Dorje Shedrub wrote: ↑
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:59 am
For those who follow the practice of not handling money, please share your experiences. How do you obtain medicine, medical care, hygienic supplies, etc.? How has the practice been beneficial?
My experiences are not current. I have been out of robes for more than 20 years. However, during the 17 years I was in robes, I did not use money. My reasoning was as Buddha and his great disciples did not use money, nor should I.
I ordained in the Dhammayuttika sect in Thailand which nominally did not handle or use money. However, when I had a chance to move to Sri Lanka, I preferred it there as the monk life was simpler and many practices seemed more in tune with the time of the Buddha.
In Thailand, people tried offer money into my bowl regularly while on almsround, but during eight years in Sri Lanka this only occurred on two occasions and then it was just a few rupees.
In Bangkok, most public transport for monks was free and in Sri Lanka, special bus coupons for Sangha were available from hermitages.
I always had good supporters in Thailand, Sri Lanka and my home country, so obtaining medicine etc. was never a problem. Often, doctors and dentists offer services freely to Sangha and there are also designated wards for Sangha in hospitals.
In good monasteries or hermitages, there is usually a central store of everyday requisites, robes, toiletries, stationary etc. which has been donated to the Sangha. Individuals can then request requisites from the designated storekeeper. Also, money may be offered for the use of a monastery and held by stewards. This could be used to pay for medicine, special food or travel needs etc.of Sangha.
The benefit of not using money is that promotes contentment, getting by on basic necessities. For three years I lived alone in a hut in a Sri Lankan forest. I was supported by a small vilage 1.5 km away. The villagers were very poor, but were generous and provided excellent alms food. They also were very happy to offer basic necessities such as soap, kerosene (for lighting), torch batteries etc. I was very careful to not make requests beyond their means. If I needed something extra like a new robe, I would trek 2 hours over the range to a forest hermitage where the abbot was always welcoming.
Sometimes, I went on walking tour in Sri Lanka with just bowl and robes. It was a wonderful feeling of freedom. My needs of food, shelter and medicine were always met by faithful folk along the way.