Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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manas
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Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by manas »

I wasn't sure if my eyes were deceiving me, but I think I saw a well-known monk - please, I do not want any names mentioned, let's keep this impersonal - but during a talk, he appeared to be sitting next to a nun, ie, on the same raised platform, they sat approximately one metre apart, I'd estimate.

Is this in line with the Vinaya? Even if it is, I just find it odd, because I thought the Buddha encouraged monks and nuns to remain physically apart (in the sense of, secluded from each other) as much as possible, aside from when teachings need to be given by monks to nuns, or am I missing something here?

Further, this might be ok for older, experienced monks, but imagine younger monks seeing this, they might find it difficult to endure such a sight. Let's be realistic: the human body is what it is, biologically males & females are wired to attract one another, and I don't think it's fair on younger monks, newly ordained for example, to see such sights, and feel agitation which could have easily been avoided, by simply keeping monks and nuns well apart, in completely different areas.

Or maybe my eyes were simply deceiving me. Maybe the other monastic was a fellow monk, but with quite feminine facial features. Still, I would like to know, what the Vinaya says about this, and about how much monks & nuns should associate in general?

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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santa100
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by santa100 »

manas wrote:during a talk, he appeared to be sitting next to a nun, ie, on the same raised platform, they sat approximately one metre apart I'd estimate.
It depends on 2 key questions:
1. Were they together all by themselves in one room?
2. If there were other people in the room, were the other people within hearing distance to be able to hear the conversation between the monk and nun?

Refer to the Vinaya for further infos.

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manas
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by manas »

santa100 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:50 pm
manas wrote:during a talk, he appeared to be sitting next to a nun, ie, on the same raised platform, they sat approximately one metre apart I'd estimate.
It depends on 2 key questions:
1. Were they together all by themselves in one room?
2. If there were other people in the room, were the other people within hearing distance to be able to hear the conversation between the monk and nun?

Refer to the Vinaya for further infos.
It was a talk on Youtube. There would have been at least a hundred people in the audience, I guess, and they could clearly see & hear the monk speaking. There was no conversation between the monk and the other monastic, as it was a talk being given to a wider audience. The other monastic, whom I still find it difficult to imagine could be male with such features (but who knows?), was just sitting quietly and listening.
To the Buddha-refuge i go; to the Dhamma-refuge i go; to the Sangha-refuge i go.

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manas
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by manas »

santa100 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:50 pm
manas wrote:during a talk, he appeared to be sitting next to a nun, ie, on the same raised platform, they sat approximately one metre apart I'd estimate.
It depends on 2 key questions:
1. Were they together all by themselves in one room?
2. If there were other people in the room, were the other people within hearing distance to be able to hear the conversation between the monk and nun?

Refer to the Vinaya for further infos.
Thank you for your reply. I went for a walk, and found a solution to my problem. If monks / aspiring monks want more seclusion from nuns, they can join a monastery where this kind of interaction doesn't occur. I also note my mind's tendency to find fault, and as i'm not a Vinaya expert, I'm going to cease worrying about this now.

May the fourfold Buddhist community prosper: monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen. And so long as essential and important rules are kept strictly, I'm not going to worry. If a nun sitting aside an experienced monk helps her learn about giving talks to laypeople, there's some benefit in that. If I were to join a monastery, I'd choose one with more seclusion from females, but that's my own choice. People vary in what they want and need in life.

:anjali:
To the Buddha-refuge i go; to the Dhamma-refuge i go; to the Sangha-refuge i go.

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pilgrim
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by pilgrim »

I don't see any issue with this. Although monks and nuns usually live in separate monasteries, it is quite common where monks and nuns happen to be at the same temple to give talks, for dana, retreats etc. They just need to avoid intentionally touching a person of the opposite sex or being in a room together. Even if they accidentally bump into each other, it is not an offence.

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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by JohnK »

manas wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:45 pm
...I also note my mind's tendency to find fault, and as i'm not a Vinaya expert, I'm going to cease worrying about this now...
:anjali:
Excellent! :)
:anjali:
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by mikenz66 »

pilgrim wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:13 pm
I don't see any issue with this. Although monks and nuns usually live in separate monasteries, it is quite common where monks and nuns happen to be at the same temple to give talks, for dana, retreats etc. They just need to avoid intentionally touching a person of the opposite sex or being in a room together. Even if they accidentally bump into each other, it is not an offence.
Furthermore, as a monk one would commonly interact with lay women. Most of the food they eat is prepared and served by women. Most of the lay people they advise are women. Monks on alms round in Thailand would receive food mostly from women.

This is, as I understand it, part of the training. The vinaya seems designed so that monastics have to interact, and be mindful of that interaction.

:heart:
Mike

Caodemarte
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by Caodemarte »

The Buddhist moral revolution was to stress that intention of what you do is what matters, to abolish ideas of ritual purity, and emphasize that rules are to serve a purpose, not to get in the way of that purpose. The Vinaya exists to help on the way to liberation which includes becoming kinder and more humane. There is no reason to be shocked unless you believe the monk had an evil intention.

binocular
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by binocular »

Caodemarte wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:14 am
The Vinaya exists to help on the way to liberation which includes becoming kinder and more humane.
"Kinder and more humane" according to whose standards of kindness and humanity?
If you can't build with them, don't chill with them.

Caodemarte
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by Caodemarte »

binocular wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:12 pm
Caodemarte wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:14 am
The Vinaya exists to help on the way to liberation which includes becoming kinder and more humane.
"Kinder and more humane" according to whose standards of kindness and humanity?
Buddhist in this case.

binocular
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by binocular »

Caodemarte wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:08 am
Buddhist in this case.
Which Buddhist? There are so many Buddhisms, so many ideas about what counts for kidness and humanity.
If you can't build with them, don't chill with them.

MettaDevPrac
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by MettaDevPrac »

manas wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:45 pm
santa100 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:50 pm
manas wrote:during a talk, he appeared to be sitting next to a nun, ie, on the same raised platform, they sat approximately one metre apart I'd estimate.
It depends on 2 key questions:
1. Were they together all by themselves in one room?
2. If there were other people in the room, were the other people within hearing distance to be able to hear the conversation between the monk and nun?

Refer to the Vinaya for further infos.
Thank you for your reply. I went for a walk, and found a solution to my problem. If monks / aspiring monks want more seclusion from nuns, they can join a monastery where this kind of interaction doesn't occur. I also note my mind's tendency to find fault, and as i'm not a Vinaya expert, I'm going to cease worrying about this now.

May the fourfold Buddhist community prosper: monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen. And so long as essential and important rules are kept strictly, I'm not going to worry. If a nun sitting aside an experienced monk helps her learn about giving talks to laypeople, there's some benefit in that. If I were to join a monastery, I'd choose one with more seclusion from females, but that's my own choice. People vary in what they want and need in life.

:anjali:
:goodpost:
- MettaDevPrac

Caodemarte
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Re: Is a monk sitting next to nun during talk ok with Vinaya?

Post by Caodemarte »

binocular wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:20 am
Caodemarte wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:08 am
Buddhist in this case.
Which Buddhist? There are so many Buddhisms, so many ideas about what counts for kidness and humanity.
Like all adults, we will have to make our own moral decisions after due consideration, and not blindly follow or blindly ignore the advice of others no matter what their titles or lack of titles.

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