Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

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

Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby lewis454 » Mon May 27, 2013 6:16 pm

I hear that 'Wat Pah Nanachat does not have great meditation instruction. Are there any monasteries in SE Asia that are accessible to foreigners and have a strong focus on meditation?
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Goofaholix » Tue May 28, 2013 6:56 am

lewis454 wrote:I hear that 'Wat Pah Nanachat does not have great meditation instruction. Are there any monasteries in SE Asia that are accessible to foreigners and have a strong focus on meditation?


There are lots, you'll find manny in this directory depending on which countries interest you http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/region.php?region_id=7 burmese ones tend to be strong on meditation instruction.
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Sekha » Tue May 28, 2013 9:44 am

You will find strong focus on meditation in Pa Auk and its branches. The Vinaya is also excellent there.

The main drawback imo is that you are supposed to embrace the supremacy of the visuddhimagga and the abhidhamma.
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby lewis454 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:47 pm

Lately I've been thinking a lot of going to SE Asia and meditating a bunch, maybe even becoming a monk. This afternoon I was in a high end shoe store in a busy shopping mall, and as I was trying on my first good pair of dress/business shoes, a Buddhist monk came and sat next to me. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but it was a really weird place for a Buddhist monk to be, especially since monks aren't particularly common where I live. It was almost like a choice between two worlds.

Really weirds me out !
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby householder » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:39 pm

lewis454 wrote:Lately I've been thinking a lot of going to SE Asia and meditating a bunch, maybe even becoming a monk. This afternoon I was in a high end shoe store in a busy shopping mall, and as I was trying on my first good pair of dress/business shoes, a Buddhist monk came and sat next to me. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but it was a really weird place for a Buddhist monk to be, especially since monks aren't particularly common where I live. It was almost like a choice between two worlds.

Really weirds me out !


That weirds me out too - they're normally found in mobile phone stores shopping for the latest high-end model to upgrade to. Although these days a fair few are busier spouting hatred, stoking fear, advocating ridiculous restrictions on interfaith marriage and getting involved in politics.

Seriously, though, choose your monasteries carefully, ESPECIALLY if you're considering Burma. Despite some seriously unappealing political rubbish going on at the moment involve more than a few 'monks', there are some extremely good meditation-focused monasteries and both locally and internationally-renowned teachers. Retreats can be booked with sufficient notice and expression of sincerity, depending on the time of year but you'll need to ensure arrangements are made to get a meditation visa.

Do your research in advance - as has been hinted at, each monastery and method has its own idiosyncrasies. As one lay meditation teacher here advised, stick with a method that is in a similar vein to whatever you're currently doing. You're spoilt for choice here, and to switch over is like going halfway up one entrance to Shwedagon Pagoda, then going down the steps to another entrance and starting up those ones from the bottom (this was before the escalators were installed).

Come here first on a tourist visa after doing your research and arrange some visits in person. I'm biased as it's the tradition I follow, but every year from 1 December - 31 January Panditarama runs a 60 day intensive retreat aimed specifically at foreigners. Not for first-timers, but I'm going there for a 1 month retreat on Monday and another user on here posted a while back and there's a fair bit of info. Worth considering. Novice ordination also possible.

Have you been to SE Asia before?
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Rob1980 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:23 pm

If you are looking for a place just to meditate and have plenty of seclusion, you may want to look at Na Uyana, in Sri Lanka. There is a strong emphasis on meditation and it is a huge place where you get given your own Kuti and have plenty of time fto yourself. There is good support and probably the most conducive place for western laymen to meditate. There is also instructions if you want to take them(Pa-Auk Tradition), but as far as I am aware they are optional. www.nauyana.org

If you are thinking about ordaination, then I would perhaps look to ordain in the west, and get some foundation in monasticism before embarking to SE Asia for meditation.
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Anagarika » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:28 pm

I can recommend without reservation ( having lived here before ) this Wat and the International Program : http://www.templeretreatthailand.com/
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:07 pm

lewis454 wrote:This afternoon I was in a high end shoe store in a busy shopping mall, and as I was trying on my first good pair of dress/business shoes, a Buddhist monk came and sat next to me.

Don't criticise until you've walked a 1,000 miles is his shoes — perhaps he wasn't there to buy some shoes, but was just a devadūta!?
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby melancholy » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:39 pm

lewis454 wrote:Lately I've been thinking a lot of going to SE Asia and meditating a bunch, maybe even becoming a monk. This afternoon I was in a high end shoe store in a busy shopping mall, and as I was trying on my first good pair of dress/business shoes, a Buddhist monk came and sat next to me. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but it was a really weird place for a Buddhist monk to be, especially since monks aren't particularly common where I live. It was almost like a choice between two worlds.

