Monastic support in Tibet and diaspora

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Lingpupa
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Monastic support in Tibet and diaspora

Post by Lingpupa » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:30 am

I'm hoping to find somebody with actual knowledge of the way things were and are actually done. Not so much interested at this stage in theory or questions of what "should" happen.

My understanding (which is really no more than a general impression) is as follows. I've listed it in "point" form in the hope that that will be easier to confirm or deny.

1) Monks (and nuns) were in the majority of cases sent to and accepted in monasteries (and nunneries, of course) on the basis of being supported by their families.

2) Families who had sent their offspring to a monastery, would continue to support that monastery. As such, when the monastery accepted such a monk (for brevity, I'll stop with the "and nuns" bit now, and leave that understood) it would to some lesser or greater extent increase the monastery's wealth.

3) Although they monastery would from time to time (to some extent, perhaps even regularly) provide basic supplies of food and other necessities to all the monastics present, it would have been very difficult for someone to actually survive on that without additional support (usually from the family).

4) As a general rule it would not have been possible for a monk or nun to simply turn up at the gate of a monastery on the basis of, "You don't know me, but as you can see I'm ordained. Can you show me my room? And what time is supper?"

I'd also be interested in any knowledge about differences between the treatment of monks and nuns. And I hope you don't all mind if I stress that I'm interested to hear from anybody who might have genuine field knowledge of this kind of thing, rather than ideas about what should be the case or gleanings from travel books (of which I already have enough).

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

jmlee369
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Re: Monastic support in Tibet and diaspora

Post by jmlee369 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:42 pm

I can only refer you to some sources. Memoirs of a Tibetan Lama by Lobsang Gyatso is a very frank reflection of life at both a local and major monastery within the Gelug system in pre-1959 Tibet. Ekai Kawaguchi's Three Years in Tibet provides some dated insights into life as a (sometimes) wandering monk from the perspective of a foreigner trying to covertly navigate the monastic system pre-1959. There are some interesting tidbits about finances in Denma Locho Rinpoche's recounting of his life here.

An example of a modern study on Tibetan monascticism is Being a Buddhist Nun. The Struggle for Enlightenment in the Himalayas by Kim Gutschow.

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Lingpupa
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Re: Monastic support in Tibet and diaspora

Post by Lingpupa » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:44 am

Thanks, jmlee. Looks like you're the only responder!
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Monastic support in Tibet and diaspora

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:37 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:30 am
I'm hoping to find somebody with actual knowledge of the way things were and are actually done. Not so much interested at this stage in theory or questions of what "should" happen.

My understanding (which is really no more than a general impression) is as follows. I've listed it in "point" form in the hope that that will be easier to confirm or deny.
1) Monks (and nuns) were in the majority of cases sent to and accepted in monasteries (and nunneries, of course) on the basis of being supported by their families.
Yes that is right, we have family Traditions like in Bön and Sakya, who support by their families "their" monastery . These Monasteries are famous for that family Lineage who support their Monastery. There were in Tibet monasteries who were infected by fake Tulkus , who came from another Tradition .
The meaning was to take over such a monastery. In Bön we know such stories were Gelug introduced a Gelug Tulku into a Bön Monastery. End of the story was that the supporting family did not make any donations to their Monastery anymore.
2) Families who had sent their offspring to a monastery, would continue to support that monastery. As such, when the monastery accepted such a monk (for brevity, I'll stop with the "and nuns" bit now, and leave that understood) it would to some lesser or greater extent increase the monastery's wealth.
Right , monasteries like such monks from wealthy families. That means for the Monastery a secured future.
3) Although they monastery would from time to time (to some extent, perhaps even regularly) provide basic supplies of food and other necessities to all the monastics present, it would have been very difficult for someone to actually survive on that without additional support (usually from the family).
No the wealthy family who support the Monastery, guarantees also for others to have food, shelter etc. But a donation even from poor families was/is welcome. The only difference between a rich and poor monk would be that the first could study for Geshe etc. whereas the latter must do a job in the monastery. IMO we have study monks and working monks.
But in addition i have heard recently that some 9 young monks liked to enter a certain monastery in India.

They first must pay money for:

- Their robes
- Books
- Mattress

They are orphans. Many orphans need a place to stay etc. and many like then to enter a monastery . Many leave the monastery afterwards and quit with monkhood.

Guess they don´t pay for food.
In Thailand that is a littledifferent.

4) As a general rule it would not have been possible for a monk or nun to simply turn up at the gate of a monastery on the basis of, "You don't know me, but as you can see I'm ordained. Can you show me my room? And what time is supper?"
This is quite impossible because the young monks are brought to the Monastery by their parents.
It is a honor of a TIbetan family to bring one of their children to the Monastery
If you are older then you have to had a talk first with the Khenpo of the monastery to get in, or you have a letter of recommendation.
In Thailand you can join a Monastery always, poor or rich.


I'd also be interested in any knowledge about differences between the treatment of monks and nuns. And I hope you don't all mind if I stress that I'm interested to hear from anybody who might have genuine field knowledge of this kind of thing, rather than ideas about what should be the case or gleanings from travel books (of which I already have enough).
Sure women are worldwide discriminated, as non or not in that guise. Sure in a system which is based on patriarchs.
Many base their story on the Buddha Shakyamuni who did not like at all a nunnery.
But because the good words of Ananda for many years, the Buddha agreed.
It resulted in more rules / Vinaya for nuns then for monks.
Seems to be that nuns need more Vinaya than monks.
Would be nice to read these more Vinaya rules, i never have seen them in live, i only know the Vinaya for monks.

The best meditation is no meditation

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Lingpupa
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Re: Monastic support in Tibet and diaspora

Post by Lingpupa » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:41 am

Thanks Kalden
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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