Why not ordain?

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

Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:03 pm

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

Postby bodom » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:22 pm

Hi FB,

I have a family with young children that I have responsibilities too. Besides, my goal is stream entry which can be realized while living the household life.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:24 pm

I'm addicted to sense pleasures. The true extent of such an addiction only becomes manifest when one is deprived of such pleasures.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:26 pm

bodom wrote:Hi FB,

I have a family with young children that I have responsibilities too. Besides, my goal is stream entry which can be realized while living the household life.

:anjali:


That is a very good answer. I am sure you will attain stream-entry.

Thankyou for your response

With metta

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

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:47 pm

Greetings,

My reasons are bit like Bodom's... although until I get away from my current job (or at least, have it reshaped to take out the bit I don't like) my goal is more on mundane happiness and avoiding depression.

Here's an earlier topic where we take a deeper look into how the calm, disenchantment and insight generated through lay Buddhist practice may be in some ways counter-productive to worldly obligations.

Avoiding limbo - inbetween the homeless and the home life
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=6521

There are no easy answers - but there must be willingness to seek them, regardless.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby plwk » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:44 am

Parents....
1. Never mind being staunch evangelicals, they expect me to carry on the family lineage tradition...which I have resisted thus far
2. They have made it clear that I will never have their blessing nor consent for Ordination
3. So, I guess I will just have to keep supporting them until old age and wait for their passing and meanwhile continue my Dhamma journey as an Upasaka...

:sage:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby pilgrim » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:53 am

plwk wrote:Parents....
1. Never mind being staunch evangelicals, they expect me to carry on the family lineage tradition...which I have resisted thus far
2. They have made it clear that I will never have their blessing nor consent for Ordination
3. So, I guess I will just have to keep supporting them until old age and wait for their passing and meanwhile continue my Dhamma journey as an Upasaka...

:sage:

I thought i read in one of the posts here in Dhamma wheel that the parent's permission is waived if they are of a different religion. Might be worth exploring if that's holding you back.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby alan » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:18 am

I was thinking about you lately BlackBird. Welcome back. Do you care to elaborate?
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:34 am

alan wrote:I was thinking about you lately BlackBird. Welcome back. Do you care to elaborate?


Hi Alan.

In order for one to see just how addicted one is to sensual pleasures, you first have to remove them. Forest monasteries in Sri Lanka do a bloody good job of this. So much so that the most exciting part of my day was breakfast - Because it included some sugary milk-tea mixed with malt extract. We had an evening Puja from 6 - 8:30pm each night, which you we're expected to attend. It was pretty painful sitting on that hard floor chanting for so long, I always used to console myself that getting through Puja meant that I could then go to sleep, and after sleeping I'd be able to have some milk tea. Sitting through Puja was just a way to get closer to the milk-tea.

The spartan environment is deliberate, the Ven. head monk is quite a fan of Ajahn Chah and has taken several pages out of his book in this respect. The purpose of course is that if you're thrown into the deep end, you'll either sink or swim. In such environments you need a good support network and mine disappeared on Carika before the rains began. Sensual pleasures don't stop at the physical though, as the Buddha states it is what is pleasant through the 6 sense doors, mind of course being the 6th. The Buddha also mentions in the suttas that for one man sensual pleasures experienced through the eye may be the highest, the most sublime, while for others it may be sounds, tastes etc etc. I found out during my stay in Sri Lanka that for me, mind objects are the most pleasant. To fill the void of physical pleasures, my mind turned back to life in New Zealand, my home, visions of sitting in the sun smoking a cigarette, a coffee, watching a documentary. I saw my wallet that Mum had given me when I was 13 going mouldy beyond repair and it sounds silly, but I become so bloody frustrated at that, I just wanted to go back home where it was nice and pleasant and I could do what I damn well wanted. No more mosquitos, no more cockroaches, no more scorpians, monkeys or biting ants.

At this point I have to interrupt myself again to kick some Dhamma - The way I see it, one of the principal ways in which craving hijacks cetana is that when you're contacted by an idea through the mind door, I.e. a modification of your existence - A move from point A to point B if you want, that move will either appear as pleasant or unpleasant. If it is pleasant then there will be an urge towards that idea, as that reality appears to provide more pleasure than one's current circumstance. If the feeling appears as unpleasant or more appropriately providing less pleasure than what is present in one's concrete reality, then there will be an urge to keep away from that reality, to be free of it. Both attempts at modification are nothing more than dukkha itself. So there is this constant duality in the mind between what is currently present and the possibility of what could be present and thus there is a sense of lack, of dissatisfaction.

In allowing the mind to wander into these ideas which appeared so pleasant, I could escape from the dull monotony of my present situation in the cell, but the more I allowed the mind to gorge itself on these pleasant ideas, the more I wanted to be free of my present situation in the cell. I began calling my Mum and talking with her from my cellphone, Mum of course really wanted me to come home - She had a tough time with the idea that the only way she would ever see her only son was to visit him in a strange country where she would have to be supervised by another man. I told mum I was having thoughts of coming home, and so it progressed from there, Mum eager to offer me a free plane ride home, food on the table, all the trappings of our fantastic standard of living. I was sold on the idea.

One might ask - Well if you we're supposed to be meditating so many hours, why did you let such thoughts take control? Well in reality, if you're not used to meditating all day then it can make you very tired. Sloth and torpor became a real trouble for me there, so I would maybe have a good mediation session every 3 or 4 days. You might think that observing silence all of the time would help quiet the mind, but for me I just ended up talking to myself. Not literally, but the internal monologue went into over drive to compensate for the lack of expression.

