Please consider supporting the Great Western
In this culture begging is not at all considered a noble livelihood. When Sidharta Gotama articulated his Noble Eightfold Path he defined right livelihood as engaging in the spiritual endeavor full-time. Since religious institutions, where men and women could engage in the contemplative life, did not exist within his culture during his time, he came up with the idea of begging for alms to support his growing community of contemplatives. To this day the practice of begging for alms is still a central practice within Theravadan Buddhism.
In the West we have had a long tradition of supporting monastics in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately the Catholic Church burned most of the accomplished contemplatives in Europe from AD 980 until 1700. Thus the European peoples have forgotten their contemplative practices. Thus, monastics are too often treated as nothing more than servants.
Buddhism has not forgotten its contemplative tradition, however it has clearly lost the purpose of the contemplative life if all three vehicles reject the ecstasies (jhanas), which were the Buddha's very definition of the 8th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path (dhamma) (DN 22.21). Therefore there really is no place, other than the wilderness, where a contemplative at this time, who is intent upon enlightenment in this very lifetime, can engage in a contemplative life with the intent of cultivating the ecstasies (jhanas), which are THE path to enlightenment according to the Buddha (DN 22.21).
While I am endeavoring to forage for my subsistence, like all humans did prior to the invention of agriculture, I am none-the-less reduced to begging for my subsistence, like the Buddha and his ancient followers. If you are inspired to make a contribution to further what I hope will be a life-long contemplative life and a Western vehicle of Buddhism, as well as a growing community of Western contemplatives intent upon enlightenment in this very life-time, then please send your enquiries or donations to the address below:
Jhananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks)
the Great Western Vehicle
PO Box 2883
Prescott, AZ 86302, USA
If you would like to know where your donations go in support of Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) and the Great Western Vehicle, then please see the Strategic Plan of the Great Western Vehicle
May you become enlightened in this very life-time,
Jhanananda (Jeffrey S, Brooks)
for the Great Western Vehicle