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Buddhist Monks - What do they do?

(24 Posts)
PlainFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 14:46:32

Any one?

For example:

1. I happen to know they shave their heads at least once a month - so that is at least 'one unit' (per Hugh Grant in About a Boy)

2. Surely a vast amount of time has to be spent in meditation and contemplation.

Yurtgirl Tue 25-Jan-05 14:53:25

Message withdrawn

lou33 Tue 25-Jan-05 14:56:30

life of a monk

in nai yang the temple grounds were used every other day for a huge market, the monks were out there cleaning the rubbish up, seemed to be doing it for hours at a time

PlainFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 14:58:42

Because I get all my information from MN, onnly.

Yurt girl, does your name define you?

do you have one.

some cousins of ours live in one, its cool.

lou33 Tue 25-Jan-05 15:01:11

of course if you are talking about buddhists in genreral then i have to say i haven't seen such dedication and support and bonding in my life, as seeing the thais clean up after the tsunami. And no sense of self pity either.

beansprout Tue 25-Jan-05 15:02:00

Thanks Lou, v interesting. Did you read the link PF?

PlainFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 15:02:17

Yeah the Thai's are lovely people. And disaster does always bring people together in a very special way.

Have you been out there since the wave then?

beansprout Tue 25-Jan-05 15:03:25

Lou was out there at the time PF.

beansprout Tue 25-Jan-05 15:04:50

Hope you don't mind me saying that Lou, I think it is common knowledge.

PF - a lot of people on MN were very concerned for Lou's welfare both at the time and since.

lou33 Tue 25-Jan-05 15:04:52

am going back on the 9th as well

lou33 Tue 25-Jan-05 15:05:11

course i dont mind beansprout

PlainFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 15:10:21

Yes. It is interesting.

I knew I'd got the idea from somewhere that they did little eg in community. and that does seem to be true to some extant - not that there is anything wrong in that I hastily add.

However I was wrong in thinking they were basically contented. Since they constantly strive for total enlightenment, I guess they never reach it so are not content.

I had interpreted Buddhism to mean ' the rejection of desire etc' so with no desire there comes contentment.

However, on the do nothing point I quote:

'Forest monks.......virtual dismissal of all activities non related to the pursuit of enlightenment' so at least some of them do mostly nothing ( in a physical sense)

PlainFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 15:14:01

Where were you? A group of our friends were in Phuket, all survived! - of 6 people, only two washed into water (the others ran up a hill) and he only got a broken arm - very very lucky. They came right home though. Which is understandable for them.

There stories were very moving.

Have you seen the cine film showing the wave come up a road - I think it was Sri Lanka actually. But it was a sight that will always stay with me. You know like the Vietnamese girl running naked down the road on fire from the Vietnam war.

lou33 Tue 25-Jan-05 15:18:13

we were in ko lanta when it hit, me dh and 4 kids, one in a wheelchair. We had to run for it, stopped a pick up truck who gave us a lift into the hills. Spent the night there. Two days later and we would have been dead. The house we would have stayed in on phuket was flattened

KateandtheGirls Tue 25-Jan-05 15:22:54

After Sept 11 2001, a New York Sri Lanka Buddhist association was very helpful to the families who had lost loved ones - raising money, volunteering their time. So, no, they didn't sit back and do nothing. Now that they are the ones in need the Sept 11 families have returned the favour and have been raising money for them.

Prufrock Tue 25-Jan-05 15:33:56

I think some buddhist monks do just sit and contemplate in self sufficient closed communities. Just like some trappist Christian monks live in a silent and self-sufficient closed community.
I also think it probable that a monk of any religion is likely to do different things at different times of his life - at some points working in a community and at some points taking deserved time off from this voluntary work to learn about himself.

PlainFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 15:51:02

Pruffock - what I meant but you are far more eloquent

Kateandthegirls - thats what I wondered if they did that kind of thing

Lou33 - Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezus, how hair raising. Such huge events seem to have permanent effects on peoples lives when they are touched by their own mortality like that. Do you think you will live your life slightly differently as a result?

EnlightenedFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 15:55:19

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh now, I'm meditating.

lou33 Tue 25-Jan-05 16:02:48

I have been unable to settle, been in tears every day , had flashbacks and what ifs. That is whay i am going back to thailand in 2 weeks, on my own, to try and lay the ghosts to rest. So my life atm has been greatly affected, I am hoping that when i come back i will be able to move forward in a more positive way.

colette Tue 25-Jan-05 16:19:52

I hope it all goes well for you on your trip Lou33, it must be such a huge thing to get your head around.

EnlightenedFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 16:26:05

Lou33, I can completely see how that will happen. Its like an 'almost' bereavement. A best friend of mines DH was in a dreadful rail crash, but survived and she really looks at life differently now. Family always first, always. Mind you, she is somewhat over protective now and nervy. But what do you expect.

In some respect in the long term it will probably centre you. kind of balance out and make you far more able to cope with difficult things. going back you may even esperience a sense of 'closure' (without even having to be a teeny bit American).

Do you like my name. I am far less mischevious now.

EnlightenedFlum Tue 25-Jan-05 16:27:48

Briefly back to the Buddhist monks. Do you think you could take them some Nicorette out. It is very worrying that the number one cause of death for them is smoking related illnesses. I mean meditation can't be that relaxing if they are all chain smoking can it.

lou33 Tue 25-Jan-05 16:34:44

it is that closure i am hoping to find i think. And stop being mischievous or i will put my moderator hat on, and call in the heavy mob

thanks colette

EnlightenedFlum Thu 27-Jan-05 10:53:51

Oooh, I'm always getting into trouble.

I only come out with the really shocking comments at about 3pm, when i really don't think I can get through such a dull day anymore without some fireworks.

Good luck with your trip anyway. I'm sure there will be lots of tears but it will no doubt be very cathartic.

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