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    The main purpose of ordaining is to free yourself from worldly commitments and worries so that you may Have the opportunity fully to commit yourself to meditation and breaks away from the shackles of desire so that you may find true happiness.

 

How do Monks Free themselves from Worldly Desire?

      The answer to the above question is: Once ordained as a monk, you must fulfill all required and recommended duties based on tenets clearly specified by Lord Buddha.

Kiccavatta (Duty) derives from the combinati  on of two words...  Kicca and vatta

Kicca means things that one MUST do, otherwise you will surely regret not having done so.

Vatta means things that you SHOULD do, although it is not required. If you do not do these things, the consequences are not detrimental. It will not bar you from monkhood, but it could result in the lessening of respect for your station as a monk. If you do these things, the level of respect people will accord on you will only improve and strengthen. These duties will also help to free you from worldly desire. '

 Senior monks have developed the following ten primary duties for monks to fulfill:

1.  Alms Gathering

2.  Temple cleaning

3.  Confession

4.  Chanting and Meditation

5.  Reflection

6.  Caring for Your Preceptor

7.  Management, Maintenance, Exercise

8.  Dhamma and Monastic Studies

9.  Caring for Temple Property and Responsibility

10. Behaviour Worthy of Respect

     Any monk who can fulfill these duties may not yet be free from worldly desire but will surely lessen the influence of such desires.

 

1. Alms Qathering (Pindapdta)


      Pindapdta is a Pali word literally meaning the receiving of rice in an alms bowl. Monks are forbidden to cook or prepare their own meals. Monks must wait for. food to be offered to them, if none is offered, then they must fast.

      Lord Buddha stated that monks must seek alms so that they will have enough time to meditate and study the teachings. This was to ensure that they were not tired from the preparing of food. If monks spent their time worrying about making food everyday, it would be more difficult for them to focus their mind on meditation. Lord Buddha taught that seeking alms was an integral part of being a monk.

Bhikkhu means someone who depends on alms gathering.

      What then is the difference between a monk, and a regular beg­gar on the street? Monks also depend on alms gathering, and although this same word is used for beggars, the act in itself, is entirely different. Begging on the street is an act of desperation and humiliation. A monk on the other hand, goes about begging (seeking alms) with humility and in a serene manner. A monk, does not 'ask' in the manner of a regular beggar, but presents himself in modest fashion to receive offerings. Even the manner, in which monks eat their food is more composed and dignified.

Seeking Alms can take many forms:

1.  Monks may travel around his community (door to door) and seek alms

2.  Relatives or friends may visit the temple to offer alms to monks

3.  Monks may be invited to the home of relatives or friends to be offered alms

 

      It is understood among many men that when another person gives you something, you should return in kindness. However, when a monk is offered alms, does he have anything to offer in return?

      Lord Buddha stated that once monks receive alms from people, they must focus on meditation in order to offer something back to alms givers. If monks do not take care, and conduct themselves diligently in their meditation, then it amounts to ungratefulness for the alms they have received. If monks conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, then they can then use what they learn through meditation to teach almsgivers the Dhamma so that they may better their lives. In order to do this, monks must work hard and study the Dhamma to the best of their ability. By passing on the knowledge monks learn from the teachings of Lord Buddha, monks are in return offering a gift that is more valuable than anything that they receive through alms.

      Since we all live together in a shared society, we must learn to "give and take" from one another, not only to simply take all the time. For example, having just received alms from all of you here today; the present author is now returning thanks and ex­pressing my gratitude to you by offering my knowledge and teachings in this book for your benefit. It is the present author's hope that the teachings and words that I offer you today will go far in helping to improve and better your life, so that you may become a better person. Such is the purpose of my sermon and lecture today, to thank you for your support. The Buddha estab­lished this tradition of offering alms, and receiving of sermons in return, not only as an indirect way of ensuring that the commu­nity learned the Dhamma, but also as a method of making sure monks diligently studied the Dhamma in order to have some­thing to offer the community in return for their alms giving.

