Being turned down from ordination

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

Being turned down from ordination

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:40 am

Hello all,
Hope you're well.

How often does it happen where an aspiring initiate is turned away from pursuing ordination? And I don't mean because they did some particular behavior or something like that, but for the reason of space or strain on the lay community or simply because the abbot doesn't feel they're ready yet for some reason?

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby appicchato » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:05 am

From my experience, in Thailand, rarely...if ever...
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:18 am

Greetings bhante,

Could the prospective bhikkhu's "fit" or "alignment" with the teachings of the abbot or senior monks have any bearing on procedings? (e.g. City vs Forest, Commentarial approach vs Sutta apprach vs Abhidhamma approach).

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:29 am

Dhammakid wrote: for the reason of space or strain on the lay community or simply because the abbot doesn't feel they're ready yet for some reason?


In the U.S. it is probably more common than in Asian countries. This is because sometimes there may not be enough support from the lay community, i.e., not enough Asian-born Buddhists around in a particular U.S. city or neighborhood who understand and know the protocol about lunch dana, etc. There are also some rare cases where a person is turned away, when he/she is attempting to join for the wrong reasons, such as from a (temporary) fight with a spouse or if the person feels that they have attained enlightenment (where it is obvious that this is not the case), or those in need of professional mental health services.
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby appicchato » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:38 am

retrofuturist wrote:Could the prospective bhikkhu's "fit" or "alignment" with the teachings of the abbot or senior monks have any bearing on procedings? (e.g. City vs Forest, Commentarial approach vs Sutta apprach vs Abhidhamma approach).

Hi Paul,

Certainly...although I'd be hard pressed to cite particulars where any of these come into play (in Thailand), not to say they don't...this thread (and responses) really highlights (to me) how very different the MO is between the East (Thailand being my only experience, although Laos, Cambodia, and possibly Burma probably aren't too far removed...Sri Lanka being, more or less, another entity entirely) and the West...we're definitely in two (parallel?) spaces here...questions like the OP's might get more of a definitive overview if the locale is specified because 'one size' definitely won't fit all...or so it appears from my vantage point...
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:41 am

Hi All
the PDF I posted on the other ordination thread covers this aslo!

I believe if one monestary is full of monks but need lay people they take on aspirants, but would send them to another monestary closer to the time they would ordain if space is still not available? obviously in the west though!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:17 pm

So it looks like it's dependent on space, strain on laity and perception of ability to practice. And it's probably more common in the States than overseas.

What do you think for a monastery like Abhayagiri or Bhavana Society? Any differences or special variations?

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:12 am

Dhammakid wrote:So it looks like it's dependent on space, strain on laity and perception of ability to practice. And it's probably more common in the States than overseas.

What do you think for a monastery like Abhayagiri or Bhavana Society? Any differences or special variations?

:anjali:
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Hi Dhammakid
you would need to contact them, although the PDF i posted elswhere was from a related monestary/s to Abhayagiri they could have there own requirements, and sheets, best to contact them directly!

I know Bhavana society have a version on the web of the PDF but not where!

when I was looking only one Lao Wat I think it was said they had no room for full time lay supporters, but this was a small Wat in london I think.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Being turned down from ordination

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:37 am

Abhayagiri has a waiting list, years long if i remember correctly. im not sure about the other place.
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:38 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi Dhammakid
you would need to contact them, although the PDF i posted elswhere was from a related monestary/s to Abhayagiri they could have there own requirements, and sheets, best to contact them directly!

I know Bhavana society have a version on the web of the PDF but not where!

when I was looking only one Lao Wat I think it was said they had no room for full time lay supporters, but this was a small Wat in london I think.


Thanks Manapa. Do you happen to have a link to the thread in which you posted the PDF, or a link to the PDF itself? Thanks.

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:39 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:Abhayagiri has a waiting list, years long if i remember correctly. im not sure about the other place.


Wow, a years long waiting list. Wasn't expecting that. Didn't think so many people would want to ordain in the States.

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:07 pm

here you go!
it is related to Aruna, Amaravati and Chithurst monestaries in the UK, I got it from Amaravati all forest tradition of thailand (Ajahn Chah).


Dhammakid wrote:
Manapa wrote:Hi Dhammakid
you would need to contact them, although the PDF i posted elswhere was from a related monestary/s to Abhayagiri they could have there own requirements, and sheets, best to contact them directly!

I know Bhavana society have a version on the web of the PDF but not where!

when I was looking only one Lao Wat I think it was said they had no room for full time lay supporters, but this was a small Wat in london I think.


