How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
R1111
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by R1111 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:05 am

Monks dont live with lay people. If there are no monks willing to live there then it is not a monastery. If it is not a monastery then this issue doesnt come up, lay supporters lose the opportunity to support and learn from monks and homeless beggars are still homeless because they dont own the property and the landlord would likely have a say in this at this point.

Afaik Vinaya also has few things to say on living with lay people.
SarathW wrote: I see lot of homeless people in the street.
I feel helpless as I can't help all of them.
I see where you are coming from and this comes up for me as well. I tend to help those who are close to me and appreciate the opportunity to practise giving in general, however i cant help everybody and i feel bad when i dont share all i have, including requisites and when i spend money on stuff i dont need like extra good food ie. Also if we feel bad about not helping people in front of us, not helping poor people far away is no diffrent, there is no justification for not living at absolute minimum and donating rest of one's resources to others be it monastics or the poor of the world.
The only comperhensive solution i know of is giving up money and becoming a renunciate, helping the world by giving Dhamma to people.
Last edited by R1111 on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by DNS » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:36 am

SarathW wrote: I see lot of homeless people in the street.
I feel helpless as I can't help all of them.
I just wonder what I would do if a homeless person come to my house even though I never had that problem.
And therein lies the problem. If you let one homeless person into your home to stay, word might get out and more would come and then more homeless people in your home and eventually you might get kicked out and be homeless. If a monastery did that they would end up not being a monastery any more and rather a homeless shelter. There is nothing wrong with homeless shelters and there is nothing wrong with opening your own home to the homeless, if you wish. And I'm certain there is great merit in doing so. But understand the purpose would then be changed from your home to homeless shelter or from monastery to homeless shelter. As you (Sarath) mentioned, we can't help them all.

I think there can be some middle way of helping, by giving them food, clothing, directing them to shelters, welfare offices, etc.

I had an apartment building in Denver many years ago and one day it was almost a blizzard outside with well below freezing weather. As my wife and I entered the building one night, we had to step over a couple of homeless people sleeping in the lobby. They would have surely froze to death if we kicked them out. They were keeping warm in the lobby. We went up to our apartment and later a tenant called us complaining that we need to kick out the homeless people. We refused and the tenant moved out later in anger, but that's okay, we couldn't possibly have kicked them out on that freezing night.

SarathW
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:45 am

I think Ven. Bodhi realise this problem and created the Buddhist Global Relief.
I think every temple should have a Global Relief programme and allocate certain per cent of their fund for social activities.


https://www.buddhistglobalrelief.org/index.php/en/
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

R1111
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by R1111 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:50 am

I think monasteries are important, those who teach Dhamma teach giving and sharing to the lay Buddhists encouraging them in helping the poor.
So they actually do more for the poor of the world than merely being a homeless shelter, i dont even want to imagine what would happen if there were no monks at the monasteries.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:05 am

i dont even want to imagine what would happen if there were no monks at the monasteries.
As David said it is a middle way action. When I go to a Sri Lankan temple the only programme I see is the temple building programme.
Specially the millions of Rupees spent on concrete Buddha statues do not serve much purpose.
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:26 am

Strictly speaking, giving does not appear in its own right among the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path, nor does it enter among the other requisites of enlightenment (bodhipakkhiya dhamma). Most probably it has been excluded from these groupings because the practice of giving does not by its own nature conduce directly and immediately to the arising of insight and the realization of the Four Noble Truths. Giving functions in the Buddhist discipline in a different capacity. It does not come at the apex of the path, as a factor constituent of the process of awakening, but rather it serves as a basis and preparation which underlies and quietly supports the entire endeavor to free the mind from the defilements.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el367.html
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by Anagarika » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:48 am

Part of compassion entails wisdom. As David mentioned, an abbot and a wat can be a resource center for people that arrive and need shelter and food. The abbot can determine if there are resources in the community such as family services, addiction services and shelters that are trained and equipped to take in homeless people. The goal is not to turn a wat into a homeless shelter, any more than a wat can end up being a hospital for injured people that might show up. But, with compassion and wisdom, the wat can be a temporary respite but a longer term resource center that can connect the homeless with services and shelter in the community.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:01 am

SarathW wrote:
Monks are prohibited to give their alms food to beggars afaik
Yes I can recall this.
Is this the right practice?
I've never heard of this. Where did the idea come from? In my experience, monks regularly give away (commonly give back) food to lay people.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:02 am

Anagarika wrote: ... with compassion and wisdom, the wat can be a temporary respite but a longer term resource center that can connect the homeless with services and shelter in the community.
Sadhu...
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:11 am

mikenz66 wrote:
SarathW wrote:
Monks are prohibited to give their alms food to beggars afaik
Yes I can recall this.
Is this the right practice?
I've never heard of this. Where did the idea come from? In my experience, monks regularly give away (commonly give back) food to lay people.

:heart:
Mike
I remember reading it somewhere. I will PM this if I come across this again.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by R1111 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:18 am

mikenz66 wrote: I've never heard of this. Where did the idea come from? In my experience, monks regularly give away (commonly give back) food to lay people.

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Mike

pācittiya 41

"yo pana bhikkhu acelakassa vā paribbājakassa vā pāribbājakāya vā sahatthā khādanīyaṃ vā bhojanīyaṃ vā dadeyya, pācittiaṃ."