      One particular experience that I would like to share with you left a lasting impression on me. I was ordained on Decem-berl9 in the year 2514 BE.. On New Year's Day 2515 BE. I went to seek alms for the very first time. I have never before begged for food in my entire life, so this first time was very embarrassing for me. However, when I was seeking alms with many other fellow monks, I felt less uncomfortable about it.

      That day, I did not look at the face of the first person that offered me alms because one of the tenets of monkhood is that you must not look at the face of the person offering alms. All I saw was the food offered. Based on the food offered to me, I thought that the person must have been from the middle class. The second person that offered food was probably from a wealthier background since the quality of the food was higher. At the time, I did not think of anything else, when I approached the third person, she was a young girl of four or five years of age who only wore pants and no blouse. She was standing there offering alms despite having an unkempt appearance. The reason I know this is because the little girl was short and so I managed to see her even though I was looking down. The little girl gave a little rice, and followed that with a plastic bag with more food and dessert wrapped in banana leaves. By observing her offering and her clothing and appearance, I could discern that she was from a poor family. This act of kindness from a girl who most likely did not have much money or means at all moved me. This act of selflessness left an impression on me.

      Before I was ordained, I rarely noticed how poor people lived their lives as I almost never looked at them. After this experience of alms giving, I thought that this simple girl pos­sessed a bigger heart than mine before i was ordained. Instead of running and playing in the early morning hours like other chil­dren, this young girl chose to stand and give alms. If I had been in her situation, I most likely would not have stood there giving alms, but would instead have eaten the food myself. Thinking about it now, brings me chills. I felt that the alms I ate that day was almost like taking away from the child that food that she deserved to eat herself. If I eat this food and use the energy to go about and talk needlessly, or lie about in a lazy manner, then I failed to respect this girl's act of generosity.

      Having thought more about that, and I returned to my simple monks' quarters (kuti), I felt I had no time to rest. I immediately started meditating with diligence. After I finished meditating, I studied even more. Even if I did not eventually go back and teach this girl what I learned, I can still pass on my knowledge to all of you. If I failed to do this, I would forever be indebted to this girl, and her act of selflessness.

      When we give to beggars, beggars usually express their grati­tude by offering a very deep and almost exaggerated gesture of thanks, or a wai. However, when lay people offer alms to monks, not only do monks refrain from a wai, but lay people are ex­pected to Wai in return, why is this so? It took many years for people to understand why this is. Recently, a newspaper in Japan commented that in Thailand we have a strange tradition - offering alms to monks so that they may live comfortably, but instead of the monks expressing thanks through a Wai, lay people must give the monks a wai] Thailand was surely an unusual country indeed. Despite the fact that many in Japan are Buddhists, they felt that our tradition was odd. Outwardly, many people may agree that this is a strange tradition, however, it is a tradition founded on deep historical principles that at first glance may not appear obvi­ous. The act of giving alms is not merely, as it outwardly seems an act of generosity by lay people.

      It is also a privilege for lay people to offer alms to monks, because monks will then have the energy and strength to focus on meditation and the teaching of the Dhamma to the commu­nity. This way, the lay people will be able to better their lives. The teaching of the Dhamma is more valuable than anything lay people can offer to the monks. That is why lay people Wai monks as an expression of their gratitude. This tradition is car­ried on even to this present day.

      The seeking of Alms is the way in which all monks acquire all of the things that they require to live. This is not just restricted to food, but also applies to clothing, medicine, and shelter. All of these are acquired through the seeking of alms.

      Lord Buddha set a good example for seeking alms. The Buddha would set out and seek alms, but would then follow the offering with a sermon. The Buddha felt that the act of seeking alms was a way in which he could meet people and spread the word of the Dhamma. The Buddha would often be invited to people's home for the offering of alms, and the Buddha would always use this opportunity to conduct a sermon.

 


 2. Temple cleaning


      Once monks have returned from seeking alms and have fin­ished their meal, their next duty is to sweep the temple grounds. They should sweep from the main chapel, all the way to their quarters.

