"Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

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Coëmgenu
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"Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:56 am

Greetings all,

There is a monastic vow that says: "I will not sway my body about when going in inhabited areas."

What is meant by "swaying"?

-Caoimghín
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Goofaholix
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Re: "Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:29 am

sway:
move or cause to move slowly or rhythmically backwards and forwards or from side to side.
“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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Coëmgenu
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Re: "Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:38 am

Goofaholix wrote:sway:
move or cause to move slowly or rhythmically backwards and forwards or from side to side.
Surely it must have more nuance than that? What is wrong with swaying? I sway when I walk. I don't know a single bipedal being that doesn't. It's part of keeping one's balance. I figured it meant not to dance. Why is swaying considered bad?
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Goofaholix
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Re: "Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:56 am

Coëmgenu wrote:Surely it must have more nuance than that? What is wrong with swaying? I sway when I walk. I don't know a single bipedal being that doesn't. It's part of keeping one's balance. I figured it meant not to dance. Why is swaying considered bad?
No, I wouldn't call that swaying. Swaying is deliberate, it's playful, it's almost dancing, quite un-monklike.
“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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Coëmgenu
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Re: "Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:57 am

Goofaholix wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Surely it must have more nuance than that? What is wrong with swaying? I sway when I walk. I don't know a single bipedal being that doesn't. It's part of keeping one's balance. I figured it meant not to dance. Why is swaying considered bad?
No, I wouldn't call that swaying. Swaying is deliberate, it's playful, it's almost dancing, quite un-monklike.
Ahh. I see.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

JohnK
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Re: "Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by JohnK » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:04 am

Hmm. Much swaying in uninhabited areas?
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

JohnK
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Re: "Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by JohnK » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:48 pm

Perhaps I was too glib, hence no replies. Let me try a bit harder:
I am not familiar with the rules for monks. Are there a number of rules that apply to "inhabited areas," or is this one unique?
What was meant by the word translated as inhabited area? -- does it include the monastery?
And why might the rule against swaying be limited to inhabited areas?
(My curiosity about things like this is increasing -- an old friend's son is planning to ordain with Thanissaro Bhikkhu this summer -- I'm hoping to attend.)
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: "Swaying" in sekhiyavatta

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:05 pm

JohnK wrote:Perhaps I was too glib, hence no replies. Let me try a bit harder:
I am not familiar with the rules for monks. Are there a number of rules that apply to "inhabited areas," or is this one unique?
What was meant by the word translated as inhabited area? -- does it include the monastery?
And why might the rule against swaying be limited to inhabited areas?
(My curiosity about things like this is increasing -- an old friend's son is planning to ordain with Thanissaro Bhikkhu this summer -- I'm hoping to attend.)
The Buddha was very concerned with the sangha looking respectable. I think that is because they had to tow a line of sorts, it would not do to have the sangha look bad, and then people wouldn't want to join. Thats just my own suspicions, however, from reading vinaya literature and the suttas, I don't know this for certain.

I had thought the proscription against swaying was something about not dancing, which would make sense given the general renunciation context or a lot of these precepts. I guess it just doesn't look dignified to have monks skipping down the street and walking in "frivolous" seeming ways. The sangha have to be sort-of ambassadors of the teaching, right?

I'm assuming "inhabited areas" means "in public" generally.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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