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TOPIC: Rules!

Rules! 21 Jan 2013 11:34 #8572

A friend of ours is planning to become a monk, and we've been teasing him (gently) about it. He'd actually make a very good monk and it's not an impulsive interest. Here are some of the rules he'll have to follow:

The nissaggiya pacittiya are thirty rules entailing "confession with forfeiture." They are mostly concerned with the possessing of items which are disallowed or obtained in disallowable ways. The monk must forfeit the item and then confess his offense to another monk. The thirty nissaggiya pacittiya for bhikkhu are:

Keeping an extra robe for more than ten days after receiving a new one
Sleeping in a separate place from any of his three robes
Keeping an out-of-season robe for more than thirty days when one has expectation for a new robe
Getting an unrelated bhikkhuni to wash your robes for you
Accepting robes from a bhikkhuni as a gift
Accepting robes from the laity, except when one's own robes have been destroyed, or one is asking for the sake of another bhikkhu
Accepting too many robes from the laity when one's own robes have been destroyed
Accepting a robe from a lay person after telling them that their robe is too cheap for you
Accepting a robe from the laity after asking two or more of them to pool their funds in order to buy a nicer robe
Accepting a robe after coming to the treasurer to get the robe more than six times (since this indicates an excess of desire)
Owning a blanket or rug made of silk
Making or accepting a blanket or rug made from pure black wool
Making or accepting a blanket or rug made from more than 50% black wool
Making or accepting a blanket or rug fewer than six years after you last made or accepted one
Making or accepting a sitting rug without incorporating at least one old piece of felt 25 cm. square, for the sake of discoloring it
Carrying raw wool for more than 48 km
Getting a bhikkhuni to wash, dye, or card raw wool
Accepting gold or money, or telling someone how to donate it. If money is placed in a bhikkhu's presence he may not recognize it as his nor tell someone else to take care of it for him. Bhikkhus often have stewards who will take care of donations, but the stewards are always free to take the money and leave
Buying or selling goods
Trading goods with anyone besides other bhikkhus
Keeping an extra alms bowl for more than ten days after receiving a new one
Asking for a new bowl when your old bowl is not beyond repair
Taking a medicine from storage for more than seven days
Using a rains-bathing cloth before the last two weeks of the fourth month of the hot season, or accepting one before the fourth month
Taking back a loaned robe out of anger
Getting thread, and getting people to weave thread for you
Receiving cloth after telling its weavers to increase the quality for you
Keeping robes past the end of the season after accepting them during the last eleven days of the Rains Retreat (Vassa)
Being separated from your robes for more than six nights if you are living in a dangerously distant village and need to separate yourself from your robes after the Rains Retreat
Persuading a donor to give gifts to oneself, when they were previously intended for the sangha at large
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Re: Rules! 21 Jan 2013 11:44 #8574

I suppose I find this sort of thing entertaining because I'm interested in rules and how I relate to them. I have tendency to follow rules almost as an experiment: "Okay, if these are the rules, I'm going to do things that way and see what happens." Sometimes interesting self-awareness or insight or clarification comes from doing that as an exercise. One can become more aware of where and how one has resistance to certain curtailments or restrictions, for example, and what that reveals about ones relationship to other things.
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