The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Post Reply
Fortyeightvows
Posts: 2032
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:36 am

Some christian sects like the orthodox sects your talking about here, the catholics and even the novus ordo sect all have monastic traditions.
My question is, how does the merit created by supporting and sponsoring these monastic christian contemplatives compare to sponsoring buddhist monastics?
I had posed this question in another thread.

Supporting celibate Buddhist monks and nuns create so much merit, how does it compare to supporting christian monastics?

I know there are vows that talk about giving to those who's practice is contemplation vs. giving to those who's practice is recitation. This may be relevant here..
Is it safe to say that giving to monastics of other traditions brings less merit?
Or a merit that will ripen on other ways? (the karmic seed might ripen and propel a person to heaven since they have aided someone else going to heaven.)

What do you think?

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4092
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:47 am

I have to say, I am very dubious about 'calculating' the various 'amounts of merit' that one is likely to 'receive' for so-called 'meritorious acts'. I think it is worth meditating on the Diamond Sutra in this regard, for example Chapter 4:
“Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of compassion and charity a disciple should be detached. That is to say, he should practice compassion and charity without regard to appearances, without regard to form, without regard to sound, smell, taste, touch, or any quality of any kind. Subhuti, this is how the disciple should practice compassion and charity. Why? Because practicing compassion and charity without attachment is the way to reaching the Highest Perfect Wisdom, it is the way to becoming a living Buddha.”

“Subhuti, do you think that you can measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens?”

“No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens.”

“Subhuti, can space in all the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens, both above and below, be measured?”

“No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all the space in the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens.”

“Well, Subhuti, the same is true of the merit of the disciple who practices compassion and charity without any attachment to appearances, without cherishing any idea of form. It is impossible to measure the merit they will accrue. Subhuti, my disciples should let their minds absorb and dwell in the teachings I have just given.”
:namaste:
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

WeiHan
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by WeiHan » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:14 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:36 am

Is it safe to say that giving to monastics of other traditions brings less merit?
Yes. This is definite as they are not included in "The Triple Gems". The reason why offering to buddhist monastics carries vast merit is because, as text explained, they are the supreme merit field. Of course, sentient beings are included in the "merit field of compassion". It is explained in the test that goes along the reasoning that giving to beings is need carries more merit than beings that are not in need etc...I think there is a specific text that explains this point.

The Diamond Sutra teaches that giving and other virtues should be practiced without attachment to the concept of the three spheres (self, others and the acts). It didn't say that one should not be attached to practicing virtues.

kausalya
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by kausalya » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:31 pm

If it hurts or worries you to give to Christians, then you need to give to Christians.

Motova
Posts: 1154
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by Motova » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:43 pm

kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:31 pm
If it hurts or worries you to give to Christians, then you need to give to Christians.
:roll:

kausalya
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by kausalya » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:52 pm

Motova wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:43 pm
kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:31 pm
If it hurts or worries you to give to Christians, then you need to give to Christians.
:roll:
Why?

Giving doesn't mean money, mind you. Assess what is needed and give that, but still give. There should be no separation between you and the needs of sentient beings, ideologically-based or otherwise. Being aware of your aversion as illusory, overcome it.

Motova
Posts: 1154
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by Motova » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:35 pm

kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:52 pm
Motova wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:43 pm
kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:31 pm
If it hurts or worries you to give to Christians, then you need to give to Christians.
:roll:
Why?

Giving doesn't mean money, mind you. Assess what is needed and give that, but still give. There should be no separation between you and the needs of sentient beings, ideologically-based or otherwise. Being aware of your aversion as illusory, overcome it.
We only have so much time and energy. Dharma practitioners need to focus their generosity on Dharma practitioners when they have the choice.

kausalya
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by kausalya » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:43 pm

Motova wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:35 pm
We only have so much time and energy. Dharma practitioners need to focus their generosity on Dharma practitioners when they have the choice.
Do they, or can they make up their own minds based on what is causing them problems?

