A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

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

Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Anagarika » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:59 pm

James the Giant wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:Is it a requirement that to take anagarika ordination that one reside at the Wat, or even live in the area?


I think in your case taking vows as an Upasaka would be more appropriate.
[url]www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upāsaka_and_Upāsikā[/url]
I seem to remember the pali for anagarika means Homeless One, so if you are still working or have family responsibilities or whatever, you can't really be a homeless one.
Seems to me, anyway.



James, thanks for your comment. I understand the upasaka vows are a 5 precept lay ordination, while the anagarika involves the 8 precepts, or 10, or more depending on the vows assumed. In part, I am trying to see if there is any analogy in Theravada to the Shukke Tokudo ordination in Zen? I have wanted to involve myself in some community pastoral activities ( end of life ministry, orison ministry) and it seems that without some formal ordination or "pastoral title" one would be only a guy in street clothes attending to the dying, say in a hospice or hospital. There may be something to the idea that people seeking pastoral counseling or care need or desire to meet with someone who looks, walks, and quacks like a "priest."

I apologize if these comments sound like I am some guy looking to walk about in flowing robes and a bald head....I'm not at all about the look or the forms, but am conscious that people in the community need to see that one who is doing pastoral work looks the part.

Or, maybe one can be a duck if one just walks and quacks like one. Maybe I am elevating form over substance.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Ytrog » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:25 pm

I'm curious about what exactly the difference is between a lay follower who has taken the five precepts and an Upāsaka who has also taken the five precepts?
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:37 pm

Ytrog wrote:I'm curious about what exactly the difference is between a lay follower who has taken the five precepts and an Upāsaka who has also taken the five precepts?


There is no difference. They are one and the same.

Upasaka and Upasika
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... nd_Upasika
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: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby JackV » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:38 pm

Ytrog wrote:Thanks Reflection. That about food and supplies I knew as I saw that first hand in Chithurst. I also saw that they bought some items themselves. I got a can of coke there from someone who had been an anagarika for 5-6 years and was in the progress of becoming a lay person again. He bought it himself. I believe his name was Trevor.

For guests they say that it is customary (though not mandatory) to give something for the expenses. I wondered if it was expected from anagarikas as well.
What is expected in terms of capabilities when you become an anagarika? How well do you need to be able to meditate already and how much do you need to know about all the customs. When i went to Chithurst it was a first for me in many of the customs and I sometimes felt a bit ashamed when I didn't know something that for a lot of the people visiting there was completely self-evident.


Hi Ytrog.

I would suggest maybe going back to Cittaviveka and speaking to some of the monks (maybe it would be best if it were Ven Karuniko or Ven Succitto) or maybe just some of the Anagarikas there.
From speaking to some of the folks there the impression I got was that you don't need to know anything, or at least your level of knowledge both in meditation and in terms of customs do not have to be very advanced, thats the point of being an Anagarika - to learn it.
I think before making a decision it would be wise, as I said above, to go back, let them know your intention (after there winter retreat is over in April) and stay there for a month or longer and try to learn all you can.

I spoke to Venerable Moneyyo (tall Austrian guy with glasses) whilst there who was acting as the guest monk and he said that he stayed as a guest twice for a couple of months and then became and Anagarika.

I also have a similar leaning to maybe doing this at some point. However I would prefer to be a bit more equanimous of some of the phenomenon I encounter during meditation first.

I wish you all the best.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Buddho » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:37 pm

As far as preparation the most important thing is to keep at least the 8 precepts and be practicing meditation. I don't believe your expected to support yourself but I would recommend having saved money for visa runs if your in another country.

Doing various chores and cleaning is dana. Giving your time and energy to the monks, laity, and the Wat is dana. You really don't need much when at a Wat most of the requisites are provided for.

Everything is a learning process you are NOT expected to know all the customs. Training is all apart of being an anagarika and the preparatory period of becoming a monk. I would suggest you spend more time at a Wat to learn chanting.

Check out this video might help to answer more of your questions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ittQd5zk ... plpp_video

I'm also looking to go to Thailand in April to ordain. I've spent two months in a Wat in California. :anjali:
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Ytrog » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:43 pm

JackV wrote:
Ytrog wrote:Thanks Reflection. That about food and supplies I knew as I saw that first hand in Chithurst. I also saw that they bought some items themselves. I got a can of coke there from someone who had been an anagarika for 5-6 years and was in the progress of becoming a lay person again. He bought it himself. I believe his name was Trevor.

For guests they say that it is customary (though not mandatory) to give something for the expenses. I wondered if it was expected from anagarikas as well.
What is expected in terms of capabilities when you become an anagarika? How well do you need to be able to meditate already and how much do you need to know about all the customs. When i went to Chithurst it was a first for me in many of the customs and I sometimes felt a bit ashamed when I didn't know something that for a lot of the people visiting there was completely self-evident.


Hi Ytrog.

