Why not ordain?

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

Re: Why not ordain?

Postby nobody12345 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:35 am

For me, there are two reasons.

1. My old parent.
I am an only child and I am going to take care of them until they die.
I do not have any good memory or any bond with them.
If I am not a Buddhist, I might cut all the ties with them and never even talk to them again.
They verbally and physically abused me all the way till my late teens.
However, since I take the teaching of the Buddha very seriously, I will do my duty as a son whether I like it or not since the Buddha emphasized the importance of taking care of one's parents.
I will do everything I can to take care of them except getting married and having an offspring.
That would be my ultimate fetter that will bind me to Samsara ever closely.
My only reason to live at this point is to reach the status of Anagami.
So even though I am willing to take up the duty of an only child all the way (Because of the Buddha's teaching), I am avoiding sex, geting married, and having a child.
Having family would be a huge hindrance since all I want in life is to reach the status of Anagami by any means necessary.

2. Health issue.
I have 2 issues.
The first one is constipation.
No, I am not kidding.
I can't take just ramdom foods given to me by lay people.
Because of constipation, I have to arrange diet/meal to prevent constipation attack.
The second issue is 8 hours of sleeping.
In monastic setting, one can't get 8 hours of sleep.
However, I do need 8 hours of sleep.
I tried all the different durations of sleep but my body couldn't handle it.
My immune system always shut down and I would get sick.

So unfortunately, I have to be a lay person (at least while my parents still alive).
However I am doing everything I can to minimize the downside of lay life.
I refrain from sex and eating recreational foods (anything that is sweet such as various dessert) and watching TV shows and etc.
My all time favorite food/snack is 'Scottish Shortbread'.
And I have ate it only once during last 15 years.
And after that, had a huge guilt trip.
So basically, I am avoiding sense pleasure as much as possible.
I don't want life of fun, games, delicacies, hot sex, entertainment and etc.
All I want is to reach the certain stage of development, i.e. Anagamiship.
According to the Pali Canon, Anagamiship is possible for a lay person.
And I am willing to do everything humanly possible as a lay person to reach that status.

Metta.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Bodhisurfer » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:39 pm

bodom wrote:Hi FB,

I have a family with young children that I have responsibilities too....

:anjali:


:juggling: that pretty much says it for me too -though keep threatening to run off and become a Bhikku if they dont tidy their rooms, do their chores, homework.... :thinking:
Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:39 am

imaginos wrote:For me, there are two reasons...


You have a noble purpose and I wish you all the best. I most admire your effort and great compassion for your parents. Strive on with diligence!

With metta,

:anjali:
The mind is everything; what you think you become.
-The Buddha
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby nobody12345 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:39 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:
imaginos wrote:For me, there are two reasons...


You have a noble purpose and I wish you all the best. I most admire your effort and great compassion for your parents. Strive on with diligence!

With metta,

:anjali:

Thank you for the kind words.
I wish you the attainment of the supreme goal of the holy life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.
I wish the body you now wear will be the last one of yours.
Metta.
:anjali:
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:32 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:I was interested in hearing why you do not ordain.

When I found Buddhism, my mind had too much suffering. To practise & extinguish the fire was the most urgent thing.

:meditate:
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby ground » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:22 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:I was interested in hearing why you do not ordain. I know that many of you are well versed and practiced but if you know that life is full of suffering, why do you not strive to end that suffering with the most effective way possible? All opinons are valid.

With metta,

:anjali:


Two reasons: 1. Cowardice. 2. If I overcame this cowardice I would be stuck in a gap since monasteries belong either to the Theravada or the Mahayana tradition.

Now I am stuck in a gap too but it feels quite comfortable not to be pulled to one of two sides. Not to decide. Nothing to decide. Where could there be support for decision?

Conclusion:
I feel that non-ordained life is more appropriate currently because it complies with the fact that there is no support. My solution is an approximation of "living in the world but 'being ordained' 'internally'". I feel that body and mind can be the monastery and am working on this. My current circumstances are quite conducive but I have to admit that I am failing to use them very efficiently.