      One might ask what monks gain from sweeping, cleanliness is the first benefit. All monks must uphold certain standards of cleanliness. There were three main principles espoused by the Buddha in the Ovadapatimokkha.

      Firstly, one should avoid all evil deed, Secondly, one should perform wholesome deeds to the utmost of one's ability. Thirdly, one should purify one's mind. However, before you can cleanse your mind, you must first cleanse your surroundings. This is the reason why, monks must train themselves to love cleanliness in their everyday life.

      At Dhammakaya Temple, we have a policy of cleanliness that applies right from the front gates to every inch of temple grounds. Every morning, when I leave my kuti, I come across pieces of paper, trash, and even cigarette butts. Even though we have signs all around the temple telling people to refrain from smoking yet people still sneak around a corner and smoke, when I find ciga­rette butts, I do not know whom to blame. I pick these things up as I go along, and I clean up whatever I can, as I make my way around the temple, when I clean and take care of things around the temple I am happy that the grounds are clean. My mind is clean when my surroundings are clean.

      There are senior monks whose duty is to inspect temples in the rural provinces. The monks at these temples are often afraid of the inspecting monk because they believe that he knows about everything going on in the temple. In reality, however the monk hardly knows anything about what is going on. However, when he reaches the temple, instead of looking at the main chapel, he will go directly to the toilets. If the toilets are not clean, this will tell that everyone from the abbot, down on to the temple's fol­lowers are not upholding appropriate standards of cleanliness, and not taking care of the temple. Moreover, the fact of cleanli­ness reflects poorly on the temple's adherence to the Dhamma.

      If a temple lacks cohesion and community spirit, you can usually get a sense of this by the graffiti on the walls of the toilets. This is true not only for temples, but for all private work places, schools, and government buildings, when people are unhappy with their work, or their boss, they typically vent their opinions on the walls. The inspecting monk can often gather valuable information about what is going on and can use this information, along with other things he has observed to form a picture of the quality of life in any temple.

      However, for temples that are clean and well organized and where the community coexists in harmony, the inspecting monk does not need to address many issues. He can then spend more time on his visit to teach about the Dhamma, bless them, praise them on their good conduct, and offer words of encouragement to continue to keep their high standards.

      When I was about to move from Wat Paknam to help build Wat PhraDhammakaya, I went to pay my farewell respects to my preceptor. My Preceptor told me that when the late Abbot of Wat Paknam was alive, he would say, "in order to build a temple, you need lots of money. Nevertheless, there are two ways of raising money. If you do not know how to raise money, then you must spend a lot of time seeking money out. But if you know how to raise money, then money seeks you out."

      If a layman builds a temple and living quarters for monks, and he returns to find that the temples is littered with trash, with dust everywhere, stray dogs lying about in the temple and grounds covered with dog dirt, he will turn around and leave the temple, never to return.

      If the temple should need further construction work and this same laymen is asked for his help again, the layman may politely decline by saying that business right now is not good, asking the temple to wait. However, if the layman is a person of honest and frank disposition, then he may reply, "why are you asking for more, you can't even look after the one you already have. There is trash everywhere." Therefore, as you can imagine, it would be very embarrassing for monks to have to ask for help in that manner.

      If this is how the original sponsor of the temple comments, and you are thinking to build additional temple buildings, you will forever be asking for money in vain. If the gates to the temple are strewn with litter not to speak of the main chapel, and the path towards the living quarters too, even those originally intending to make merit by donating 100 Baht, may decide to give only 10 Baht, and most likely will not return to the temple again because it is unclean. The temple will forever lose these patrons.

      On the other hand, if laypeople visit a temple that is clean, seeing a main chapel that is beautiful, and feeling at ease when sitting there in an environment that is soothing to the mind. Should the layman have extra money, he might very well ask the Abbot, "How about another building?" without having to be prompted. That is how money seeks one out.

