I thought folks might find this (quite detailed) article about a Canadian man who hasn’t used money in 20 years interesting. While he isn’t specifically referencing Buddhist teachings as his reason for not using money, not touching money is definitely one of the things about modern monastic life, particularly in Western countries, that seems like it would be extremely challenging, so it’s interesting to read about the motivations and methods this man has for doing so.
Maybe YES and maybe NO …
It depend on our perception, if we take Buddhism as a RELIGION maybe he sounds not a Buddhist. However, if we take Buddhism as a PHILOSOPHY then he maybe a Buddhist.
A Buddhist Mendicant maybe someone not using a Monks Robe but those fashioning themselves with Monk Robe may not be a Buddhist Mendicant.
We have a lot of example with those so called ‘layman’ in the Meditation Centres who keep Atthasila for years, on Meditation, etc …
They only meditate not even chants only meditate. They meditate as early as 01:00 AM wake up on breakfast call, and meditate again until lunch call, bathing, and meditate again until 21:00 PM than sleep. They meditate (only) the whole day not touching money, leaving their family, etc. They maybe layman but a Mendicant.
But some Buddhist Monk may not be a Mendicant. For he/she just use a Robe but not meditating (some at all, some just 15 minutes and some just enjoying life), some collecting money, some Bhikkhu enjoy becoming a prince-charming
to the ladies around, etc.
So in the conclusion everything is depend on whether we are controling our mind or not. Robe is just a wordly thing, I can make a lot robe with the colour I wish. Even, I can make my own Sangha without any permission from the existing Sanghas.
I apologize, I wasn’t trying to make a controversial point, just that the article does mention that he practices meditation, and that he isn’t specifically referencing Buddhist teachings as his reason for not using money. I edited my original post to clarify.
No need to apologize … It is a REALITY and Not A Single Soul can deny it whether we are on POSITIVE side or NEGATIVE side …
It is a pure Reality because he was not touching any money for Twenty Years.
Yet, some Bad Monks are not just touching money but they earn it. Some are even doing the sexual things, harrassing or not. Etc.
Not using money in Australia is easy.
Foot of tree=sleep anywhere*
Rag robes= wear anything
Putrid urine medicine= ok you aren’t going to find that one here, but we have plenty of Vegemite?
*this one is a bit contested for nuns but you get the basic idea.
The only problem I have ever had around not using money is a social problem from arguments with people who think they have a right to force you to use it (they don’t).
Good on this bloke for giving it up.
I should think reliance on Vegemite would be a far more severe austerity than putrid medicine. I mean don’t Aussies make it by taking substandard Marmite and leaving it to ferment on a compost heap for six months?
Dad: When I was a kid…
(this is in outback Australia in the 1960s, but I’m guessing this would have been true of many/most post-war Aussie households)
…used to feed us Vegemite soup and castor oil when we got sick.
reliance on Vegemite= not that far fetched?
Ayya @Suvira, is it safe to assume from your comment that Australia hasn’t effectively criminalized homelessness?
Something interesting about the article was that this man has fought extensively with the Canadian legal system to make sleeping in public parks a right. I know it’s illegal to sleep in public spaces in many parts of the United States, in some places even just sitting down to rest on a public sidewalk is illegal! Absolutely heartbreaking considering how large our homeless population is here.
that’s mean Ayya … Australia is not a suitable place for those who practice the Buddhist Philosophy … btw, why they force you to use money, isn’t there Laity to assist you (he/she who accept money offering or keeping the money for you)?
Last time I checked, I don’t know of any place in Australia where street sleeping is illegal, although most parks will technically have a ban on camping.
There have been times though when law reform/advocacy groups have had to argue to stop new by-laws that would make things hard on the homeless, like in Melbourne CBD circa 2017?
Re: people trying to make you take money…I deal with many people, some of them have “different” ways of thinking, what to do? Definitely not the majority.
I’d just like to point out my favorite sentence in this article
he emerged with a new understanding: that free will wasn’t real; that although the world was in a state of suffering and everything was wrong, no one was to blame; that evil wasn’t real; that the whole of society was built on lies.
This reminds me of dependent origination.
I also appreciate any sentence with a colon, 3 semi-colons and a comma, so perhaps it’s just that.
I loved that sentence too, and also “If a brain sees truth and our ego tries to ignore it, our brains will make us crazy.”
Now that I’m more awake, this quote reminds me of Māra’s assault on the Buddha — Māra representing the last of the Buddha’s ego (not as a metaphysical Self, but as quasi-autonomous self-protecting emotional mechanisms) confronting the part of the brain that had seen the truth.
Fortunately the Buddha didn’t get stuck trying to ignore the truth, and so he doesn’t seem to have had a mental breakdown.