Kind regards
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby altar » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:55 pm

I am living an unordained "lay" life with aspirations to ordain, and I thought I would share the three suttas that come to mind most when thinking of ordination.
One is the Ratthapala sutta.
One is a sutta in the Samyutta I think, in which a young student goes to a monk and asks for the going forth. The monk tells him to wait. After a year he goes back and the same thing happens. On the third year he ordains him. Shortly thereafter or a few months later, he asks for leave and visits the Buddha. The Buddha asks him if he was recently ordained or not. He says yes, and the Buddha asks if he is well studied in the doctrine, and the follower-become-monk recites verses now found somewhere in the khuddakkha nikaya of early discourses. the buddha then asks why it was so long before he ordained. And he replies that he had family life to take care of. And the Buddha replies something to the effect of "Hard, indeed, is it to leave the tangle of householder's life."
The next one is one in which the buddha reprimands (or at least corrects for the future) several monks, cited in the patimokkha, for not ordaining one who wishes the going forth during the rains. After the rains is over he no longer wishes to ordain. So there is a rule made, that one shouldn't be denied ordination on the basis of the rains retreat.
Another one has come to mind in which someone asks Sariputta what is hard to do in this dhamma and discipline, and he replies going forth. And there is a succession of questions following, what is hard to find for someone who has gone forth, and the answer is joy or contentment, i think, and it goes on in this way.
If anyone likes these examples someone else might have their own?
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby perkele » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:24 pm

Thinking of ordination, this comes to my mind:

Ina Sutta (AN 6.45)

“Similar, O monks, is it with anyone who lacks faith in wholesome qualities, who has no sense of shame or moral dread in regard to wholesome qualities, no energy or wisdom in regard to wholesome qualities. Such a one is called poor, destitute, and indigent in the Discipline of the Noble One.

“If now such a man who is poor, destitute and indigent through his lack of faith, shame, moral dread, energy and wisdom concerning wholesome qualities, conducts himself badly in deeds, words, and thoughts, this I call his getting into debt.

“If, to cover up his bad conduct in deeds, words, and thoughts, he harbours in himself evil wishes; if he desires, plans, chooses his words, and tries to act in such a way that nobody may come to know his nature—this I call the interest (to be paid on his moral debts). [46]

“Then virtuous monks speak about him thus: ’This venerable monk acts thus; he behaves in such and such a way.’ This I call the pressure on him.

“If he resorts to the forest, the foot of a tree or a solitary place, he is pursued by evil, unwholesome thoughts connected with remorse. This I call his being harassed.

“Such a (morally) poor, destitute, and indigent person of bad conduct, with the breakup of the body, after death, will be bound by the bonds of hell or the bonds of the animal realm. And I know of no other imprisonment, monks, that is so cruel, so harsh, so painful and such an obstacle to attaining the unsurpassed security from bondage as the bonds of hell and of the animal realm.”


For a person like me this seems to ring true in a most dreadful way. :strawman:
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby pannananda » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:29 pm

I was a monk for 13 years and am now seriously considering re ordaining.

I struggled throughout the 13 years because though I was dedicated to the goal-nibbana-I was too attached to sense pleasures. Another way to put it would be that I desired the ultimate sukha but couldn't see dukkha.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and as a 48 year old I look on life very differently. I still want the ultimate happiness and the notion of dukkha coupled with weariness of the world and sensuality is now very much there.

I have been visiting monasteries, normally every year, for a few days, since disrobing. I used to look forward to seeing my old mates but couldn't concentrate and was always glad to be back home in front of the telly, with the missus. Now when I visit, I don't want to leave and meditation is easier.

So I know the time for me to (re) ordain has come.

My advice to anyone else is to stay in monasteries for extended periods and if you want it to carry on then go for it. No one can meditate all the time, so if you are bored pick up a teach yourself Pali book and start learning. Reading suttas in Pali is very inspiring.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:46 am

pannananda wrote:I was a monk for 13 years and am now seriously considering re ordaining.

I struggled throughout the 13 years because though I was dedicated to the goal-nibbana-I was too attached to sense pleasures. Another way to put it would be that I desired the ultimate sukha but couldn't see dukkha.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and as a 48 year old I look on life very differently. I still want the ultimate happiness and the notion of dukkha coupled with weariness of the world and sensuality is now very much there.

I have been visiting monasteries, normally every year, for a few days, since disrobing. I used to look forward to seeing my old mates but couldn't concentrate and was always glad to be back home in front of the telly, with the missus. Now when I visit, I don't want to leave and meditation is easier.

So I know the time for me to (re) ordain has come.

My advice to anyone else is to stay in monasteries for extended periods and if you want it to carry on then go for it. No one can meditate all the time, so if you are bored pick up a teach yourself Pali book and start learning. Reading suttas in Pali is very inspiring.


Your post reminded me of the film Samsara.



All the best with ordaining this time around!

