Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Goofaholix
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:55 pm

robbie77 wrote: Does WPN observe all night sittings? And, are monks allowed to sit on cushions at branch monasteries of Wat Pah Pong?
This could be out of date. They have all night vigils each fortnight but one is not expected to sit all night, one can walk or do whatever but is just not supposed to lie down.

Cushions are not common.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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samseva
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by samseva » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:45 am

Dhammanando wrote:
SarathW wrote:According to the Body Language interpretation of Westerners the pointing your foot at someone means that you are interested about that person.
Please read Body Language by Alan Peace.
The foot-pointing that Allan Pease is talking about differs in two respects from that being discussed in this thread. Firstly, he is talking about what people do unconsciously and not about deliberately assumed postures. Secondly, by "pointing" he is referring to the directing of the toes of one's feet, not the soles.
So what is meant by "pointing the feet" in Thailand (and other countries) is only pointing the soles of the feet? Meaning pointing the toes would not be considered offensive?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:53 am

samseva wrote:So what is meant by "pointing the feet" in Thailand (and other countries) is only pointing the soles of the feet? Meaning pointing the toes would not be considered offensive?
Right.

If you sat with your knees drawn up, feet flat on the floor and toes pointing forward toward the speaker, it would be considered an ungainly posture but probably no one would say anything. But if you then stretched your legs out so that your soles of your feet were pointing forward, then it's likely that Thais would start chuntering among themselves and someone might request you to sit properly.

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samseva
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by samseva » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:43 am

Dhammanando wrote:
samseva wrote:So what is meant by "pointing the feet" in Thailand (and other countries) is only pointing the soles of the feet? Meaning pointing the toes would not be considered offensive?
Right.

If you sat with your knees drawn up, feet flat on the floor and toes pointing forward toward the speaker, it would be considered an ungainly posture but probably no one would say anything. But if you then stretched your legs out so that your soles of your feet were pointing forward, then it's likely that Thais would start chuntering among themselves and someone might request you to sit properly.
So it would still be considered slightly offensive if someone were to sit like you mentioned (with the feet flat on the floor and the toes pointing the speaker)? Does this also apply for when facing someone while standing? For example, if facing a monk or a Buddha image standing up, should you point your feet diagonally?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:39 am

samseva wrote:So it would still be considered slightly offensive if someone were to sit like you mentioned (with the feet flat on the floor and the toes pointing the speaker)?
No, just ungainly. Strict Thai mothers wouldn't tolerate their children sitting like that, but if foreigners do so then their ungainliness is more likely to be tittered at than complained about.
samseva wrote:Does this also apply for when facing someone while standing? For example, if facing a monk or a Buddha image standing up, should you point your feet diagonally?
No. If you're standing up, the only way you could cause offence with your feet would be by raising one foot at least ninety degrees so that its sole was pointing at the person you intended to insult. Then to make your contempt unambiguous you would jiggle your foot back and forth. In the slum districts of Bangkok you'll sometimes see drunken Thai men doing this when they're squaring up for a fight. It's similar to English football hooligans tapping the bottom of their chins and saying, "Come on then, if you think you're hard enough!" Only it's more aggressive than that, because once somebody has pointed the soles of his feet at a Thai man, he will feel that he can't back down from a fight without serious loss of face.

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Alobha
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by Alobha » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:14 am

just for further clarification about pointing feet:

Image

People may want to stretch their legs (one or both) after a sitting and that's how it often happens. If the soles of the feet are directly pointing towards a teacher or a Buddhastatue, then that may be seen as disrespectful behavior or a lack of mindfulness on your end. Western Forest tradition monasteries usually stick to this custom too (Afterall they almost always have Thai visitors and lay supporters, too.) but explain these matters to newcomers when they attend a retreat.

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acinteyyo
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by acinteyyo » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:13 am

Ah come on, Alobha! That picture is quite insulting! :tongue: ;)
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Alobha
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Re: Which posture should ordained monks sit in?

Post by Alobha » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:07 pm

:mrgreen:

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