Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, Mahayana culture, Temple life, Vinaya

Ven. Hongyang’s memoir

If we are accepted as a disciple of another Sangha member from them we may get more names for that master to use to call us. Please note that students of a master are not in the same category as disciple. It is possible for a master to have many students but few will have even one or more disciples. The disciples are earlier fully ordained as Sangha and the lineage holder in that master’s line, the students are not.

Floating Clouds, Folded Palms ~ A Bhikshuni life in Iowa

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Dharma Talks, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships, Vinaya

New Page as Traveling Sangha offering Dharma

I’ve decided to offer my humble services teaching dharma and precepts in English to temples and monasteries.  I’ve been encouraged by my dharma friends to start to let more Sangha know that I am now willing to travel to their way places.  I’ve strongly believed in practicing one tradition during one’s monastic life and for me that is Chinese Buddhism.  I’ve never dabbled or practiced other religions since taking refuge and five precepts.   And since becoming a bhikshuni I have experienced the guidance of the Vinaya precepts that have given me such comfort and solidity in my daily life!  I want people to understand that comfort and solidity is very important foundation for mind training.  Refuge and 5 Precepts are the foundation for everyone’s practice and should be taken as the basic framework for their practice.

Sangha can see the difference and you can feel the difference in your daily life when you have precepts even as a householder.  It does support you.  It does benefit your mind training.

For those interested in having me talk you can contact me via email venhongyang (at)  and I will respond with information to help you decide to furnish an air ticket or a train ticket.  I have freed up my fall to spring schedule, and will open my spring to summer to accommodate your scheduled events and services.

If you are Western people you may not understand how to sponsor Sangha to give dharma talks and precepts.  You usually ask first then offer the transportation cost plus housing and dana monetary offering at the day’s end or end of event.

I only practice Chinese Buddhism and that’s the context of my Dharma talks and training/encouragement in Precepts (Refuge and 5 Precepts, next year qualified for VInaya Precepts and 8 Precepts giving training and ordination for monastics).  I will only transmit the Dharmagupta lineage as that is the one I hold myself.  I will not participate in multi-yana (Theravada, Mahayana combined lineages being offered as a choice to the candidates to pick one) ordinations ever, so don’t ask.  I will only transmit my dharmagupta lineage ordination line with only dharmagupta lineage masters beside me and of proper numbers.

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Mahayana culture, Sangha Relationships

How to spot fakes in the Sangha

 Facebook counts when Sangha use it, it counts the same as speaking in public; in fact the whole world.  Wise Sangha know this, purity in precepts must be observed as it cannot be recovered once it is lost.  Lying, fraud, criminal actions… all are observed in such a public place… a true Sangha deports themselves properly, knows the defeat is instant upon the act.  This one was defeated a long time ago, I just didn’t know the facts… I was genuinely surprised, very shocked.  It took me 2 days to figure out a course of action and consult the elders on the right protocol.  It took her 5 days to respond and she was on FB all along.  I can’t see her, or write a response, even her wordpress is private because all she posts there are her stories about her new gauges and photos of them.    She should be filled with shame, absolute shame for her lies are many and very serious and criminal.  Asking for donations because she claims to be bhikshuni… shame for deep shame… bad karma, so bad. I am so sorry for her.  I can’t connect to guide her at least guide her to a more moral realistic life.  At least she admitted she hardly wears her robes, maybe she will transition into lay life more easily now.  I wish her well, I really do. This photo of her is one she put out on her public photos, she is in Mongolia and her students are snapping photos of her in sweatshirts, gauges now replace her earrings, she is very worldly with with lots of mental distress that is what  I am concerned about, the mental health decline I saw during chat before this was very worrying.   PLEASE note that I didn’t block her, but Vinaya rules govern who I can communicate to and when a bhikshuni is defeated they are not in communion with the rest of us, no matter what tradition in Buddhism they follow, she was ordained in the Mahayana Dharmagupta Vietnamese lineage through her master Ven. Karuna Dharma.  I have notified the temple she came from IBMC and they would not comment on the matter. They are busy moving forward in more positive directions as I am doing.  Posting this for you to read and learn from, for I sure did.

 A Facebook Note republished here. Sad…conclusion in 5 days.Buddhist nuns shave their heads, uncover their heads, do not wear earrings

Precepts, a hill of beans strange convo with now unfriended old friend

by Ven Hong Yang Shi (Notes) on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 11:06am

Ven Hong Yang Shi · 280 followers

11 hours ago ·

Ummm…. the Vinaya clearly states that sex in any form is a break with parajika precepts. No matter what is happening around the world in temples, monasteries and centers with fully ordained monks or nuns in both Mahayana and Theravada. A disturbing story about monks that  umm.. of a position I’ve never heard of in sex.

Bhutan | Bhutan Makes Condoms AvailableTo Buddhist Monks To Stop Spread Of STDs

The Buddhist Channel (BC) is a globalnews platform that provides non-sectarian news and features on Buddhism. The BCis the world’s final word on Buddha Dharma related development, covering allmajor traditions of Buddhism such as Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and Zen.

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林永斌, Brighid Wu and Jit Chuan Chaw like this.

Taita Wounded Bird Wth, thats sick! But its isolated incidents im sure ! I hope

11 hours ago via mobile · Like

Brighid Wu Unfortunately, such incidents have always been there. Having had more than one robed Buddhist monk make passes at me, this is a welcome development. Now if only monastics of all religions will actually tackle the issue of sex with more forthrightness, perhaps it will help monastics take precepts with much more honesty and clarity. Celibacy can be freeing, of course. Sexual repression is not.Unfortunately, it’s easy to conflate the two, which gets many folks into trouble.

11 hours ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi And despite this channels claim I just read it above saying they are the final word on Buddha dharma…etc. They hardly cover the world’s Buddhist activities. They focus on their own tradition and a few sensational stories. Burma, Thailand, Tibet suicides, complain bitterly about non Theravada monks entering their countries and receiving dana…concluding they must be fakes. Sex is featured alot, like in scandals, politics, and now monks sex positions…. blah.

11 hours ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Apparently from this website it’s a regular issue with the monks. Since the issue is HIV and STDs are dramatically on the rise.

11 hours ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Well… humm… maybe we should write that book then.

11 hours ago · Like · 1

Brighid Wu Sad, indeed. But not unexpected. I hope the Bhutanese monasteries can work it out with some frank discussion amongst the monks. Clear the issue with sunlight.

11 hours ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi YEs, from my own POV,I always wondered how the guys pushed the “off” button in terms of dealing with their own sexualty and the sudden commands of Vinaya to not even have … dreams.

11 hours ago · Like · 1

Ven Hong Yang Shi And I don’t think we need to know what they try to get away with in terms of not breaking with the Vinaya precepts. This article was a little over the top in the technique described.

11 hours ago · Like · 1

Taita Wounded Bird When i was orthodox christian we had a complete Russian monastery in Houston who left the bishops as it was being investigated internally by the bishops for sexual wrong doings! Its a monastery and any kind sex is wrong there

Pedophilia and homosexuality is prominent where there is no strong leadership as abbot or abbess, that’s why most abbots or abbesses get a bad name as hard or mean, they have to be stern or else anything goes
11 hours ago via mobile · Like

Taita Wounded Bird Boston, not houston

11 hours ago via mobile · Like

Brighid Wu I don’t know much about how male Buddhists are enjoined to deal with their drives. Maybe that’s something to ask them. I can say that in Daoist monastic practice, this is regarded asone of the areas in which women are said to have an easier time, generally. I dealt with it by circulation of energies, which is the traditional point of the thing for us.

11 hours ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Yes, I do agree. TaitaWounded Bird and those they let anything goes get a worse rep. Brighid Wu speaking of myself. Sexuality I do think for ladies is easier. We are not hardwired for it like those poor men are. For me, I found it less of a problem as from awakening to sleeping I am constantly busy. I never had time to think about it,except when there was unwanted attention. I do circulate the energy, and If women don’t channel that energy someway that they get really mean and bitchy.They replace sexuality with violence, hitting, reverting to childish mean stuff(or that’s my theory anyway). People need a hobby, or life pursuit beyond doing chores or working. That helps alot.

11 hours ago · Like · 1

Ven Hong Yang Shi A rumor I was told bymy Chinese medical doc was that nuns had to be particularly careful to monitor their dreams. They are subject to dream lover or raping according to him because of the purity of their vows and practices. Some black magic men target them for energy type of vampireism… or something like that.

11 hours ago · Like · 1

Ven Hong Yang Shi And believe me if I have to be an abbess then run into the sexuality issue another person has whileliving with me… omg… I would just want to … freak. But wouldn’t because my mommy mode would kick in to find out what the reason for the fault would be… then handle it hopefully the way you do teenagers.. I guess more so of talk therapy and getting them through the struggle to correct but if full on sex…they confess to they just can’t stay… And that type of person who engages in that above… well is just too lustful and should not be monks at all.

11 hours ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi I do think de-sexing type of training should be discussed in the novice stage. This would mean opening up people to discuss their bodies and most just do not have the basics to handle such an adult discussion, especially the Asians. They think if you discuss it then you would tend to be open to doing it. I think it’s hard to remove the influence of our culture on sexuality and have a totally frank discussion with our own Western supposed free thinking here, even in the USA. I tried once in my first council with a few nuns, and geeze as soon as I mention’masturbation’ the elders didn’t want to discuss it. I had come from the POV that nobody is discussing it and how do we deal with it..and this was the best possible place with so many Western women who lived lives in the real world,were a part of the women’s lib in Buddhism and the leader was Ven Thubton Chodron who said nobody would be interested in discussing it, and lets move onto another concern even after I pushed it a bit to say well lets discuss sexuality and our vows then, she said no. And that was the sum total of it.

11 hours ago · Like

Suki Tasire Ven Hong Yang Shi, i’m a bit surprised that you are, sexual activity, sex abuse of boy monks is just as common in Buddhist facilities as in catholic ones, some of the highest ranking monks have reported on it, some even discussing it openly in the west, they have just been so secluded for so long it never came out and unfortunately is still largely being ignored.

11 hours ago · Like · 1

Brighid Wu I’m not sure about this theory that strict monasteries have more problems with this, nor that Westerners are more amenable to discussing it. I mean, the past few years have seen many fairly stark examples of Western Buddhist monasteries and orders plagued to the roots with sexual misconduct and abuse, all hidden within a shroud of phony holiness and discretion. To be sure, some of these traditions were started in tune with the permissive atmosphere of baby boomer hippies all looking for “iconoclastic” or “crazy wisdom” teachings. But strict groups are also plagued, and often in worse ways. The sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church is now a globally infamous example of this, but it’s only a matter of time before stories appear for Buddhist sanghas, too.Personally, the monks who came on to me were from “strict” Asian American monasteries. So the common element, at least that I can discern, is that of a lack of open accountability. Groups need both “strict”accountability to standards and communal well being (applied to leaders too!)but also need an “open” ability to discuss these issues as they appear without veils of secrecy, at least with other monastics/sangha and any involved parishioners/parisa. With both standards applied, the”sunshine” doesn’t let cobwebs form. Anyway, I sure pray you have no major issues in your monastery as you move forward to establishment. No doubt you can find your way forward with the help of the Buddhas if anyone can.

10 hours ago · Like · 1

Thich Nu Tam Phuc @Suki Tasire Ven Hong Yang Shi did not say she was sexually active! [Suki Tasire Ven Hong Yang Shi, i’m a bit surprised that you are, sexual activity,] if that is what you were trying to say above. and thereason there are problems with celebacy in monastic settings is because monks/nuns dont know why they are celebate. expecially those who are ordained as children. Ive said it before and i will say it again if you truly have renucination, which is the ONLY correct reason to take ordination, this is notan issue! you wont need to discuss it or channel the energy, or be punished by vows, or rules, for thinking about it. in Tantrayana we do have means to channel the energy, and we are fortounate in that way, but it is not about channeling the energy so we can keep celebate, because house-holders also use these methods and many do have mates. its about using a powerful energy for spritual/mental/ physcal enlightenment. and with women it is eaiser to not be sexually…. idk cant think of a good word… but no we dont have that problem like men do, like some one said above, they are hard wired differently, these celebacy vows were desigined for them. not us, it is part of the crap we have taken on trying to be like them. and is part of the crap we need to let go of!i am getting ‘real tired’ of nuns trying to be like the monks! we are different and we need to begin to embrace our goddess nature! [gonna watch my head! iknow im gonna get it from ya’ll on that one! LOL BRING IT ON!!! lol  ] i havent read the article yet, i just commenting on the comments… will be back for coments on the article soon…  PEACE!

5 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1

Thich Nu Tam Phuc well the only thing i can say about this article isif this is what is going on in Butan….. [Psychiatrists suggest the spread of disease could be a result of mental stress. [WHAT!?!] It is not uncommon for monks and nuns, mostly between the ages of 15 and 25, to visit psychiatrists.[WHAT!!??] Even senior monks show symptoms of severe stress, especially when they are undergoing long periods of meditation,] [WHAT!?!?] “About 70 to 80 percent of (senior) monks are obese, hypertensive and also suffer from backache because of their sitting posture and sedentary lifestyle,”[WTH?!?]…..then they are doing something severly WRONG!! …and sex is the least of thier problems… [and dont get it twisted i didnot say HIV and STD is the least of thier probs. i said SEX..]

5 hours ago · Like · 1

Thich Tam Khong you tell em girl.! Seems to me that Thich Nu Tam Phuc is the only one with any clear sight here.

3 hours ago · Edited · Like

Suki Tasire You misunderstood me ThichNu Tam Phuc, I did not think Ven. Is sexually active, I meant I’m surprised that she is surprised at the news item, since sexual misconduct is not just happening in Burma but many other monasteries in all Buddhist traditions. Their long isolation had just allowed that to stay hidden.

2 hours ago · Like · 1

Ven Hong Yang Shi I think Suki Tasire was commenting on my being surprised about this situation in Bhutan. I’ve been reading of sex of abuse of boys in many communities alot published by that channel and in the news. There is a problem no matter what tradition the monks come from. I do not know why but there is more crime in their monasteries and more sexual activity like the ones mentioned in the article and in the posts.

I’m not alone in being able to be celibate. I do have a woman’s sexuality, I just don’t have sex. Thich TamKhong, Thich Nu Tam Phuc is not the only woman commenting here.

Regarding diverting the sexual urge. Ireally can’t understand how hard it would be for women to do this anyway.Channeling energy like Brighid Wu and I referred to is taught in Daoist practice and Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is done for health and not for sex. This is not sexual yoga. In fact, sexual yoga is a forbidden practice and been banned by the Daoist and Buddhist association for centuries. It is so forbidden that if you bring it up, people get very upset and if you push it like you want to do it then they throw you out. I was warned to be suspicious of men or women who promoted it, and to distance myself greatly from them. So yes. People do not do sex yoga. it’s a trap into sex and only that.

Tantra Sexual Yoga. I would not recommend relying on Tantra Sexual practice for nuns or monks. Sorry, I do understand the history and the premise of the practice and there are better ones to focus on that this one. It cannot be a technique to keep purity and I know that idea has not been suggested so I am bringing it up. The reason it is not good for purity of precepts is that it is intentional sex even if it is just imaginary. Intentional sex is trap that leads to break from the precept of no sex, it has been the downfall of many who try to perform sexual yoga.

Sexual yoga is not a new invention of the Tantrika, that little gem has been around since men invented it. No monk ornun has been known to master. Bragging rights were limited only to a few extremely high level men (lamas) who had coupled with women (wives or consorts?) and were suspected at the time and they and their followers passed down to stories told by tantra gurus to entice their listeners centuries after they happened or where said to. So why should monks and nuns insist on try to do tantra sexual yoga, well even the Dalai Lama has come out against it, saying it was a lay practice? Do you wish to compete in it…due to what? romantic ideas? are you missing sex? leave the robes then become a happy householder or a companion? then get a pet, not someone to pet. Is it due to your competitiveness? being told that you should not do this practice and valid reasons for not doing it, if this then grow up. Are you being anti-authoritarian…you can’t tell me what to do!…your not my teacher…. is childish! Get psychological help if this overtakes your mind and becomes your life focus. Try better ways to train yourself for enlightenment. And really there are better ones out there for monks and nuns than a mastery of lay Buddhist practices.

2 hours ago · Like · 1

Brighid Wu @Thich Nu Tam Phuc – I would not begin to presume to judge the calling of anyone else to renunciate/celibate vows… Seems like bad juju to do so. … At any rate, not sure what “true renunciation” or “goddess nature” mean. In Daoism at least,there’s no point in celibacy beyond energy accumulation and transformation since we don’t “renounce” anything about the world. Energy transformation IS the entire process for us. Now that I ponder it, perhaps this unloads the issue somewhat, uncharges it, makes it less dangerous. Sexuality is simply one of the constituent parts of a person, to be dealt with in the process of ascesis. It’s observable that people continue to be sexual beings regardless of monastic dedication. So, just open the thing up to frank consultation and analysis, using whatever appropriate tools for your tradition,and leave it at that. No shame, no repression, heck, no energy manipulation if you don’t want. But it does crop up even for long time monks. They deserve todeal with it minus over weaning judgment or condemnation for the naturally shifting realm of emotions we all have to confront.

about an hour ago · Like

Brighid Wu Ohhhh, haha, Ven. Hongyang helped clarified something for me in her comment. No, we were not meaning sexual yoga in terms of energy channelling, I think! Such overt sexual tantrapractices are usually a gross form of vampyrism, really unproductive and oftenabusive. I meant inner energy work. I suppose that energy work can belegitimately done, and has, with another person. But it’s entirely inappropriatefor monastic setting. Frankly… I can’t imagine why anyone would want to havesex in a monastery, but, hey, many seem to! :S

about an hour ago · Like

Brighid Wu It also occurs to me to stress that sex is only an overt facet of the “lowest”, most coagulate grade of energy in our tradition (jing), not even the energy itself. Jing is regarded as life’s pith, which drives and is spent in generation through the Gate of Earth (sex and reproduction). Is this the same in Buddhist articulation? I don’t know…

about an hour ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Brighid Wu Interesting. And I raise this question of ‘renounce’ this word is often bandied about by Buddhists and maybe it should be changed to just what the Chinese call‘left home’. Because nobody in the West gets that people in the East do not use that word in the same Christian sense that it was actually used in the West. I did not renounce my householder life, I left it. The reason for leaving was to become a Bhikshuni to seek Enlightenment in this lifetime. The motivation was already there, I waited for what… a signal? timing. I acted on my resolve because of 9/11. It was not the reason for my resolve. My resolve was to have a life that I didn’t have to apologize for, try to fit into, or receive rewards for. I found great happiness in my Daoist studies but no master. The monastery life is important place to train, and I did not want to be someone’s wife to do it. So I found Buddhism and it was clear and expedient. But I am not a renunciate, I am a left home person, a mendicant, a beggar.

about an hour ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi I think Brighid Wu that idea of jing the vital energy is still the same in Chinese Buddhism. Chinese Buddhism has many ideas shared with Daoism.

Outside path is Tantra Sex. Tantric sex based on yoga is to combine “yoga” (union of mind with body to the greater universe (hindu?), it was perverted somehow into the idea of using it to gain Enlightenment. It’s a house holder practice sold to the public as a method for transforming the woman’s energy into the man first to enable him to reach enlightenment then also so that the woman increases her chances of a male rebirth in the next life so she too will have a chance at Buddhahood as a man. She is the vehicle for the man’s path to Enlightenment in his lifetime and the cause for her male rebirth her next life.

There are levels to practice that start with visualizing the practice first without touching another’s body, then mastery of the body is the second stage, there is supposed to be the presence of an advanced teacher. At what stage when you do “it” or what I do not know or care to know. Many tantra sex teachers these days teaching I am almost sure just make up stuff that sounds vaguely Buddhist to get women in their beds.

about an hour ago · Edited · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc ok Ven Hong Yang Shi u kno i luv ya’ but you have not left the house holder life you still hold a house… i would say you have renounced it but left it not at theis time , maybe when you actually left it an went in to a monastery. but know you are back, just cuz u dont have a husband soesent count as not being a house holder, and just because you live in and maintain a house dosenot mean you do not have renucination. and tantric SEXyoga and Tantra buddhism are 2 completly different things, and this is the reason we dont talk about them to those w/o tantric vows and commitments, so that they dont get perverted in to thinking they are tantric sex yoga. they are different, and that is all i will say about them , unless you have vows and commitiments to tantric buddhism you dont know what you are talking about ,anything you read or think or research is wrong! you will never hear or read any correct info on tantric buddhism because true dedicated practioneers will not tell you , if any one tells you it is some one with broken or degenerate commitments that knows not what the Heck they are talking about! tantra is a ear wispered linage, never written down, any books or anything you read on the net is superficial common knowledge all that written above by Ven Hong Yang,Bhikshuni 比丘尼宏揚 may be tantric sex youga but i dont know anythingabout that, it is clearly not anything that has to do with our tibetan tantrapractice….

about an hour ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi What really bother’sme is that in the Bhutanese monasteries they have children that are beingmolested by the men. This really bothers me. Nobody there is protecting thekids. And they are being groomed to what? Being with men. Nearly all theTheravada monasteries have young children boarding in their schools. So thisleaves us to wonder about those kids when they hit puberty. They are inventingnew forms of sex as outlets to their biology, they grow up in or outside themonastery and then what? Perversions? What quality of life do they have?

A second point of the article is thegreater population in their monasteries HAS to seek psychological help to cope.In that case the main problems pointed out are only the tip of the iceberg.

about an hour ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Thich Nu Tam Phuc I do disagree with you. I’m not a householder. I’ve left that lay life behind. I am a bhikshuni, true I live in solitude and manage my own apartment my money and cook for myself. That does not mean I resumed being a lay woman. I have not. I do not use a mix of Christian words to define myself, just the ones I have learned in Chinese Buddhism. And BTW I am not attacking you Chitta. I’m clarifying what I wrote, so do not be upset when I write what I do.

Tantra has been much discussed about.Please lady, there is nothing I am not unclear about, the ‘whispered’ tradition… well it has been written down for centuries by the Tibetans themselves, we have written records by the esteemed masters. Secrets, please once it’s out someone else’s mouth it is not a secret. There is a very famous large collection called the Mahayana Buddhist Tripitaka the Taisho Edition which hasa huge collection of esoteric sutras and commentaries. I am clear on my understanding about Tantra and I do not practice sex yoga. I explored as muchas I could before I decided against it. I really examined the available teachers of the time and found them greedy money grubbers, even in robes they asked for 2 day’s wage to attend their events, how could I afford that!

Venerable Chitta, I am truly fortunate.I had after all great advisers, some of the best that I really trusted theiradvice. I rejected Tibetan Buddhism because it put too much emphasis on someoneelse to give you their opinions on how you go about travelling the Path. Isought a more independent route, following the example set forth by Buddha. Irejected Theravada for the same reason too much reliance on teachers and waytoo mental fruf fruf in their approach…not too far from being puritans oranal. I looked at Chinese Buddhism and saw a very diverse community, some relyon teachers, some rely on sutras, some rely on practices, and saw mostly allthe monks and nuns rely on the Vinaya whether they were in a community or outof it. that last part meant they had a maturity in their lineages the abilityto devote their livesto the Path with simply the Vinaya to guide them.

about an hour ago · Edited · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc i never thought you were attacking me i know you are not, you and i dont need to defend ourselves against each other, as i have told you before your straight forward and no nonsence approach is what i like about you and i am the same way very opionated,

34 minutes ago · Edited · Unlike · 1

Thich Nu Tam Phuc but i did not say LAY life… this it the inportantthing, just like Thich Tam Khong i would not call him a ‘LAY’ man he is a fullyordained Buddhist Zen Priest but he is a house holder. you main tain a house.leaving home means exactly that , to LEAVE HOME you still maintain a house youstill take care of your child you still pay bills and deal with you fam,.leaving home means EXACTLY that to leave all that behind, the buddha left homehe didnt live next door and deal with his fam day in and day out, he came bk homeYEARS afret he ‘left home’ then took the boy and ‘left home he did not resumemaintinng a house

50 minutes ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc again i will say anything you read about tantra issuperficial, any sutras you site is not the authintic practis, there is muchwritten but it is not the teachings you will get in the wispered ear to earlinage

48 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Maybe that is where we disagree. Leaving home means that you leave your former life behind, not your history, not your property, not you, not your common sense. It does not mean ignore your family. This is perhaps a mistaken notion of Western people that you need to abandon all to become a Buddhist monk or nun. It’s western thing,perhaps based upon the only monastic community we had to refer to the Catholics. That’s the sanitized puritanical approach set up by people who don’t really understand the culture in the tradition they go to in Buddhism. I studied Chinese culture, language and all the three religions in China for 20 years before I actually left home. It was due to timing that I decided to wait so long.

46 minutes ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc the beauty of the buddhas teachings is that there are 84,000 teachings, path, ways, medicines, everyone finds what they need or what thire karma ripens to present to them, mine ripened in the path of Tantraic buddhism in the tibiten linage yours ripened in the chinese tradition, i think that is great,

45 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Yes, it is great andthat is what the Chinese refer to as yuan, a fated relationship.

43 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Buddha carried his family with him, all his major disciples were family. That’s a fact. He left home, also attracted wealth and the powerful because he was the son of a King,and that King was a warrior King. So people and rulers were eager to be peaceful with him and his son. This helped the Buddha, also his family joined him, his son too.

42 minutes ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc no im not basing it on any xtian thought of renunciation or puritian thing, because i dont know anything about that, but yes you do exactly that! you leave your former life behind, & your history,your property, you, and expecially ‘you, ‘

32 minutes ago · Edited · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc many times you and i talk you speak a lot about chinese culture, but this is not about chinese culture it about buddha’s teachings and following his example and his path, and that is juts that leavingit all behind, cutting ties and cutting all of it off, that does not mean’ignoring you fam’ i never said that!

40 minutes ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc yes his family joined him on the path but not in ahouse and he still did not maintain a house, his son joined him on the path andhis wife and mother also and they all renounced the rest of the fam and did notmaintain a house and live like house holders

38 minutes ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc and at the end of the day it doesnt really amount toa hill of beans, its not like you are going to walk out of your door because ofthei thread discussion… i think you should do what is best and managable for you as all of us should, but that does not stop me from seeing the life of ahouse holder and the life of one who has phsycally left home as two differentthings.

31 minutes ago · Edited · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc most bhikshunis in the USA maintain a house because there are not many other alternatives

35 minutes ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc i think we taken over the thread no one else istalking.. LOL! i’ll shut up now

29 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Wow, lady, it sure reads like you are seriously saying I am a householder because I took responsibility and cared to act on requests for me to help out, left with permission of my preceptor to care for my dad, my crazy sis and my kid who needed a home to go to and a live in an apartment.

So what you are living Chitta? You had the same situation at IBMC, now still even overseas too.

Are you saying you are a householder?

Don’t tell me that you were living in a temple there at IBMC because when I visited I was surprised to see the layout being just old houses re purposed to house a few halls that really only rooming houses for regular folk, in the block with regular apartment buildings and other peoples houses, a scattered arrangement fit into the city of LA there and not on a separate campus or grounds. You had a downstairs full 2 bedroom apartment there, with bills to pay. Now you are living in Mongolia in a room with bills to pay in a layman’s monastery, sometimes with monks in residence.

“the life of a house holder and thelife of one who has phsycally left home as two different things.”

You wrote that Chitta, and you a restating in this thread that I am a householder, back off lady.

This does not make sense, I hope you seriously are not considering yourself defined by a building. You should be careful to not overemphasis this. This totally is off the wall.

If you hold yourself to this then ladyare you declaring yourself a householder?

I’m not happy you are writing in such a negative way in referring to me. It really surprised me that you would. I’ve left home I am not a householder. Do not confuse the matter anymore.

I write to clarify the matter for fear people reading my posts your replies are confusing the matter.

Householder is known to be a lay person and only that. Be careful Chitta I get really can get pissy about misinformation regarding my purity as a bhikshuni.

A building, a house, an apartment or a room does not define us as monks or nuns, we do. We are guided by our precepts transmitted to us on our ordination day.

I know the differences in the life of left home person and the life of a laywoman, and lady I am a left home person a full on in your face Vinaya bhikshuni. I live here in Iowa translating from the time I am up to the time I go to bed, and you are the only one I usually chat online in Facebook. Everyone of my friends that is Sangha is busy too, I get rare chances to chat with some of them I like to chat with more of the bhikshunis but, hey.. we are all busy. Of all of them I think right now I have the most time. Mostly I’m doing more online when I’m logged in here.

Monks and nuns were building houses inthe Buddha’s time and living on their own, even there are rules I know you know this too. O My it’s just really silly that you would take that tone with me.

about an hour ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc and yes i drempt about this thread all night! sry but ‘no thing’ you read about tibitan tantra is the true final word. just because its on the net or wikipida dont make it true or authintic. teachings like i said above it is only supeficial common knowledge. i dont care how many great masters wrote what or how many wonderful counselers you have had, unless you have had the empowerments and the proper teachings your info is not complete or usable, its just surface. even my own venreable master has written a book on tantra that is still not the complete teachings, i know personally many ppl who have taken the empowerments and read the book but still can not practice tantra because of not having proper or complete teachings. it is a secret still.because you dont know it. and that is what drives those away who can not handle it & thats a good thing, the less ppl who practice the stronger the practice is, it takes a certian heart to be able to handle secreat teachings. a heart that can handle a teacher & not back away from one because they think they know it all and can do it on thier own, sry but a teacher a guide is essential!  tibitan buddhism does not have anyone giving you ‘thier opioin’ on how you should follow the path, we rely on our guide some one to follow, someone who had traversed the path before us, we are grateful and humbled by our guide, what he teaches us and gives us is not just his opion. it is sage advice. it is only a humble mind that can handle that. that is why most westerns are on thier own. being independant, and not able to stay with a guide lama or teacher, and ‘stay with’ does not mean having to be ‘all in they face’ everyday. you can have aguide and go out in to the world or to a different lama to recieve teachings,but tibetan buddhist practionereers have a root lama. and @Brighid Wu that is kinda my point that as women you dont know what goddess nature is, and that is why so many are all trying to be like men, if you are a renuncinate then you know what renuncination is , since you speak of Daoist practice, you should know that the Dao that can be spoken is not the true Dao. that includes renuncation,goddess nature and tantra.

about an hour ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi No, you are not understanding Tantra, it is not just confined to Tibet. Also, I did not just pull my information from the internet or some books. I’ve have the joy of have really good teachers. I am referring to my experiences and study. As a translator I have access to the entire esoteric section. I’ve translated some really good instructions, that are not available normally to people.

48 minutes ago · Edited · Like

Thich Tam Khong old testament, new testament. Theravada, Mahayana. both very sincere. very similar, and very different. This very point is the pivot point which separates the two clans…e pluribus unum. It is a very real distinction in this thing we call Buddhism and the division among us has the power to rip us apart. Relying on Dogma will kill us. Buddhism hails change above all. And diversity is the rule. If we start questioning each others sincerity based on 2500 year old writings than wemight as well be Christians, cause we sure the hell aren’t Buddhist.

55 minutes ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc yes that is exactly what i am saying i am not living the life of a house holder , just because ibmc was set in a bunch of houses,most buddhist ‘temples’ in the west are set in houses. yes we rented rooms tolay ppl but no i didnot pay rent and take care of my family, i took care of the temple my nunnery that had nuns acasionally, and it was not my home, my home was in indy i left it. i had no bills to pay in ibmc and i have no bills to pay here, i am not living in a lay mans temple he is not a lay man he is a householder, again i say you are not a lay person . house holder and lay is not mutually inclusive. you keep missing that point. yes i know you are a full on vinaya bhikshuni. and i am not taking a negitive tone, i am not attacking you and sory if you think i am and that ppl here wil misunderstand who you are. you have said that ibcm was not a temple and that i am living in a lay man’stemple, dont dish it out if you cant take it. dont let ppl misunderstand who i am either. you should be careful also i can get just as pissy.. and i understand tantra VERY well, i am not talking about any esoteric teachings ofall tiditions i am talking about tibetan tantra. it is NOT all the same… yes exactly Thich Tam Khong so if we loose our frienship over this then it really wasnt much of a frienship in the first place… as the buddha teaches friends become enimies…enimines be come friends…strangers be come friends… so you can get as pissy as you want… i havent changed my view…. but i will say NO ONE CONFUSE MY WORDS Ven Hong Yang Shi is a full on pure bhikshuni. i never doubted it for a monent!

50 minutes ago · Like

Thich Tam Khong no argument with me. I’m glad there are monastics, even wanted to be one at one time. I’m just saying each to their own. I am not questioning your status or our friendship. I was disparaging about how two two fully ordained Nuns, neither living the most traditional life, but both the most sincere people I know, why…..they would question each others motives based on dead words. love you both.

28 minutes ago · Edited · Like

Thich Tam Khong but like you say I am that other kind of Buddhist the kind with a small ‘b’ and this is a sand box for monastics and their issues,not mine. So I will say ado.

22 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi If you can’t speak Tibetan then you can’t hear the whispered teachings. I don follow Tibetan I follow my own tradition which I am fluent in the language; it is like many other countries filled with many esoteric traditions and schools. (Esoteric traditions in China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Mongolia not just Tibet, route of transmission is from India to China, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam, Japan). When you really get a chance to study each countries traditions and history in Buddhism it’s really very cool to find a mix of influences, that is the norm and pretty fun to study.

Do not refer to me as a householder ever again. I mean it. I’m not tolerating that from you. I wrote on this enough.Please respect me enough to understand the reasons I wrote above. I’m very traditional and you know it. We go rounds all the time, just not so public.

I consider you my friend who is in a different tradition and you are open to many practices that I do not favor or promote; but you know I respect your choices. And why you think you have to tell me off is your problem not mine. I am a good friend, I tell you like it is to help you and support you.

21 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Thich Tam Khong, you are out of line. I was not address you in any of my posts directly. I think Venerable Chitta was addressing you though. Venerable Chitta and I are old friends. What would you know of a traditional life? You are writing foolish.

I’m very traditional I live in solitude with permission from my preceptor. I am not going out travelling, to movies or eating out, just translating all the time. I’m very conservative. I’ve stayed in robes all along in the Chinese Buddhist tradition in which I trained and ordained in, why would you assume I’m non-traditional?

Thich Nu Tam Phuc It’s unbelievable nowyour friend is referring to me as nontraditional, ME, I am shaking my head andnot going to engage your posts in the future to save this from happening to meanymore! See what you got going? Wow, you could have posted all your stuff in chat?!

6 minutes ago · Like · 1

Thich Nu Tam Phuc bologna! i dont need to speak tibetan to hear the wispered teachings! that is a crazy lie invented by those who want to keep others stupid and make up exclusive cults.

a few seconds ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc also i was also given permission to take care of mydad while he was dying, and i was holding a house. also after he died i openeda business a tea house that i hoped would become a dharma center id did not it became a business and at night i was maintain a house that is why i sold it all an moved back to the temple and it is the same issue i am having here where this lama wants me to work a job, and i want to just do dharma work.

2 hours ago · Like

Thich Nu Tam Phuc i respect what you wrote and, you need to respect what i wrote i also tell you like it is to help you understand. you dont always have the difinitive answer on all other buddhist. i never said you were not triditional, and i dont see what triditional has to do with it, just because i feel this is a definition of a householder i am not saying that you are a lay person or not pure, i wont tolerate you setting out misinformation about tantra in the tibetan triditio neither! so now that every one got thier self cherishing feelings hurt and ranaway from the convo, my work here is done…

27 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Actually my information is correct about tantra. I had 20 years to study Buddhism before I left home. And I have had the good fortune to encounter very experienced knowledgeable teachers in Tantra teachings. I chose not to go to famous people and stayed away from trendsters or the poly-religious neo-practitioners that mix various religions in public ways by posting their practices and being outlandish and joining in various off the Path religious practices. I am well studied coming up on 32 year of meditation experience and study, well monitored by seniors, and very well connected to my teachers. My MA you know is on Tibetan Buddhism. I did a post grad on higher education that I wrote curriculum that passed certification for K-12 standards on the topic of meditation in the Iowa State University Education college that was peer reviewed and passed the state standards.

3 minutes ago · Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Across the board inall the traditions they define Buddhist householder as a lay person, morerecently it is said to be a wealthy lay person. This is the standard definitionof householder, not yours.

And look at what you did to this post? Iposted about a problem in Bhutan, it is noteworthy because the govt. thereresponded responsibly by providing condoms to a problem that is being ignoredacross the Buddhist global community the sexual activity of monks and boysraised in monasteries without normal healthy parental guidance. That’s thepost.

But you turned into your thing Chitta,about you. That is what you did do. I am offended by that, by the name calling,and the immaturity you have shown here in public. You are not defending Tantra,it’s not about that. It’s like what those other people did in the BMN community group, trolls/kids hijacking the threads diverting the conversation from the original post. You chose to do that to me, a friend. When you could have chatted to me in privacy.

a few seconds ago · Like

REASON FOR POSTING THIS IN NOTES:  Chitta removed her posts from the thread.  She sent me a message that I cannot reply to because she blocked me.  Her buddy also blocked me.  I have no interest in communications with either at this point.  I do not do things out of emotions on Facebook, for crying out loud it’s a place where you type!  How is that emotional?  I value my friends, many here I do not know in person but I have the joy of reading posts and learning, also I have greater joy of finding a great number of Sangha here.

When Chitta deleted her conversations on my post, it made it a one sided conversation and misleading.

It took me two days to figure out the proper course of action was to unfriend her, she had ample time to respond.  She was online, I saw she was but doing other things, not once when in this conversation as it was being done in  public on Facebook did she ever jump into chat with me, something odd since she has been online daily, we usually use Facebook chat twice a day, I stay up extra late to converse in chat with her and try to get on in the morning to chat with her before she finished for the day.

I was feeling sorry that she was so very far away from her friends and family.  Her situation in Mongolia is worrisome, she is the only woman in a mens lamasary (lama is a married man a layman with specialized education and birth), the resident monks and lay women and men’s staff are not getting on well with her according to her chats, she says the kids are running around destroying temple property and stealing stuff from her classroom, she has experienced days of not getting her meals the latest being 3-5 days without meals due to monastery money problems; she ran out of her pay (yes she is indeed working as an English teacher, not employed as a nun) and the kitchen was locked up as was the laundry room.  They fired all their teachers according to her, the boss is out more than he is in(he is in business, thats ok IMHO).  They seem to be transitioning but not telling her what is going on.  So. I was trying to be there for her.  She said she was unhappy and nervous, but rejected every solution I offered. But as I was thinking that was the right thing to do, I realized she is adult, can take of herself.

And secondly I realized I was repeating a pattern with someone who I do not agree with, feel strongly she engages in off the Path behavior and beliefs, commits defeats without fear or regret or confession.  I have observed over the years of chatting online and texting that she is explosive in her emotions to me, self admits she suffers from depression and adamantly refuses my suggestions for seeking professional help as I am sure her friends and family are aware of.  She is disgustingly vulgar in swearing in chats when she is frustrated with the situation around her or does not respect other people’s choices that are in positions of authority over her, this is unsuitable behavior for someone who claims they are a nun.

In fact, seeing her in a verbal rage with Ven. Karuna Dharma over some gifts of dharma books several times in the presence of other bhikshuni at City of 10,000 Buddhas was very upsetting as she was poking and grabbing roughly the good arm of Ven. Karuna Dharma, and I decided to friend her to see if I could stop that and protect Ven. Karuna Dharma (yes, I know I was far away and at least I hoped to serve Chitta as a support and hoped to guide her into healthier thinking and more suitable behavior).  She expressed irrational thinking about Ven. Karuna Dharma and IBMC abbot someone she named Shanty, and another monk I know Ven. Kusala.  That is the underlying reason I stayed her friend over the years even when last year when she was fired from IBMC for wrongdoing and actually she left IBMC 7 months later.  Then I stayed her friend because I believed her when she blamed IBMC for her stress, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Now after she told me she was all nervous and the same situation at the new place she worried me more since she does not speak Mongolian and as been ‘on a rampage’ around there so she can ‘get things done’, everyone is afraid of her but at least she is getting meals again.

I am living here in Iowa minding my own Path intensely translating filing my days with dharma study, duties and caring for people around me here that ask me for help when they need it.  Well, see that’s the other point, Chitta has not asked me for help, she expressed her situation there so clearly to me and it alarmed me.  But she is determined to get her nunnery there when the signs do not support that wish again.  I can’t be supporting her by maintaining a friendship that I kept up out of compassion, because she is someone who has shown herself as broken from her Vinaya root precepts, a defeated woman, even when facing her reality in Mongolia she is not acting to protect herself.

I wish her success for she wrote she wants to become a vajrayogini in her past chats to me; if she does that I hope it goes well for her, it is such a pity to lose a friend.

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Vinaya Parajika 3 do not kill – accesstoinsight detailed commentary

3. Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (saying): “My good man, what use is this evil, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life,” or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated and no longer in affiliation.

This rule against intentionally causing the death of a human being is best understood in terms of five factors, all of which must be present for there to be the full offense.
1) Object: a human being, which according to the Vibhaṅga includes human fetuses as well, counting from the time consciousness first arises in the womb immediately after conception up to the time of death.
2) Intention: knowingly, consciously, deliberately, and purposefully wanting to cause that person’s death. “Knowingly” also includes the factor of —
3) Perception: perceiving the person as a living being.
4) Effort: whatever one does with the purpose of causing that person to die.
5) Result: The life-faculty of the person is cut as the result of one’s act.

Object. The Vibhaṅga defines a human being as a person “from the time consciousness first becomes manifest in a mother’s womb, up to its death-time.” It follows from this that a bhikkhu who intentionally causes an abortion — by arranging for the operation, supplying the medicines, or giving advice that results in an abortion — incurs a pārājika. A bhikkhu who encourages a woman to use a means of contraception that works after the point of conception would be guilty of a pārājika if she were to follow his advice.

There is a series of cases in the Vinita-vatthu in which bhikkhus provide medicines for women seeking an abortion, followed by two cases in which a bhikkhu provides medicines to a barren woman who wants to become fertile and to a fertile woman who wants to become barren. In neither of these two latter cases does anyone die or suffer pain, but in both cases the bhikkhu incurs a dukkaṭa. From this, the Commentary infers that bhikkhus are not to act as doctors to lay people, an inference supported by the Vibhaṅga to Sg 13. (The Commentary, though, gives a number of exceptions to this principle. See the discussion in BMC2, Chapter 5.)

The pārājika offense is for killing a human being aside from oneself. A bhikkhu who attempts suicide incurs a dukkaṭa.

A bhikkhu who kills a “non-human being” — a yakkha, nāga, or peta — or a devatā (this last is in the Commentary) incurs a thullaccaya. According to the Commentary, when a spirit possesses a human being or an animal, it can be exorcised in either of two ways. The first is to command it to leave: This causes no injury to the spirit and results in no offense. The second is to make a doll out of flour paste or clay and then to cut off various of its parts (!). If one cuts off the hands and feet, the spirit loses its hands and feet. If one cuts off the head, the spirit dies, which is grounds for a thullaccaya.

A bhikkhu who intentionally kills a common animal is treated under Pc 61.

Intention & perception. The Vibhaṅga defines the factor of intention in three contexts — the word-analysis, the non-offense clauses, and the Vinita-vatthu — analyzing it with one set of terms in the first context, and another set in the last two. There are two ways of interpreting the discrepancy: Either the two sets differ only in language but not in substance, or they actually differ in substance. The Commentary, without seeming to notice what it is doing, adopts the second interpretation. In other words, it defines the factors of intention in markedly different ways in the different contexts, yet does not assert that one set of terms is more authoritative than the other or even take note of the differences between them. In fact, it takes one of the terms common to the non-offense clauses and the Vinita-vatthu and defines it in one way in one context and another in the other. All of this creates a great deal of confusion.

A more fruitful way of analyzing the two sets of terms, which we will adopt here, is to assume that they differ only in language but not in substance. We will take as our framework the set of terms used in the non-offense clauses and the Vinita-vatthu, as it is clearer and more amply illustrated than the other set, and then refer to the other set, along with some of the explanations from the Commentary, when these help to give a more refined understanding of what the non-offense clauses and Vinita-vatthu are saying.

