How do I ordain

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

How do I ordain

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:06 pm

Last few months i had a long journey away from home. I wanted a change and now I feel that ordain is the way I want to live. I am not sure if I will change later one day but I feel I will be happy in a robe. Want to try that too.

I saw this forum and think asking. How do I ordain. I am now in sri lanka but i don't like to ordain here. I have great friends here and they advice me to see Thai land temples. if i go to thailand somehow will they ordain me? do i need a contact or can i just walk into a temple and ask? I like ajan char temple.

please give me your opinions

:anjali:
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:39 pm

Almost all temples in the Chah tradition have websites and email addresses. It would be best to email them beforehand, or at least line up a stay with one or two before you leave for Thailand.

This is a list of many monasteries in that lineage. Maybe you can contact some of them through here.

May I ask why you don't want to ordain in Sri Lanka?
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:48 pm

Find a temple/teacher you like and stay there for a few months as a layman, when you are sure this is where you want to ordain ask the abbot about it and take it from there.

Simple as that.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby reflection » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:50 pm

Wonderful decision! I wish you all the best. :anjali:
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby Ytrog » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:03 pm

I agree with Goofaholix, but I would extend that period as a layman to a year or so. I must say it is a very wise decision, so I wish you good luck :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


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Re: How do I ordain

Postby manas » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:55 pm

Hi Blue Lotus

there is a Ajahn Chah lineage temple called 'wat pah nanachat' which caters more for 'westerners' (in Thailand). But what is your nationality, and language? If you are Sri Lankan, for example, I would advise making an effort to find a sympathetic abbott who speaks your own language to talk to initially.

:anjali:
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:38 pm

Not all of Ajahn Chah monasteries have websites, and the vast majority of them don't. there are a great many Ajahn Chah Tradition Temples and only the western ones have websites as a standard. the temples in Thailand that do have them are the Big Names Like WPP & WPN

I would sugest you travel around, the standards in monasteries are not all the same and some may not be to your liking even if you like the Founding Teacher.
you may find it more benefiscial to start off in one monastery which has High standards or another which has different yet just as High standards, or one where practice is emphasised rather than the monastic form or vice versa, don't just jump to one because you like it from a distance!

I know one Western Monk who has spent time in Thailand and didn't like it at all, so went back to Burma, and another who likes it there yet prefers Sri Lanka.
Please make an informed choice before joining a temple.

But Good on you, and May you not again return to this world!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby manas » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:50 pm

Cittasanto wrote:...
But Good on you, and May you not again return to this world!


This topic once again sparks a longing in me also. When my (very dear to me) youngest child turns 18 years old, I'm outta here! In the meantime, my children need my care, guidance and attention, so I just have to endure lay-life and practice as thoroughly as I can...and try to stay as 'dust-free' as possible.

metta
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:29 pm

manas wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:...
But Good on you, and May you not again return to this world!


This topic once again sparks a longing in me also. When my (very dear to me) youngest child turns 18 years old, I'm outta here! In the meantime, my children need my care, guidance and attention, so I just have to endure lay-life and practice as thoroughly as I can...and try to stay as 'dust-free' as possible.

metta

I Long for solitude quite allot of the time regardless :-)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby Anagarika » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:51 am

The monastic life is not an easy one, and I agree with some of the posters above that one should spend time in a Wat or Monastery as a lay person or novice, and really understand the life of a monk. The comparison might be with someone wishing to be a doctor...it's an honorable and excellent life, but it's not for everyone. There's training, study, long days and brief nights, and as a Bhikkhu friend of mine related recently, you are sometimes, as a senior monk, called upon to help myriad people with myriad issues. The going forth can be the greatest step one can take, but there have been a few who entered the life and then left it, as they were just not ready. So, take it step by step, it seems to me. Find a good Wat with a good and kind Abbot, and go from there.
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:55 am

Greetings,

BuddhaSoup wrote:The monastic life is not an easy one, and I agree with some of the posters above that one should spend time in a Wat or Monastery as a lay person or novice, and really understand the life of a monk. The comparison might be with someone wishing to be a doctor...it's an honorable and excellent life, but it's not for everyone. There's training, study, long days and brief nights, and as a Bhikkhu friend of mine related recently, you are sometimes, as a senior monk, called upon to help myriad people with myriad issues. The going forth can be the greatest step one can take, but there have been a few who entered the life and then left it, as they were just not ready. So, take it step by step, it seems to me. Find a good Wat with a good and kind Abbot, and go from there.

:goodpost:

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: How do I ordain

Postby manas » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:06 am

BuddhaSoup wrote:The monastic life is not an easy one, and I agree with some of the posters above that one should spend time in a Wat or Monastery as a lay person or novice, and really understand the life of a monk. The comparison might be with someone wishing to be a doctor...it's an honorable and excellent life, but it's not for everyone. There's training, study, long days and brief nights, and as a Bhikkhu friend of mine related recently, you are sometimes, as a senior monk, called upon to help myriad people with myriad issues. The going forth can be the greatest step one can take, but there have been a few who entered the life and then left it, as they were just not ready. So, take it step by step, it seems to me. Find a good Wat with a good and kind Abbot, and go from there.


Hi BuddhaSoup,

the good thing about our tradition is that we can ordain, unordain and even ordain again, up to seven times, without any shame attached to that. So considering how incredibly rare it is to be born human, I would encourage anyone who has the inclination to at least give it a try, so long as they leave their options open in case they need to return to lay life later on (ie don't give away absolutely everything, unless you are absolutely sure you won't be coming back, and be needing it again (eg, the house, the car etc)!. So I agree with 'testing the waters' thoroughly first before 'diving in' totally. As for the risk of one day ending up as a busy Abbott with lots of duties, that's an unlikely fate for most monks, isn't it? Only a few end up as Abbotts...surely most can live a quiet and peaceful life? Otherwise, where's the seclusion that the Holy Life is supposed to facilitate??

metta :anjali:
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby Anagarika » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:29 am

Hi Retro and Manas, and thanks for your kind posts.

