Monks/nuns and the Internet

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Re: Monks/nuns and the Internet

Post by Jeff_ »

Monks are at different stages in their training and have different responsibilities, so I can't speak in general about tech use. However, I am very much against any monk or nun having a personal blog, channel, page, whatever, where they have comments turned on. First, it allows people who might not otherwise be moved to speak ill of the Dhamma to speak ill of the Dhamma. (Youtube is probably the worst for this, but it can happen anywhere.) This by itself is a reason not to do it. You want a blog, make it Web 1.0.

The other reason is, the communities and cults of personality that spring up around social media pages -- especially god forbid when comments can be "voted up" or "voted down" -- are inherently unhealthy for almost all involved. The whole thing revolves around status and praise, which monks should shun, and which they should help others to get away from, leading by example with respect to the activities they engage in.

On a positive note, I recently discovered Ajahn Sona's comments-turned-off YouTube channel, and I really like it.

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Re: Monks/nuns and the Internet

Post by Dhammanando »

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:18 pm
As I recall, Bhikkhu Dhammanando didn't have a particularly smart phone when I spent a week with him a few years ago. However, in more recent times he may have succumbed to such luxuries... :tongue:
I'm still using the same rather un-smart 15-year-old Nokia. Mainly as a meditation timer and alarm clock since it doesn't have any sim card in it.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Monks/nuns and the Internet

Post by kalyana.mitta »

In the monastery that I attend, there is only a land phone for monks to make phone calls when necessary. There is also a computer that is used by the chief/most senior monk to communicate with monks in other branches of the monastery and other important things like that. But even that computer isn't kept in the monastery and it is kept at the home of a layperson when the monks don't need it.
"Whatever treasure in this world or in other any worlds, whatever precious jewel there is in the heavens, none is equal to the Buddha. In the Buddha is this precious jewel. By there truth, may there be wellbeing."
:candle: Ratana Sutta | Sn 2.1 :candle:

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Re: Monks/nuns and the Internet

Post by polaris »

Chanh Dao wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:01 am
Sorry I'm not trying to be controversial here. Just talking about the Monastic communities that I've spent time in.

Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lankan monastic communities.. even Pa Auk... Even in some of the most rural places imaginable the monastics there were using smartphones common place.

Same with even the young novices if they could get one donated or afford it.

I may(not completely sure) of met a monk or two who didn't actually own a smartphone if that's any consolation santa.

Also my opinion is that modern technology is as much of a tool as something like air conditioning or the Microwave.

I personally don't have an issue with fellow monastics using smartphones but I wouldn't encourage use with novices or in retreat.

Just my opinion.

~Deep bow to all involved~
I quite agree with you Chanh Dao. I imagine myself who understood the ultimate reality as taught in the Abhidhamma, so when I encounter monks who are constantly on their phones I see the ultimate reality. Skillful thinking, right perception will lead me in the right paths to proper practice of Buddhism. Good monks,Enlightened monks, bad monks, naughty monks, lazy monks,dirty monks, they are all part of the scenery as I walk the path to salvation.
If I see monks behave badly I get annoyed or concerned that in itself is a form of suffering. A desire to see monks behaving and practicing Buddhism in proper manners will often be met by disappointment.

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