The non-offense clauses state that there is no offense for a bhikkhu who acts unintentionally, not knowing, or without aiming at death. In the Vinita-vatthu, unintentionally is used to describe cases in which a bhikkhu acts accidentally, such as dropping a poorly held stone, brick, or adze; removing a pestle from a shelf and accidentally knocking off another one. Not knowing is used in cases in which the bhikkhu deliberately does an action but without knowing that his action could cause death. An example would be giving food to a friend not knowing that it is poisoned. Not aiming at death is used in cases where the bhikkhu deliberately does an action but does not intend that action to result in death. Relevant examples include trying to help a bhikkhu who is choking on food by slapping him on the back and inadvertently causing his death; telling a bhikkhu to stand on a piece of scaffolding while helping with construction work, only to see the scaffolding collapse; describing the joys of heaven to an audience, only to have a member of the audience decide to commit suicide in hopes of going there.

Thus, to fulfill the factor of intention here, a bhikkhu must be acting intentionally, knowingly, and aiming at death.

The word-analysis covers all the same points — although it shuffles the terms around — when it defines intentionally as “having willed, having made the decision knowingly and consciously.” Without teasing out the differences in terminology, we may simply note the important point added in its analysis, which is that an act of manslaughter counts as intentional here only when the bhikkhu has made a clear decision to kill. Thus if he were to strike a person unthinkingly in a sudden fit of rage, without being clear about what his intention was, it would not qualify as “intentional” here. The Commentary seconds this point when it defines having made the decision as “having summoned up a reckless mind state, ‘crushing’ through the power of an attack.” The Sub-commentary does not explain crushing or attack here, but apparently they mean aggressively overcoming, through a brute act of will, any contrary or hesitant thoughts in the mind.

The Vinita-vatthu contains a few cases where bhikkhus kill people in situations where they did not even know that there was a person there: throwing a stone over a precipice, not knowing that there was a person standing below; sitting down on a pile of cloth on a chair, not knowing that a child was underneath the cloth; and setting fire to a grove, not knowing that there were people in the grove. The Buddha dismisses the first two cases without explanation as not coming under this rule. The last he classifies as an example of not aiming at death. We can conclude from this example that aiming at death must include the perception that there was someone there who could die. The Commentary seconds this conclusion in its analysis of the phrase knowingly and consciously in the word-analysis’s definition of intentionally. Although it again shuffles the terms around — using consciously to describe what the Vinita-vatthu describes as knowingly — the important point in its conclusion is that an essential element in the factor of intention is the factor of perception: In its words, one must be aware that, “This is a living being.”

Note that, given this definition, one need not know that the living being is a human being for the factor of perception to be fulfilled. The Commentary illustrates this point with an example in which a bhikkhu who, seeing a goat lying down in a certain spot during the day, decides to return to that spot to kill the goat that night. In the meantime, however, the goat gets up and a man comes to lie down in its place. The bhikkhu approaches the man in the dark, still thinking him to be a goat, and kills him. The verdict: a pārājika.

Although this judgment may seem strange, there is nothing in the Canon to contradict it. The closest case in the Vinita-vatthu concerns a bhikkhu who digs a pitfall with the intention that whatever living beings fall into it will perish. The penalty, if an animal dies as a result, is a pācittiya; if a human being, a pārājika. In this case, the intention/perception of killing a living being is broad enough to include a human being, and so fulfills the relevant factors here.

In discussing this last case, the Commentary notes that if one digs the pitfall but then renounces one’s intention to cause death, one has to completely fill in the pitfall in such a way that it cannot cause injury — even to the extent of causing someone to stumble — if one wants to avoid the penalty coming from any injury the pitfall might cause. If the pitfall is only partially filled in and a person stumbles into it and later dies from his injuries, the bhikkhu incurs the full offense under this rule. The same judgment applies to any other attempt to kill not aimed at a particular victim. For instance, if a bhikkhu harboring this sort of general intention builds a trap but then changes his mind, he has to destroy the trap so thoroughly that it cannot be reassembled. Similarly, when a bhikkhu writes a passage describing the advantages of dying (see below) with the thought that anyone who reads it might decide to commit suicide, if he then changes his mind he has to destroy the writing so thoroughly that it cannot be pieced together. If, instead of writing the passage himself, he simply picks up a pre-existing written passage of this sort and then — with a similar intention — puts it in a place where it might be easily seen, he can avoid any penalty simply by returning the passage to the place where he found it.

In discussing the topic of pitfalls, the Commentary also treats the issue of how much of an intention counts when setting up a situation that might cause death. Specifically, it asks whether — while one is digging a hole for another purpose — a passing thought that “this hole could kill anyone who fell into it” would fulfil the factor of intention under this rule, or whether this factor would be fulfilled only if the original purpose for digging the hole was to cause death. The Commentary notes that opinions are divided on this point, but it sides with the latter position.

The Vinita-vatthu contains an unusual case of a bhikkhu who uses a friend as a guinea pig for testing poison. The friend dies, and the bhikkhu incurs only a thullaccaya. The Commentary explains this by distinguishing two types of test: one to see if a particular poison is strong enough to kill a person; the other, to see if a particular person is strong enough to survive the poison. In either of these cases, the bhikkhu incurs a thullaccaya regardless of whether the victim dies. If, though, the bhikkhu gives poison to a person with the desire that it cause that person’s death, he incurs a pārājika if the victim dies, and a thullaccaya if not.

The Vinita-vatthu also includes a case in which bhikkhus, out of compassion for an ill friend, hasten his death and thus incur the full offense under this rule. This shows that impulse and motive are irrelevant in defining the factor of intention here.

Effort. This factor covers four types of action: taking life, arranging an assassin, describing the advantages of dying, and inciting a person to die.

a) Taking life. The Vibhaṅga defines taking life as “the cutting off, the ending, of the life faculty; interrupting the continuity.” The Vibhaṅga lists a variety of means by which one might try to do this, which the Commentary divides into four categories:

— One’s own person: hitting with one’s hands or feet; using weapons such as knives, sticks, clubs, etc.; handing poison to a person; giving a pregnant woman medicine that would cause an abortion; moving an ill person.

— Throwing: hurling a stone, shooting an arrow. At present, shooting a gun or hurling a grenade would come under this category.

— Stationary devices: setting a trap, digging a pitfall, placing a weapon in a place where a victim may fall, sit, or lie down on it; placing poison in food, etc. At present, setting out a land mine would come under this category.

— Commanding: telling another person to commit a murder. This category includes recommendations expressed in the imperative as well as express commands. A few examples:
Telling B to kill C. The way in which a bhikkhu is penalized for getting another person to commit a murder — through sign or verbal command — can be inferred from the discussion of accomplices under the preceding rule. The Vibhaṅga here, as under that rule, states that if one’s accomplice does not follow one’s instructions precisely, one is absolved of an offense. In discussing this point, the Commentary goes into great detail concerning the six ways the command to kill can be specified: the object [the person to be killed], the time, the place, the weapon to use, the action by which the weapon is to be used [e.g., “Stab him in the neck”], and the position the victim should be in [sitting, standing, lying down] when the act is to be done. If the instigator specifies any of these things and yet his accomplice does not carry them out to the letter, the instigator does not incur the penalty for the actual murder. For instance, Bhikkhu A tells his student B to kill C while C is sitting in meditation at midnight. The student gets into C’s room at midnight, only to find C asleep in bed, which is where he kills him. Bhikkhu A thus incurs only the thullaccaya for convincing his student to accept the command.
As under the preceding rule, the Commentary tries to argue that if B will certainly succeed in killing C in line with A’s command, A incurs a pārājika when giving the command, but again, this opinion does not conform with the Vibhaṅga.
The case of the innocent accomplice — one who does not know that the action he is being told to do will result in death — also seems relevant here, as in the case where a bhikkhu prepares a syringe of poison and tells his accomplice, who thinks the syringe contains medicine, to inject it into a patient. There seems every reason to impose a pārājika on the bhikkhu if the patient then dies.
Recommending means of euthanasia. The Vinita-vatthu includes a case of a criminal who has just been punished by having his hands and feet cut off. A bhikkhu asks the man’s relatives, “Do you want him to die? Then make him drink buttermilk (§) (!).” The relatives follow the bhikkhu’s recommendation, the man dies, and the bhikkhu incurs a pārājika.
Recommending means of capital punishment. Again from the Vinita-vatthu: A bhikkhu tells an executioner to kill his victims mercifully with a single blow, rather than torturing them. The executioner follows his advice and the bhikkhu incurs a pārājika, for the recommendation to kill mercifully is still a recommendation to kill. According to the Vinita-vatthu, if the executioner says that he will not follow the bhikkhu’s advice and then kills his victims as he pleases, the bhikkhu incurs no penalty. The Commentary adds that if the executioner tries to follow the bhikkhu’s advice and yet needs more than one blow to do the job, the bhikkhu incurs a thullaccaya.
Indirect statements. The Canon and Commentary differ as to whether indirect statements that are not imperatives would also qualify as commands or recommendations under this rule. The Commentary maintains that a bhikkhu cannot get around a penalty by phrasing his wish for a murder in more roundabout ways, and gives an example in which a bhikkhu tells people, “In such-and-such a place a bandit is staying. Whoever cuts off his head will receive great honor from the King.” If any of the bhikkhu’s listeners kills the bandit as a result of his instigation, the Commentary says, the bhikkhu incurs a pārājika.

