Vinaya Comparison of Monastery Allowances

Below is a chart comparing special allowances by tradition which is useful for making a decision on where to ordain.  If you need an explanation, read further.. Dhammayut Wat Pah Pong Wat Khao Sanamachai (Hua Hin) Pa-Auk Cigarettes Allowed No Smoking No Smoking No Smoking Betel Nut Allowed No Betel Chewing allowed No Betel Chewing allowed No Betel Chewing allowed Cheese 7 Day (medicine) Cheese 7 Day (medicine) Cheese allowed before Noon Cheese allowed before Noon Dark Chocolate 7 Day Dark Chocolate 7 Day Chocolate allowed  before Noon Chocolate allowed before Noon Bottled Juice 7 Day Bottled Juice 7 Day […]

Why Are Monk Bowls Black?

Monk bowls are black because they are fired with sesame oil 5 times to protect it from rusting.  There are two types of bowls allowed; Iron and Clay.  Iron bowls need to be fired 5 times and clay bowls only need firing twice.  Obviously, the clay bowls do not need to be black in color but are rare to find because they are fragile and very very heavy.  Iron bowls are black from the baked-on sesame oil.  The oil is also treated or burnt beforehand too. Today, we have stainless steel bowls, and since steel is made from iron, it […]

Kauai Update Part 2

Aloha! It has been a little over a month since I have been on the island of Kauai.  Things have been going well although my situation is still the same. I am still in a tent at Anini, but I have a new tent in Anini with a better view of the pristine Kauai shore!  Things are dryer than the record rains we had last month.. and I guess if it were wetter than before a new record would be set. I have made somewhat of a schedule and I try to update my schedule on my phone calendar which […]

Vegetarianism and Theravada Buddhism

Vegetarianism and Theravada Buddhism I have been asked to write a little something on vegetarianism and Theravāda Buddhism. I am qualified to be quite objective, and to see both sides of the issue because I was a vegetarian for a total of ten years as a lay person and I had vegetarian eyes. That meant that when I looked at meat, cooked or not, I saw a dead animal in front of me. Now that I am a monk, I am no longer a vegetarian although I have lived at vegetarian monasteries for many years, so I know both sides […]

Traveling Without a Helper

  When Ven. Devananda and I traveled to Kauai in 2015, we did not have a Kappiya (helper) to buy us food or even pay for our luggage.  One can live without helpers, but it does take some pre-planning.     We had a ticket from Yangon to Honolulu that was dirt cheap at only $854 for a round trip fare.  However, it came with 12 hour and 6 hour layovers in China.  I think the whole trip was over 40 hours.  All meals would be provided on the plane that were within our eating times.  We did OK with […]