by mikenz66
The "problem" with the question is that Sher is obviously referring to a particular individual (who would be obvious to many here), but is trying to frame the question in a general hypothetical way. The problem with that is that it casts aspersions on that individual which may well be unfair. And this impossible to discuss without being specific.

Mike

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:13 am
by jcsuperstar
well there seems to be two things that could be going on if you're right
1. a certain person is "being called out" and the op wants us to take a stand
2. there are legitimate questions about the actions of a certain person and the op wants confirmation about suspicions they may be having about what is right for monastics.

as long as we answer the question as if #2 is the intention i don't think we can go wrong.

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:33 am
by Annapurna
alan wrote:Hi Retro
I'm sorry but I did not think the question was well thought out. Thought it was silly, actually. So I gave a silly response.
We have a saying. There are no silly questions, only silly replies.

Questions are the only way to dissolve ignorance.

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:34 am
by cooran
Hello
Do Theravada nuns and monks commonly live together in the same monastery? Are Theravada
Hello Sheranne,

No, they do not commonly do this. Nuns usually live at a separate address, with a female Abbot. Monks cannot be alone with a female.

However, the esteemed Bhikkhu Bodhi did live for a long while here (not sure if he is still in residence):

Bodhi Monastery (not named after Bhikkhu Bodhi - it is a Mahayana monastery)
Monastery in Lafayette, New Jersey Bhikkhu Bodhi, prolific translator of the Pali Canon into English, lives here. Take advantage of talks on the web, weekly classes and meditations at the monastery. One of the few monasteries where Mahayana and Theravada monks and nuns live together.
http://www.dharmapunxnyc.com/resources.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


with metta
Chris

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:45 am
by Annapurna
mikenz66 wrote:The "problem" with the question is that Sher is obviously referring to a particular individual (who would be obvious to many here), but is trying to frame the question in a general hypothetical way. The problem with that is that it casts aspersions on that individual which may well be unfair. And this impossible to discuss without being specific.

Mike
Who is it?

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:58 am
by Sanghamitta
Sheranne wrote:Hello
Do Theravada nuns and monks commonly live together in the same monastery? Are Theravada monasteries normally co-ed? I was under the impression that monasteries were separated by sex--is this not true? It seems unusual for a forest tradition senior monk to have a nun as his sole companion and assistant. Is this okay and ordinary? Thanks, Sher
I think the debate has moved in a dubious direction . It started as a general question/observation. Then was construed rightly or wrongly as referring to a specific situation, and now has become a source of gossip.

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:19 am
by mikenz66
Sanghamitta wrote:
Sheranne wrote:Hello
Do Theravada nuns and monks commonly live together in the same monastery? Are Theravada monasteries normally co-ed? I was under the impression that monasteries were separated by sex--is this not true? It seems unusual for a forest tradition senior monk to have a nun as his sole companion and assistant. Is this okay and ordinary? Thanks, Sher
I think the debate has moved in a dubious direction . It started as a general question/observation. Then was construed rightly or wrongly as referring to a specific situation, and now has become a source of gossip.
The problem is that it was never a general question, it was clearly referring to a particular case:
Sheranne wrote:It seems unusual for a forest tradition senior monk to have a nun as his sole companion and assistant. Is this okay and ordinary?
Which, as I said, make the post essentially gossip that is hard to comment on sensibly unless we know which particular monk is being referred to.

Mike

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:38 am
by Sanghamitta
I think a veil is more seemly and more in keeping with Right Speech..dont you ?

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:43 am
by mikenz66
Sanghamitta wrote:I think a veil is more seemly and more in keeping with Right Speech..dont you ?
I agree. In my opinion the OP could have been worded in a much less accusative way.

Mike

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:57 am
by Annapurna
I find vague insinuations a lot more problematic than a clear question, because vague questions can only have vague replies as a result, and clear questions clear replies.

So if we would all know, what the topic is really about, it would be beneficial, because doubt could be removed, especially in the OP's mind.

It could actually be a chance to correct false assumptions quickly, and so protect the monk in question.

If the rules of right speech are followed, such as speaking in truth, kindly, affectionately, at the right time, without idle chatter, and with a mind that doesn't seek to estrange people from one another, I see no problem.

That is not gossip.

Re: Monks and Nuns cohabitating

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:07 am
by Paññāsikhara
Returning to the OP on a slightly different note:

A "monastery" can be a very big place, such that one group of people at one end, and another group at the other, all in the "same monastery", could easily be miles apart.

Is this "co-habitating"? Not in the usual sense of the term, at least in the English that I know. Whether or not this goes any way in answering the OP, I don't know. Just saying, that's all. This is, at least, the situation of many Chinese monasteries that have both monks and nuns. Though even then, this is not common, and most Chinese monasteries are either monk-monasteries or nunneries. (They even have different terms in Chinese to distinguish these.)

:focus: