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Bhante Subhuti
A glimpse of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha life through Bhikkhu eyes. Current focus is Kauai, HI
A glimpse of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha life through Bhikkhu eyes. Current focus is Kauai, HI

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Here is the "audio book" version.
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I changed the link.. here is the new one.
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If you are a member of the website subscriptions, you will get this and other long posts in your email for convenience.
A Tale of Love explained by Samādhi:
A’capella Inertia
A little Valentines story for all of you. The topside title is just a description of what the story is generally about. However, the real title of the story is called, “A’capella Inertia.” This is not a short one, but I think you will like this one very much. It has received high marks and it will take about 30 minutes to read. Those who have successfully subscribed to the blog should already have this formatted story in their email inbox for offline reading. Written in my verbose yet lucid story telling style with a few usual side tracks in between, it tells the story of the first time I fell in love while the end of the story explains why I have decided to write it down as a monk for the general public. In short, there are similar meditation experiences that one can have like the one mentioned in this story. However, this particular “meditative” experience does not happen often no matter how hard you try. You just sort of “fall” into it. Meditation is recommended instead because it is more reliable, sustainable, repeatable, and perhaps, easier to live with. So, here is the story.

A’capella Inertia

Once upon a time, I had a video player but never bothered to buy a television to go with it, which is probably a little strange, but becoming a monk is also a strange occupation to have as well. However, perhaps you can imagine that one who is a monk, might not have had a TV as a layperson. Therefore it is not so strange after all. I actually recently asked a younger person if he knew what a VCR was and he did not know. I feel so old these days! In any case, I probably should tell you how I ended up with only a VCR (video cassette recorder) and no television to go with it.

During my second year at my university, I had decided to live without roommates and to get my own pad. I found a place that was dirt cheap, affordable on a college budget, and it seemed like it was in a nice neighborhood during the daytime when I signed up. However, after I moved in, I could see that nighttime changed the hood into a red-light district. It was not like the television show “Miami Vice” had taught me as a teenager in the 80’s. These “girls,” which were sometimes really men wearing dresses, seemed to be pretty down and out. Why else would they be living this life? My parents never knew about this until years later when I told them. In any case, my parents and grandparents gave me some money to buy a television set for my new apartment because no place in the early 90’s was complete without one. I did actually buy a TV, but I owned it only for one single day. I had decided to return it the next day after catching myself watching a 30 minute car polish commercial on the first night at 2:00 AM. “Why am I ready to buy this stuff?” I thought as I had realized that I wasted the whole night watching TV. I knew I would never graduate university with a TV, so I went back to the shop and returned it for “Any reason, cash back!” just as advertised. I actually wrote, “Because I watched it too much.” on the return form as the reason for bringing it back! After the clerk gave me a strange look with her eyes rolling upwards, I got my money back just as promised.

About two months before I moved into my own new place, I was just starting a relationship with a girl at my university. It was the first time I fell in love and even though I am a monk, I still think of it as a beautiful time when I look back on it. I think it was a little more special than the average “falling in love.” I know, we all say that, but let me tell you the story and then you can decide.

She was sitting in front of me during one of our lab classes together.
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Vegetarianism and Theravada
(Feel free to share this with others and groups)

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 of the coin.

The short answer to the issue is “Yes,” it is OK for monks to eat meat, but it is not such a good idea for lay people to eat or buy meat. I know it is a double standard, but I will explain.

The Monk’s Rules
There are some rules for monks regarding meat. For the monks to eat meat, it should not be seen, heard or suspected that the animal, fish or bird has been killed for the purpose of serving the monk. There are also ten types of animals that the Buddhist monks are not allowed to eat. They are:

Human beings
The first three are considered “Too noble to eat.” While the rest are considered either repulsive or dangerous. It is dangerous because the animal or reptile may smell his kinsfolk on the monk’s body and attack for revenge!1 A better way to think of it is a mutual respect for dangerous animals and serpents. There is also a rule that a monk should not ask for meat unless one is ill. (Pac 39). The meat must also be cooked for the monks because a monk should not eat raw meat, nor are monks allowed to cook food themselves, although reheating or “second-cooking” is allowed (Mv.VI.17.6). However, there is one exception that allows serving raw meat to a monk who is possessed (Mv.VI.10.2) !

The background story regarding the allowance of a non vegetarian lifestyle for monks originates with Venerable Devadatta, the nemesis of The Buddha wanting to cause a schism in the Saṅgha by publicly declaring that five ascetic practices be made mandatory for all monks. Among those five and the last of the five was a prohibition of fish-and-flesh. The Buddha responded by saying that:

“Fish-and-flesh are pure in respect of three points of purity: if they are not seen, heard or suspected (to have been killed on purpose for him).” 2 3

The Buddha made the 4 prior ascetic practices that Venerable Devadatta requested as optional. However, the last practice, vegetarianism, was mentioned as above as “pure” if it met the three points of purity. From this, we can infer that a vegetarian diet is optional too because there is no rule that a monk should eat everything in his bowl.

In order for the monk to request vegetarian food or meat, he must be invited to choose his food or have a health condition to require such a diet. If he is not invited, does not have a health condition, and the food is “pure” according to the three purifications, then he should not request special food. However, there is only a prohibition for asking for certain types of food when the proper conditions to ask are not present. There is no prohibition against refusing certain types of food one will not be eating. If a donor tries to offer meat into a monk’s bowl, he can legally refuse it. While the monk should not say the reason why unless asked, the donor would likely get the hint over time. Should a monk refuse food, for this or that reason? I don’t want to answer that question.