Really weirds me out !


if you want the truth then the best thing to do in such a situation is to ask the monk calmly in a friendly way "hello venerable sir, nice shoes here, isn't it, are you going to buy some?" then the monk might say something like "ah yes yes i'm gonna buy some, nice aren't they?" or "yes shoes are nice, but i came here to meet my sister."

one time i was in a similar situation and the monk next to me having a rolex watch (nice choice). it shocked me and the words jumped out of my mouth "oh my god a rolex!!!" :o that brought the attention of others and the monk got up and left. that's why i recommend be calm and ask friendly :).

if u carry the incident without knowing what exactly happened it will be nothing more than the monk in the zen story who carry the lady in the mind while the other dropped her after the mud. if the monk is good then it is bad karma for us. if the monk is bad then it is his bad karma we don't have to join it.

if you come to the country that i live you will see lot of monks going to banks and even using atm. also spend time in mobile phone shops selecting the latest model or eating in restaurants and paying from their wallet. we are not living in the time of the lord buddha. :anjali:
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:28 pm

...still, there are good monks and good Vinaya abbots.

When I was a samanera in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I was walking in the temple courtyard with my 150 baht orange watch on. The abbot saw me out of a window, and sent one of his assistants to run after me and tell me to take off the watch. Now, I am only a careless farang samanera, but this was the kind of attention Ajahn Dr. Apisit paid to the training rules. True, we do not live in the time of the Buddha, but we do have Wats and abbots that adhere strictly to Vinaya, and I am glad for that.

A Rolex on a monk is like a pig with lipstick...should never happen.
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby melancholy » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:04 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:...still, there are good monks and good Vinaya abbots.

When I was a samanera in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I was walking in the temple courtyard with my 150 baht orange watch on. The abbot saw me out of a window, and sent one of his assistants to run after me and tell me to take off the watch. Now, I am only a careless farang samanera, but this was the kind of attention Ajahn Dr. Apisit paid to the training rules. True, we do not live in the time of the Buddha, but we do have Wats and abbots that adhere strictly to Vinaya, and I am glad for that.

A Rolex on a monk is like a pig with lipstick...should never happen.


indeed venerable sir, there are good monks, i mean very very good meditating monks and i am happy to know quite number of them. i didn't say there aren't. :)

i mentioned "we do not live in the time of the Buddha" because most of us expect that situation even after 2500+ years. those days good monks were the majority but now it is the opposite (this already said by the lord buddha 2500+ years ago :)). that is the only difference. :anjali:
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:07 pm

melancholy wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:...still, there are good monks and good Vinaya abbots.

When I was a samanera in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I was walking in the temple courtyard with my 150 baht orange watch on. The abbot saw me out of a window, and sent one of his assistants to run after me and tell me to take off the watch. Now, I am only a careless farang samanera, but this was the kind of attention Ajahn Dr. Apisit paid to the training rules. True, we do not live in the time of the Buddha, but we do have Wats and abbots that adhere strictly to Vinaya, and I am glad for that.

A Rolex on a monk is like a pig with lipstick...should never happen.


indeed venerable sir, there are good monks, i mean very very good meditating monks and i am happy to know quite number of them. i didn't say there aren't. :)

i mentioned "we do not live in the time of the Buddha" because most of us expect that situation even after 2500+ years. those days good monks were the majority but now it is the opposite (this already said by the lord buddha 2500+ years ago :)). that is the only difference. :anjali:


:goodpost:

PS, gracias, but I'm not a venerable. Just a plugger out here trying to learn what I can as best as I can, and one day merit the wearing of the robes again. With Metta.
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:31 am

how about Bhavana Society under Bhante G in West Virginia USA.. they are serious about their meditation there :). It is where I plan to go in as a resident with intent to renounce fairly soon.

I feel out of place a bit in that I seem to be a minority in not caring to ordain over seas. I feel the dhamma and monastics are needed here in the west. I hope to visit Thailand and Sri Lanka one day, but I have little desire to be a monastic living there.
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Re: Good monasteries to ordain for meditation?

Postby Chi » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:25 am

Jayantha-NJ wrote:I feel out of place a bit in that I seem to be a minority in not caring to ordain over seas. I feel the dhamma and monastics are needed here in the west. I hope to visit Thailand and Sri Lanka one day, but I have little desire to be a monastic living there.


I don't feel you are a minority. There are lots of people who want to stay in their own country. With more monasteries popping up in Europe, the United States, Australia, etc., I think it's easier to ordain where one feels most comfortable and where the culture shock may not be so great.
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another "devadūta!?"

Postby melancholy » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:21 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
lewis454 wrote:This afternoon I was in a high end shoe store in a busy shopping mall, and as I was trying on my first good pair of dress/business shoes, a Buddhist monk came and sat next to me.

Don't criticise until you've walked a 1,000 miles is his shoes — perhaps he wasn't there to buy some shoes, but was just a devadūta!?


another "devadūta"!? http://www.richardbarrow.com/2013/05/thai-monk-caught-with-his-pants-down/

with all due respect, this is not in anyway an attack on Bhikkhu Pesala's positive thinking, but just couldn't help asking the question from myself after reading the above link. obviously, the lord buddha did not apply the same attitude in all those incidents in the vinaya pitaka, otherwise the sangha would have been extinct by now!
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