Even monasteries have to make ends meet. While the idea of having no plans and no attachment is nice, the reality is that bills have to be paid, and plans carefully laid, especially where things are done on a low budget. Monasteries in the UK and US have made lots of silly mistakes through bad planning. One temple wrote a guarantee to the local residents that their property could never be used for anything but a monastery. Later they realised this means you cannot mortgage the property, nor sell it. Another temple built meditation huts in the woods, only to be forced to tear them down again for not meeting local planning rules. “Living in the present moment” does not mean you can’t plan or control in any way.
Some years ago for instance, some thieves figured out that after the bell goes in the monastery, all the monks go to the main hall, leaving the thieves free to rob the rest of the property. Thai monks would have no question on something like this – you lock things up. But the Westerners sat debating for a long time over whether using locks was ‘attachement’ or not, and if it was appropriate for a monastery to use a safe. (Finally they figured the safe was justified to protect their passports!)
Dhamma applies internally. There should be little need to change much in your regular life, other than a basic level of morality. The work is done internally, watching with mindfulness the emotions, thoughts and motivations. This will have consequences on how you live, but such comes about naturally, and not from the application of some super-ego ideals that you try to live up to.
Here is a relevant story …..
A group of nuns have set up a massage service as a new way of making ends meet after their chicken breeding business fell flat.
The sisters at Marienkron Abbey in Monchhof, Austria, are reportedly making a fortune after converting their convent into a health spa.
The five star spa offers therapies with high pressure jets of mineral water, massage, and fitness classes with an expert chi kung Chinese breathing exercises.
Guests are pummeled with high pressure hoses of chilled mineral waters to stimulate the skin.
The Sisters of the Cistercian Order say the ice cold water treatments are good for the body and the soul and charge £100 a night for a break in the spa.