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Attracting the HeartSocial Relations and the Aesthetics of Emotion in Sri Lankan Monastic Culture$
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Jeffrey Samuels

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833855

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833855.001.0001

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Learning to Be Novices

Learning to Be Novices

Monastic Education and the Construction of Vocation*

Chapter:
(p.63) 4 Learning to Be Novices
Source:
Attracting the Heart
Author(s):

Jeffrey Samuels

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833855.003.0004

This chapter considers the processes by which lay children become socialized as Buddhist novices. Along with examining the monastic curriculum that novices follow in the first five years of their studies, it examines the role that relationships play monastic training. Returning to the point made in Chapters 1 and 2—that conceptions of acceptable monastic behavior are influenced by local concerns and interest—it posits that more diffuse training methods such as completing temple duties, performing rituals, and using a specialized vocabulary are more attuned not only to the ways in which some young novices learn about proper deportment and behavior but also to local notions of aesthetics. Finally, the chapter turns to one of Narada's senior students who, in 1999, became the head monk of another temple and considers how affective bonds that developed between him and his teacher, as well as between him and his patrons, influenced his own self-identity, his understanding of monastic vocation, and his levels of commitment and devotion to society and the sangha.

Keywords:   Buddhist novices, lay children, Buddhist monks, Buddhism, monastic curriculum, monastic trining

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