As much as we have to support one another, one's personal practice is paramount, because no one can confer realization on another person through force of will. Confronting aversion and neutralizing it is much more beneficial, I would say, than engaging in generosity that makes you feel good because it's comfortable/aligns with your pre-existing values.

When you open up, you can accomplish anything. Already, you've placed a needless limit on yourself and others.

Caring for the practitioners of other faiths can and will improve their attitude toward the Dharma, if properly motivated.

Motova
Posts: 1154
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by Motova » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:43 pm

kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:43 pm

Do they, or can they make up their own minds based on what is causing them problems?
Giving to Dharma practitioners generates more merit, therefore it's in Dharma practitioners' best interests to help other Dharma practitioners if they have a choice.
kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:43 pm

As much as we have to support one another, one's personal practice is paramount, because no one can confer realization on another person through force of will. Confronting aversion and neutralizing it is much more beneficial, I would say, than engaging in generosity that makes you feel good because it's comfortable/aligns with your pre-existing values.
You don't need to spend time and energy helping christians to reduce aversion to them.
kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:43 pm

When you open up, you can accomplish anything. Already, you've placed a needless limit on yourself and others.
No, you are the one who is limiting... see the above quote and response....
kausalya wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:43 pm


Caring for the practitioners of other faiths can and will improve their attitude toward the Dharma, if properly motivated.
Sure, but it is much more beneficial for all sentient beings to help Dharma practitioners. People will only come to the Dharma if they have the karma. And even if they do, will they stay? And even if they do, what is their capacity to benefit others? Etc etc.

kausalya
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by kausalya » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:09 am

This is my best offering to you; if it's unhelpful or insufficient, I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I can only guess at what actually reduced my aversion, and I didn't notice it subside until I engaged with it directly.

My parents are very Christian, and I had to give many offerings of body/speech/mind to improve our relationship (& my overall view of Christians) to the point where they no longer disturb my mind. Moreover, I couldn't achieve this through solitary meditation/logical reflection alone -- karma yoga seemed to be necessary. For myself, it had a deeply humanizing effect: rather than philosophizing about the kindness of my mother sentient beings, I began to feel it tangibly (as well as feeling more at home in my own body).

The result is that I can engage with Christians on a productive level while avoiding hindrances to my practice. I certainly don't engage more than necessary, but it's hard for me to ignore what this has done for my life. Because much of the world is dominated by the Abrahamic faiths, and because I experienced it as a method for befriending/pacifying my inner and outer enemies, I thought it could be useful to share my perspective. If something works better for you, please do that.

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 17682
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:33 pm

kausalya wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:09 am
This is my best offering to you; if it's unhelpful or insufficient, I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I can only guess at what actually reduced my aversion, and I didn't notice it subside until I engaged with it directly.

My parents are very Christian, and I had to give many offerings of body/speech/mind to improve our relationship (& my overall view of Christians) to the point where they no longer disturb my mind. Moreover, I couldn't achieve this through solitary meditation/logical reflection alone -- karma yoga seemed to be necessary. For myself, it had a deeply humanizing effect: rather than philosophizing about the kindness of my mother sentient beings, I began to feel it tangibly (as well as feeling more at home in my own body).

The result is that I can engage with Christians on a productive level while avoiding hindrances to my practice. I certainly don't engage more than necessary, but it's hard for me to ignore what this has done for my life. Because much of the world is dominated by the Abrahamic faiths, and because I experienced it as a method for befriending/pacifying my inner and outer enemies, I thought it could be useful to share my perspective. If something works better for you, please do that.
:good:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
weitsicht
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:47 pm
Location: Right Here and Now

Re: The merit of supporting Christian monastics?

Post by weitsicht » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:58 pm

+1

much benefit can come out of any hermit or similar abstinence chosen person.
Who am I to judge?
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

Post Reply

Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 40 guests