Examples of commands and recommendations in the Canon, however, are all expressed as imperatives: “Do this!” “If you want him to die, do this.” The only examples of indirect statements are those in which a bhikkhu expresses a wish, “O, if only so-and-so were murdered.” According to the Vibhaṅga, this statement incurs a dukkaṭa regardless of whether it is made in public or private, and regardless of whether one knows that anyone else is overhearing it or not. There is no discussion, however, of what one’s intention might be in making the statement, nor of the consequences for the speaker if anyone, inspired by his remark, actually kills the person in question. This implies that the authors of the Vibhaṅga did not regard statements of this sort as fulfilling the factor of effort under this rule. This may seem unduly lenient, but given that a bhikkhu whose express command to kill is followed but not to the letter would also incur only a thullaccaya, this judgment seems consistent with the Vibhaṅga’s pattern of assigning penalties.

In addition to the four above categories of means of killing, the Commentary includes two of its own:

— Magical formulae: reciting passages that call on malevolent spirits to bring about a person’s death, using voodoo, etc.

— Psychic powers: using the “evil eye” or other similar innate powers.

The Canon contains a number of passages — MN 56 is one example — describing people who, “developed in mind,” use their powers to kill. The Commentary notes the existence of these passages and of “some teachers” who cite them as proof that meditative powers can be used in this way, but it dismisses the idea on the grounds that meditative powers are skillful and based on pleasant mental states, whereas the act of killing is unskillful and based on painful mental states. The Sub-commentary adds that the powers described in the Canon are actually based on magical formulae. Still, because the success of these formulae depends on a certain level of concentration, it would seem that using one’s powers of concentration to kill would fulfil the factor of effort here.

b) Arranging an assassin. As the rule indicates, a bhikkhu may commit an offense under this rule not only by using any of the six above-mentioned means of taking life but also by “searching for an assassin.” The Vibhaṅga explains this phrase in the rule simply with a list of weapons: a sword, a spear, a harpoon (§ — BD omits this item), a skewer/stake, a club, a stone, a knife, poison, or a rope. There are two ways of making sense of this list. One is that, because the Pali word for assassin is literally “knife-carrier” (satthahāraka), the Vibhaṅga is taking pains to explain that an assassin might also use other weapons aside from a knife. The other way of interpreting the list, favored by the Commentary, is to view the Vibhaṅga’s list as an attempt to define the word satthahāraka — which, according to the Commentary, is a general term for a murderous weapon. The Commentary then goes on to say that the entire phrase searching for an assassin means setting up a stationary device, as described above. There are two problems with this interpretation, the first being that the word satthahāraka clearly means “assassin” in other parts of the Canon (see, for example, MN 145); the second being that this interpretation makes the phrase entirely superfluous: setting up a stationary device is already covered by another part of the rule. Thus we will follow the first interpretation of the Vibhaṅga’s explanation of the phrase: It is indicating that an assassin may use any weapon at all.

The question remains, however, as to how this interpretation is not redundant with commanding under the explanation of the ways of taking life. The answer appears to be this: The word satthahāraka is most commonly used in the Canon in the context of an assisted suicide, in which a person who wants to die but cannot bring himself to commit suicide arranges for someone else, a satthahāraka, to kill him. This term may be related to a common phrase for committing suicide, “to take a knife” (see SN IV.33 — satthaṃ āharissāmi, “I will take a knife”). Thus the inclusion of this phrase in the rule makes the point that even if a person intent on dying asks for one’s help in arranging his death, one may not arrange for someone else to kill him. At present, this would rule out getting a doctor to arrange for an assisted suicide.

The Commentary’s most useful comment in this context is its assertion that searching here must mean actually arranging, for the simple act of looking for an assassin without actually finding one could not rightly fulfil the factor of effort under this rule. To apply this assertion to assassins, the factor of effort here would be completed when one arranges for an assassin actually to take the life of the person who wants to die.

Cases in which one arranges for an assassin not at the victim’s request would come under commanding, above.

c) Describing the advantages of dying. This, the third type of act covered by this rule, can include berating a sick person (“Why do you keep hanging on to life like this? Don’t you realize what a burden you are to others?”) or simply telling a person of the miseries of life or the bliss of dying and going to heaven in such a way that he/she might feel inspired to commit suicide or simply pine away to death. The Vinita-vatthu also includes under this type of act any statements that a nurse might make out of compassion to shorten the miseries of an illness by encouraging a patient to let go of life so as not to dawdle in the face of death. Thus, the Commentary notes, a bhikkhu talking to a dying patient should be very circumspect in how he chooses his words, focusing not on how to speed up the dying process but on how to inspire the patient with the following thoughts: “The attainment of the paths and fruitions is not out of the ordinary for a virtuous person. So, having formed no attachment for such things as your dwelling, and establishing mindfulness in the Buddha, Dhamma, Saṅgha, or the body, you should be heedful in your attention.” The Vinita-vatthu to Pr 4 contains a number of stories in which bhikkhus comfort a dying bhikkhu by asking him to reflect on what he has attained through the practice, which was apparently a common way of encouraging a dying bhikkhu to focus his thoughts on the best object possible. The suttas also contain advice on how to encourage patients facing death. See, for example, MN 143, SN XXXVI.7, and AN VI.16. In all of these cases, the advice is aimed not at precipitating death but at inspiring calm and insight.

The Vibhaṅga notes that a statement describing the advantages of dying would fulfill the factor of effort regardless of whether delivered by gesture, by voice, by writing, or by means of a messenger. The same holds true for any statements under the next type of act.

d) Inciting a person to die, the fourth type of act, covers:

— Recommending suicide. This includes not only telling a person to commit suicide but also giving advice — whether requested or not — on the best ways to commit the act.

— Telling a person to go to a dangerous place where he/she might die of the dangers.

— Arranging a terrible sight, sound, etc., to frighten a person to death, or a beautiful, “heart-stirring” one to attract a person who will then pine away to death when it fades.

Four issues arise in relation to the above ways of killing:

Command. Giving a command or recommendation to get another person to perform any of these last three types of action — arranging an assassin, describing the advantages of dying, or inciting another person to die — would also fulfill the factor of effort under this rule.

Inaction. Given the Vibhaṅga’s definition of taking life, we can infer that inaction does not fulfill the factor of effort here, for it does not cut off the life faculty. Thus if a bhikkhu sits idly when seeing a flood sweep a person downstream, he commits no offense — regardless of his feelings about the person’s death — even if the person then drowns. Recommending that another person sit idly as well would also not fulfill the factor of effort here, because the category of command covers only the act of inciting the listener to do any of the four actions that would fulfill the factor of effort under this rule.

Medical care and life-support. The same holds true if a bhikkhu decides not to give a patient a treatment — or to discontinue treatment — that might conceivably extend the patient’s life: It does not fulfill the factor of effort, for such acts do not cut off the life faculty. At most they simply allow it to end on its own. The Canon supports this inference by treating such actions not under this rule but under Mv.VIII.26.3-4, where it imposes only a dukkaṭa on the act of refusing to give any treatment at all to an ill bhikkhu, or of discontinuing all care for an ill bhikkhu prior to his recovery or death. This shows that the compilers of the Canon did not regard these acts as cutting off the life faculty. (Mv.VIII.26.8 lists the ideal characteristics of a bhikkhu who tends to the sick, but does not impose a penalty on a bhikkhu who cares for the sick but lacks the ideal qualities; at no point does the Canon impose a required level of care for the sick. The compilers’ refusal to mandate a level of care is wise. If there were a case in which the bhikkhus did not feel that that level of care was appropriate for their patient, they would have only one option: to abandon the patient, so as to incur only a dukkaṭa and not the potentially higher penalty for not measuring up to the mandated care. Thus, instead of protecting the patient, a higher level of mandated care would expose the patient to abandonment.) For this reason, deciding to withhold or discontinue a particular treatment — while still continuing otherwise to care for the patient — would not be grounds for an offense.

If, however, a bhikkhu caring for a patient acts in a way to cut off the patient’s life faculty, that would fulfill the factor of effort here. The Vinita-vatthu makes this point with a set of cases in which bhikkhus give patients treatments that are actually harmful for the patients. In the instances where the other factors for an offense are present — the bhikkhus mean to kill the patient, and the patient dies — the bhikkhus incur the full offense. In another set of cases, a bhikkhu feeling pity for a friend in severe pain praises the pleasures that await him after death. Again, in the instances where the bhikkhu intends to bring about the patient’s death and the patient dies, the bhikkhu incurs a pārājika.

