What I mean by office-politics is its literal meaning. Even though monasteries are not offices and are mostly run by monks - who are suppose to be very nice - and even if one does not wish to climb the ladder and be an abbot, you, still, will, unfortunately, find back-biting, back-scratching amongst monks and anagarikas too. Merely changing one's costumes in to a robe and shaving the head does NOT dispel the not-so-nice human qualities that plague men and women. It is not uncommon for a senior monk to pick on a junior monk if the former is having a bad day. It is not uncommon, even between abbots of Western monasteries to hold grudges and b!tch against each other. When I first got to know of such unhealthy practises in monasteries, I literally felt dizzy and shattered because I held the robes in high veneration. One would not get to know these things until one has a chance to get closely associated with a monastery and see how things run. May be this is why monks like Ajahn Mun would simply disappear from his own monastery. Even though humans are social animals, the moment they come together and do stuff together it has the potential for it all to turn to custard and monks are no exceptions. Of course there are good monks, worthy of veneration, who are very nice human beings, but in this day and age, that is the exception and not the rule.Alex123 wrote:
I have a question. What exactly do you mean by "ugly office politics?" . Is it possible for a simple monk to avoid it? Don't climb the ladder, don't become an abott. Aren't there just as much, if not more, politics in the lay life when it comes to bosses coworkers, the government tax agencies (IRS, CCRA, etc)?
I think Ajahn Gavesako, who frequents this Forum often, once said pretty succintly that monkhood is a package. If you want to become a monk you will have to accept the WHOLE package rather than the serenity and niceties that is so commonly associated with meditation.
Sorry, I meant an unmarried, single lay life seems more condusive to me. This gives me more power to regulate the amount of distraction I am willing to let in as opposed to being in a married life or a monk life. I may be wrong, and/or my thinking might change in the future... who knows.... but this is how I feel and practise now.Alex123 wrote:Again, where are less distractions and engagements? In lay life or in monastic life?grasshopper wrote:To me, now, it seems like the best place to practise is living like a lay person but then it has it's problems of having to get qualifications and/or work to get the money to provide prerequisites for oneself (and one's immediate family members etc.) which has the potential to attenuate one's effort and blur the focus.
IMHO, I do not think there is one answer to which Path - lay life vs monk life - is faster even though Buddha is known to have said that monk life is faster. Monasteries are not amazing, serene places they once used to be. In Buddha's time too there were monks who were nut cases and not worthy of veneration and there were lay men and women who lived regular working lives, payed taxes, reproduced and looked after kids, but still went on to become Stream enterers. So it depends on what you make out the Path one chooses to be, rather than what costume one wishes to be in that matters. I do not mean to curb your enthusiasm for monasticism in anywhich way : )