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#211194 - 12/07/05 01:15 PM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: harlan]
phoenixsflame Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Quote:

Okay...since you need an answer:

I think that it is understood that a monk or abbot does not 'own' anything of value. All material items, bought or donated, are part of the monastary's holdings. The abbot does not owe them, but approves the use/disposal of items as necessary for the work of a particular lineage or tradition.

Protecting the assets of the lineage is prudent, especially during changing times (and that would certainly seem to apply to the current situation in China)...and is done according to the times. In a sense, the abbot is protecting the Dharma by protecting the assets...and that is his difficult job as a leader.

I don't see abuse, but that may be my naivete/idealism.




Allright, thanks. Thats all I was looking for. An actual opinion.
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#211195 - 12/07/05 10:01 PM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: phoenixsflame]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Good thing you were just planting a tree in -6 celcius and not "watering" it.

And Harlan, I am sorry, I didn't know you have an ego.

One, even a Shaolin monk, can ride around in a luxurious car, private airplane, yatch, use cell-phones and NOT be 'attached' to them, not seeing them as 'objects of desire' These are just modern means which just happened to be currently available. Are you saying that the Abbot should walk to Beijing from SongShan; and use smoke signals for communication?

I do get your point of course that an ordinary car and a cheap cell-phone will do. Like I said, as a Buddhist myself, I still think it is their call.

I don't care much what other Buddhists do or don't do. I do not see the Abbot of Shaolin Temple as Catholics see their Pope.
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#211196 - 12/07/05 10:36 PM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: ButterflyPalm]
phoenixsflame Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Quote:

Good thing you were just planting a tree in -6 celcius and not "watering" it.

And Harlan, I am sorry, I didn't know you have an ego.

One, even a Shaolin monk, can ride around in a luxurious car, private airplane, yatch, use cell-phones and NOT be 'attached' to them, not seeing them as 'objects of desire' These are just modern means which just happened to be currently available. Are you saying that the Abbot should walk to Beijing from SongShan; and use smoke signals for communication?

I do get your point of course that an ordinary car and a cheap cell-phone will do. Like I said, as a Buddhist myself, I still think it is their call.

I don't care much what other Buddhists do or don't do. I do not see the Abbot of Shaolin Temple as Catholics see their Pope.




No of course not, the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple doesn't have as cool of a hat as the pope does.

and of course not. I mentioned that in the previous post, that they are modern needs. I just don't think it is such a wise course for anyone who wants to life free of desire to purchase things of desire. Kind of ye old oxymoronic catch 22.

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#211197 - 12/08/05 01:17 AM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: ButterflyPalm]
Foolsgold Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 1635
Loc: South Lyon, MI, USA
Quote:

One, even a Shaolin monk, can ride around in a luxurious car, private airplane, yatch, use cell-phones and NOT be 'attached' to them, not seeing them as 'objects of desire' These are just modern means which just happened to be currently available. Are you saying that the Abbot should walk to Beijing from SongShan; and use smoke signals for communication?




Well, I think there are things that you can't have without wanting to have them. Who buys a yacht that doesn't care about money? I understand that it offers enjoyment, but there are cheaper ways and money can be used for better things.

My opinion: It's a good thing that the precepts of Buddhism are not dependent on a centralized location.
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#211198 - 12/08/05 05:05 AM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: Foolsgold]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Is the abbot buying yachts with the extra income? I can see decent cars (an Acura is understandable, but a Mustang is out of the question), decent cell phones (they don't need the $200 razr phone, but the cheapo I have just plain sucks, so something in between), and some other modern conveniences like computers, but there are limits to what is "necessary" as opposed to what is just extravagant.

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#211199 - 12/08/05 07:54 AM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Everything you see is an illusion. Everything you see is a reflection of your inner state. Do YOU see greed, attachment, poor judgement? Examine yourself. That is really more important.

Added later: BTW, I don't mean to infer that if one sees greed that one is greedy, etc. It isn't that simplistic.

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#211200 - 12/08/05 08:45 AM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: phoenixsflame]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I don't see anything wrong with monks taking degrees. Weren't monasteries in all faiths centres of learning? The Christian Churches get their priests to take degrees.

Do we moan when the Shaolin Monks come to do a big action show at our local stadium? Are we just lamenting our own lost innocence and fantasy?
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#211201 - 12/08/05 11:31 AM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: trevek]
phoenixsflame Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Not bemoaning the degree's, I think further education is a very important thing. Business... Eh, well at least they're learning something. I think psychology would be a better route for a Monk, or anyone but.. Takes a lot longer.

And I don't think it has anything to do with a loss of innocence/fantasy for me. It was more a rhetorical worry, at one point the monestary was very remote, removed from civilization. Coming from an anthropological/sociological point of view. Any group that has a sudden influx of technology/money/communication has a "cultural revolution" in which the traditionally held values become out-moded and abandoned if not permenantly than for a generation or so. (The generation coming after grows up with these devices/conviences and see's not the gleam of amazing newness that their parents did.)


As I've mentioned before... a lot. It doesn't effect my training, doesn't change my view on myself, or my self introspection. I was just curious peoples opinions on it. So... Yeah, I understand what people are trying to say about the practice being personal and what not, but this isn't a discussion on personal practice. Its a discussion about a direction a monestary is going, and the choices they are making. Complete rhetoric, cognitive exercise.
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#211202 - 12/08/05 04:41 PM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: phoenixsflame]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
The question is , how sudden is it? Despite this idea that it is very remote there have been scores of westerners allowed behind it's "secret doors" over the decades to make films etc.

Anthopology is something I meant to mention. Did you ever see a documentary called 'The Goddess and the Computer', fascinating film where anthropologists devise a system of communication between the government office, rice farmers and the local monks which involves a laptop and some nifty computer work. The monks were well into the idea.

See link

http://www.buyindies.com/listings/8/3/DERE-83.html
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#211203 - 12/08/05 05:12 PM Re: Hmm. Modernization... [Re: trevek]
phoenixsflame Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Quote:

The question is , how sudden is it? Despite this idea that it is very remote there have been scores of westerners allowed behind it's "secret doors" over the decades to make films etc.

Anthopology is something I meant to mention. Did you ever see a documentary called 'The Goddess and the Computer', fascinating film where anthropologists devise a system of communication between the government office, rice farmers and the local monks which involves a laptop and some nifty computer work. The monks were well into the idea.

See link

http://www.buyindies.com/listings/8/3/DERE-83.html




Hmm./.. I never saw that, but now I will have too. It sounds very interesting.

Of course its not a sudden change that the western culture is reaching them. Thats although a good point, is only half of the picture I was trying to present. Look at it this way, of course Westerners could go in there and make movies. They were there for a short (3-4 months at least, 5-8 months at most) period of time and then life returned to normal.

However, we're looking at it now, as a permenant change. Not just of people being able to visit, but millions of people able to communicate on a regular basis with these Monks, and these monks able to view the Western world without much restriction (The internet is a very open thing, although China is trying to restrict its abilities, Yahoo is the only company that has completely given in to blocking all anti-chinese/communistic data. Google denounced it, as did Time Warner)
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