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Please send us an email if you are interested in volunteering. Visit the Contact Us page for our email address and guidelines on what to include on your email.
Once you have sent us an email with your information the Lotus Volunteer Group will send you a confirmation that your email has been received.
If the skills you offer fit any current opportunity we will contact and inform you of the opportunity and discuss expectations should you feel inclined to proceed.
The next stage then involves putting you in touch with the Sangha member, Lay Manager or other Nominated Officer responsible for the opportunity. However please accept that each situation will be unique and may require more or fewer steps.
With deep appreciation,
The LVG Mentor Team
The paragraphs below offer an explanation regarding the Vinaya, or discipline to which the Sangha abide by. We as lay supporters benefit from learning about the conventions of Vinaya in order to make the relationship with the monastic community respectful and harmonious for both parties.
For more information about some of the Vinaya codes that guide the actions of our monastic friends please read the attached pdf :
Here are a few excerpts from the document:
The Buddhist monastic discipline called Vinaya is a refined training of body speech and mind. This discipline is not an end in itself but a tool which when applied in conjunction with the spiritual teachings (Dhamma) can help foster maturity and spiritual development.
Apart from the direct training that the Vinaya affords it also serves to establish a supportive relationship between lay people and renunciates which is an essential aspect of the Theravada tradition. Within the context of this relationship Buddhist monastics give up many ordinary freedoms and undertake the discipline and conventions of Vinaya in order to focus on the cultivation of the heart. They are able to live as mendicants because lay people respect their training and are prepared to help to support them. This gives rise to a sense of mutual respect and co-operation in which both lay person and samana are called upon to practise their particular lifestyles and responsibilities with sensitivity and sincerity.
EXTENDING AN INVITATION (PAVARANA)
The principles of mendicancy forbid samanas from asking for anything, unless they are ill, without having received prior invitation. (Two exceptions : samanas may always ask for pure water and may make other requests from family members.) So, as noted above, if there is the intention to give food or medicines, rather than wait for a samana to make a request, this can be made clear by saying, for example, “May I offer you some of this food?” or “May I offer you some tea?”.
Many of the Vinaya rules were created specifically to avoid offending lay people or giving cause for misunderstanding or suspicion. As naturally no samana wishes to offend by being fussy and difficult to look after and no lay Buddhist wishes to accidentally cause samanas to transgress their discipline.
The pamphlet Discipline_and_Conventions-2.pdf attempts to clarify the major aspects of the Vinaya as it relates to lay people. There are some generally accepted activities in which it would be seen as inappropriate for members of the Theravada Buddhist renunciate community to involve themselves. Although these may be quite usual activities for both Buddhist monastics of other traditions and also for householders. These include driving cars growing their own food and officiating at marriage ceremonies. If there is any doubt about what is appropriate it is always possible to ask for clarification.
While samanas benefit from the companionship of dedicated lay practitioners and from being relieved from the necessity to support themselves materially lay people benefit from the presence of committed renunciates, their teaching and their friendship. The relationship has a ritual aspect laid out in the conventions of Vinaya and when approached with wisdom and compassion this becomes the space in which a greater awareness can arise."