Not to give food to naked ascetics or other persons clinging to erroneous views. If a bhikkhu gives food to such persons with his own hands, this entails a pācittiya.

By giving products that are not foodstuffs to those persons (oil / ointments to be applied on the skin, soap, etc.), a bhikkhu does not commit an offence. Similarly, if a bhikkhu places a pot containing food in front of those persons telling them to take whatever they want from it, but without offering it from his own hands, he does not commit an offence.
It is actually limited to giving food and seemingly only with one's own hands, so it is not as i assumed that it was extended to requisites.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:26 am

OK, so basically saying "take what you want", which is the usual practice when the monks finish eating, wouldn't violate the rule.

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Sam Vara
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:50 pm

R1111 wrote:
BasementBuddhist wrote: I would rather meditate in a homeless shelter, among unenlightened beings who laugh and ridicule the idea of the Dhamma, than sit in a temple while someone freezes outside.
I did not say he should be left to freeze outside, i said if he was to disrupting the Sangha causing disturbance, upsetting lay supporters and forcing monks to leave the monastery it would not surprise me if it was worse for him than freezing.

Frankly any beggar can ask to ordain or be an Anagarika or lay worker and i guess many people do this. There also monks who are forced to disrobe and why should they not be allowed to stay? They are homeless technically arent they?

I would personally just leave such monastery where this was an issue or if there were things interrupting my meditation practise and i think most monks would also just leave if they had to live with non Buddhists and especially if they were rediculing Dhamma. I would not be able to stand it personally because living with people holding wrong view is like living with a corpse.
A monastery that I stayed at allowed non-practising homeless people to stay with them, and it led to big problems. Disruption, drinking, and difficulties arising from mental health issues. Some found it so comfortable that they refused to leave. Now they have a very strict policy that homeless people who just turn up are given a bed for one night, a meal, and a shower before being sent on their way. I'm not sure how typical this is. In both the monasteries that I am familiar with, the police are called if visitors present difficulties and are disruptive.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by R1111 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:15 pm

Somewhat related to Sam Vara's post imo but mostly just interesting tbh sorry if too far offtopic.
Uposatha
Mahāmoggallāna fixed his attention on the entire Saṅgha of bhikkhus, encompassing their minds with his own mind. He then saw that person sitting in the midst of the Saṅgha of bhikkhus: one who was immoral, of bad character, impure, of suspect behavior, secretive in his actions, not an ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. Having seen him, he rose from his seat, went up to that person, and said to him: “Get up, friend. The Blessed One has seen you. You cannot live in communion with the bhikkhus.” When this was said, that person remained silent.

A second time … A third time the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna said to that person:
“Get up, friend. The Blessed One has seen you. You cannot live in communion with the bhikkhus.” A third time that person remained silent.

Then the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna grabbed that person by the arm, evicted him through the outer gatehouse, and bolted the door. Then he returned to the Blessed One and said to him: “I have evicted that person, Bhante. The assembly is pure. Let the Blessed One recite the Pātimokkha to the bhikkhus.”

“It’s astounding and amazing, Moggallāna, how that hollow man waited until he was grabbed by the arm.” Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Now, bhikkhus, you yourselves should conduct the uposatha and recite the Pātimokkha. From today onward, I will no longer do so. It is impossible and inconceivable that the Tathāgata could conduct the uposatha and recite the Pātimokkha in an impure assembly.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:08 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
SarathW wrote:
Monks are prohibited to give their alms food to beggars afaik
Yes I can recall this.
Is this the right practice?
I've never heard of this. Where did the idea come from? In my experience, monks regularly give away (commonly give back) food to lay people.

:heart:
Mike
Perhaps I was thinking about the following. Which answer I got from Sutta Centra.
===================

The only specific restriction I know of relates to a bhikkhu sharing with his own hand almsfood with naked ascetics (Jains, Ajivakas). See this:

“Whatever monk should give with his own hand solid food or soft food to a naked ascetic or to a wanderer or to a female wanderer, there is an offence of expiation.”
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:11 pm

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:56 pm

SarathW wrote:[
Perhaps I was thinking about the following. Which answer I got from Sutta Centra.
===================

The only specific restriction I know of relates to a bhikkhu sharing with his own hand almsfood with naked ascetics (Jains, Ajivakas). See this:

“Whatever monk should give with his own hand solid food or soft food to a naked ascetic or to a wanderer or to a female wanderer, there is an offence of expiation.”
That is about "wanderers" of other sects, so would seem to have nothing to do with letting homeless people (or other lay people) eat left over alms food.

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:20 pm

In my opinion, naked ascetics are better than homeless people.
Last edited by SarathW on Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:52 pm

That's a completely different issue. There were queries about whether Bhikkhus were forbidden to give food to others, and it seems that the answer is "yes" apart from some very specific cases.

The question of how a particular monastery organises itself to deal with visitors is a different issue, as is the question of who is "better".

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Re: How to handle a beggar want to stay in your temple?

Post by tellyontellyon » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:06 am

I would guess that the homeless person would have to follow the rules that the monks follow, attend services, and work as the monks do . If he is willing to do that, get the guy a robe and hope he stays.

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