     This is, how financial support goes hand in hand with temple cleanliness. If a temple can attract financial support simply through the act of daily sweeping and picking up litter, imagine what can be achieved if you have cleanliness of mind!

 

The Benefits of Sweeping the Temple

1.  Sweeping can be a sort of moving meditation that allows us to ponder and calm the mind. Thereby, little by little, we can learn about the Dhamma within ourselves.

2.  Those who see monks diligently sweeping the temple will have a higher level of respect for monks and Bud­dhism.

3. Even the our guardian deities rejoice in our merit for they also love cleanliness. There is a story about a monk who would often meditate in the woods. He would often use the base of trees for relieving himself. One night, as the monk sat there meditating, he overheard two angels talking in the treetops. The first once said, "This monk is truly great in everything he does, except for one thing, he relieves himself on so many different trees, that the smell is everywhere. The second angel commented, "Well it has to be that way since you can't expect him to carry a toilet around with him." The first angel replied, "I don't mind that the monk relieves himself, its just that he should restrict himself to one place, not at the base of every tree in the forest. The smell is everywhere and I doa't know how to get away from it!" The moral of this story is that you should respect cleanliness because even the Angels are watching what you are doing.

4.  You will earn the reputation of being one who collects merit. This will result in your having a fair complexion. Those who love cleanliness will have a clean mind, and as a result, your body and mind will be a place for faith in Dhamma and in Buddhism.

5.  Once you pass on from this life, due to your love of cleanliness, you will pass away into the heavenly afterlife.

      A monk who develops the habit of sweeping the temple grounds, and loves cleanliness, will also most likely have robes and living quarters that are clean. In the end, this means his mind is clean as well, and this will reflect his cleanliness of thought, words, and actions.

 


3. Confession

      The act of Confession involves a monk who has transgressed his monastic discipline and who wishes to express regret over his misdeed to his preceptor, and who now promises to never repeat the transgression again.

      The Buddha taught his disciples not to hide their misdeeds. If they did something wrong, then they should admit to it, and confess. This was to ensure that monks would not lie to the world. If the wrongdoing was severe, then the monk must accept the consequences whatever that may be, even if it meant leaving the monkhood. Should the monk commit a severe transgression, he would be showing his inability to uphold the monastic life, and therefore he must leave it for a less serious offence he must humble himself before his peers and accept his personal shame so that he may ask for forgiveness. Punishment in this case might entail temporary confinement to a limited area.

 

The Benefits of Confession

1.  It helps monks to recognize any wrongdoings.

2.  It helps monks to solve problems rather than hide it, and accept the consequences

3.  It prevents monks from being deceitful, and clears the mind for making merit and receiving the knowledge in the Dhamma

 


4. Chanting and Meditating

      when the Buddha was alive, his disciples could listen to him preach and extol the virtues of the Dhamma everyday. However, after the Buddha passed away from this world, his disciples had to revise the Dhamma themselves through the practice of chant­ing and meditation.

Vatta means things that one should do.

      To perform Vatta means to chant in and pay homage to the Triple Gem; the Buddha, the Dhamma, and Sangha.In order to reap the full benefits of this chanting, monks must envision that they are in the presence of Lord Buddha himself. As you chant, your mind will clear and be open to receive merit. Your thoughts, speech, and action will not be led astray by temptation.

      Performing Vatta serves constantly to remind us of the vir­tues of the Triple Gem, frees our mind for the merits that we will receive, and strengthens our faith. Once you strengthen your faith over and over again, you will be instilled with a strong desire to do good and make merit.

      Chanting also serves the purpose of chanting the teachings of the Buddha and aloud-a way of memorizing the records of the Buddha's sermons found in the Pali Canon. For example, the Dhamacakkapavattana Sutta was the sermon that the Buddha gave to his first five disciples.

      The Aditaya Sutta comes from the sermon that Lord Buddha gave to three holy men from another religion, and because of that sermon, the three became Buddhist Arahants.

