Lay people interaction with monks

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Digity
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Lay people interaction with monks

Post by Digity » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:14 pm

As a layperson is it offensive to not bow to a monk when visiting them at a monastery? I ask, because I see the monks bow to the senior monks and some lay people do it too, but I don't bow. I do bow to the Buddha statue after meditating though.

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Sam Vara
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Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Lay people interaction with monks

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:25 pm

It depends on the particular monastery and the occasion, but I don't think it is offensive or disrespectful to omit bowing. Monastics generally appreciate being shown respect, but also understand that Westerners in particular take some time to understand customs from other countries. Bow if you feel inspired to, but otherwise it is not important.

befriend
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Re: Lay people interaction with monks

Post by befriend » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:48 pm

When greeting a bhikkhu you should put your palms in prayer pose at your heart then bow your head slightly downward and then bring your palms remained In prayer pose to your forehead, then resume a normal posture. This is what I do for the monks at an American Thai forest monastery. There might be an etiquette section on their website. That says things like don't touch a male monk if your female and don't point your feet at a Buddha statue.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Lay people interaction with monks

Post by salayatananirodha » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:59 pm

Monks, there are these eight individuals who are worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world. Which eight?

The one who has entered the stream, the one who has entered upon the course for the realization of the fruit of stream-entry, the once-returner, the one who has entered upon the course for the realization of the fruit of once-returning, the non-returner, the one who has entered upon the course for the realization of the fruit of non-returning, the arahant, the one who has entered upon the course for arahantship

Monks, these are the eight individuals who are worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.

...

- AN 8.59

Faith followers and dhamma followers fall within the eight individuals.

"In five ways, young householder, should a householder minister to ascetics and brahmans as the Zenith:

(i) by lovable deeds,
(ii) by lovable words,
(iii) by lovable thoughts,
(iv) by keeping open house to them,
(v) by supplying their material needs.

- DN 31

I was actually expecting to find some explicit instruction to do reverence to a monk, but, if at all your mind is not directed reverently, then it is a good idea to bow, with joined palms over the heart, three times, opening your palms to touch the floor and closing them again. You might think 'buddha... dhamma... saṅgha...'
Westerners can have trouble with this due to excessive pride. Don't practice like this.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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