Manas, you raise a good point, and it's true, at least as far as I'm aware, that in the Thai Sangha one can ordain and disrobe numerous times. I have a good friend who has ordained and then disrobed for important reasons, and he intends to reordain later in life when he is clear of other responsibilities. He's a good person, and was (and will be)a good Bhikku, to be sure.

I agree that there can be value in ordaining, and making a good faith effort to stay in robes. If disrobing is needed, then, yes, one can disrobe with no dishonor at all, and then seek to reordain, perhaps, at a later time.

I guess I offered my comments as I spent a brief time as a samanera in Thailand, and lived the life of a monastic novice, and lived with and trained with the Bhikkhus. My respect for these men cannot be measured. My time as a samanera was not easy ( it was also life changing, wonderful, and deeply important to me); early rising for chanting, no eating after noon, having to be driven anywhere by a lay male one needed to go, not to mention sleeping on a bed (a hard wood table with no mattress or cushion or pillow) with lizards, mosquitos, and the occasional scorpion in the room....

If I could do it again tomorrow, I'd do it again tomorrow. I just suggest that maybe the lay or samanera path is a good one, to "test the waters" and then yes, take the plunge and do as so many others from the West have done with Ajahn Chah and others....go forth, live the life, and see where the path takes you.

With Metta.
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby manas » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:15 am

BuddhaSoup wrote: ...not to mention sleeping on a bed (a hard wood table with no mattress or cushion or pillow) with lizards, mosquitos, and the occasional scorpion in the room...


Hi BuddhaSoup,

I found your latest post inspiring, but that bit above puzzles me. Nowhere in the Vinaya does it say that one has to sleep on such an uncomfortable surface, without even some straw for bedding. I mean, I respect you that you tolerated it, but...what was the purpose of it, if you don't mind me asking?

metta
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby Anagarika » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:30 am

manas wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote: ...not to mention sleeping on a bed (a hard wood table with no mattress or cushion or pillow) with lizards, mosquitos, and the occasional scorpion in the room...


Hi BuddhaSoup,

I found your latest post inspiring, but that bit above puzzles me. Nowhere in the Vinaya does it say that one has to sleep on such an uncomfortable surface, without even some straw for bedding. I mean, I respect you that you tolerated it, but...what was the purpose of it, if you don't mind me asking?

metta



Hi, Manas:

I am not sure why the bed was as it was. I certainly did not mention it to anyone. It may be that it was this way to ensure that while we were in the training phase before ordaining, if we had a need to escape the discomfort, this was one discomfort that might separate "the farang men from the boys." I recall stories of Ajahn Chah sending new monks out into charnel grounds to spend the night alone in meditation, with the new monk worrying all night that he might get eaten by an animal. Now, I'm not comparing my experience with that of the severe training with Ajahn Chah (I love Ajahn Brahm's 'crunchy frog' story...), by far, but maybe the "bed" that I had was a reminder that the life was not going to be one of comfort. The truth is, after about a week, the body adapts to the surface and I actually would be able to sleep from 11pm to 430 am, woken only by the odd noises of the Thai lizards. :) I also cheated, and used a shirt for a pillow.....there, I said it....
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:35 am

Greetings,

BuddhaSoup wrote:if we had a need to escape the discomfort, this was one discomfort that might separate "the farang men from the boys."

That made me laugh. Last time I slept at a wat, I was given a thin Mighty Morphing Power Rangers mat, and a Spongebob Squarepants pillow to sleep on.

:zzz:

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: How do I ordain

Postby Anagarika » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:17 pm

Retro, I'm smiling at your story, and am thinking that the SpongeBob pillow might have sent me over the edge, fleeing from the Wat.....

with Metta,

Mike
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:34 pm

Thank you friends :anjali:

Your story have been inspiration. Lot of good advice in here. I am happy I raised the question.

I am originally from east asia and recently came down to sri lanka for work. Mostly for i wanted to get away from my home life because i had problems. I could not take it anymore so I left.

My friends here in Sri Lanka advice me Thai forest is good for meditation. They say it is better than sri lanka for foreign monks. Traditionally we are not very different because we are all asian. So I hope of no problems.

I can be in physically bad conditions. I did not have great comfort from small days and I am very used to it.

But I am 49 years. Is that a problem since I am old? I really hope not. I hope to start small and go step by step in a monastery. If I can not do it I will go back to sri lanka to my friends. It is better to try and see.

:anjali:
Last edited by BlueLotus on Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:39 pm

manas wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:...
But Good on you, and May you not again return to this world!


This topic once again sparks a longing in me also. When my (very dear to me) youngest child turns 18 years old, I'm outta here! In the meantime, my children need my care, guidance and attention, so I just have to endure lay-life and practice as thoroughly as I can...and try to stay as 'dust-free' as possible.

metta


I have children too. Two of them. They are over 18 and can handle on their own now. One reason why I left.

I hope you will get chance to ordain too. :candle:
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Re: How do I ordain

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:45 pm

retrofuturist wrote: I was given a thin Mighty Morphing Power Rangers mat, and a Spongebob Squarepants pillow to sleep on.


:jumping: :rofl: :twothumbsup: :D

At 49 i like Spongebob Squarepants cartoons. I am going to miss it
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