Why not ordain?

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

Re: Why not ordain?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:24 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote: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:


You've answered your own question when you said that the physical is born in the mind. There's no real need to differentiate between the two, because the negative or positive feelings associated with the physical are in fact entirely mental in nature. So really there's only mental 'worst things'.

But to satisfy your curiosity:
1. Mosquito bites (of which I was extremely susceptible)
2. Monkeys (mostly frustrating and humorous, but can be quite dangerous if you act in any way aggressive)
3. Ants (If you leave any food out at all, or even if an insect dies in your kuti, they will swarm in. On several occasions the small biting ants decided to nest under my jandals (flip flops) which I left outside my kuti. When I went to put them on in the morning the ants swarmed over my feet and bit the living daylights out of me. The bites sting too, a bit like a wasp sting. There's a larger 'bull ant' which bites too, the bite hurts a bit more than the small ants, but bull ant's are more docile, and generally not a problem.)
4. Scorpions (Found one in my toilet once and spent a couple of hours trying to coax the deadly thing out.)
5. Other assorted dangerous wildlife (Including snakes, especially the young small ones, which you have to be very careful of - I almost stepped on a deadly baby once, fortunately the monk infront of me on the path pointed him out just in time. Centipedes are also pretty bad, but not generally deadly. You just have to be very careful where you put your feet. I once mistook a deadly tarantula for a leaf while sweeping the path one morning. I only saw another once during my stay, so they weren't that common.)

Some might reckon me a bit of a wuss. That's not really true, I dealt with most of it at the time with a smile and a reflection that it's just the way it goes. By the end of my time there, I had grown quite accustomed to all of it. It was only with the idea of being rid of all of that, that these things stood out again as distinctive and unpleasant parts of my day. But I've grown up in the deep south of New Zealand where the only insect of note is the common house spider which you might only see once every 5 or 6 months. We only have two dangerous mammals - Drunken men and badly trained dogs.

Truth be told, in the end life is stressful whether you're a monk or a layperson. When I was young I thought that one would give up a substantial portion of one's suffering just by leaving the householder life. For some this might prove true, not for me, not last time around anyway.
Last edited by BlackBird on Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Euclid » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:26 am

I don't see myself ordaining ('permanently' at least) for a good while, because being a monk seems like a bloody hard and miserable existence. I'm sure after a period of time I'd get used to it, but I really do love the household life. I'm caught deep in the snare, and that's just the way it is. At the moment I simply practice to make my life easier. Will I eventually ordain? Who knows, I'm certainly not going to take a definite position either way at this stage. But right now, I'm quite content living the household life, truth be told.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:29 am

Well thanks for your input Tilt. Just remember that just because you didn't like being a monk it doesn't mean that I won't. In the same way I won't think I will like being a monk until I do. I will, however, give it a go. :)

Thanks for advise

With metta

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

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:31 am

Ordaining in the Western Sangha would actually be quite pleasant. It's not a hard life by any stretch (at least in Bodhinyanarama) and they have a strong ideal of community and supporting one another. That being said it does attract a few loopies (perhaps I'm one of them), mostly just visitors but sometimes postulants too.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Euclid » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:34 am

Mm, that's very true. I think if I were to ordain, Bodhinyanarama certainly would be ideal. I'm still not sure if I could enjoy myself deprived of sense pleasures though.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:35 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:Well thanks for your input Tilt. Just remember that just because you didn't like being a monk it doesn't mean that I won't.
I did not say that I did not like being a monk, and I am not saying that you won't like being a monk. You won't know if you do or don't until you do it. And things in life are often never so simple or black and white in actual experience as simply liking and not liking.

In the same way I won't think I will like being a monk until I do. I will, however, give it a go.
As you should, assuming in the intervening years until you can that is still your desire.
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 7:38 am

Euclid wrote:I don't see myself ordaining ('permanently' at least) for a good while, because being a monk seems like a bloody hard and miserable existence. I'm sure after a period of time I'd get used to it, but I really do love the household life. I'm caught deep in the snare, and that's just the way it is. At the moment I simply practice to make my life easier. Will I eventually ordain? Who knows, I'm certainly not going to take a definite position either way at this stage. But right now, I'm quite content living the household life, truth be told.


Thanks for your response. As long as your happy, that's the main goal. :)

With metta

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

Postby Euclid » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:39 am

tiltbillings wrote:And things in life are often never so simple or black and white in actual experience as simply liking and not liking.


Very well said, especially with regards to the Buddhadhamma. I don't 'like' meditation in the same way I 'like' watching a movie; I'd still rather sit each night than watch a movie each night.
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:39 am

Euclid wrote:Mm, that's very true. I think if I were to ordain, Bodhinyanarama certainly would be ideal. I'm still not sure if I could enjoy myself deprived of sense pleasures though.


