Pursuing Long-term ordination

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

Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:57 am

After having done ten days, two weeks, and recently one week in a monastic setting, I've decided to take the next step seek a month-long residence at Santi Forest Monastery in Australia. I've done ten days, two weeks, and then a week in a monastic setting, and each time seemed easier and easier. I think a month is the next best step. I've spoken with a woman from the monastery and she's stated that, if I so choose, I can extend my stay upon review after the original month.

I will be going in January, which is when my lease is over. I plan on moving away from my current town upon return anyway, but I've decided that I am going to at least make long-term ordination at Santi a possibility. I have decided to load up my possessions into my parents' house (they live in the next town over) and move my life towards a point where I could, if both the monks and nuns and I felt it was appropriate, never return from Santi and simply move straight towards ordination. This possibility excites me but I am trying to go in with no expectations, just taking it a day at a time for the first month in order to see exactly how the experience affects me.

I chose Santi because of the heavy emphasis on Bhikkhuni ordination, which I very much support, and their protracted ordination procedure. I feel I am not currently ready to be a monk in any way, but I think I am ready to start down that path. If, upon review, I do stay at the monastery, I would enter into a period of long-term residence, followed by an Anagarika stage, then Samanera, then full ordination over the course of about a year and a half. I feel this schedule would give me ample time to decide if the life was for me. I have spoken with the nun who arranges these things and they have voiced their full support for my attempt at full ordination, at least in theory. This gives me hope.

I would love to know what members of this community would recommend, caution against, or otherwise add to the conversation. I'm trying to get into "preparation mode" as we speak and I hope others can recommend a regimen or otherwise give advice for how to prepare for a month-long stay, or perhaps a full-on ordination attempt later on.

Thank you so much!
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: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:07 am

Greetings LY,

I'm guessing you've read all the materials on the website to see their processes etc. as they have pretty fixed minimum durations for those preliminary pre-bhikkhu stages. I'm not sure how much, if anything, has changed since Ajahn Sujato stepped down from the abbot role.

What you're doing sounds fine, and your "step by step" approach makes sense to me.

Good luck.

:thumbsup:

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Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings LY,

I'm guessing you've read all the materials on the website to see their processes etc. as they have pretty fixed minimum durations for those preliminary pre-bhikkhu stages. I'm not sure how much, if anything, has changed since Ajahn Sujato stepped down from the abbot role.

What you're doing sounds fine, and your "step by step" approach makes sense to me.

Good luck.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)

Yeah, I've very glad that they have a three month, six months, one year progression. I would be hesitant to ever jump right into ordination or ever Samanera. To make sure I don't get in over my head or waste anyone's time, I'm definitely going to take it slow, if at all.
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: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby sunyavadin » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:57 am

I don't *think* I am pursuing ordination, but I am from a similar part of the world, and in fact the last retreat I did was at the nearby Sunnataram Forest Monastery, at the beginning of 2011. If you're at Santi, I hope you do get to visit Sunnataram also - they are quite near each other. The only tip I would give is regarding climate - can get very hot in the Australian summer during the Jan-Feb period, and after a run of cool wet summers, we're due for one.

All the best with your travels and endeavours.
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:13 am

What's the visa situation? get a 3 month tourist visa on arrival and hope you can renew it when the time comes? or can you get a sponsorship letter from the monastery? I assume you won't be able to get a "minister of religion" visa until ordained, perhaps you could get an education one.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:38 am

Greetings LY
I don't have any useful advice regarding your plans to ordain though I do want to express my good wishes.
With regard to your visa - make the appropriate enquiries at Santi Monastery. I doubt whether you would be the first person to come to Australia to spend an extended period at Santi and they may already have all the good information you need to navigate our Dept of Immigration. I also recommend that you approach visit the Australian government website and/or contact the Australian Embassy or Consulate closest to where you live.
kind regards,

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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby Alobha » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:36 am

All the best LY!
Going in with no expectations and staying undecided on whether you stay or not is a wise thing to do.

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I'm trying to get into "preparation mode" as we speak and I hope others can recommend a regimen or otherwise give advice for how to prepare for a month-long stay, or perhaps a full-on ordination attempt later on.


Inform yourself about how you can get access to medical care while you're abroad and not part of the Sangha yet. I don't know whether the monastery would take care of its guest-visitors in those situations, so maybe check that beforehand.

For full-on ordination: learning about the 227 rules of conduct as good as you probably can. Also memorising the most common chants. Both things are not a must-do before going for your trip, but I imagine it could make the transition smoother at some point.

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I feel I am not currently ready to be a monk in any way, but I think I am ready to start down that path.

Keep in mind that it's a learning process! :smile:
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby James the Giant » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:09 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I would love to know what members of this community would recommend, caution against, or otherwise add to the conversation.