For more on the topic of medical care, see BMC2, Chapter 5.

Shared responsibility. Unlike the Vibhaṅga to the preceding rule, the Vibhaṅga here does not explicitly discuss the issue of how to allot penalties when a group of bhikkhus acts together to commit a murder but only one of them delivers the fatal blow. However, the Vinita-vatthu contains a series of cases in which bhikkhus act as a group to give a treatment to a sick bhikkhu with the aim of ending his life. When the bhikkhu dies, all of them incur a pārājika. In one of the cases the bhikkhu dies from a medical treatment to the nose, in another he dies from eating food. None of the texts discuss whether all the bhikkhus in question took turns giving the fatal dosage, or if only one of the bhikkhus did while the others helped to prepare it. Given that arranging an assassin would fulfil the factor of effort under this rule, it seems reasonable to infer that actively assisting in a murder would also fulfil the factor, even if one does not deliver the fatal blow. From this inference we can conclude that the discussion of shared responsibility under the preceding rule would also apply here.

Result. This factor is fulfilled if, as a result of the bhikkhu’s action, the victim dies through the cutting of his/her life-faculty. Because the life-faculty is something that inevitably ends, there is a need to define clearly how far the influences of a bhikkhu’s actions should be traced for him to be considered responsible for a death.

The Commentary treats this issue by posing two scenarios under its discussion of pitfalls. In the first, an intended victim survives a fall into a pitfall, manages to climb out, but later dies of a disease incurred from the fall. In this case, the Commentary says, the factor of result is fulfilled. The same holds true if the disease goes into remission only to return and take the victim’s life many years later. If complications arise from the disease, however, and the victim dies from a combination of the disease and its complications, then if the original disease was the predominant factor in the death, the bhikkhu would be responsible for the victim’s death; if the complications were the predominant factor, he would not.

In the second scenario, an intended victim falls into the pitfall while being chased by thieves but does not die in the fall. Instead, the thieves catch up with him, drag him out of the pitfall, and kill him. In this case, the bhikkhu is still responsible for the victim’s death because his pitfall was instrumental in enabling the thieves to catch and kill the victim.

The Commentary also considers a different sort of case related to the factor of result: If a bhikkhu means to cause the death of a group of people, then when any member of the group dies as a result of his efforts, the Commentary says that he incurs a pārājika. In other words, he does not have to fulfill his intention of killing the whole group in order to fulfill the factor of result here.

Derived penalties. The Canon assigns lesser penalties in cases where a bhikkhu tries to cause a person’s death through any of the four means mentioned in this rule and yet the person does not die. If the person experiences pain or injury as a result of the bhikkhu’s efforts, the penalty is a thullaccaya. If the bhikkhu’s efforts result in neither pain nor death, the penalty is a dukkaṭa for each separate action involved in the attempt.

If a bhikkhu intends simply to injure the victim or cause him/her pain, and yet the victim dies as a result of the bhikkhu’s actions, the case is treated under Pc 74.

There is an apparent contradiction in the Vinita-vatthu concerning the penalty for a bhikkhu who tries to kill one person but ends up killing another instead. In one case it says that a bhikkhu who means to kill X but kills Y instead incurs a pārājika. In another case it tells of a bhikkhu who gives medicine to a woman who wants to commit an abortion near the end of a full-term pregnancy. The woman takes the medicine but, instead of the fetus’ aborting, the woman dies and the infant survives. In this case, the bhikkhu incurs a thullaccaya, presumably for the pain he caused the infant.

The Commentary tries to resolve this contradiction with an illustration: A bhikkhu with a grudge against A decides to ambush him. He sees B coming down the road and, mistaking him for A, shoots him dead on the spot. Because his intention was to kill the person he was aiming at, he incurs a pārājika. We can call this a case of mistaken identity. In cases of this sort, whether the “right” or the “wrong” person dies is of no consequence to the offense.

If, however, the bhikkhu is a poor shot, takes aim at B but misses him, and inadvertently kills C instead, he does not incur a pārājika, for he did not intend to kill C during any part of his action. His only penalties are the dukkaṭas he incurs while preparing for B’s murder.

Special cases. The Vinita-vatthu includes three special cases that touch on this rule but inspired the Buddha to formulate separate rules to deal specifically with them:

A bhikkhu, for the fun of it, throws a stone from a precipice and accidentally kills a person standing below — no penalty for the death, but a dukkaṭa for throwing a stone in fun. (The Commentary states that stone here also covers sticks, bricks, and other similar objects; and that throwing also includes rolling. It also states that if a bhikkhu has a valid reason for throwing or rolling a stone not in fun — for example, he is engaged in construction work and rolls a stone to someone else on the job; he is eating his meal and throws a piece of wood to chase away crows or dogs — he incurs no offense.)

A bhikkhu, hoping to commit suicide, throws himself over a cliff. Instead of dying, he lands on and kills a hapless basket-maker standing at the foot of the cliff — again, no offense for the death, but a dukkaṭa for throwing oneself from a high place.

A bhikkhu, sitting down hard in a chair without first checking it carefully, kills a child lying in the chair and covered with a blanket — again, no penalty for the death, but a dukkaṭa for sitting down without first checking carefully.

Non-offenses. As stated above, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who kills a person unintentionally, not knowing, or not aiming at death.

As for the standard exemptions, the Thai edition lists all four under this rule: a bhikkhu who is insane, possessed by spirits, delirious with pain, and the first offenders (in this case, some group-of-six bhikkhus who, in a follow-up to the origin story, described the advantages of death to a man with a beautiful wife, in hopes that he would commit suicide so that she could be theirs; he did commit suicide, but she denounced them). Other editions of the Canon omit exemptions for a bhikkhu possessed by spirits or delirious with pain. The Commentary refers to the standard exemptions as a set simply with the word, “insane, etc.” There is reason to believe that if these two exemptions were missing in the time of the Commentary, it would have noted their absence.

Summary: Intentionally bringing about the death of a human being, even if it is still an embryo — whether by killing the person, arranging for an assassin to kill the person, inciting the person to die, or describing the advantages of death — is a pārājika offense.

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chan - authentic Masters words, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships

Tears spilt in grief…when can Sangha cry?

When can we Sangha cry?  How about what happens when we lose our parent or a child?  We cry of course, but we also must carry on in our day and even some of us have to perform at the funeral like I had to and be at the reception and stay with my mom cuz the rest of the family couldn’t bear to, even they never came over cuz their own grief was too much.

How about when we have to suffer in our grief too? We suffer, we grieve but when that first person comes to us in tears, it’s almost a sure bet that our tears spill forth in remembrance.  It should be shameful, but it really is not.  We are humans too.  We are supposed to let go of our attachments quickly and we do but we still have memories and cherish our loved ones too.

Nobody addressed the needs of those ordained who lived through 9/11 and had to carry on performing countless funerals, counsel grieving families, run their temples, but when they talked to me, they were angry with their grief was not being acknowledged at all.  In fact, most of the clergy in churches had grief too not just in temples or mosques. They all were not acknowledged by the public because the need was so great, it really was.  I was out there and saw it; I’ve never seen public grief on such as scale as I did in NYC. I learned a lot about it then, and about funerals where we were in and out in 30 to 6o mins depending on the family needs, no talking just in and out! So many sometimes we didn’t eat that day until 1 am.  wow!

My recent encounter with a grieving Buddhist led me to this uncomfortable truth about myself.  I was suddenly spilling tears with this dear person.  I apologized, for (what…being unprofessional…please I’m walking the Path…sure we are supporting laity but we have a right to be human too).  But my dear Buddhist friend just handed me a tissue and we shared our tears through the conversation on what to do and how to prepare, we drank tea and both of us inspite of our individual grief had come away with something better…two people who connected and I hope and pray when the funeral day comes that I keep it together for these dear Buddhists need more than a weeping nun to help them in their future hours of need.

Can you believe I blamed it on hormones, as my change of life has been in full erratic swing for a couple of years already!  We all do our best, some of us are good at hiding our tears, in our rooms away from curious eyes or our Sangha and in our darkest hours when we most need our companions by our side in full on support and offering comfort.  I from now on, will strive to be solid and if I tear up, I hope to quickly recover enough to be solid in my support for my future services at the side of my dear Buddhist friends.

You know we don’t hug but I was not going to let my dear Buddhist lady leave my home without a solid squeezer. If I could have I would have taken her home and put her to bed and watched over her that’s how much I care about comforting someone in grief.  But you know as Sangha we are truly limited in how we comfort people in grief and as a mom I just wish that part of it would be less impersonal. Maybe one day I can figure out a dignified way to help people that would be acceptable in the East and the West.  Right now I only know Iowa ways of cooking comfort food and providing a willing ear and support.  My temple training works well for me and know I must apply it to meet the needs of my Buddhist families in this area.  I wish for more wisdom!

Dad’s ashes in the brass urn with tiny navy stripe on it at the funeral home.  And one picture of dad when he was alive.  In the last 6 months before he died he lost so much weight he looked like his young self in that black and white picture and he marveled at it.