Why do monks have one shoulder exposed sometimes and both shoulders covered other times?

Why do monks have one shoulder exposed sometimes and both shoulders covered other times? There is a very small rule about having the robes fully covered when we are in a populated areas (sekhiyā 3). Although it is a very small rule, it can say a great deal about the monk and his respect for the monastic code, especially in the afternoons or evenings. “Populated areas” refers to when we are outside of the monastery and outside of the forest. Buddhist Shrines in a city like Shwedagon Pagoda can be considered a “monastery” and it is OK and sometimes culturally […]

Theravada Buddhism and Sex: The Third Precept on Sexual Misconduct

NOTE: This is a very brief version of the 25 page PDF on the subject found here.  Theravada Buddhism and Sex (extended) The Third precept, Sexual Misconduct is often misrepresented in Buddhist circles.  Normally you will hear “sexual misconduct” refers only to rape, adultery, incest, blackmail or extortion for sex. This also includes underage sex and any type of non-consensual or having sex with one who does not have the ability to consent according to modern law definitions. Some of the better teachers say that one should be in a loving committed relationship and avoid promiscuity. The real rule that is […]

Bhikkhu Subhuti’s Blog has moved!

Bhikkhu Subhuti’s Blog has moved! The blog at https://Subhuti.withmettanet has moved to https://AmericanMonk.org The new title of the blog is American Monk: Bhante Subhūti   Why change The Domain Address? The reason why I changed the name of the domain was to streamline my verbal website announcements to let them known how to find the monk in Kauai. Usually a conversation will start up with some new person in Kauai and then I say, “Hey, you can check out my blog at subhuti.withmetta.net .” I was in the Buddhist world when I picked that name and never realized it until […]

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” […]

The Secret Teachings of Theravāda

If there was a book that had all of the Secret Teachings of Theravāda, The Path of Purification (The Visuddhimagga) would be that book. It explains all the good stuff, like how to attain samādhi concentration; how to attain psychic powers including knowing and seeing the past lives. Lastly, it includes the stages of insight and wisdom that one needs to reach Nibbāna. Books do not get more complete than this. You can read a free and condensed version called Knowing and Seeing by The Most Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadawgyi who teaches this exact method based on The Path of Purification. You […]

A Walk In The Gardens

  Hawaii Update #3, June, 2018 It has now been almost 10 weeks on the island.  My life is difficult, but it is very rewarding.  I get a chance to teach all the  people who donate rides and food to me.  I teach very deep things like mind moments and kamma for each mind moment and they all seem to “get it” which is complex and is amazing.  However, it feels right to move to different subjects according to the responsiveness of the donors and it all seems to work out.  For some, I just say, “Hey you make your […]

When To Look At The Light

Is the light a Nimitta and when should one look at it? When one practices meditation based on the breath, it is possible for the light to come and when that happens and it is stable one can use that light to enter samadhi absorption concentration.  However, one should know when to look at the light and when not to look at the light.  It is very important to know this difference because progress can stop.  A long time ago, many teachers were telling their students to never look at the light.  The teachers were not very developed and it […]

Acapella Inertia MP3 Audio

A’capella Inertia Audio Story (free MP3 download) I have decided to make an audio version of this story. I started off by having a computer read this for the purpose of proofreading. Then I started reading it out loud. As I read it out loud with my own natural expressions, I thought that it might be better if an audio version were available. I happen to have access to a good quality microphone and some professional Linux software running on Elementary OS. However, the monastery kitchen is about 75 Meters from my kuti and the dew starts dripping at night. […]