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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:47 pm
by SarathW
As a monk how would you handle a homeless person who wants to stay in your temple?
If you are not a monk just give the hypothetical answer based on your present knowledge assuming you are a monk.

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:06 pm
by bhante dhamma
well it depends, the other day it happenned here (lay centre with kutis for monks), a homeless lady showed up who needed help, the laypeople started freaking out but in the end we thankfully did help her.

It depends on the situation, in asia its generally easier to help such people in a long term sense, because of the phenomenon of having big monasteries with complete facilities and a male/female monastic sangha there are even some wats in thailand that do A.A type programs. But they generally are also not always places that we might say 'practice dhamma in accordance with dhamma' and so stories of monks becoming invloved in narcotics is not that uncommon.

recently I have been thinking about the five machariya in the anguttara...the avasa machariya..stinginess with regard to dwellings, sometimes it comes from the laity sometimes the monastics..so to my mind 's homeless person' is for us a blessing for us who have access to shelter, the issue shouldn't be should we help (which it sadly was the other day) but how? if its long term certain conditions need to be applied if its short term certain conditions also need to be applied..but unless you have a heart made of stone which some people do..read the itivuttika 3/ forget the number..its a sutta that talks about the three types of 'dana purissa' we can be like a cloud that never rains, one that rains only in certain places and one that rains everywhere....rain rain rain!! whoever it is be a bodhisatva and help them

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:26 pm
by SarathW
a homeless lady showed up who needed help
Thank you, Bhante.
What would have been the situation if a homeless man showed up?

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:36 pm
by bhante dhamma
well eventhough it was a women we still gave her acccomodation and tried pur best to help, if it was a man and there was room and I was the senior monk/abbot I would have let her/he stay longer amd then made a decision later on as to the eventual outcome, but the problem is as always...people's views/conceit/stinginess that gets in the way, btw why do you ask sarah?

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:01 pm
by SarathW
Hi Bhante
Thank you for your very kind reply.
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.
:anjali:

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:11 pm
by bhante dhamma
OMG..I should have asked first :thinking:
oh well im glad you liked my reply..I guess :shock:

sukhi hotu

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:47 pm
by SarathW
There is another reason why I want to ask this question.
Like Christian churches do lot of work on homeless people and to look after poor and the sick.
But Buddhist monks are mainly busy with building temples only.

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:47 pm
by R1111 = rightviewftw
Just thinking about this makes me want to be a forest monk...
As a contribution to the thread i think it would depend a whole lot of what kind of person the beggar was, how much room there was and how it would affect other monks living there.

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:49 pm
by SarathW
R1111 wrote:Just thinking about this makes me want to be a forest monk...
Isn't this run away from the problem?

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

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:51 pm
by R1111 = rightviewftw
SarathW wrote:
R1111 wrote:Just thinking about this makes me want to be a forest monk...
Isn't this run away from the problem?
I just feel it is painful to have things that other people want (when thinking about it or confronted with it like in this situation). I want to give it away and not get involved to begin with.

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

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:03 am
by BasementBuddhist
I've always been of a mind that if you have a home, and someone needs a home, they have a home. For a practice that is supposed to be about getting rid of attachment, the idea of a Buddhist turning someone away makes no sense to me. If the place you stay in belongs to no one, how do you have any more right to it than someone else? Who are you to say no? If we are all connected, if all beings are equal and the same, then how does one have any more right to something than another? It seems to me that Buddhists as a whole are so focused on Enlightenment that they forget all about compassion, loving kindness, Joy, and Equanimity.

So in short, if a beggar wants to stay in my temple, I say yes, it is your temple as much as mine. If the Dukkha caused by having him/her there gets to be too great, then revisit the issue, but on what basis, what grounds, would you EVER say no to someone?

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

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:29 am
by R1111 = rightviewftw
I think if one was to let anybody stay at a monastery it will get overrun and monks would leave very quickly, lay supporters would likely get mad and definitely kick out the beggars in that case or at very least stop supporting with food. There are potential issues of bad kamma of disrupting the Sangha where they practise and of eating almsfood. In case of disrupting like this it would not surprise me if a beggar was better off freezing to death than causing such disturbance.

Monasteries are built for a reason and it would not be right to turn them into homeless shelters.

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

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:04 am
by SarathW
In case of disrupting like this it would not surprise me if a beggar was better off freezing to death than causing such disturbance.

Monasteries are built for a reason and it would not be right to turn them into homeless shelters.
OMG is this loving kindness?

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

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:14 am
by BasementBuddhist
R1111 wrote:I think if one was to let anybody stay at a monastery it will get overrun and monks would leave very quickly, lay supporters would likely get mad and definitely kick out the beggars in that case or at very least stop supporting with food. There are potential issues of bad kamma of disrupting the Sangha where they practise and of eating almsfood. In case of disrupting like this it would not surprise me if a beggar was better off freezing to death than causing such disturbance.

Monasteries are built for a reason and it would not be right to turn them into homeless shelters.

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 can think of nothing more selfish than to let others suffer because one is too reticent to let his sacred space be invaded. If your temple becomes a homeless shelter and you don't like it, take the wilderness for a temple. It was good enough for the Buddha.

This is my perspective at least. I mean no disrespect. But a temple is just some walls and floors. That is all. The same as a bathroom. What is the difference other than the ideas we attach to it?

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

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:22 am
by R1111 = rightviewftw
SarathW wrote:
In case of disrupting like this it would not surprise me if a beggar was better off freezing to death than causing such disturbance.

Monasteries are built for a reason and it would not be right to turn them into homeless shelters.
OMG is this loving kindness?
Well why dont we turn all monasteries into homeless shelters out of compassion. How long do you think The Dhamma will last in the world under these conditions?

Monks are prohibited to give their alms food to beggars afaik, i dont see why same would not apply to Monasteries and other requisites.