So with all that said, the monks do have a choice and this document will cover the reasons of why a monk should be a vegetarian or why he might opt to eat meat.

Although there is a health exemption listed in the texts to allow a monk to eat meat. There is no real viable health reason to justify being a meat eater. Most doctors not only believe that a vegetarian diet is sustainable, but they also believe it is very healthy with statistical data to prove it.

By Reason of Saṁsāra
All Buddhists should have Saṁsāra (the endless rounds rebirth) in mind with all of their actions. Saṁsāra is very long and dangerous. A human who ... (click on link for more of this article)
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Much of what I write about is related to stories that happen to me that would charge me up and make me feel inspired. I would then write down what happened and share it with others. Often my stories are related to vinaya – the monks’ rules and living without money. These days it is special for a monk to live without money and I can inspire people simply by following the rules. However, it really should not be that way. I’m not really that special nor inspiring, but the times have changed, and simply being one who does not touch money seems to inspire people because it is rare.

It gets worse though. Simply not eating after Noontime which is a big “no-no” for monks also inspires people too, especially during difficult times, like travel. When I first traveled to the USA, I flew on a Thai Airways direct flight from Bankok to JFK (New York) with no stops in between. When dinner came around, the Thai male flight attendant who was assigned to help us, asked us if we wanted dinner and what our choices were. We politely refused and told him that we did not eat dinner. It is a simple fact that serious lay yogis should not eat dinner, so what more could be said about monks? The sad truth is that many monks eat in the afternoon, and when they travel it is an even better reason to eat whenever they can. In short, it is very common for monks to eat on planes anytime they serve food. The airlines are obligated to offer food to monks even if they think they will not eat it because it is a service offered with the price of the ticket. If they don’t offer it, they are “cheating” the customer. This is true even with the Buddhist operated airlines that have policies on how they treat Theravada monks like Thai Airways. The policy is that the monks should be offered the food even though they know it is bad karma to give a monk food after Noon. (It is also bad karma to give a monk money because both are unallowable.)

So when we refused our dinner, the airline attendant became overjoyed. It was not normal for monks to refuse food from what I have personally witnessed. The flight attendant knew some things about the rules and could see some tell-tale signs by the way were dressed, and by several other clues, but he didn’t know for sure. So when we refused the food, he was overjoyed and said, “I knew it! I knew it!” and then he pulled out a picture of Ajahn Mun who also followed the monks rules and inspired many people. He held out the Ajahn’s picture close to our faces and said, “Ajahn Mon! Ajahn Mun! I knew it ! I knew it!” He continued, “I’m very sorry, but we have to offer the food to the monks. I knew it though!”

If it were normal for monks to refuse food, there would be no reason for him to get excited. It would just be .... (click link to read more)
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Here is a post about when we went to Kauai, Hawa'i in 2015 without a helper. It shows the amount of planning that one must do in order to succeed.
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Are You a Buddhist?
Sharing to your buddhist friends and groups is welcom.

Someone asked me if they were a Buddhist. I wrote this and then sent it to him. He believes in a Creator so it is directed towards him and maybe others who are the same. It takes a while to become a full Buddhist. You have to start somewhere. However, I am just setting the record straight as to what a real Buddhist is.

Bhikkhu Subhuti's Blog

Are You A Buddhist?


Being a Buddhist is quite open because if you believe in certain aspects it is better than not believing in anything. We take what we can get. However, here are the more traditional aspects of being Buddhist. One should believe in The Triple Gem – ie: The Buddha, The Dhamma and The Sangha). This can be expanded to include The 4 Noble Truths. This can be expanded to include the Eightfold Noble Path as well. The Four Noble Truths also include a belief in cause and effect and past lives (aka Saṁsāra). Lastly, one should live by these ideals and follow the five precepts for morality, and follow the Eightfold Noble Path which includes meditation for the purpose of gaining Buddhist wisdom with the goal of reaching Nibbāna. If one is a Bodhisatta (Skrt. Bodhisatva), and wishes to attain full Self-Enlightened-Buddhahood, one should still have an ultimate goal of Nibbāna but delaying it to attain the full perfections. However, a Bodhisatta should strive to attain mundane insight knowledges while they are available in this lifetime.

The 5 precepts:

Not to kill
Not to steal
Not to engage in sexual behavior without the “owners” permission
Not to lie
Not to take any amount of intoxicating substances.

I think most Westerners are Ethical Atheists or Monotheist (those who believe in one God) who have a liking towards some Buddhist ideals. These people are still called Atheists or Monotheists or Christians etc. These days it is “cool” to be Buddhist and we old-school Buddhists are OK with that. But this is the official definition and you are not really full Buddhist without these factors.

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A story about a monk who claimed he was possessed and a trip to the psychiatric ward of Kandy General Hospital and what was inside. Also a small story about the patient on the next best who seemed perfectly normal but was chained to the bed by the police. About 2000 words.
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918 words on a shocking quote from ven. Ajahn Mun's Biography
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Here is a quick tip on how to make a filter in just a few minutes. Maybe as fast as one minute. This is useful for monks who want to put filters on their water taps. It is my own invention as far as I know, but I am sure other monks somewhere else also do the same. The Buddha did mention that if we did not have a filter, we could use the corner of our robes (that we are wearing). This was how I got the idea by using an old robe. Old robes are abundant and easy to find in almost any monastery. Be sure to clean the robe before officially using the filter. This one was washed twice, but still had a stain on it. If you are really lazy (like me), you can cut out the filter and then just wash that small piece of cloth in a very short time.

If you are a lay person, it might be interesting to see the commercial strength bowl washing sink where we wash our bowls. 3:15 minutes in length.

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