      Chanting should be done both morning and evening in order to constantly strengthen one's faith in a concrete way. For this reason, people in the ancient times, both lay people and monks alike, viewed chanting as an essential part of daily life.

      After the second Sacking of Ayuddhaya, the city was com­pletely burnt by the Burmese resulting in the destruction of religious documents and the Pali Canon. Nevertheless, our forefa­thers were able to reproduce the Pali Canon exactly as it was before, because the entire text had been ingrained in the minds of the monks through daily chanting. It is because of this that we have these religious texts to study for our present and future benefits.

 

The Benefits of chanting

1.  Clarity of mind and mental focus while chanting

2.  Promotion of a spirit of unity among those chanting

3.  Helping to preserve tradition and to promote community spirit

4.  Helping to preserve and pass on the teachings of Lord Buddha

5.  Helping to improve self-confidence

6.  Helping to cure stuttering, because Pali chanting employs long vowel sounds that are easily to pronounce, and when these basic notes are chanted, they come from the centre of your body.

      Meditating is a form of mental exercise for attaining Dhammakaya (the ultimate body of Truth), or enlightenment. Those who practice often and meditate daily will have clarity of mind and a heightened sense of mindfulness towards all things around them. Once you have a mind that is kind and sensitive, you will have a mind that is strong and unwavering against obstacles and tribulations.

      The human mind is like a muscle^ if you sprain or over exert it, it will be tight and cramped. The energy flow will be stunted. A healthy muscle must be soft, firm and flexible. Take the rubber band on a slingshot for example, If it is dry and tight, it can break or not be of much use. However, if it is flexible, then it can indeed be a powerful tool. The human mind is the same. The more soft and gentle it is, the more powerful it will be in tackling life's tasks and duties successfully. Whereas, the stubborn mind will encounter hardship, feel despair, anger, and frustration. There­fore it is hard to succeed in life with such a state of mind.


5. Reflection (Paccavekkhana)


      Being reflective means being attentive to details. Such a quality is important for all of those who wish to progress in both the physical and spiritual world. If a person goes about their life half-heartedly, never applying themselves fully, they cannot expect to succeed in life. How­ever, those who are diligent and who follow througlไ with their commit­ments will find happiness and thrive no matter where life takes them.

 

How does one become reflective?

Lord Buddha encouraged his disciples to value the life's four basic requisites-the four basic needs being food, shelter, clothing and medicine.

      Since we live in the physical world, we tend to think of the four basic requisites only in physical terms, for example food. We often think only whether or not it is clean, tasty, nutritious or healthy. This is all most of us think about when it comes to food, but this is not enough. If we think only in this manner, then we utilize our mind merely at the amateur level.

 

The act of becoming a person who is reflective involves three phases.

1.  You must be conscious and aware. You must learn how to accept things from people with gratitude and not out of greed. Otherwise, you will ruin your reputation as a monk. You must learn how to be gracious in receiving alms. For example, when you seek alms, and your bowl is almost full, you must learn when to say enough is enough. Alternatively, after you finish your second plate­ful, if someone tries to offer you more food, you must learn how to decline politely. This applies to any offer­ing to you as a monk that does not go towards meeting either your needs, or helping in furthering your study of the Dhamma. As a monk, you are not supposed to have more than you need.

2.  You must be deliberate and perceptive. For example, when you are eating, you must recognize that you are eating for energy so that you may have the strength to study the Dhamma, and not for the fact that the food will improve your appearance, or whether it is tasty or not. Even your robes and your living quarters, the same prin­ciples should be applied. Those items exist not for your comfort, but to meet your basic needs so that you may further your study of the Buddha's teachings.

3. You must be reflective. Once you have finished consum­ing your meal, and have energy, you must ask yourself whether you have used the strength gained from your meal to focus on learning the Dhamma. If not, then you have not conducted yourself in a manner befitting the layman's act of merit making. The more you reflect on this, the more you will come to understand and appreci­ate your responsibilities as a monk. Afterwards, you will grow to be reflective of all your actions.

