Temporary Ordination

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

Re: Temporary Ordination

Postby MJH » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:50 pm

appicchato wrote:I believe that's a question only you can answer...

Very true, venerable. It is something that I will have to look at deeply. No snap decisions, I promise.

meindzai wrote:Have you been to any centers or done any retreats yet? I would think that such things would be in order first. Also remember there are other options like longer retreats or a residency.

If the opportunity came up for me (time off, ability to travel) I wouldn't hesitate.


Hi Meindzai,

I have a center I go to weekly and I have been on a few (much shorter) retreats, but I do appreciate you bringing these options up. I think it's very important to explore all avenues.

Just for clarification, this is not something I would be able to do right away. I have too many obligations right now. But knowing that it is a viable option has planted a seed. I will be going to India, Sikkim and Bhutan for 3 weeks, very shortly. I hope to have a little time to do some thinking.

This is a very interesting thread. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Postby suanck » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:15 am

Goofaholix wrote:Despite this I did ordain for 3 months before getting married for much the same reasons as outlined by jcsuperstar as my wife is thai and it seemed like the best way for me to get a good long retreat before getting married.

Could you tell me a bit more on the procedure of temporary ordination? Is it equivalent to a samanera (novice) ordination? What are the rules you must keep? Do you need to memorize some standard Pali phrases during the ordination? Many monks are required to be present at the ceremony? Could it be conducted anywhere or within a declared sima boundary? etc.

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Re: Temporary Ordination

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:09 am

suanck wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:Could you tell me a bit more on the procedure of temporary ordination? Is it equivalent to a samanera (novice) ordination? What are the rules you must keep? Do you need to memorize some standard Pali phrases during the ordination? Many monks are required to be present at the ceremony? Could it be conducted anywhere or within a declared sima boundary? etc.

It was a full Samana ordination and you keep the 227 precepts. I suppose it would be equally possible to do a Samanera ordination instead but it's not generally done in thai culture for those over 20.

Yes you need to memorise the chanting formula and it's pretty long, but they were happy to prompt me when I lapsed. You need lots of monks present (10?) and it has to be within a Sima boundary
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:47 am

It is something that I am interested in pursuing when my kids have grown up and if my wife lets me go.
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Postby LauraJ » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:03 am

My question was very well answered in here, thank you.
I can completely understand why someone would do this and it seems very admirable :)

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Re: Temporary Ordination

Postby ShinMeiDokuJoh » Thu May 13, 2010 4:13 pm

suanck wrote:I understand that Temporary Ordination is popular in Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, but this practice is not popular in Sri Lanka. Is it correct ?


Hi Suanck,

last year I was in Sri Lanka and one Monk told me, that temporary ordination ist not common in SriLanka.

Here is an article about temporary ordination,

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 44,0,0,1,0

Temporary monks for better society By Janaka Perera, Asian Tribune, September 19, 2009

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- After six years, the largely negative attitude among many Sri Lankan Buddhists towards temporary ordination has undergone a welcome change. The credit for this achievement goes to the Buddhist Cultural Centre (BCC) Nedimala, Dehiwala, which arranged for lay Buddhists to become monks and nuns temporarily in 2003. The scheme has become highly successful attracting many young Buddhists to the BCC -run Dekanduwala Meditation Centre, Kahatapitiya, and Kananwila in Horana. The temporary ordination has been limited to a period of 14 days to make it easier for those doing jobs to obtain leave for the purpose. ...etc ...

and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada
under the chapter: Ordination some more information about temporary ordination in Sri Lanka:

... In Sri Lanka, temporary ordination is not practiced, and a monk leaving the order is frowned upon. The continuing influence of the caste system in Sri Lanka may play a role in the taboo against temporary ordination and leaving the monkhood. Though Sri Lankan monastic nikayas are often organized along caste lines, men who ordain as monks temporarily pass outside of the conventional caste system, and as such during their time as monks may act (or be treated) in a way that would not be in line with the expected duties and privileges of their caste. ...

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