Buddhist Monks’ Robes Information

Robe Information Few people realize that the Theravāda monk’s robes are actually a piece of rectangular cloth with no sleeves. If you see a Theravāda monk wearing his robes in different styles, then rest assured it is due to the art of “tying the robes” or “rolling the robes” or what I call “robe origami.” In general, the robe should cover both shoulders and arms (up to the wrists) during the time when the monk is outside his monastery or living area.  This is called “wearing full robes.”  While you might see monks in South East Asian Countries not wearing “full robes” […]

Is Collecting Alms (Piṇḍapāta) Legal?

Collecting alms, also known as piṇḍapāta by Theravāda Buddhists, is a legal activity in the USA. There are some restrictions though. I spoke with a lawyer who seemed to know civil liberties quite well, but there are no guarantees with what I say. However, this information should make sense and seem legal to you. It is legal to ring the doorbell of any house and preach to them or talk to them about politics under the freedom of speech rights. One can even ask them to support, give money to a cause. One can sell them vacuum cleaners too. However, […]

Why Are Most Monasteries Not Allowable?

Why are most monasteries not allowable for vinaya monks? Today, I was Skyping my parents which is something we do once or twice a month now.  I feel it is good for them to “see” me as a monk, rather than having them talk to me and visualizing their son from 1999.  That was when I left home and things changed for me.  We had a nice discussion.  We spoke about possibilities for a visit, but I told them that finding a place was difficult, because the monks all use money and whatever they buy with that money becomes unallowable. […]

Inspiration, move me brightly

Inspiration is like a bright star that shines among the dim.  In Monastic life, there are few monasteries or monks that really inspire people.  Following the vinaya (or rules) inspires people.  It is tried and tested. This was an old picture when I was in a vinaya monastery that follows all of the rules including the “basic ten rules” that a 7 year old beginner monk is supposed to follow.   “Varanasi” is the name of the monastery which is a  learning monastery that was started by an Ethnic Nepalese Myanmar community.  If I do not return to Hawaii in June, […]

5, 8 and 10 Precepts

Here is a comparison of 5, 8 and 10 precepts or also known as a regular lay Buddhist, a serious Buddhist, and a Novice monk.  It is important to know these classes to know which rules are more important to follow.  It also can explain, what class of rules a monk is following.  It is a unique way of looking at Monastic Morality.  It is also important for lay people who take 8 precepts to really take real 8 precepts.  Otherwise it is just rights and rituals, something that is in the opposite direction as Enlightenment and what The Buddha […]

Buddhism and Abortion

What do Theravada Buddhists believe in terms of abortion? Much of what has been written are liberal beliefs and overturning what is written down in the texts. They claim “Modern Buddhism” as a section heading, but there is no such thing as “Modern Buddhism” since there is no such thing as “Modern Kamma.” The rules of kamma do not change over time, and abortion has been around since the time of the Buddha. My job is not to make decisions or advice for others, but to give a “pure” classical Buddhist explanation on abortion. In brief, the Theravada Buddhist texts (and […]