 

The Benefits of Mindfulness

      Reflection helps us to be a person who is attentive and diligent. Such a person is one who possesses clarity of mind, self-restraint and who does not suffer from the affliction of greed. The more you practice reflection, the more you will have self-awareness. Your sense of perception will improve along with your ability to judge other peoples' character with greater preci­sion

 


6. Caring for Your Preceptor

      Your preceptor is one whom you owe much. Your precep­tor spends countless hours instructing you on the ways of the Dhamma tirelessly. You should express your gratitude by respect­ing him, helping him in all areas possible, including his personal matters. Those who have had a preceptor before will know that in return for all this care, we will derive great benefits.

 

The Benefits of Caring for Your Preceptors

1. Instills a sense of humility, especially for those who may have come from a family of high social/economic stand­ing. Your arrogance will subside. A parable on humility  tells how a ripe head of rice, bends low under its weight. The head of rice that stands tall and proud possesses only a miserable harvest. Those who have a sense of humility are willing to open their minds to all of their preceptor's teachings. Such self-effacing modesty is a quality
much admired everywhere. The preceptor will see this and feel will-ing to pass on all of his knowledge.

The most important things being to have an open mind. Those who are arrogant will not be in a position to receive proper teach­ing."

2. Facilitates understanding & learning: Your closeness to your preceptor will help to facilitate understanding and allow you to learn more effectively from him. Learning that is more effective will ensure that your knowledge increases and that you have a better understanding of your lessons.

      For example, when I first went to Wat Paknam, my first preceptor was Khun Yay Upasika Candra Khonnokyoong. She had a spittoon into which she would drop little pieces of torn paper. When ever she washed her hands into the spittoon, she would put a torn piece of paper on top of the wet tissues. I asked her why she did that, she replied that she was an old woman now, and she needed to rely on youngsters to care for her. she felt sorry for those who had to clean up after her, so she wanted to do her best to make the job less unappealing. The paper floated on top of the spittoon, so that people would not have to see the dirty tissues below. Dhammaprasit House was a large building housing many people, but having only one bathroom, whenever Khun Yay used the bath­room, she would leave the floor completely dry. Again, I asked her why she did that. She replied that many old people hurt themselves by slipping on wet bathroom floors, she did not want to be one of those people, "If the floor is dry" she said, it can be assured that even if you live for a hundred years, you won't slip and fall in that bathroom. Sometimes the younger students would do something wrong, but Khun Yay would rarely scold them. She would say that she had already scolded them once or twice today, if they were scolded more, they would grow tired of this, and they will not remember why she scolded them in the first place, she always knew when, where, and how to talk to her students. She would often remark that once you pass the age 50, you had to watch what you say. Many people of advanced age think they already know everything, but if old people speak too often, then their grandchildren and young relatives will become an­noyed by this, and perhaps even resentful and leave such old people alone. As you can see, being close to your ciders and preceptor will allow you to learn many ben­eficial lessons about life.

 


 

7. Management, Maintenance, Exercise

      As a monk, you must learn to care for your personal effects, as well as temple property. You must understand the principles of efficiency, good organization, and caring for things so that they last. All the items in a temple belong to Lord Buddha, from the sraw mats, down น) the needles and brooms; all these items have been donated to Lord Buddha out of good faith and respect. As a monk, you are merely steward to these things on His behalf. Monks use these things because they are the heirs to the tradi­tions and teachings of Lord Buddha, when people donate items to the temple, they do so after making a wish and a resolution. Therefore, when a monk uses any of these items, he does so upon the good faith and respect of common people. If you show disregard for these items, then you are showing disregard for Lord Buddha and people's faith in Buddhism.

      Monks are not the sole people responsible for taking care of the temple. Laymen also play an important part in caring for and maintaining temple property. Long ago at the Dhammakaya Temple, the floor mats were not as neatly trimmed with cloth as they are now. In those days, people would come to listen to the abbot's sermons, but during the sermon, they would pick at the edges of mat. That is why nowadays, we put cloth trimming on them, to ensure that the mats have a longer life. Thus, you can begin to see how everyone must share in caring for temple property, if you help, then you are helping to make merit lor yourself as well, if you do not, then you may lose that opportunity for merit.

