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Sadaranabhogi - A Buddhist Social System as Practiced in Asoke Community

Sadaranabhogi - A Buddhist Social System as Practiced in Asoke Community

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Published by bcl
Asoke community, a fourfold community of monastic and lay community living a Dhamma-based life that successfully rejects materialism and 'money' or 'modern' or 'conventional' economic and development models, policies and system that take away the real meaning of life and living. The community, or the reformist Asoke community instead builds a Buddhist community that practices a Buddhist development system to build up a wealth of merits and shared common wealth to support a life for spiritual cultivation.
This paper was presented at the 3rd Lay Buddhist Forum, 22-26 October, 2009, Seoul, South Korea.

Suggested citation: Suwida, S., C. L. Bong, and Sikkhamat Chinda Tangbhoa, " Sādhāraṇabhogī: A Buddhist Social System as Practiced in Asoke Communities" in The 3rd Lay Buddhist Forum: Lay
Buddhism and Engaged Buddhism, October 22-26, 2009 (Buddhist Chongji Order, South Korea, 2009), pages 27-38 (for English version) (or pages 39-47 for Korean version).
Asoke community, a fourfold community of monastic and lay community living a Dhamma-based life that successfully rejects materialism and 'money' or 'modern' or 'conventional' economic and development models, policies and system that take away the real meaning of life and living. The community, or the reformist Asoke community instead builds a Buddhist community that practices a Buddhist development system to build up a wealth of merits and shared common wealth to support a life for spiritual cultivation.
This paper was presented at the 3rd Lay Buddhist Forum, 22-26 October, 2009, Seoul, South Korea.

Suggested citation: Suwida, S., C. L. Bong, and Sikkhamat Chinda Tangbhoa, " Sādhāraṇabhogī: A Buddhist Social System as Practiced in Asoke Communities" in The 3rd Lay Buddhist Forum: Lay
Buddhism and Engaged Buddhism, October 22-26, 2009 (Buddhist Chongji Order, South Korea, 2009), pages 27-38 (for English version) (or pages 39-47 for Korean version).

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Published by: bcl on Nov 08, 2009
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11/07/2009

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Sādhāraṇabhogī: 
 A Buddhist Social System as Practicedin Asoke Communities
SuwidaS.,
BongC.L.,and
SikkhamatChindaTangbhao
 Abstract Abstract Abstract Abstract
Thispaperdescribesthe
Sādhāraṇabhogī 
socialsystemaspracticedintheAsokecommunities,whatitisandhowitcontributestothesuccessoftheAsokecommunitiesforself-relianceandself-sufficiencynecessaryforsustainingalifeforsuccessfulspiritualpractic
.
 
1
Dr. Suwida Sangsehanat is a Thai social research scientist active in research on social developmentand engaged Buddhism in Thailand and Asian countries. She can be contacted atsuwida.ss@gmail.com
 
2
Dr. Bong C. L. is a Malaysian, presently a volunteer lecturer at the International Buddhist College inThailand. She can be contacted at bongcl@gmail.com
 
3
 
Venerable Sikkhamat Chinda Tangbhao is a ten-precept
Sikkhamat 
nun of Asoke communities. Atone time she served as a nuclear laboratory scientist in the Thai government service. She is currentlyresiding at Sisa Asoke.
 
IntroductioIntroductioIntroductioIntroduction
Inthiseraofincreasingmaterialismandglobalizationwhereeverythingmovesveryfastandspaceisshrinkingeversmaller,MONEYandTIMEarethetwomajor(insomecasesonlyvaluable)commoditiesthatcontrol,regulateanddominateallaspectsoflifeofmostpeople.TIMEisformakingMONEY,notforcultivatingspiritualityornourishinglife.MONEYisformakingmoremoney,notforcultivatinglife.NowadaysmakingandhavingMONEYaretheonlypurposesoflife,averysadfactandtrendcomparedtowhatlifeissupposedand/orusedtomean.TheGOALoflifeusedtobespiritualattainment(freedomfromsufferings,
Nibbāna 
)andstrivingforitsattainmentisthepurpose.Nowadays,itisthefearofhavingnomoneythatpushespeopletoworkeverharderandstressingtheirlifeatmakingmoneyandmoremoney.Thisfearofnothaving‘enoughmoneyisgreaterthanthefearoffallingintohellfornotdrivingoneselfhardinspiritualpracticeasitusedtobeinthepast.This‘insanityisthesameeverywhere,Thailandisnodifferent.ButinThailand,thereisaBuddhistmovementthatactivelyandsuccessfullyresiststheonslaughtofthisinsanity,andfearlesslyandvictoriouslyconquersthe‘dominationofMONEYormaterialismtowrestbackthecontroloftheirlifeandtoregainthefreedomtopracticespirituallifetoresettheGOALbacktothatofSpiritualAttainmentofFreedomfromSufferings.ThismovementistheAsokemovementandthecommunitiesitleadsareknownastheAsokecommunities.Inthesecommunities,moneyisnotthevalueoftheircurrency,work,serviceandmeritsaretheircurrencies,andspiritualattainmentoffreedomfrom
 
sufferingsistheirpriorityandgoalinlife.Theyworkhardandleadafrugalandproductivelife.ThecommunitiesproducegoodsworthmorethanhundredsofmillionBahtperyea
fortheircommunities.Membersofthecommunitiesdonotgetpaidunlesstheyneedregularincomeforbasicmaintenanceoflivingfortheirfamily(withdependentssuchasyoungchildrenandelderlyparents).Maximumsalarydrawnisaround3,000Bahtpermonthatmost.Notonlydotheynotaccumulatemoney,theyalsotrytoreduceaccumulatingpersonalassets,andtominimizeconsumptionandwastes.Thecommunitiessupplythefoods,toolsandgeneraldailyneeds.Allassetsarecentrallyownedbythecommunitiesandmembersofthecommunitiesaretheshareholdersorsharedownersoftheassets.Inshorttheyoperateandlivewithinasystemknownas
Sādhāraṇabhogī 
,acommunallysustained,mutuallycaringandsharingeconomicsysteminwhichmoneyandprofiteeringplaynorole.Thiscontrastssharplywiththecentralroleofmoneyandprofiteeringseenintheunsustainablecapitalistcorporationcontrolledmonetarysystemthatoneseesdominatingmuchoftheworldtoday. 

Theyworkhardonpracticingvirtue.Workingismeditationinpractice.Minimizingconsumptionnotonlyisapracticetocutoffattachmentormentaldefilements(greed,etc)butalsoapracticethatsavesresourcesandtimewhicharethenturnedintowealthtobesharednotonlyamongmembersofthecommunitiesbutalsowithothermembersofthelargersocietyoutthere.
 
4
 
Samana
Phothirak. 2007.
S
ā
dh
ā
ra
abhog
ī 
: Setthakit Janit Mai [S
ā
dh
ā
ra
abhog
ī 
: new economicsystem]
.
Bangkok: Fah Aphai. P.76.

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