:bow: :bow: :bow:
_/|\_
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby altar » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:18 pm

Pannananda, I am wondering if you can provide information the effects of a monastic environment or wherever you were had on the senses, as in, restlessness due to the senses.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Nicro » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:12 am

pannananda wrote:I was a monk for 13 years and am now seriously considering re ordaining.

I struggled throughout the 13 years because though I was dedicated to the goal-nibbana-I was too attached to sense pleasures. Another way to put it would be that I desired the ultimate sukha but couldn't see dukkha.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and as a 48 year old I look on life very differently. I still want the ultimate happiness and the notion of dukkha coupled with weariness of the world and sensuality is now very much there.

I have been visiting monasteries, normally every year, for a few days, since disrobing. I used to look forward to seeing my old mates but couldn't concentrate and was always glad to be back home in front of the telly, with the missus. Now when I visit, I don't want to leave and meditation is easier.

So I know the time for me to (re) ordain has come.

My advice to anyone else is to stay in monasteries for extended periods and if you want it to carry on then go for it. No one can meditate all the time, so if you are bored pick up a teach yourself Pali book and start learning. Reading suttas in Pali is very inspiring.


What was it like going back to being a householder after that? I mean 13 years? Like....I wouldn't even know what to start doing
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Digity » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:26 pm

My goal is to establish a strong practice as a lay person first. My feeling is that if you can't establish a good practice as a lay person then you're probably not going to last long as a monk. That's why I'm trying to avoid getting married and having kids, because in 5 years if I want to take that next step I want option to be open.

It's still a hard decision. In 5 years my mom will be 70 and she'll need some assistence due to medical reasons. I'll likely be the one helping her most, especially if I don't have children to take care of, unlike my brother and sister who do.

I feel torn between two worlds. It can be hard following Buddhism, especially if the people around you don't understand how you feel. I tell people that I don't want to get married, have kids, etc. but I don't explain that it's because I want the freedom to practice meditation, etc. I don't feel comfortable discussing these things with them. I think it's a personal matter, but at the same time it makes you feel out of touch with your surrounds, since everyone else is looking to get married, have kids and so on.

I wonder, for those of you that ordained did you just know it's something you had to do or were you very hesitant? I'd think that to make such a big decision you'd have to be 100% sure about it. I'm curious about people's state of mind before they ordained. Thanks.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby ground » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:01 am

Digity wrote:My goal is to establish a strong practice as a lay person first. My feeling is that if you can't establish a good practice as a lay person then you're probably not going to last long as a monk.


Interesting. This appears plausible.


Kind regards
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby dharmaamrita » Wed May 18, 2011 6:50 am

Digity wrote:My goal is to establish a strong practice as a lay person first. My feeling is that if you can't establish a good practice as a lay person then you're probably not going to last long as a monk. That's why I'm trying to avoid getting married and having kids, because in 5 years if I want to take that next step I want option to be open.

It's still a hard decision. In 5 years my mom will be 70 and she'll need some assistence due to medical reasons. I'll likely be the one helping her most, especially if I don't have children to take care of, unlike my brother and sister who do.

I feel torn between two worlds. It can be hard following Buddhism, especially if the people around you don't understand how you feel. I tell people that I don't want to get married, have kids, etc. but I don't explain that it's because I want the freedom to practice meditation, etc. I don't feel comfortable discussing these things with them. I think it's a personal matter, but at the same time it makes you feel out of touch with your surrounds, since everyone else is looking to get married, have kids and so on.

I wonder, for those of you that ordained did you just know it's something you had to do or were you very hesitant? I'd think that to make such a big decision you'd have to be 100% sure about it. I'm curious about people's state of mind before they ordained. Thanks.


My reason is the very similar, perhaps just jumping into the homeless is not the right thing to do. Whether I am in the forests of Thailand, or a silent monastery or in Sri Lanka or the quietness of my room in a city, in all places there is still my mind. It needs to be purified whether im there or here or somewhere else. The Dhamma is always accessible here and now....when time to ordain comes...will ordain.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Ytrog » Wed May 18, 2011 8:02 pm

Why ordain if you already have a pure mind? ;)

In my humble opinion you need some basic restraint. For the rest: the point of ordaining is (among other things) to purify your mind. Having a pure mind as a prerequisite to ordination seems therefore a bit strange to me.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 19, 2011 1:28 am

Digity wrote:I feel torn between two worlds. It can be hard following Buddhism, especially if the people around you don't understand how you feel. I tell people that I don't want to get married, have kids, etc. but I don't explain that it's because I want the freedom to practice meditation, etc. I don't feel comfortable discussing these things with them. I think it's a personal matter, but at the same time it makes you feel out of touch with your surrounds, since everyone else is looking to get married, have kids and so on.