I would suggest maybe going back to Cittaviveka and speaking to some of the monks (maybe it would be best if it were Ven Karuniko or Ven Succitto) or maybe just some of the Anagarikas there.
From speaking to some of the folks there the impression I got was that you don't need to know anything, or at least your level of knowledge both in meditation and in terms of customs do not have to be very advanced, thats the point of being an Anagarika - to learn it.
I think before making a decision it would be wise, as I said above, to go back, let them know your intention (after there winter retreat is over in April) and stay there for a month or longer and try to learn all you can.

I spoke to Venerable Moneyyo (tall Austrian guy with glasses) whilst there who was acting as the guest monk and he said that he stayed as a guest twice for a couple of months and then became and Anagarika.

I also have a similar leaning to maybe doing this at some point. However I would prefer to be a bit more equanimous of some of the phenomenon I encounter during meditation first.

I wish you all the best.

Thanks for the answer. I already asked some questions about it when I was visiting last July, but I still had a lot of questions left. I'll definitely will be going back this year and ask more questions, though I will have to be mindful that it doesn't become just chatting after a while. I already mentioned my intention back then.

I also just checked http://www.chithurst.blogspot.com/ and see that all the guests I was with that had the intention of becoming Anagarikas indeed became Anagarikas :D
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


If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby JackV » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:00 pm

Ytrog wrote:Thanks for the answer. I already asked some questions about it when I was visiting last July, but I still had a lot of questions left. I'll definitely will be going back this year and ask more questions, though I will have to be mindful that it doesn't become just chatting after a while. I already mentioned my intention back then.

I also just checked http://www.chithurst.blogspot.com/ and see that all the guests I was with that had the intention of becoming Anagarikas indeed became Anagarikas :D


Wow, really? From speaking to these people at the time that they were guests what did you make of them, I mean how experienced were they as meditators etc?
When I was there I was by far the least experienced meditator and least experienced in terms of temple/monastery customs out of all the guests, female and male.

I'm very glad that you're asking these questions because, as I said, I have a strong desire to do this as well. Although, since I do feel so strongly about it I will not act upon it straight away and see if this desire stays with me for some time (I mean there is no great rush I figure).

I hope that if you do find any information out that is useful to others (such as myself) also looking down the same potential path as you that you can let us know of it; it would be very much appreciated.

Oh, also your comments and advice regarding my visit to Cittaviveka was extremely helpful and went a long way to aleviating my anxiety over the trip, so thank you for that. :anjali:
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Ytrog » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:36 pm

JackV wrote:Wow, really? From speaking to these people at the time that they were guests what did you make of them, I mean how experienced were they as meditators etc?
When I was there I was by far the least experienced meditator and least experienced in terms of temple/monastery customs out of all the guests, female and male.

It depends. They arrived there between weeks and months before me, so by that time they had some experience with the customs and with meditating for the better part of the day (you have to stay as a guest for about three months before becoming an Anagarika). For me it was the first time ever setting foot in a monastery, so i didn't have any experience with the customs at all. I think they were comparable to me when they first arrived.

JackV wrote:Oh, also your comments and advice regarding my visit to Cittaviveka was extremely helpful and went a long way to aleviating my anxiety over the trip, so thank you for that.

I'm glad that it helped. How was your stay there? If you want to talk more you are welcome to PM about it :anjali:
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


If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Bankei » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:06 pm

The anagarika is a modern invention. Just a person with a shaved head.

Why not just become a monk? How many anagarikas do you read about in the Sutta?
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Ytrog » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:38 pm

Bankei wrote:The anagarika is a modern invention. Just a person with a shaved head.

Why not just become a monk? How many anagarikas do you read about in the Sutta?

I want to become a monk eventually, however in the tradition I want to ordain in you need to be an Anagarika for at least a year to become a Samanera. After another year you might become a Bhikku.
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


If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Bankei » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:38 am

Ytrog wrote:
Bankei wrote:The anagarika is a modern invention. Just a person with a shaved head.

Why not just become a monk? How many anagarikas do you read about in the Sutta?

I want to become a monk eventually, however in the tradition I want to ordain in you need to be an Anagarika for at least a year to become a Samanera. After another year you might become a Bhikku.


That's innovative.

You could ordain elsewhere and then go and live in a monastery of that tradition.

Good luck

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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby James the Giant » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:46 am

Bankei wrote:That's innovative.

As I understand it, the role of anagarika has gained prominence in the 20th century because of the spread of Buddhism into new lands, especially the west.
It is designed as a probation period for those new to the tradition, so the sangha's time isn't wasted by starry-eyed, idealistic folk who have no real idea of what monastic life is really like.
They have to do six months or a year as an anagarika, and at the end of that they presumably have gained some idea of what they'd be getting into if they ordained.
It is also good because it stops slackers coming to Thailand, ordaining easily within a few weeks, getting a bhikkhu's visa, then walking out of the monastery in blue jeans and having a year-long holiday.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:06 am

Bankei wrote:The anagarika is a modern invention. Just a person with a shaved head.

Why not just become a monk? How many anagarikas do you read about in the Sutta?