Thanks Manapa. Do you happen to have a link to the thread in which you posted the PDF, or a link to the PDF itself? Thanks.

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This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:13 pm

Thanks Manapa, it's greatly appreciated!

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:31 pm

Dhammakid wrote:Wow, a years long waiting list. Wasn't expecting that. Didn't think so many people would want to ordain in the States.


Some possible reasons why Abhyagiri may be so popular:

1. Ajahn Chah tradition
2. Beautiful weather (for the most part, Northern California, not too far from coast)
3. Beautiful temple and grounds
4. Breathtaking views and mountain trails for walking meditation
5. Excellent monks

and there might be a few more good reasons too.
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:10 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
Dhammakid wrote:Wow, a years long waiting list. Wasn't expecting that. Didn't think so many people would want to ordain in the States.


Some possible reasons why Abhyagiri may be so popular:

1. Ajahn Chah tradition
2. Beautiful weather (for the most part, Northern California, not too far from coast)
3. Beautiful temple and grounds
4. Breathtaking views and mountain trails for walking meditation
5. Excellent monks

and there might be a few more good reasons too.


Ah, yeah that makes sense. And I'm guessing they don't have a large amount of resident monks? Because I guess I'm asking that although it might be among the most popular in the States, I still didn't think so many people wanted to ordain. Maybe there's not a whole lot of people wanting to ordain but rather they just can't hold very many monks.

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:26 pm

Dhammakid wrote:Ah, yeah that makes sense. And I'm guessing they don't have a large amount of resident monks? Because I guess I'm asking that although it might be among the most popular in the States, I still didn't think so many people wanted to ordain. Maybe there's not a whole lot of people wanting to ordain but rather they just can't hold very many monks.


:thumbsup: I believe you are correct, that it is not so much the number wanting to ordain, but the popularity of this spot.

Abhyagiri does not have that many kutis for resident monks. Their land is fairly large, so maybe they will expand in the future, if their is enough lay support.
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:15 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
Dhammakid wrote:Ah, yeah that makes sense. And I'm guessing they don't have a large amount of resident monks? Because I guess I'm asking that although it might be among the most popular in the States, I still didn't think so many people wanted to ordain. Maybe there's not a whole lot of people wanting to ordain but rather they just can't hold very many monks.


:thumbsup: I believe you are correct, that it is not so much the number wanting to ordain, but the popularity of this spot.

Abhyagiri does not have that many kutis for resident monks. Their land is fairly large, so maybe they will expand in the future, if their is enough lay support.


I hope so, that would be great. Maybe that's motivation for more lay supporters to get involved, and do fundraisers or court wealthy donors or something like that. One of my goals as laity is to start a fairly large monastic fund for Theravadin monasteries in the States.

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby pilgrim » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:52 am

Dhammakid wrote:
I hope so, that would be great. Maybe that's motivation for more lay supporters to get involved, and do fundraisers or court wealthy donors or something like that. One of my goals as laity is to start a fairly large monastic fund for Theravadin monasteries in the States.

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Dhammakid

I wonder what's the limitation on expansion. Surely it's not too expensive to put up a few more kutis. As for meals, a monk needs just one or two main meals a day. At some of the danas I've been to there's enough food to feed the resident population several times over.

The Buddha set up the sangha to be easy to support. All a monk needs is a bowl to collect his food and suitable lodging. But in reality, it is the contrary. Every time a monk comes to stay in our temple, it becomes a huge organisational affair. How did it come to this?
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby bazzaman » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:49 am

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Last edited by bazzaman on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby shjohnk » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:23 am

Dhammakid wrote:
TheDhamma wrote:
Dhammakid wrote:I hope so, that would be great. Maybe that's motivation for more lay supporters to get involved, and do fundraisers or court wealthy donors or something like that. One of my goals as laity is to start a fairly large monastic fund for Theravadin monasteries in the States.

:anjali:
Dhammakid


What a wonderful aspiration, DK :clap: Please keep us posted if you do it as it would be a worthy cause: In every country, not just the US. It worries me that monks in the West are so reliant on the amazing generousity of people from traditional Buddhist countries1 It may be that this cannot always be relied on in the future, so best to start providing more Dana opportunities for 'New' Buddhists :anjali:

On Topic: I think that there would have to be a very pressing reason to turn someone intent on ordaining away, eg: Physical or mental incapacity.

BTW, Good to see you are keeping up your commitment and zeal! I connected with you on Facebook a while ago but I have no access to that site in the country I'm living now. Nice to see you on this site!

All the best,

John
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