How to live as a forest monk in North America?

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How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby Strive4Karuna » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:06 pm

I would like to leave the home life. I want to practice by myself the way the Buddha did and think about ordaining after. The issue is I am from Toronto(Thornhill to be exact), Canada...and it is freezing. Is it possible to live the life of a forest monk anywhere in North America or do I need to move to Thailand or some other place for this?
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby culaavuso » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:42 pm

It might be worth contacting Abhayagiri or Wat Mettavanaram to see if they can provide guidance in this area.
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:29 am

There is also http://bhavanasociety.org, but they don't accept just anyone without getting to know them first, for residency or ordination.

You'd be surprised how many people think they want to run away and become a monk(which is a two year process at bhavana), then they leave 3 months later. It is not a decision to take lightly. I wish you well in your practice.
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby Invincible_Summer » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:04 am

Strive4Karuna wrote:I would like to leave the home life. I want to practice by myself the way the Buddha did and think about ordaining after. The issue is I am from Toronto(Thornhill to be exact), Canada...and it is freezing. Is it possible to live the life of a forest monk anywhere in North America or do I need to move to Thailand or some other place for this?


Here are some Thai Forest monasteries in Canada:
In BC: http://birken.ca/

In Ontario:
http://www.arrowriver.ca/

http://tisarana.ca/
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby JeffR » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:24 am

Invincible_Summer wrote:
Strive4Karuna wrote:I would like to leave the home life. I want to practice by myself the way the Buddha did and think about ordaining after. The issue is I am from Toronto(Thornhill to be exact), Canada...and it is freezing. Is it possible to live the life of a forest monk anywhere in North America or do I need to move to Thailand or some other place for this?


Here are some Thai Forest monasteries in Canada:
In BC: http://birken.ca/

In Ontario:
http://www.arrowriver.ca/

http://tisarana.ca/
:goodpost:
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:07 am

Strive4Karuna wrote:I would like to leave the home life. I want to practice by myself the way the Buddha did and think about ordaining after. The issue is I am from Toronto(Thornhill to be exact), Canada...and it is freezing. Is it possible to live the life of a forest monk anywhere in North America or do I need to move to Thailand or some other place for this?
It is possible to live year round in a North American forest, though you need to choose your forest carefully.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:54 am

Whether you live in a forest, a monastery, or just an apartment, the first thing that you need to live as a monk is a proper training in the Vinaya. When you have finished at least five years living in dependence on an experienced teacher, then it's time to think about living in the forest.

To ordain in the Saṅgha in the West is not that easy. There's a waiting list, and you may have to wait a few years just to get ordained. In Asia, you could get ordained sooner, but you will have other problems to overcome to get a proper training, such as learning the language.

A prolonged stay in one of the forest monasteries of N. America would be a good place to start, learning what being a monks entails.
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby santa100 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:23 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Whether you live in a forest, a monastery, or just an apartment, the first thing that you need to live as a monk is a proper training in the Vinaya. When you have finished at least five years living in dependence on an experienced teacher, then it's time to think about living in the forest.

+1
In MN 4, the Buddha described to a bradhmin the qualities required of a monk who wishes to live alone in the forest.
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Re: How to live as a forest monk in North America?

Postby Ananda26 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:20 pm

Strive4Karuna wrote:I would like to leave the home life. I want to practice by myself the way the Buddha did and think about ordaining after. The issue is I am from Toronto(Thornhill to be exact), Canada...and it is freezing. Is it possible to live the life of a forest monk anywhere in North America or do I need to move to Thailand or some other place for this?


Bhavana Meditation Society in High View, West Virginia has been ordaining monks and nuns. The winter there is cold, but there are heating places to stay there.

I have also heard good things about Bhante Vimalla Ramses in Missouri. He likes to meditate for a long time each day, so be prepared to do plenty of meditation with him.
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