I stayed at a monastery for six months last year, and a further three months at the beginning of this year.
My only suggestion would be to not take it too seriously. Keep a light heart and try to keep a sense of perspective. I almost burned out, I was taking things (and myself) far too seriously. Fortunately I had a very irreverent fellow layman to keep me company and make jokes at gloriously inappropriate moments. I also had a couple of very down-to-earth bhikkhus as role models and teachers.
Best wishes! I may visit you at Santi mid-next year if you are still there.
James
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:28 pm

Goofaholix wrote:What's the visa situation? get a 3 month tourist visa on arrival and hope you can renew it when the time comes? or can you get a sponsorship letter from the monastery? I assume you won't be able to get a "minister of religion" visa until ordained, perhaps you could get an education one.

I think that'd be best. I'll talk to the monastery as the time comes nearer. It's easy, as an American, to get a three-month visa so I'll start there.
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: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby marc108 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:11 pm

good for you! my only advice would be dont over-think it... just play it by ear and enjoy yourself. Santi really is very uniquely set up for serious meditators to meditation in seclusion, and still have some modern amenities. it's a great blessing to be able to train in an environment like that.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby Ytrog » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:31 pm

Just go for it! In the sutta's people often ordained after having just heard their first teaching so don't hesitate yourself.

James the Giant wrote:I stayed at a monastery for six months last year, and a further three months at the beginning of this year.

How do you manage that with jobs and all that? I would wish I could do that, so I'm 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


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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:02 pm

Ytrog wrote:How do you manage that with jobs and all that? I would wish I could do that, so I'm curious.

I've been at my job for years now and I really am getting sick of it. I'm leaving this town soon and I'm at the point where I would be starting over, so to speak, anywhere I went; it seems like a good time to at least consider ordaining. Any more living on my part and I'll probably get tied up in stuff.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone!
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: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby James the Giant » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:32 pm

Ytrog wrote:How do you manage that with jobs and all that? I would wish I could do that, so I'm curious.

I had a seasonal job in tourism, so I only worked the summer anyway. The rest of the year I was poor but free. It worked great for me, a single guy with no commitments.

LonesomeYogurt wrote:...and I'll probably get tied up in stuff.

That's so true, we are SO lucky to be free to try this out eh! So lucky we didn't accidentally have kids, a mortgage, or parents and friends who are judgmental and persuade us not to. Luck or kamma, any way you look at it, we are so fortunate.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby Ytrog » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:39 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Ytrog wrote:How do you manage that with jobs and all that? I would wish I could do that, so I'm curious.

I've been at my job for years now and I really am getting sick of it. I'm leaving this town soon and I'm at the point where I would be starting over, so to speak, anywhere I went; it seems like a good time to at least consider ordaining. Any more living on my part and I'll probably get tied up in stuff.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone!

I have exactly the same feeling about my job. I consider ordaining when I can leave this job.
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: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby reflection » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:52 pm

Hi!

I love your intentions. As you may know I'm also considering ordination and planning to visit Australia among other places. I contacted Santi as well, and may go there also. But because of the departure of Ajahn Sujato, times are a bit hectic there and it may not be the best place to ordain as a young monk. I was redirected to a monastery in New Zealand, but I forgot the name.

Perhaps we'll meet some day.
Have a lot of fun!

Metta,
Reflection
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:21 pm

reflection wrote:Hi!

I love your intentions. As you may know I'm also considering ordination and planning to visit Australia among other places. I contacted Santi as well, and may go there also. But because of the departure of Ajahn Sujato, times are a bit hectic there and it may not be the best place to ordain as a young monk. I was redirected to a monastery in New Zealand, but I forgot the name.

Perhaps we'll meet some day.
Have a lot of fun!

Metta,
Reflection

Yes, but I still have a few months before I arrive. By then, they stated that they should be settled enough for at least a visit.

That would be surreal but wonderful! Good luck in your plans as well.
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: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby Viscid » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:44 pm

The apparent soundness of your decision, I hope, is evidence of your success.

Would your 'support' of Bhikkhuni ordinations dispose you towards advocacy?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:50 pm

Viscid wrote:The apparent soundness of your decision, I hope, is evidence of your success.

Would your 'support' of Bhikkhuni ordinations dispose you towards advocacy?

I don't quite get what you mean?
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: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby Viscid » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:20 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Viscid wrote:The apparent soundness of your decision, I hope, is evidence of your success.

Would your 'support' of Bhikkhuni ordinations dispose you towards advocacy?

I don't quite get what you mean?


Would your support of Bhikkhuni ordinations mean that you could potentially engage yourself with those matters, or do you simply find the ideology appealing?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Pursuing Long-term ordination

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:34 pm

Viscid wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:Would your support of Bhikkhuni ordinations mean that you could potentially engage yourself with those matters, or do you simply find the ideology appealing?

Oh of course, I'd love to do what I can; however, living in a small town in a non-Buddhist area, my support can really only be monetary. I give to the Bhikkhuni Alliance when I can and then more regularly to Aranya Bodhi. I'm not sure if you are male or female but if you're looking for an incredibly supportive Bhikkhuni community, Aranya Bodhi is the best place in America I'd say.
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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