Posts Tagged "monks"

Korean Monks discuss Buddhism, culture

In their traditional grey monk suits with shaved heads and wearing iPods, they’ve walked Park Avenue, listened to the concerts in Lincoln Park and played football in Lyndhurst—a part of their introduction in the Western world. The monks are a group of three Korean monks and four nuns from Donguk University in South Korea, and are staying at Felician College in Rutherford while studying English as a Second Language and learning about Buddhism in the Western world.

They live under a rule of 250 precepts. And on a typical day, they’re up at 4 a.m. for meditation, have breakfast at 6 a.m., and have university studies, chant three times a day and do agricultural work … Read more »

Read More

Vegetarian diet for five days reduces levels of toxic chemicals in the body

People who adopted a vegetarian diet for just five days show reduced levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies. In particular, levels of hormone disrupting chemicals and antibiotics used in livestock were lower after the five-day vegetarian program. The pilot study suggests that people may be able reduce their exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals through dietary choices, such as limiting consumption of animal products like meats and dairy.

Twenty-five participants lived in a Buddhist temple and adopted the monks’ lifestyle – including their traditional vegetarian diet – for five days.

At the beginning of their “Temple Stay,” participants completed a questionnaire about what they had eaten in the previous 48 hours. They gave … Read more »

Read More

“The Novice,” by Stephen Schettini

May 10, 2010

"The Novice," by Stephen SchettiniVishvapani reviews Schettini’s heartfelt and vivid account of becoming a Tibetan Buddhist monk and his valuable reflections on what it means for westerners to practice Buddhism

When I first encountered Buddhism in the UK around 1980 there was already a generation of established practitioners, most of whom shared a common background. They were hippies … or should that be ex-hippies? Their faces lit up as they recounted their adventures: how they set out from respectable homes to discover the excitements of London’s Kings Road, join the flower children in the Haight, or make exotic journeys to the East. There were stories of dope deals that went wrong, revelatory acid trips, close shaves with bandits in … Read more »

Read More

Meditation with monks

December 24, 2009

A bell tolls at first light. The old timber “nightingale” floors chirp under stockinged feet, there’s a whisper of saffron and black robes, a rumour of conversation and the monks enter the temple. Mist drifts around the eaves like incense and there’s a chill in the mountain air, yet behind the sliding paper screens it’s warm and dark. Low, golden lanterns illuminate an ornate altar, around which the monks sit perfectly still.

There are four monks, ageless, heads shaven. The head priest, seated in the middle facing the altar, lights a stick of incense. The monk to his left begins chanting softly, then the others. The words, incomprehensible to me, have a soothing monotony. The … Read more »

Read More

Act Normal: The making of…

Act Normal: A Documentary by Olaf de FleurRobert T. Edison was born and raised in Nottingham, England. When he was fourteen years old he began to practice Buddhism. At eighteen he became a monk and went to Thailand where, for a decade, he spent his time in monasteries as Bhikkhu Dhammanando.

He became the first Buddhist monk in Iceland when he moved there in 1994 and founded a Buddhist sect.

Here director Olaf de Fleur talks about the 10-year making of his documentary, Act Normal, as he followed the progress of Robert/Dhammanando from monasticism to lay life and back again.

Read More

Act Normal: The cultural confusions of an English monk in Thailand

Act Normal: A Documentary by Olaf de FleurRobert T. Edison was born and raised in Nottingham, England. When he was fourteen years old he began to practice Buddhism. At eighteen he became a monk and went to Thailand where, for a decade, he spent his time in monasteries as Bhikkhu Dhammanando.

He became the first Buddhist monk in Iceland when he moved there in 1994 and founded a Buddhist sect.

In the title sequence from the documentary, Act Normal, directed by Olaf de Fleur, Dhammanando shares an amusing story about mistaking the Thai national anthem for an advertisement.

Act Normal can be purchased from Poppoli Pictures.

Read More

Act Normal: The origin of suffering

Act Normal: A Documentary by Olaf de FleurRobert T. Edison was born and raised in Nottingham, England. When he was fourteen years old he began to practice Buddhism. At eighteen he became a monk and went to Thailand where, for a decade, he spent his time in monasteries.

He became the first Buddhist monk in Iceland when he moved there in 1994 and founded a Buddhist sect.

In this clip, from the documentary, Act Normal, directed by Olaf de Fleur, Edison, at that time a monk in Thailand, contrasts the Buddhist explanation of the cause of suffering with the explanations from theistic religion.

Act Normal can be purchased from Poppoli Pictures.

Read More

Act Normal: Is Buddhist monasticism escapist?

Act Normal: A Documentary by Olaf de FleurRobert T. Edison was born and raised in Nottingham, England. When he was fourteen years old he began to practice Buddhism. At eighteen he became a monk and went to Thailand where, for a decade, he spent his time in monasteries.

He became the first Buddhist monk in Iceland when he moved there in 1994 and founded a Buddhist sect.

In this clip, from the documentary, Act Normal, directed by Olaf de Fleur, Edison, at that time a monk in Thailand, is asked whether his life is escapist.

Act Normal can be purchased from Poppoli Pictures.

Read More

Act Normal: A Search For Love

Act Normal: A Documentary by Olaf de FleurA Buddhist monk decides to disrobe and get married after sixteen years of monkhood. This documentary, directed by Olaf de Fleur, took ten years to film.

Robert T. Edison was born and raised in Nottingham, England. When he was fourteen years old he began to practice Buddhism. At eighteen he became a monk and went to Thailand where, for a decade, he spent his time in monasteries.

He became the first Buddhist monk in Iceland when he moved there in 1994 and founded a Buddhist sect. Five years later Robert decided to “disrobe” and get married. After sixteen years of celibacy Robert had to deal with being “normal” – getting employment, paying his bills and … Read more »

Read More

600 years of solitude, by Michael Chaskalson (Kulananda)

October 28, 2008

Skelig islands. Original image copyright Ian MulvanyOn the Irish isle of Skellig Michael, Celtic Monks once pursued a tough life of meditation. Kulananda (Michael Chaskalson) feels a connection across the centuries with these vanished contemplatives, and senses a continuity between his own efforts and theirs.

I am traveling about the Kerry coast with the team that runs the Dublin Meditation Center. As the Center’s president, I visit from time to time, helping out where I can. We are getting to know one another better, getting to know Ireland together, adventuring around its glorious coastline on a kind of pilgrimage.

One evening we set out in search of a place to hold an impromptu meeting: three members of the Western Buddhist Order … Read more »

Read More