Is there a Khmer Forest Tradition?

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mesha
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Is there a Khmer Forest Tradition?

Post by mesha » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:26 am

I'm curious to know if there are any Khmer forest monks out there. Information on the web is scant except for a blog post by Ven. Santidhammo. Does anyone know anything more about them? Many thanks

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Is there a Khmer Forest Tradition?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:12 am

It is coming back slowly I think. I am friends with a Cambodian monk who lives in a tiny suburban monastery in Perth, Western Australia, and he goes home each year to visit his preceptor in the Cambodian monastery where he ordained.
He says there are very few meditation monks in Cambodia, and almost zero monks who do not use money, and most monks see the monastic life as a money making career, and send money to their parents. But that's just what he says, I don't know if it's accurate.

Here's a quote about the genocide the Khmer Rouge did back in the 1970's:
One estimate is that out of 40,000 to 60,000 monks, only between 800 and 1,000 survived to carry on their religion. We do know that of 2,680 monks in eight monasteries, a mere seventy were alive as of 1979. As for the Buddhist temples that populated the landscape of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge destroyed 95 percent of them, and turned the remaining few into warehouses or allocated them for some other degrading use. Amazingly, in the very short span of a year or so, the small gang of Khmer Rouge wiped out the center of Cambodian culture, its spiritual incarnation, its institutions. ...
Rummel, Rudolph J. (2001). "Chapter 6: Freedom Virtually Ends Genocide and Mass Murder". Saving Lives, Enriching Life: Freedom as a Right And a Moral Good.

perkele
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Re: Is there a Khmer Forest Tradition?

Post by perkele » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:32 pm

mesha wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:26 am
I'm curious to know if there are any Khmer forest monks out there. Information on the web is scant except for a blog post by Ven. Santidhammo. Does anyone know anything more about them? Many thanks
See here. At least that is one forest monk in Cambodia, and maybe a good place to ask or learn more.

:anjali:

dharmacorps
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Re: Is there a Khmer Forest Tradition?

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:46 pm

There's a interesting book on modern Cambodia and Buddhism called The Gods Drink Whiskey. Its written by an American professor who goes to Cambodia to teach Buddhism (and English) to Cambodians (ironic, right?). My understanding from that was that Buddhism is in a difficult place right now in Cambodia, but people are feeling their way back to it. Its difficult when most of the adults (including monks) were killed by the Khmer Rouge, there is no connection with the traditional beliefs. I am hopeful that like as in the past, when the dhamma shrinks in one theravada country, the others come in to help lift them up.

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