      There is a story from the time of Lord Buddha, about a King named Fayasi, who had a face discolored by a dark birthmark. in his previous life, he had been a generous temple goer who would often make merit. He especially loved his talent for cook­ing. However, in his work as a cook, he cared only for meal he was preparing, and not about the cleanliness and the mainte­nance of the temple kitchen. Thus the smoke from his cooking would dirty the kitchen. Due to his generous merit making, he was reborn in his next life as a King. However, because of his negligence in taking care of the temple kitchen, he was born with a dark discolored lace.

      As laymen, there are not many principles to abide by, but as a monk, there are many more rules by which one must conduct one's life. As a monk, if you break these rules, then the conse­quences are even more severe than for laypeople.

      Not only should you care for your possessions—you must care for your body and health as well. You must maintain your good health and strength. Do not allow your health to deterio­rate, because to do so means that you will may not be able to fully commit yourself to meditation and the study of the Dhamma. Not only monks, but laymen as well, should take care of their health. Most of us, once we come to the temple, try hard to make merit, while paying little attention to our health. Some might have a problem with ulcers. Even when we tell them to go and seek medicine to heal it, some will ignore this because they want to use the Dhamma to cure it. They expect that meditation will cure the ulcer. Meditation does have the potential to cure illness if you have the ability to focus all of your mental energy towards curing yourself, however, most people do not have this ability. You may be able to do this, however in the meantime, your ulcer may grow worse and could eventually kill you before you suc­ceed in your meditation. This does not mean that you should become obsessed with personal health, or that you place it above your faith in religion as a sign of personal vanity. You should protect your faith, your mind and your body. Even the present author must find time to exercise and take care of his health— Some days, doing yoga, but not to the point where one can do acrobatics like in Chinese movies. Physical exertion for monks should not be at the level that some laymen desire. After your meditation, especially after several hours, you should get up and walk around, or sweep the temple grounds. The present author likes to travel to the mountains in order to meditate. After medi­tating, it is possible to hike around the hills for an hour or so.

      When one sits still for a long period, as is required by meditation, one's internal organs are constricted, and this can cause digestive problems. Therefore, one must train oneself to move around after meditation to restore one's circulation.

The Benefits of Management, Maintenance, and Exercise

1.  Encourages you to be a person who is prudent and economical

2.  Encourages you to be active. A person who is healthy and strong, and who does not easily succumb to illness and ailments.

 


8. 'Dhamma and Monastic 'Disciplines


      Dhamma has two meanings.

First: it means that tilings are right and good, such as kindness and respect, tolerance and patience, avoidance of whining and impa­tience.

Second: it means things that are true, such as the reality of life, birth, ageing, sickness and death.

      Dhamma can have this double meaning, depending on the circumstances, and context.

All the teachings in the Pali Canon and natural phenom­enon, are all considered to be "Dhamma".

      ' Vinaya' means 'code of conduct', 'discipline' and 'regulations'on the behaviour of individuals. As a collection, it is the name of the first portion of the Buddhist Canon [Vinaya-pj/aka] which deals with the proper behaviour of the members of the Buddhist community, such as monks and nuns. The number of rules a Buddhist layman should observe is five—known as the Five Precepts. Novices must abide by the Ten Precepts of orderly conduct.

      The Vinaya or the code of behaviour for monks contains 227 precepts, which serves as the foundation for Buddhist conduct. Of these 227 precepts, all of them can be broken down in detail and can be expanded into 21,000 individual teachings.

      Athletes must train and warm-up before competing. How­ever, the training ground may not be the same as the actual competition venue. The training ground should be difficult and more challenging of the two so that muscles can develop effec­tively, and so that he can perform even better in the real race. This applies also ) our minds. in order to improve and strengthen the mind, you must practice and exercise it. Instead of running on a track, we use the 227 precepts that have been expanded into 21.000, as a method of training the mind and instilling discipline and mental conviction.

