Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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SarathW
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Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:56 pm

Do monks not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

It appears young monks have to spend a lot of time on lay peoples demand on rights and rituals hence they do not have enough time to study and practice meditation.
Is it true?
The following video is in the Sinhala Language.
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:28 am

In my experience, no, monks have plenty of time for study and meditation. It's just that they're lazy, and use that as an excuse.
This is my experience from being at 7 different monasteries, in Thailand, NZ, and Australia.
Ajahn Brahm sometimes complains about being too busy to meditate, but he has a problem with always saying Yes so his schedule is always over-full, so it's his own fault.

SarathW
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:38 am

It's just that they're lazy, and use that as an excuse.
This was my impression too.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:46 am

Ajahn Brahm sometimes complains about being too busy to meditate, but he has a problem with always saying Yes so his schedule is always over-full, so it's his own fault.
Now you are contradicting yourself.
That means they are busy.
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:30 am

Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:46 am
Now you are contradicting yourself.
That means they are busy.
I suspect Ajahn Brahm is far more "in demand" than your average run-of-the-mill bhikkhu, so has a lot more avenues and opportunities by which to take on (and potentially over-commit to) distracting engagements.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

SarathW
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:03 am

I suspect Ajahn Brahm is far more "in demand" than your average run-of-the-mill bhikkhu
One of my friend said that he is going to build an artificial cave and locked himself in for six years (perhaps six months).
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:20 am

I am not a monk but as i understand the practice,

It is my impression that as a bhikkhu generally has these options to pass the time:

1. develop absorbtion meditation
2. study and teach theory
3. get involved with the lay community
4. do various chores all day

I think that developing absorbtion is quite difficult and if one does even a moderate amount of 2,3&4 one is running a risk of being unable to develop the absorbtion meditation to the necessary degree which would allow one to "pass the time".

Therefore i can imagine that a monk who becomes unable to develop proper absorbtion due to 2,3&4 might become reliant on 2,3&4 as an alternative to meditating because he fails to enter absorbtion.

In light of this i think that it is actually quite possible that a Bhikkhu not yet developed in meditation might get overwhelmed by chores, travel, rituals, study and socializing not to mention the hindrances. Overwhelmed to the point that other activities become the go-to means of passing the time and at that point one probably would not have time to meditate much at all.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:40 am, edited 4 times in total.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:30 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:20 am
It is my impression ..
Yes, your post is quite accurate. And meditation is by far the most difficult of the activities a monk does.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:44 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:30 am
rightviewftw wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:20 am
It is my impression ..
Yes, your post is quite accurate. And meditation is by far the most difficult of the activities a monk does.
Thanks for the affirmation. I have been thinking quite a lot about it and it is kind of scary really.

SarathW
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:37 am

It appears that the Buddhist education among young monks in Sri Lanka as it's the lowest level.
This monk a university lecturer in Buddhism acknowledges that the Tipitaka knowledge of lay people is much higher than the monks.
He also mentioned that in universities the monks are learning Buddhism mainly from female and male lay teachers.
This video is in the Sinhalese language.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”


SarathW
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:47 pm

Does he say why?
He thinks it is a problem going far back to generations.
For some reasons, monks stopped studying the Sutta.
I think it is the result of the foreign invasion lasted about 400 years.
Monks were more interested in politics and study and getting jobs.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by SarathW » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:10 pm

Even Buddha had to bow down to the demand of people.

===============
Then they went to the hall with the peaked roof in the Great Wood to see the Buddha. Now, at that time Venerable Nāgita was the Buddha’s attendant. The brahmin emissaries went up to him and said: “Master Nāgita, where is Master Gotama at present? For we want to see him.” “It’s the wrong time to see the Buddha; he is on retreat.” So the brahmin emissaries sat down to one side, thinking: “We’ll go only after we’ve seen Master Gotama.”

2. On Oṭṭhaddha the Licchavi
Oṭṭhaddha the Licchavi together with a large assembly of Licchavis also approached Nāgita at the hall with the peaked roof. He bowed, stood to one side, and said to Nāgita: “Master Nāgita, where is the Blessed One at present, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha? For we want to see him.” “It’s the wrong time to see the Buddha; he is on retreat.” So Oṭṭhaddha also sat down to one side, thinking: “I’ll go only after I’ve seen the Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha.”

Then the novice Sīha approached Nāgita. He bowed, stood to one side, and said to Nāgita: “Sir, Kassapa, these several brahmin emissaries from Kosala and Magadha, and also Oṭṭhaddha the Licchavi together with a large assembly of Licchavis, have come here to see the Buddha. It’d be good if these people got to see the Buddha.”

“Well then, Sīha, tell the Buddha yourself.” “Yes, sir,” replied Sīha. He went to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side, and told him of the people waiting to see him, adding: “Sir, it’d be good if these people got to see the Buddha.” “Well then, Sīha, spread out a seat in the shade of the dwelling.” “Yes, sir,” replied Sīha, and he did so.

https://suttacentral.net/dn6/en/sujato
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Monks do not have enough time to practice as they have to attend to demand from lay people for rites and rituals?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:38 am

In Sri Lanka(and from what I can understand, in the non forest monastics of Thailand) there are a ton of things to do with laity and monks have assumed an almost priest-like role.

There are house dānas to attend, which take several hours and include a dhamma talk, recitals etc. There is also all of the protective recital chanting for house warmings, funerals, weddings etc etc. Each village has a vihara with one or two monks, and that monk is no doubt going to be a busy person.

also I love Jame's comment about Ajahn brahm not being able to say no, Bhante G is the same way.. and I see the same tendencies in me, it's hard to not share the dhamma when asked, but I'm actually learning from the experience of both those monastics and hope to find a bit more of a balance between my own practice, and sharing dhamma, and it shows me the danger of becoming TOO well known and famous. But I've also found that I think for some people doing this IS part of their practice, my own understanding of the dhamma(i mean experientially, not just intellectually) has dramatically increased since I've started traveling, as has my humility, and confidence in the dhamma.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. you also have to clarify what you mean by "practice" , if you mean go to the woods and meditate thats one thing, but thats not the only definition of practice in Buddhist countries. Dāna and Sīla are also practice, as well as scholarship of the discourses and teaching, etc. Sri Lanka has a strong scholastic bend from what I can tell, I know many monastics(including my preceptor, Bhante G) who have PhDs and the like.

But it's also common in places with heavy support, to be able to sit around the temple being fed and worshiped all day, and not do much, sounds like a good life, almost like a housecat ;P.
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