This is the first time I've written this out this way, because It's only now starting to crystallize for me what exactly 'went wrong'. I think if I had my chance again, I would have left the forest monastery earlier, and gone to the suburban monastery where I spent my final month at. As it happened, no sooner had I booked my plane flight than I wanted to stay on at this suburban monastery. But when I reflect now, I can see that I wanted to stay because the conversations were pleasant, the library was pleasant, the living quarters were pleasant, the freedom from puja was pleasant, the idea of becoming a monk, with all the respect one receives, was pleasant. I wanted to stay because of these pleasures of the senses.

Hope that's not too terse.

metta
Jack
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:45 am

Hello Jack

Thankyou very much for sharing your experience. I will take all you said on board as things which I will eventually need to overcome. I guess the ordained life is only for a select few and not for every Buddhist. Still, as a lay person you are still as important as the greatest teacher. I laughed when I read about your boredom because I'm on school holidays and I have done nothing. Everyday I would either read Buddhist books or mediatate. Anyway, thankyou for your input. :)

With metta

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

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:52 am

Thanks for this Jack. Doing the hard yards is very different to the fantasies beforehand … even when you think you are not fantasising but are being quite realistic about your plans.

I wonder how many of the young men in, say, Thailand who temporarily ordain as part of the social customs actually ever consider permanently ordaining. And I think Thailand is an ''easier'' experience than Sri Lanka.

with metta
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:59 am

Thanks for sharing your experience, Jack.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:11 am

Hi jack

Could name the five worst things that you experienced physically and the five worst things you experienced mentally. I know that the physical is born in the mind but you know what I mean. Example: It was cold (physical). No family (mental).

Thankyou,

With metta

:anjali:
Last edited by Future Bhikkhu on Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
The mind is everything; what you think you become.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:19 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote: I am very dedicated and love to push myself to the limits of self discipline.
Probably not always the wisest thing to do without a qualified teacher. All too easy to to get oneself into trouble or to assume more than is justified about what one experiences because of that pushing, which can be an ego driven thing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:31 am

If I am to experience it then I should prepare myself first, no? I am just going to do three hour meditaion sessions and wake up really early to meditate, they wil not hurt me.

With metta

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

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:38 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:If I am to experience it then I should prepare myself first, no? I am just going to do three hour meditaion sessions and wake up really early to meditate, they wil not hurt me.

With metta

:anjali:
Good luck with that, but keep in mind that any experience that comes out of the meditation sessions is just more of which to let go. What is interesting, howevewr, is how to let go. It is not something that one can force or willfully do; it comes from insight, but one's insight is not something upon which one should cling. And so it goes.

And never be so sure about what will or will not hurt you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:48 am

tiltbillings wrote:Good luck with that, but keep in mind that any experience that comes out of the meditation sessions is just more of which to let go. What is interesting, however, is how to let go. It is not something that one can force or willfully do; it comes from insight, but one's insight is not something upon which one should cling. And so it goes.

And never be so sure about what will or will not hurt you.


Thanks. :D I sure hope meditation will not hurt me. :? I will try to get a teacher to guide me. I know that becoming a monk is hard but I have realised the suffering that is present in everyday life. I cannot imagine not attempting to rid of this. If I could get people's support it would be great because at the moment it seems like everybody is warning me that it is horrible. The only person who has given a positive response is a Bhikkhu. :|

With metta

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

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:56 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Good luck with that, but keep in mind that any experience that comes out of the meditation sessions is just more of which to let go. What is interesting, however, is how to let go. It is not something that one can force or willfully do; it comes from insight, but one's insight is not something upon which one should cling. And so it goes.

And never be so sure about what will or will not hurt you.


Thanks. :D I sure hope meditation will not hurt me. :? I will try to get a teacher to guide me. I know that becoming a monk is hard but I have realised the suffering that is present in everyday life. I cannot imagine not attempting to rid of this. If I could get people's support it would be great because at the moment it seems like everybody is warning me that it is horrible. The only person who has given a positive response is a Bhikkhu. :|

With metta

:anjali:
Warning that what "is horrible?" There is a very simple point here, be open to what you experience, but don't take it for being more than what it is. Knowing what it is, however, will come with experience, and whatever it is, it will be something of which you will in time need to let go.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Future Bhikkhu wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Good luck with that, but keep in mind that any experience that comes out of the meditation sessions is just more of which to let go. What is interesting, however, is how to let go. It is not something that one can force or willfully do; it comes from insight, but one's insight is not something upon which one should cling. And so it goes.

And never be so sure about what will or will not hurt you.


Thanks. :D I sure hope meditation will not hurt me. :? I will try to get a teacher to guide me. I know that becoming a monk is hard but I have realised the suffering that is present in everyday life. I cannot imagine not attempting to rid of this. If I could get people's support it would be great because at the moment it seems like everybody is warning me that it is horrible. The only person who has given a positive response is a Bhikkhu. :|

With metta

:anjali:
Warning that what "is horrible?" There is a very simple point here, be open to what you experience, but don't take it for being more than what it is. Knowing what it is, however, will come with experience, and whatever it is, it will be something of which you will in time need to let go.


Many have said that the ordained life is not very nice. I realise that there are the hardships but have not heard of any positive things. I this just the way people are? I am open but things are beggining to close with all the comments. It is almost like people are saying that I shouldn't become ordained because they don't like the idea. I understand what you are saying about the meditation. I never said I would not. Anyway :offtopic:

Why don't you become ordained?

With metta

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

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:18 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:Many have said that the ordained life is not very nice.
Ordained life will be what you make it, importantly, what you bring to it.
I realise that there are the hardships but have not heard of any positive things.
The reality is that you have not a clue what it will be until you do it. I would never say do not do it, but the better rounded person you are, the better the experience. Learn what you can about as much as you can.

Why don't you become ordained?
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5720&hilit=promise#p89100
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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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