Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
Post Reply
polo
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by polo »

I am asking this question because if I ordain as a monk in Thailand i would be having quite a few books with me for reading mainly books on Buddhism and books on travels.
Would I be allow to read in my kuti so that nobody can see me reading. Of course I wouldn't be reading books all day long. Only at times when I feel like reading. I can't do without my books. If I were strictly bar from reading I will not seek ordination.
Any ex-monks know any rules on this issue.
truthseeker135
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:39 pm

Re: Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by truthseeker135 »

polo wrote: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:45 pm I am asking this question because if I ordain as a monk in Thailand i would be having quite a few books with me for reading mainly books on Buddhism and books on travels.
Would I be allow to read in my kuti so that nobody can see me reading. Of course I wouldn't be reading books all day long. Only at times when I feel like reading. I can't do without my books. If I were strictly bar from reading I will not seek ordination.
Any ex-monks know any rules on this issue.
I'm not an ex-monk, but intend on ordaining. Books are perfectly fine as long as they are dhamma books or other practical books like travel guides. However are these books on travels more along the lines of fiction or creative nonfiction if so that would be a problem. You really aren't allowed to read for entertainment, just for the sake of gaining inspiration for practice or knowledge about the practice or other things you may need to know.
User avatar
Alīno
Posts: 701
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by Alīno »

I know some very good and reknown Ajahns who read a lot of books, even fantasy etc, but their wisdom is well established and they need to understand people's needs and lay life to be able to teach them well.

So don't worry about that, libraries in monasteries are very rich in all sorts of books.

It's better to be a reading bhikkhu rather reading layman, imho
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...
polo
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by polo »

Alīno wrote: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:51 pm I know some very good and reknown Ajahns who read a lot of books, even fantasy etc, but their wisdom is well established and they need to understand people's needs and lay life to be able to teach them well.

So don't worry about that, libraries in monasteries are very rich in all sorts of books.

It's better to be a reading bhikkhu rather reading layman, imho
Thank you Alino and Truth Seeker for your replies to my question. Glad I could enjoy reading my books while being a monk. I am seeking ordination this year in Chiang Mai at wat Reong Peong(spelling may be wrong) or Rong Peng ? The temple is about 25 minutes from the Tapae gate area in Chiang Mai city.. Anyone heard of this temple? I been there twice.
User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by Dhammanando »

polo wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:30 am I am seeking ordination this year in Chiang Mai at wat Reong Peong(spelling may be wrong) or Rong Peng ? The temple is about 25 minutes from the Tapae gate area in Chiang Mai city.. Anyone heard of this temple? I been there twice.
Wat Rampoeng Tapotaram. I know the wat and its abbot. It's a Mahasi-style meditation centre. In all such centres no reading is permitted during periods of intensive practice, e.g., during the centre's 26-day introductory course. During these periods virtually all one's waking hours will be spent doing alternate walking and sitting meditation. Outside of periods of intensive practice you'll be free to read whatever you like, though of course it will be best during your formative period to just stick to Dhamma and Vinaya texts.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
polo
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by polo »

Dhammanando wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:08 am
polo wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:30 am I am seeking ordination this year in Chiang Mai at wat Reong Peong(spelling may be wrong) or Rong Peng ? The temple is about 25 minutes from the Tapae gate area in Chiang Mai city.. Anyone heard of this temple? I been there twice.
Wat Rampoeng Tapotaram. I know the wat and its abbot. It's a Mahasi-style meditation centre. In all such centres no reading is permitted during periods of intensive practice, e.g., during the centre's 26-day introductory course. During these periods virtually all one's waking hours will be spent doing alternate walking and sitting meditation. Outside of periods of intensive practice you'll be free to read whatever you like, though of course it will be best during your formative period to just stick to Dhamma and Vinaya texts.
Yes, Dhammanado that's the temple. I have doubt I will ordain because my faith is weak.. However for quite a long time I think I could be a good monk because I don't drink, smoke and no problem abstaining from sexual activities.
I saw some serious committed monks at this temple in the past, they woke up at 4 am and do the chanting, I was very much impressed. I was staying at the temple at that time.
If I decide to ordain could you help me to do so? I will be arriving in Bangkok on the 25 of February (this month). Is it possible to meet up with you one of these days when I am in Bangkok. Are you in Thailand by the way? I am a retired Malaysian chinese residing in Kuala Lumpur.
User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by Dhammanando »

polo wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:22 pm If I decide to ordain could you help me to do so? I will be arriving in Bangkok on the 25 of February (this month).
If you decide to get ordained at Wat Rampoeng, I doubt you'll need any help from me. The wat has ordained lots of foreigners over the years and Ajahn Suphan and his team are experienced, well-organized and professional, with no shortage of fluent English-speaking translators, Abhidhamma and Pali teachers, laypeople who'll assist you with visa extensions, etc.
polo wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:22 pmIs it possible to meet up with you one of these days when I am in Bangkok. Are you in Thailand by the way?
I live in northern Thailand, but not in any fixed location. I never go to Bangkok, but if you come to the north then it should be possible to meet up. Just send me a message if/when you reach Chiang Mai.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
polo
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: Are monks allowed to read books in their kuti?

Post by polo »

Dhammanando wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:22 pm
polo wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:22 pm If I decide to ordain could you help me to do so? I will be arriving in Bangkok on the 25 of February (this month).
If you decide to get ordained at Wat Rampoeng, I doubt you'll need any help from me. The wat has ordained lots of foreigners over the years and Ajahn Suphan and his team are experienced, well-organized and professional, with no shortage of fluent English-speaking translators, Abhidhamma and Pali teachers, laypeople who'll assist you with visa extensions, etc.
polo wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:22 pmIs it possible to meet up with you one of these days when I am in Bangkok. Are you in Thailand by the way?
I live in northern Thailand, but not in any fixed location. I never go to Bangkok, but if you come to the north then it should be possible to meet up. Just send me a message if/when you reach Chiang Mai.
Much obliged for your reply to my questions. Wonderful to have such helpful people on this forum. So if I decide to ordain I could just go to this temple. That's good to know.
Once again thank Dhammanando.
Post Reply