Ordination in Sri Lanka

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby piano piano » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Andrew, you are mentioning a request for info on other meditation centers in Sri Lanka. I had not mentioned Lewella Bhavana yet, which actually could serve as your first base if you head to Kandy where the BPS (Buddhist Publ. Soc) is. It was first established under the management of Ven. Analayo who was a Samanera then, as a branch of Nilambe, which is the better place of the two. The way I got to know it was when it was in the hands of a group of dedicated lay-people, but since recently it is again managed by monks.

This description is how it was when I stayed there.
http://www.buddhistravel.com/index.php? ... 33,0,0,1,0
There is quite a good list of all the other places on this site, even though most of the info is quite dated, often not accurate anymore. But it gives you good info how to get to the places, and about the situation of some of them (noisy or not, good kutis, well supported etc).

The new center at Lewella has its own website, but I can't locate it at the moment. The one of its "mother house", Nilambe, is http://nilambe.net/

Nilambe is really the best place to be in all of Lanka. It's on top of a hill in an old tea-estate, accessible from Kandy. There are western lay-people there who stayed for decades. Although it is a lay-center, monastics often stay there too. It is a small paradise, but it can be cold sometimes.

And to address your request for recipies against mosquitos: In Lanka you are more endangered by leeches, esp when it rains. A citronella or lemon-grass aetheric/essential oil may help to some extent (but you can't pour thsat all over your feet all the time). These creatures are really fast, and can get you unexpectedly, when you find them between your toes or up on your legs.

There is a lot more to say on many topics, but I am short of time at the moment, as I am preparing to go to Thailand next week as kappiya of a monk-friend of mine. Someone else who promised to do the job dropped out ten days before the trip, and I am filling in at the last minute, so to speak. But I had planned to go to Thailand this winter anyhow.
piano piano
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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby andrewhallas » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:31 pm

Once again thank you for the inspirational advice PianoPiano wise word from someone who
sounds as though they have a lot of experience in Sri Lanka and ordination procedure.

I wish you a wonderful trip in Thailand and hope this is an experience you gain much from

Once again thank you so very much for your valuable input into helping me have a general
idea of the Sri Lanka and her people.

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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby Rob1980 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:08 pm

You dont need to learn Sinhalese as a monk in Sri Lanka. At Na Uyana you can quite easily get around not learning the language and it might, depending on your temperament, be detrimental knowing the language as it means you get to hear all the gossip. The sermons are sometimes given in English and Sinhalese. Most monks speak some english and a rare few may even speak better english than you.

I would strongly advise you to look at as many places as possible before ordaining, once you have decided on a place, stay there for at least 5 years. There are many monks who after just 1 month, 1 year, decide that there might be a better monastery somewhere else. And so off they go, 10 years later they are still searching(or have disrobed).

Look around in Thailand and also the monasteries in England, as well as Sri Lanka. Remember, if you are thinking of ordaining you need to be committed and so it is a good idea to know that you are at the best place for you.

There is a short video on Na Uyana if you are interested:


I think that Na Uyana is the by far the best place for someone to learn how to be a monk and learn something about meditation. But remember that you are a foreigner, and you will never be able to fully integrate into the sinhalese culture no matter how long and how well you can speak the language. That is the advantage of being in a community in the west. However, if you have strong meditation, then Sri Lanka is a great place for solitude and practice and one can live out ones romantic ideals of monkhood very nicely. If ygou dont have very very good meditation I would advise caution before embarking on monasticism outside of the west. The support simply is not there(I am talking about emotional support rather than material support(which is in abundance)

Best of luck. I was in the same boat as you 5 years ago, I lived out in Sri Lanka for 5 years as a monk.

I have now returned to the west as a lay person for various reasons.

With metta
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Location: England


Postby melancholy » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:34 pm


Rob1980 wrote:I think that Na Uyana is the by far the best place for someone to learn how to be a monk and learn something about meditation.

we foreigners must be very cautious about asian spiritual adventures. strange, how people can recommend the very place that they got "extremely disillusioned with monasticism".

on 18th post here: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... &start=240
Rob1980 wrote:Anyway, it was enough for me to be extremely disillusioned with monasticism in general and I disrobed in August 2011, just before the end of the vassa. The only viable option I saw was to live alone in the forests, as do a quite a few forest monks away from all the politics, but I did not have a strong enough foundation in meditation.

why the contradiction? this fear may be the reason
Rob1980 wrote:I felt slightly hesitant to give my pali name, as I have friends at Na Uyana, and I thought if the elders read what I have said, perhaps I may not be able to go back to Sri Lanka to visit them.

16th post here:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... &start=160
http://www.scribd.com/doc/64780914/The- ... ning-Robes
Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.
-DN 16, trans. Thanissaro Bhikkhu
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