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What's it like being a monk? - Dhamma Wheel

What's it like being a monk?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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manas
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What's it like being a monk?

Postby manas » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:48 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

SarathW
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby SarathW » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:24 am

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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kmath
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby kmath » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:58 am

I recently spent 18 months at a Thai Forest Monastery. For 12 of those months I was an Anagarika.

On the one hand, the life gone forth is free as air. You have basically no responsibilities or worries. You can really develop your samadhi, and living in nature is great -- if you go to that kind of place.

On the other hand, the lifestyle can be a grind. Most days we were up around 4:00 am and didn't get to bed until 10 or 10:30 pm. Plus there was an all night sit once a week. So I never felt like I was well-rested.

But a bigger deal was this and it's something people never talk about: as a lay person, you always having something to look forward to -- whether it's a vacation, a big game or Friday night with friends :toast:

As a monastic, I always felt like there was nothing to look forward to. Every week was basically the same as the last one: you work, you meditate, you go to bed and do it again. There's no real juice, if you get what I'm saying. Eventually that can take it's toll.

Plus, there's the whole family situation. You probably won't be able to see them much as a young monk, depending on where you ordain. Not sure if that's a big deal to you but it is to some people.

There's a lot more to say on this subject but I guess I'll leave it at that for now.

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manas
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby manas » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:10 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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manas
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby manas » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:30 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Anagarika
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Anagarika » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:50 pm

There are different kinds of monks and different kinds of Wats. I ordained temporarily in a temple that was connected to a small city, and there was an engaged element to temple life. Sure, there were many,many hours of quiet time for study and meditation. But the stillness was punctuated by community activities, teaching events ( I taught English phrases to a group of Thai men and women working at a park and resort), and other opportunities for the monks and samaneras (me) to connect with the community. This maintained a balance between solitude and engagement. My wat also had connections with cave and forest temples, so that any monk seeking to do deep meditation in solitude could do so.

Bhikkhu Bodhi once mentioned, with respect to engaged practice, that one practices in accord with one's own personality and aptitudes, or something to that effect. My take from that is that for the ordained life, one can choose a city temple over a forest temple, if one needs more connectivity and less solitude, and vice versa. As I mentioned, in Thailand one can travel between forest wats and city wats and train with different teachers that way.

There were afternoons when I felt bored, to be honest. There were days I felt disconnected. However, at Wat Sriboonruang, for example, I didn't need to wait too long for some event or visitor to punctuate the stillness, and this Wat was a great fit for my personality. The abbot is a young Ph.D. active in the community, and there was always an energy at the temple due to his community organizing. I mention this only as an example to suggest that monastic life can take on different tones and paces, and it is up to each man and woman to decide which type of temple is the best fit for them.

Besides, if you're really bored, there's always sweeping to be done. :)

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kmath
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby kmath » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:46 pm


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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:56 am

______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra - and

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Mkoll
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Mkoll » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:07 am

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Chi
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Chi » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:22 am

Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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kmath
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby kmath » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:39 am


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kmath
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby kmath » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:55 am


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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:57 am

thank you both for your responses..

btw what is samvega ?


I do find teaching fun actually, so I suppose if I ordain whenever I'm allowed to teach that would be helpful, probably not for many years. Guess thats something to look forward to :).
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra - and

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kmath
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby kmath » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:08 am


Chi
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Chi » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:12 am

Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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kmath
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby kmath » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:14 am


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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:23 am

______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra - and

Chi
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Chi » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:31 am

Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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kmath
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby kmath » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:33 am


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Mkoll
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Re: What's it like being a monk?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:08 am

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa


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