Monk Life and Natural Dyeing

Here are pictures about the natural dyeing process. The monks boil the ironwood tree bark chips for a long time (days). When a drop of dye is dropped in a glass of water, a ball will form and sink to the bottom. At that point, the dye master will empty that batch of dye into containers and then reboil the same chips with fresh water to make more dye. You can do this two or three times before the chips are used up. The dye is added by sprinkling just a little bit onto the robe and then rolling it […]

The Robes of Theravadan, Mahayanan, Tibetan Monks

It occured to me that people don’t know one type of Buddhist monk from the other and a post was needed to explain this. First a little bit of history. Theravada is the closest thing as one can get to the original form of Buddhism and is based on the Pali texts. The countries that have Theravada as their national religion are; Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. It dates back to the Buddha from 5th century BCE Later, came Mahayana – Chinese Buddhism of the 1st century BCE. The texts are based on Chinese and Sanskrit. It is […]

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” […]

Making A Foot-Rug From Old Robes

Here is an instructional video on how to make a foot-rug from old and discarded monk’s robes.  If you are a monk, perhaps you will be very interested in this.  I made the video as I was making my very first rug.  Ven. Khemavamsa is the one who helped in the end.  It was his idea and I have never seen this before.  The story from the texts is below: Ven. Ānanda told King Udena what the sangha did with their robes. King Udena spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda: “Did not our concubines come here, good 1 Ānanda?” “Your […]