Monastic Alms Round in the West

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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pitakele
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Re: Monastic Alms Round in the West

Post by pitakele » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 am

bksubhuti wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 am

Most communities figure garlic by itself without a medical reason is a problem. Bad breath?
It is mentioned in the bmc2 and since it is allowed at pa-auk, I am pretty sure there is some mention in the commentary pali texts somewhere that it is ok
Bhante, in the Mahāvagga or Cūlavagga, there is a story that when Buddha was teaching a group of monks, one monk sat far to back. When Buddha asked the reason for this, the monk said it was because he had been eating garlic (making his bodily odours disagreeable to others). Subsequently, the Buddha made it a dukkata offence to eat garlic by itself, unless sick.

🙏
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Dorje Shedrub
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Re: Monastic Alms Round in the West

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:42 pm

bksubhuti wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 am
Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:06 pm
What happens if you receive alms food that has prohibited items, like garlic or onions? When you notice, do you simple not eat that, or do you eat everything and make a confession, or is this not a problem?

DS
The mahayana does not allow garlic. I heard it is for celibacy reasons.
I bet you come from a mahayana/tibet tradition with a name like yours.
Theravada is so far away from Mahayana/Tibet see my article https://subhuti.withmetta.net/2017/09/1 ... e-nibbana/
If you are mahayana, you will freak out after reading this. This idea is so central and so different. It is the difference between wrong view and right view (according to Theravada). Therefore, the two schools are SO far apart. Right view and wrong view are never close together.

We also don't believe in *easy* Bodhisatva vows (notice the spelling). It is a really serious thing. You cannot be a sammasambudho by living in some pure land happily ever after. :) It negates the whole Jataka. Mahayana has a "skillful means" chapter in the White lotus sutra. I lost faith in mahayana as a layman in the 90's after reading that chapter.. I never finished the book. I'm glad I read that far. I might have been Mahayana.
Yes, the Mahayana vinaya prohibits onion, leeks, scallions, garlic, and chives. I did not realize that the Theravada vinaya was different in this regards.

I thank everyone for sharing their knowledge and experiences. :anjali:
I did not intend for this thread to become a discussion/disagreement between Theravada and Mahayana - we are all followers of the Buddha and practice the Four Noble Truths. Though it likely depends upon the practitioner, I do not consider the 18 vows and 42 branch vows of the Bodhisattva to be easy. Since criticising the Theravada or holding sectarian views would break some of this vows, I believe it best for me to bow out of the conversation.

DS
"Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,"

~ From the Karaniya Metta Sutta (Sn 1.8)

bksubhuti
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Re: Monastic Alms Round in the West

Post by bksubhuti » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:33 pm

Perhaps I was a little strong in my Mahayana Theravada statements.
The garlic thing is however more deeply rooted in Mahayana practice rather than Theravada practice in Vinaya communities.


As long as you know the basic differences in views of Nibbana/Nirvana bodhisatta/bodhisatva,
and the view of impermanence and samsara and make your educated choices. Then it is "To each his own"
I prefer to see Mahayana as a separate religion. Then I don't get involved in debates about what The Buddha Taught.
I wouldn't debate a Christian and just try to connect on loving-kindness and purification of the mind through wholesome kamma.
That is what I do in Kauai.
That is where we can connect Mahayana or Christian.

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pilgrim
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Re: Monastic Alms Round in the West

Post by pilgrim » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:25 am

On a related matter, I think many monks on alms round in the west will receive fruits like whole apples and oranges. How do they deal with this, in view of the Vinaya injunction against consuming live fruits with seeds? Are monks allowed to peel or cut these fruits up themselves?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Monastic Alms Round in the West

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:26 am

pilgrim wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:25 am
On a related matter, I think many monks on alms round in the west will receive fruits like whole apples and oranges. How do they deal with this, in view of the Vinaya injunction against consuming live fruits with seeds? Are monks allowed to peel or cut these fruits up themselves?
This thread

viewtopic.php?t=17345

might help, especially the post by Bhikkhu Pesala.

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pitakele
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Re: Monastic Alms Round in the West

Post by pitakele » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:57 pm

When in robes, I didn't have much opportunity to practise almsround in the West, but can share some anecotes.
  • I spent one vassa in a tent in a national park supported by an ex bhikkhu friend who was camped a kilometre away. He prepared meals for me everyday. However, sometimes I went on almsround to a camping area on the edge of the forest where there were mostly hippy types.They were very welcoming, offering food and inviting me to have cups of tea & chat with them. (I declined their offers of joints, though). On one occasion, I noticed a young woman enthusiastically approaching me to offer fruit into my bowl. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that she was topless - no problem - didn't pay attention to the vyañjana (details).
  • In a different area, I went on a short cārikā (walking tour). Along the way, on almsround, I remember inadvertently stopping at a house of naturists. I wasn't welcomed, nor did I receive any food. Further along the route, I slept overnight on a sandy river bank near an indigenous settlement. The next morning, I went on almsround to the settlement, and the people were very generous - no cooked food, but enough canned sphagetti and bread to keep me going. My destination on that tour was a yoga ashram. I arrived unannounced, but the swamis very kindly allowed me to stay for a month, providing free meals and yoga lessons. Whilst there, I went almsound to the local Sunday markets once or twice and was offered mainly fruit.
  • A few years later, I spent a vassa at Amaravati in the UK, where there was the practice of 'social almsround'. This entailed walking with almsbowl to nearby villages, not to collect food, but to interact with local residents who would invite the monks into their houses for tea. One such resident was an elderly Catholic nun, who very much enjoyed chatting with the monks. The Amaravati monks were trained in the Thai tradition and used a special cloth (phaa thee rup) to receive food or other items from women. When offering tea, the Sister would mischievously try to place the cup where the cloth wasn't whilst the young monks would be moving the cloth back and forth trying to place it under the cup. Humorous to watch!
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BKh
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Re: Monastic Alms Round in the West

Post by BKh » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:18 am

Yes, the Mahayana Vinaya prohibits onion, leeks, scallions, garlic, and chives. I did not realize that the Theravada vinaya was different in this regards.
It would not be possible to go on alms round in Sri Lanka and follow the Mahayana rules. Well, you could go on alms round, but you could only eat fruit and bread.

If I am not mistaken, those are not Vinaya rules in the Mahayana are they?
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