rory wrote:Huseng; Did you see the thread on the current Kalu rinpoche and the abuse he suffered in monasteries and his condemnation of them? Very interesting. Idealizing the vinaya gets you nowhere in Mappo.
I don't idealize the Vinaya. No need to insinuate that I do.
Having children in monasteries is something done more or less as a form of social welfare. In Tibetan communities when families have children they can't afford or want, sending them to a monastery is an easy solution. The same situation probably applies in other communities as well. Moreover, institutionalized monasticism lends itself to a lot of problems. It becomes a refuge for a lot of people who would otherwise not manage elsewhere rather than being a community of renunciates. If there is no means of weeding out unsuitable residents, then you're asking for trouble.
You're actually not supposed to be a monk or nun until adulthood or the age of 20. In Taiwan here they got it right. You don't have child abuse in monasteries because there are no children. Everyone is an adult who by their own volition signed up.
Monasteries should be for adults, not children. A religious education for children is good, but no need to put them in robes or have them living in a monastery. This won't change anytime soon unless the state can provide welfare for poverty stricken families and their children.
Actually a lot of monks I've met over the years entered monasteries as children because their families faced financial hardship.