northeast thailand ordination

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

northeast thailand ordination

Postby befriend » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:20 pm

hello!
i am almost certain i am going to do an intensive vipassana retreat for many months in north east thailand. i am wondering if others have done this, the teacher i would practice under would be sobin s namto, the elder monk. he is my teachers teacher, and i have been meditating in his style for about 4 years. has anyone ordained or pracitced in thailand. i am concerned about like diseases, tigers, kidnappings and stuff. i dont know much about living for long periods of time in thailand and insights would be appreciated. i also might ordain temporarily, and am wondering what dilemmas might arise during ordination that i might expect. metta, befriend.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby makarasilapin » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:27 pm

get your immunity shots before you arrive in thailand. you won't have to worry about tigers but there are still lots of snakes and creepy crawlers lurking about. kidnappings? i lived in thailand for 5 years and hadn't heard anything about kidnappings. also, look into how to renew your visa or if the temple will do it for you as it can get pretty complicated. try to memorize the chanting before you take ordination. that's all i can think of right now...

best of luck!
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby befriend » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:22 pm

yeah i dont know about kidnappings i was just guessing about what happens in other countries. bad ass. should i learn pali or thai? or do most people speak english. apparently it is a rural farming village. so i dont know how much english they will speak i dont know.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby makarasilapin » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:38 pm

they most likely won't speak any english or if someone does happen to speak english it won't be very good. definitely try to pick up the thai language first - pali will come to you once you begin learning the chants. it's nice because thai and pali are not far off. again, best of luck!
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby befriend » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:55 am

would it be easier if i traveled with a buddy, or is it fine to go by myself. thanks.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby Bankei » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:02 am

English is not widely spoken. Think of it as an adventure. You may find someone who speaks some English a bit and you can get by with a guidebook. Where you are going they probably won't be speaking Thai though, but some regional dialect. You should try to learn a bit of Thai though, as most will understand. Pali would be good too, but the Thais use a different pronounciation to what you would be familiar with probably so prepare to be corrected. Thamma for Dhamma etc. It may be a good idea to try to learn how to read Thai script so you can read the Pali chanting books.

Try to get used to sweating and being bitten by mosquitoes! The food will be vastly different to what you would be used to too.

You will also need an appropriate visa.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby Anagarika » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:59 am

Befriend, I am traveling at the moment and can't spend too much time wrting, but can say that in general tigers will not be an issue at all, nor will disease or kidnappings, but the mosquitos can be a bother, but not much more than that. So long as you act reasonably, you won't encounter difficulties. Thailand is wonderful.

One suggestion that I can make is to the effect that if you are looking to be in the northern part of THailand, and looking for a farang friendly Temple, Wat Sri Boen Ruang (Fang, Chiang Mai region) would be a consideration for you. Phra Greg and Phra Fred are two Western Bhikkhus there full time. Phra Fred teaches Dhamma, and Phra Greg teaches Vipassana. The Abbot, Dr. Apisit, is a young English speaking Thai monk; he is wel educated and supports the training of westerners at his Temple. There is a website at www.monkordination.com that can provide more information.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby befriend » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:17 pm

the monastery im going to, the teacher speaks english, and many westerners come through there. i can learn more about the details of living in thailand from my teacher, who is a student of this monk in thailand.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:12 pm

Language shouldn't be much of an issue, since Achan Sobin speaks perfect English (with a heavy accent) and since you will be on retreat, you will probably be observing 'Noble Silence' most of the time.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby befriend » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:48 pm

do you think there is chanting i should memorize?
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby appicchato » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:49 am

befriend wrote:do you think there is chanting i should memorize?


Helpful, yes...mandatory, no...thing is Thais pronounce many words that differ greatly from any book of chants you've (or may) read...consequently, if you learn from a book you will just have to unlearn and relearn...there are lots of Thai chants (Mp3/4) on the web, plus YouTube...look around...the Morning and Evening ones are a good place to start...

Nobody is going to expect you to know chants...and if push comes to shove one can always read them at the time...I see Thai monks reading all the time...it's not a big deal...(waiting for flack, where's the wince smiley?)...
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby befriend » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:50 am

can i ordain for a few months or a year, is it still appropriate to disrobe if i dont like it.
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby appicchato » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:13 pm

Yes, and yes...
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Re: northeast thailand ordination

Postby befriend » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:22 pm

is it easier to travel with a buddy, will i have difficulty like trying to read where im going in the airports, and bus terminals?
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