I have met a lot of Buddhist monks from many different branches of Buddhism and there’s something they have in common.

I have met Zen monks who have renounced worldly life but still live in the world with the rest of us. Most Zen monks don’t take vows of poverty, but some do.

I have met Tibetan monks who spend almost all of their time living a life of quiet contemplation in monasteries. (aside; a couple years ago when my son was one year old, a group of Tibetan monks were surprised when they saw him. They had never seen a redhead before.)

I’ve also met a former Theravada monk, but I’ve never met a current one.

 

The monks I’ve encountered seem to have one thing in common. They all own iPads and iPhones. 

Obviously they are useful. A monk can carry hundreds of sutras with him in an iPad. It’s not like they are using them to play Angry Birds. 

But it does seem strange to have a vow of poverty and an iPad, doesn’t it?

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

1 Response

  1. There is no reason why monks should not have the latest technologies. As long as it is used wisely. Like you said they are not play angry bird. I am sure they use the technology wisely.
    Peace!!!

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