Author Topic: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?  (Read 1020 times)

dharma bum

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2020, 03:49:39 AM »
There's a couple of things that bother me about monks and monasteries.

1. Is it really good for monks to be venerated the way some senior or high-ranking monks are?
2. Why are there so many nasty sex scandals involving people who have been monks for many years/decades? The sex itself doesn't trouble me - it is the use of power for sex in a very nasty way. Does the thought "What am I doing?" not enter their heads in all the time they spend in meditation?
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Middleway

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2020, 07:57:52 AM »
There is this adage that power corrupts. It is actually the other way around. Power just brings out the corruption out in the open.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Dhamma

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2020, 05:29:35 PM »
There are monks who live as hermits. I suppose fulfilling sexual desires is far from a priority for them. We assume that every man constantly has sex on the brain.

Some monks are highly enlightened; others not so much; and some not at all. Many monks in Thailand/Sri Lanka become monks to appease their families, so it's rooted in culture. Some people use religion to escape the struggles of everyday life, but they will soon find that religious life/monkhood comes with its own set of problems and issues as well. Samsara is everywhere.  Yes, there are forever happy hermits from the get-go, but they are super rare (must have special karma lol).

Some of our dislike for monks is culture-based. In American society -  with all  its strong Protestant history - there is almost has an aversion for monkhood. Many Evangelical Protestant groups look down on nuns and monks in the Catholic and Orthodox church. They will say that God made man to be with a woman and raise a family. There is no need for such nonsense. You will also hear that a true Christian is to be part of the world  - not removed from it. Also, giving up worldly desires is pointless as God wants us to enjoy food, sex, etc. I am just repeating this for others to understand the mindset.  I was raised around very conservative Protestant groups.

In the end, it is no one's business if someone is celibate, not interested in luxury food/status/accommodation, etc.  Worry about your own life - not someone else's.  Some Buddhist teacher once said: "If you are not going to help someone in your words and actions, then worry about yourself only. Worrying about others in a negative way is wrong, and will lead you nowhere."

We all know that monks are human like you and me. But we know that some are very enlightened, and we must respect that. Many, in fact, are our teachers.  We know that clinging to sensual pleasures ultimately leads nowhere, so what monks and nuns are trying to achieve is not on its face absurdity - not at all.  All good Buddhists know this.

Ask yourself: have you examined your own life before judging a monk's (you shouldn't be judging in the first place?)? Is your worldly life making you happy every day? Worry about you, if you can't worry about someone in a positive light. Hard to do, but you can get better at this. I have plenty of work to do on this front.

There are sexual scandals and money scandals, etc. in the Buddhist world. Why? Because Buddhists are faced with samsara, like everyone. Where there is samsara, there will be problems. Bring enough people together, no matter their intentions, etc., and there will be scandals and unwholesome activities. But we must rise above this to see truth and ultimate reality, as given to us by the Holy Buddha. There are very immoral monks out there for sure, and this cannot be denied (don't like the term "bad" used for any reason); but, in the end, so what? How does this change the Buddha's teachings on enlightenment for you and me? We can do it. :)

There is a dear monk teacher who is very holy but his organization has been scandalized and corrupted. He gets all the blame, but he could not control the intentions and actions of others. It is sad. I love this dear monk, and he will always be in my heart. Samsara won out, but his teachings remain as beautiful as ever.


Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

dharma bum

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2020, 12:32:51 AM »
I think they have a fine system in Thailand where you can be monk for a few months at a time. In modern times I think it would be hard to withdraw from the world. You need some kind of a vocation or work. In the old days life was not as comfortable as it is now. Even if you lived in a hut basic living was hard. You would need to go to the river to fetch water for example.