      Vinaya exists to help monks achieve disciplined minds, and if they adhere to Vinaya with diligence, then they will have the opportunity to become an Arahant. Nevertheless, even if they decide to leave monkhood, they will still have a good mind and go about their worldly tasks with success.

      Dhamma Vinaya means, the wisdom and instruction con­tained in the Pali Canon of which there are two types.

1.  One is the rules and code of conduct, Vinaya, which must be strictly refrained from, or else you are breaking your vows of monkhood.

2.  The other is for doing to the best of one's ability, teach­ing which is also known as Dhamma. These suggestions are good for those who do them, but they are not com­pulsory.

      There are a total of 84,000 lessons [dhammakkhandha] for discipline in the Pali Canon, which monks must learn in both theory and practice. F.verything refined by the present author so far is no more than theory, which in monastic terms is called 'Pariyattf. The part where you take what you learn and practice it in your daily life is called 'Patipatti'.

 

Why do you have to  ordained as monks?

     You are ordained in order to practice discipline (Palipatti). Once you learn what is good, then you will be able to apply those things to your life, beginning with the Precepts. In theory, you know that 'Khantf means patience and perseverance. But as a layman, you cannot truly succeed in instilling true patience. Only as a monk can you develop the skills and ability to practice true patience. If you know how to exercise your mind, how to spread loving kindness, and how to forgive your fellow man, then you should do so immediately.

When I was a student, I wondered why Thailand, a country with a good religion had not advanced as far as Europe or America.

      Does it mean that our religion is not as good as we think it is? After I had the opportunity to visit those foreign countries, I realized that it is not that Buddhism that is bad, but the people. Thai discipline, when compared to those of Americans or Euro­peans, does not match up. Moreover, even though westerners do not even know about Buddhism, and yet they possess more disci­pline than many Buddhists do. Buddhism teaches us all the right principles, and rules for good conduct, but we do not practice it in our daily lives.

 


9. Caring for Temple Property and Responsibility

Temple property means anything that has been donated to, or built for in the name of religion.

      Every monk in the temple must co-operate to help care for all these things. Otherwise laymen will not continue to make merit by donating goods. You will see that some temples have been abandoned, and the reason for this is that the monks did not take proper care of the temple. Taking care of the temple will instill a desire for fixing and looking after things.

      If one screw falls out of a car engine, for example, there might be a squeaking noise. If left uncorrected, it might lead to greater problems that can have more serious consequences, when you actually get around to fix it, it might cost much more money that if you had simply replace that first missing screw. Moreover,

      this all could have been avoided if you have the inclination to fix problems when they occur, rather than procrastinating. How can we avoid all these problems? when you become a monk you should yourself by constantly be aware of things that need to be done and doing them sooner rather than later.

Monk's responsibilities are things that he must do, on top of all the usual daily routine he must perform, such as chanting in the assembly hall, chanting for special occasions, or any sort of activity that must be done for the temple. Paying attention to one's duty means paying attention to all of the needs of the temple.

 

The Benefits of Caring for Temple Property and Responsibility

It helps you to become a person who has self-sacrifice and con­sideration. Even if you leave the monkhood, people will respect you and care about you for these qualities.

 


10. Behaviour Worthy of Respect

      A person worthy of homage and respect is a person who develops himself and succeeds in his desire to be ordained as a monk— in other words, he must successfully rid himself of men­tal defilements.

There are three types of mental defilements.

1.  Greed

2.  Hatred

3.  Delusion

what can you do to rid yourself of these three defilements?

      This last duty exists to remind a monk to practice whole­heartedly the first nine monastic duties in order to gain respect from laymen.

The Benefits of Behavior worthy of Respect

      You will be a person who is happy because you live your life in a true and proper way. The most important thing is being able to conduct yourself in a manner befitting the true purpose of ordination.