Cheese, chocolate and gummy bears at 6. Beautiful restaurant quality food each day for lunch, a hearty breakfast. Gorgeous views from the Kutis. Modern and clean facilities. Interesting conversations. A fantastic library and an outing in the van once or twice a month for a beach or forest walk. I look back fondly, very fondly :)
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Euclid » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:49 am

Hah, sounds fairly luxurious! On one hand I'm not sure if I'd actually like that, because I'm not sure if I'd be ordaining for the right reasons :lol:
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:57 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:03 am

Thanks Jack or sharing your experience.
I appreciate it.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:06 am

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


SADHU!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:07 am

Hanzze wrote:You are awesome Ven. Future Bhikkhu, take care of you pure heart. I am very happy to get in touch with you.
May you continue to give many the chance to remember a time when right and wrong did not exist.


_/\_
with deep respect


Thankyou for your support. It is much appreciated.

With metta and returned deep respect

Aaron

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

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:10 am

Hi Jack.Thanks for your post about your experience.
A good warning for the overly romantic.It is not all a bed of roses.(Not all bad either)
No scorpions in my kuti yet,but when the weather doesn't suit them they will come.(Thus have I heard)
With metta,
Phra Greg
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:13 am

Since I am a lady, I will wait until the most opportune moment to choose ordination because unlike men, I can't give my vows back, so I can't have a single thing tying me to householder life. I can't have debts (which I do have right now), I can't have dependents (Not that I want any), I have to be in good health which might be a problem because I can't tell what the future might hold other than what I make of it, and I have asthma right now which might prevent me from the ability to ordain due to being chronic, and I'm not sure if the Vinaya says this, but I don't think a person with chronic, serious, or communicable diseases can go forth. Don't quote me on that, because I'm not 100% sure. It might have only been in the commentaries under the "evil illnesses" section of the rules. So either way, you can see I have carefully considered ordainment, but I do not think I am ready for it. Much less if there will be a preceptor, (specifically a Maha Theri) available for me to ordain. It's sink or swim today with now's Bhikkhunī ordinations. At least they have become available in some traditions. I am thankful being a woman isn't going to be the total reason not to.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir
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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:15 am

I just wanted all to know that I hope it is hard. Why else would I become a Bhikkhu, to live a life of luxury?

To tilt, I know I must experience it first...

With metta

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

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:17 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote: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:

No.

As anyone who has practiced Dhamma for any length of time, be it an ordained or lay member of the community, they will be able to attest that practicing Dhamma is akin to swimming against the tide. Practicing Dhamma is at times extraordinarily difficult because one is restraining one's behaviours through sila (morality), mastering the unruly mind through the development of samadhi, and eradicating the root defilements at the depth of the mind through developing vipassana. Its not an easy path, but one that will lead one to the end of suffering.

Why don't you become ordained?

My responsibility to my family. Let me just say here that the lay-life is by no means 'second rate'.

In your situation, I recommend that you get established on the path - practice generosity, sila, study the texts and do some short courses offering anapana meditation. Then in a couple or so years, look at doing a residential retreat of vipassana. Develop your daily practice as a lay-person for a number of years before seriously considering ordination.
I hope that makes sense.

Bne
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- Heraclitus


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Re: Why not ordain?

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:19 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:Since I am a lady, I will wait until the most opportune moment to choose ordination because unlike men, I can't give my vows back, so I can't have a single thing tying me to householder life. I can't have debts (which I do have right now), I can't have dependents (Not that I want any), I have to be in good health which might be a problem because I can't tell what the future might hold other than what I make of it, and I have asthma right now which might prevent me from the ability to ordain due to being chronic, and I'm not sure if the Vinaya says this, but I don't think a person with chronic, serious, or communicable diseases can go forth. Don't quote me on that, because I'm not 100% sure. It might have only been in the commentaries under the "evil illnesses" section of the rules. So either way, you can see I have carefully considered ordainment, but I do not think I am ready for it. Much less if there will be a preceptor, (specifically a Maha Theri) available for me to ordain. It's sink or swim today with now's Bhikkhunī ordinations. At least they have become available in some traditions. I am thankful being a woman isn't going to be the total reason not to.


Your reasons are just. I can't imagine how hard it would be for a lady to ordain. Keep striving.

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 8:24 am

Phra Chuntawongso wrote:Hi Jack.Thanks for your post about your experience.
A good warning for the overly romantic.It is not all a bed of roses.(Not all bad either)
No scorpions in my kuti yet,but when the weather doesn't suit them they will come.(Thus have I heard)
With metta,
Phra Greg
During my stay in at Wat Bawon in Bangkok, I had one of these in my room:

Image

It scared the bejesus out of me, and it was a fast as lightning. I did manage to catch it and evict it, giving it, I hoped, a better home, but any home would have been better.
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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