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Matthew

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2020, 11:59:56 PM »
I don't think the monastic lifestyle is natural. Buddhists only ended up living in monasteries as they lived in areas where kings and potentates felt threatened by their wisdom and popularity amongst the people - and so caged them behind the monastery walls to perform ceremony and ritual. It was a big part of the decay of the Dhamma.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

dharma bum

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2020, 04:26:01 AM »
I've always thought of Buddishm as a forest religion until my more recent acquaintance with monasteries. The Buddha was born under a tree, attained enlightenment under a tree and died under a tree. A nomadic wandering life seems more compatible with Buddhism than living in a monastery.

Some things make me scratch my head. For example, Ajahn Brahm seems like a very enlightened monk but then his monastery seems like a luxury hotel with a fake cave for meditation.
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Matthew

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2020, 04:25:04 PM »
Agree with every word you have written dharma bum. Brahm split from the Thai Forest tradition for his own reasons, seemingly political on some level - I'm not thoroughly familiar, yet it was done quite deliberately.

There is probably fault on both sides of that division - I don't want to idealise any tradition or kick any either particularly. I haven't found one yet that doesn't have it's good and it's bad.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Dhamma

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2020, 06:21:54 PM »
I've always thought of Buddishm as a forest religion until my more recent acquaintance with monasteries. The Buddha was born under a tree, attained enlightenment under a tree and died under a tree. A nomadic wandering life seems more compatible with Buddhism than living in a monastery.

Some things make me scratch my head. For example, Ajahn Brahm seems like a very enlightened monk but then his monastery seems like a luxury hotel with a fake cave for meditation.

I agree with you 100%, like Matthew.

There is a Theravada monk who has videos online who lives as a hermit. I am almost sure he's not affiliated with a monastery. At any rate, he's profound in his teachings.  There's something different about him. It's not that he is superhuman, etc; just seems free of the of much of the mental illness delusions that affect us all.

There are also some Tibetan Buddhist hermits that I think are quite similar in enlightenment to said Theravada monk.

Again, I don't want to judge or disparage anyone. I am seeking truth and trying to know when I see it.  That said, there could be many monks in monastery settings who are highly enlightened. But I understand the wandering nomad vs. monastery life comparison. I refuse to talk ignorantly here.

There is a certain Tibetan school whose organization is highly controversial. Its leader is also as controversial as the organization. It's considered a cult by certain people. I didn't know how controversial the organization was until I was told that I cannot even mention the author's books on a given forum. I found that really bizarre. Okay - I am ignorant, but I know this man's books are not crazy, nor does it teach cultism. Sure, many bad things may have happened in the organization, but the main teacher's teachings are not invalidated by that fact. I think sometimes are judgment gets clouded from politics, other people's opinions, etc. We must found out for ourselves.

Many unwholesome and violent things have happened in all Buddhist traditions. It's samsara. There is good and bad (in Zen, there is no such things, but...) in all, but truth is truth. For example, we know that everything is impermanent. Fact. End of story. We also know that nothing external can bring you true happiness. Fact. End of story.

If I said something in ignorance, please correct me. I will not take offense.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

mobius

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Re: Monks in monistries dont look happy alot of the time. Are they?
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2020, 02:34:42 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD9Cv6Ms_gg

I found this video somehow last year and started listening to his talks and other similar monks since then. This video almost brought me to tears for reasons I can't really explain totally. Maybe I was going through a difficult time then and it helped me. Maybe its deeper.

He smiles in the beginning that's almost a laugh; maybe something funny happened right before filming. He doesn't necessarily smile throughout the whole video but something about his speech, mannerism and posture says this is a man who is not just happy; but deeply at peace, at ease with the world and it permeates away from him. It's effected me, it's given me peace. And I only singled out Ajahn Jayasaro because this was one of the first videos like it I saw but there are doubtlessly thousands or millions of people like him living in the world. Some of them may be monks, some of them are not. He is one and seems pretty happy to me.

Everything in that video came true by the way; the good and the bad. I found positivity in 2020 believe it or not; maybe meditation and teachings like his helped in that.


There is this adage that power corrupts. It is actually the other way around. Power just brings out the corruption out in the open.

That is a really interesting insight.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

 

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