Actually the anagarika isn't just a modern invention!
besides the fact that any Buddhist mendicant can be called an anagarika which literally means homeless one (Luang Por Liem calls all Buddhist mendicants Anagarikas BTW), and an anagarika is to an extent nothing more than a white 'clothed' lay follower of the Buddha, and one who lives by the eight precepts all the time, this is mentioned within the texts, very infrequently but it is there.

but anyone not trying to live the five precepts as a minimum standard, can not be called a follower of the Buddha, a practitioner of the Dhamma-Vinaya, just because how someone is/wanting to practice isn't specifically within the texts, doesn't mean it isn't in-line with the texts or the Buddhas intention in setting up the training.

but as James mentiones it is a try before you buy deal, get a fuller idea of life in that type of environment (although as I understand it, in the west it is always a minimum of 1 year, in Thailand it is quicker for other reasons.)
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Bankei » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:35 am

James the Giant wrote:
Bankei wrote:That's innovative.

As I understand it, the role of anagarika has gained prominence in the 20th century because of the spread of Buddhism into new lands, especially the west.
It is designed as a probation period for those new to the tradition, so the sangha's time isn't wasted by starry-eyed, idealistic folk who have no real idea of what monastic life is really like.
They have to do six months or a year as an anagarika, and at the end of that they presumably have gained some idea of what they'd be getting into if they ordained.
It is also good because it stops slackers coming to Thailand, ordaining easily within a few weeks, getting a bhikkhu's visa, then walking out of the monastery in blue jeans and having a year-long holiday.


Point taken.

The vast majority of temples in thailand have no anagirka requirements. One could be ordained as a Bhikkhu in one ceremony - layperson to samenara to Bhikkhu.

Getting a visa (in Thailand) is a separate issue, one I am not familiar with, but it is not a simple process even for monks with many years. The op mentioned a monastery in England from memory, so it may not be an issue for him. Wonder what the situation is in Thailand with the anagarikas and the issuing of visas - They would not be considered monastics.

As for them being a modern invention, maybe not really - doesn't one of the Asoka edicts (The so-called schism edict) mention something about kicking out trouble makers and making them wear white??

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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Disillusioned » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:16 am

Hello Ytrog,

I spent the past 18 months living at a Thai Forest monastery and was ordained as an anagarika for the last year of my stay. Typically you have to stay at the monastery for a while before they ordain you as an anagarika. They want to make sure you're for real about it, because a lot of people come in saying they want to ordain and then they end up leaving after only a few weeks. I had to stay for about 9 months.

I've heard interesting things about Chithurst, the way they rotate where people live every six weeks. Are you familiar with that? Also I had the chance to meet Ajahn Sucito. He's a very sweet monk.

In terms of preparation, I'd just keep the five precepts and meditate. Before I left I kept the eight and it turned out to be more of a burden than anything else. It's not that practical sometimes in society. And honestly it's not that difficult of a transition to make when you do get to the monastery.

That's just my perspective.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby Ytrog » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:14 pm

Disillusioned wrote:Hello Ytrog,

I spent the past 18 months living at a Thai Forest monastery and was ordained as an anagarika for the last year of my stay. Typically you have to stay at the monastery for a while before they ordain you as an anagarika. They want to make sure you're for real about it, because a lot of people come in saying they want to ordain and then they end up leaving after only a few weeks. I had to stay for about 9 months.

I've heard interesting things about Chithurst, the way they rotate where people live every six weeks. Are you familiar with that? Also I had the chance to meet Ajahn Sucito. He's a very sweet monk.

In terms of preparation, I'd just keep the five precepts and meditate. Before I left I kept the eight and it turned out to be more of a burden than anything else. It's not that practical sometimes in society. And honestly it's not that difficult of a transition to make when you do get to the monastery.

That's just my perspective.

Yes, I know about the rotation. A wonderful way to prevent attachment to a place to live and keep some idea of wandering while living in a monastery. I've also met Ajahn Sucitto and he was indeed very kind and seemed well versed in the Dhamma. :anjali:

I too decided that a constant keeping of eight precepts while still having such things a job would cause more frustration than that it would be helpful. I can hardly ignore the music that plays at the office and play music in my car as that keeps me awake and prevents me from driving into the guardrail. I do meditate for an hour in the morning and some time in the evening with the intention of establishing a baseline of two hours sitting meditation a day. I keep the five precepts as a practice and it actually becomes easier to keep them (mostly concerns the 3th and the 4th) the more I meditate each day. I also try to do everything mindfully during the day.
I noticed that keeping the eight precepts in a monastery is quite natural although admittedly there were some difficulties with not trying to chat to people (I'm very curious).
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


If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby befriend » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:56 am

anagarikas cannot have jobs?
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:09 am

Greetings,

befriend wrote:anagarikas cannot have jobs?

No. Anagarika literally means "homeless one".

On the other hand, a samanera may be able to? They're able to handle money (unless of course, they've taken an extra precept forbidding that).

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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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:56 am

Hi Retro,

I believe you have it backwards. Anigarikas generally seem to take the 8 precepts of a lay person, a samanera definitely has 10 (which includes the money precept).

:anjali:
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Re: A proper preparation for becoming an anagarika

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:04 am

Quite likely!

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


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