Friday, November 30, 2007

Harnham Monastery

Buddhist Society Visit to Harnham Monastery, Newcastle.

We hired 2 cars, and 10 of us, drove to the monastery, It is one of the few monastery in UK that we know of. It took us around 3 hrs i think, to get there.

The monastery is not exactly like the monastery in Malaysia. It is like just any other building, no pagodas, and all those things. But it is on top of the hill, so its quite best.

Without this, you wouldn't know that it is a monastery. Haha...

Very cold and refreshing...The feeling is like in Genting Highlands. Haha, but just the opposite intention. Hehehe..

They have nicely decorated garden.

This is the main shrine hall. Ppl meditate here. The floor heating system is built by the monks themselves. It keeps warm when you sitting down meditating for hours.

Basically what we do is this:
1. Offering of food to the Monks. (Dana)

Ajahn Munindo, the chief monks, met us and talked to us about buddhism in this part of the world and so on. We spoke a lot regarding the differences between East and West in the context of Buddhism.

One thing I find it nice is the similarity of the culture, rules and roles of the monks regardless of the geographical differences. As far as I know, the Order of the Monk of Buddha's teaching is the oldest known surviving society in the history. Buddha established the Order of Monk (Sangha) in 6th century B.C. and they managed to preserve the same rules, regulations, roles, beliefs and lifestyles since then.

The view across the monastery. Nice hills and country.

Another part of the garden. Harnham is a great place to meditate and to do retreat and stuffs because of all the peaceful settings and nice gardens. All of this, monks do themselves one.

I have been here 2 years ago, when I was first year. And i took a few pics and uploaded as a video to Youtube.

Ajahn Munindo was telling us about the usage of internet in spreading Dharma. He said it is good to spread the teaching by providing the material in the Buddhist Website, for ppl to download.

But he doesnt agree with the usage of youtube. He said its inappropriate for the teaching of Buddha to be next to some funny jokes nonsense. But providing an avenue such as a website, for interested ppl, to download the dharma talk and so on, is ok.

Ajahn Munindo: I searched for Dharma and saw a few dharma talks uploaded by some other monks from elsewhere. I think it is not suitable for us to put the dharma there. I think i remembered seeing a group of students, who visited this monastry, and uploaded video in the youtube, with some funny comments and so on.

Me: OH....Hahhahahhaha....Sorry...dats me. Hehehe (how i know monks also search youtube one....)

AM: Its allrite. Its not offensive. Haha... Other than youtube, I also came across this thing called, errr...youspace or cant remember..

Us: Myspace.

AM: Ya...myspace...not suitable also. Then there is this thing called...mybook...or yourbook?

Us: Facebook.

AM: Ohya yes yes..facebook. I created an account to try it out, and almost instantly someone searched for my name in the web and saw my account. He tried to add me.. but i think facebook is not for buddhist teaching on my part, so i deleted the account.

Hahahhaha...a monk watching youtube and having facebook. unsangkarable.

Well, many of us do not underestand the role of monks. Monks has been there since the age of the Buddha with one mission - to continue the teaching of buddha. Not very simple process, you will have to find a senior monk to accept you, and teach the over 200 rules of a monk that has not changed since BC.

For example, no talking after certain hours. The quiet day is observed also on half moon days according to the calendar of the buddha.

One have to seek the approval of the parents, gives away all the property, cancel bank acc, 100% detached from the normal world, and observed the rules of Sangha. Not an easy thing to do.

Nah..the naughty video:


Eve said...

"100% detached from the normal world"

tipu..look at kek lok si monks la..hp more canggih than urs n mine campur together. the car they drive can buy 10 of mine already.

ihsan_huhu said...

monk: ang bertaubatlah!!

ang: .......