Showing posts from September, 2023

What is an Anagārika?

An upāsaka is a lay Buddhist who goes for refuge and takes the Five Precepts. An anagārika goes for refuge and takes the Eight Precepts. The next stage is samanera (novice) ordination. The final stage is becoming a bhikkhu. So an anagārika is a midway status between a fully ordained monastic and a layperson. Not quite a monk and not quite a layperson.  Anagarika Dharmapala was the first to use the term to refer to this semi-monk status. Anagarika means homeless, but in this context, it means unattached to home life. In other words, this is a state for single people who do not have a spouse or family.  An anagārika is someone who has given up most of their worldly possessions and responsibilities to commit full-time to Buddhist practice. This requires celibacy, eating before noon, no entertainment, no beautification of the body, and sleeping on the floor or a low bed. The biggest difference between an anagārika and a samanera is that the anagārika can handle money. Otherwise, the anagār

A Theravada Meal Chant

A Theravada Meal Chant Wisely reflecting, I use this food Not for fun, not for pleasure, not for fattening, not for beautification,  Only for the nourishment and maintenance of this body, For keeping it healthy, For helping with the Holy-life, Thinking thus,  "I shall destroy old feelings (of hunger)  And not produce new feelings (of overeating). Thus there will be freedom from physical discomfort and living at ease. The only change I have made is to replace almsfood with food.

Three Responses to Desire

The second noble truth teaches me that desire and my attachment to desire is why I am caught in this cycle of rebirth. But because of ignorance, I do not handle desire wisely. I usually only think that there are two responses to desire. I can indulge it or repress it. Yet I know that what I resist persists. The third option is to step back and observe the desire. See it arise, intensify, and dissipate. Watch the tension in the body. Notice where it is, what it feels like, and how it flows and vibrates. Both indulgence and repression energize the desire, reinforce it, and strengthen it. Only by becoming the observer do I gain freedom. Only then do I stop being a participant in the story. Remember, be the observer. In every action, breath, feeling, thought, or experience. Get out of my head and into my life.

Dependent Origination (Pratītyasamutpāda)

The Buddha said:     " And what, practitioners, is dependent arising? Ignorance is a condition for unwise choices. Unwise choices are a condition for individual consciousness. Individual consciousness is a condition for the mind and body.     " The mind and body are a condition for the six senses. The six senses are a condition for sense impressions. Sense impressions are a condition for feelings. Feelings are a condition for attachment. Attachment is a condition for clinging. Clinging is a condition for reenergizing existence. Reenergizing existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, suffering, sadness, and distress. Such is the origin of this whole mass of misfortune" (SN 12.2 Forrest). Summary (1-3) and Process (4-12):  Avijjā - Ignorance Saṅkhāra - Unwise Choices  Viññāṇa - Individual Consciousness Nāmarūpa - Mind and Body Saḷāyatana - Six Senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind) Phassa - Sense Imp

Being a Buddhist Hermit

A hermit is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, " a person living in solitude as a religious discipline."  A Buddhist hermit practices the spiritual disciplined of silence, solitude, simplicity, moderation, meditation, and mindfulness. It is implied that that a hermit is celibate. For a Buddhist this is the normal culmination of the path to non-attachment. Sexual indulgence and Nirvana are mutually incompatible. A hermit is almost a monk. They are halfway between a layperson and a monk. They both practice celibacy, solitude, moderation, minimalism and focus on deepening one's spiritual practice. But hermits handle money and do not follow all the rules of ordained monks.  And since hermits are not part of a group, they cannot be kicked out for breaking the rules. Forever hermit as sexual relations hr or she is still a hermit, just not a good one. I would suggest that vegan Buddhist hermits have their own version of the five precepts. These precepts are guidelines

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