I feel the same way. My real friends understand how I feel now, but some people never will. It is especially hard at work. The women are always hitting on me. Last week one of the women told me her birthday was coming up and that she was going out to a local bar (I don't drink). She rubbed my arm from my shoulder down to my hand and told me I should come. I had to turn her down (gently of course). I don't want marriage, relationships, I don't even really want sexual encounters at all (though I do have yearnings at times). Two days later (and before the night the first lady was going out for her Birthday on) another lady there who flirts with me all the time called me up on my work phone and asked me if I was single. I told her 'yes'. She told me that then maybe we could spend some time together. She said that actually she was going to go out with her friend that weekend because it was her friends birthday (the first lady) and that I should accompany her. I had to let her down too. I feel bad, but it's not like I can tell people that I'd rather not make love. I just have to gently decline and say that not interested.

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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby nobody12345 » Thu May 19, 2011 2:00 am

@Digity and Virgo, both of you handle the issue with sex and relationship wisely.
It is wise not to inform your colleague about your motivation of avoiding sex and relationship.
In the eyes of regular people, we'd be seen as lunatic.
They would never understand that the fundamental nature of sex and relationship is suffering/hindrance/fetter.
Let them have their party.
Let it be.
Metta.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 19, 2011 2:42 am

imaginos wrote:@Digity and Virgo, both of you handle the issue with sex and relationship wisely.
It is wise not to inform your colleague about your motivation of avoiding sex and relationship.
In the eyes of regular people, we'd be seen as lunatic.
They would never understand that the fundamental nature of sex and relationship is suffering/hindrance/fetter.
Let them have their party.
Let it be.
Metta.


Thank you Imaginos :smile:
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby flux » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:19 pm

To ordain or not, such a tricky question that only you can answer, and the fact that you are asking is a good sign that there must have been some deeper insights into your life and Buddhism.

Bear this is mind from a 'Buddhist viewpoint'.

1. To gain human rebirth is a tremendous blessing, to come into contact with Buddha/Tathagata dispensation/teachings on Dhamma is extremely fortunate in these 'unfortunate' times, and perhaps ripening of past merits.

2. Since coming in contact with Buddhism, get established as least in stream entry(which is relatively easy, and secures good Kamma tt helps a fortunate rebirth) in whatever situation/environment you are in. With practice in meditation guided by a good teacher, and investigation of the Sutta Pitaka(highly recommend Bhikku Bodhi's, "In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon"), you will be able to strive to attain at least Sotapanna(stream-entry) or Sakadagami(once-returner) which will provide you with deeper insights to contemplate on, in relation to ordination.

3. Ordination does not necessarily mean an 'easy life' and very often the idealized image may come crashing down, dependent of course on where you ordain, and which tradition to. Sangha's are after all still formed by humans, and there will be drawbacks and benefits. That being said, it definitely helps to have support from people that speak the same language, supportive of growth.

4. From observation, with deepening practice and insights, path & fruits will be attained, and due to the abandoning of the fetters, there will be a natural progression/inclination towards dispassion/detachment towards worldly elements, and will become a natural path towards ordination.

5. Ordination can often involve more 'work' than in normal worldly living, more vicissitudes, challenges, but with deeper practice, you can develop the capacity. So be prepared for more work work work! Take joy in knowing that Dhamma Dana is the greatest merit among all other Dana's.

6. Kalyanamitta's(spiritual friends) are the whole of the holy life, and how to identify them are also in the Sutta Nikaya's themselves. Investigate and penetrate the Suttas, meditate here and now, and be an island unto your own self. Do not take the Buddhas word for the truth, and only accept it once you have investigated it and experienced it yourself.

7. Ordination does allow and create the environment for lesser distractions, and as mentioned by a Dhamma brother before, cravings and aversions will show up as agitation.

I remember someone asking, is worldly experience needed for ordination? I think perhaps so, or maybe no, without that, can we ever know what is suffering?

To end off, here is a quote I read today that I felt to share.

"What kills the living does not die; what gives birth to the living is not born. What it is brings on everything and sends off everything, breaks everything down and makes everything. Its name is peace from agitation. Peace from agitation is attained only after agitation." -Chuang'tzu-

NamoBuddhaya
With Metta,
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