Ordination in Sri Lanka

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
piano piano
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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby piano piano » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Andrew, you are mentioning a request for info on other meditation centers in Sri Lanka. I had not mentioned Lewella Bhavana yet, which actually could serve as your first base if you head to Kandy where the BPS (Buddhist Publ. Soc) is. It was first established under the management of Ven. Analayo who was a Samanera then, as a branch of Nilambe, which is the better place of the two. The way I got to know it was when it was in the hands of a group of dedicated lay-people, but since recently it is again managed by monks.

This description is how it was when I stayed there.
http://www.buddhistravel.com/index.php? ... 33,0,0,1,0
There is quite a good list of all the other places on this site, even though most of the info is quite dated, often not accurate anymore. But it gives you good info how to get to the places, and about the situation of some of them (noisy or not, good kutis, well supported etc).

The new center at Lewella has its own website, but I can't locate it at the moment. The one of its "mother house", Nilambe, is http://nilambe.net/

Nilambe is really the best place to be in all of Lanka. It's on top of a hill in an old tea-estate, accessible from Kandy. There are western lay-people there who stayed for decades. Although it is a lay-center, monastics often stay there too. It is a small paradise, but it can be cold sometimes.

And to address your request for recipies against mosquitos: In Lanka you are more endangered by leeches, esp when it rains. A citronella or lemon-grass aetheric/essential oil may help to some extent (but you can't pour thsat all over your feet all the time). These creatures are really fast, and can get you unexpectedly, when you find them between your toes or up on your legs.

There is a lot more to say on many topics, but I am short of time at the moment, as I am preparing to go to Thailand next week as kappiya of a monk-friend of mine. Someone else who promised to do the job dropped out ten days before the trip, and I am filling in at the last minute, so to speak. But I had planned to go to Thailand this winter anyhow.

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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby andrewhallas » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:31 pm

Once again thank you for the inspirational advice PianoPiano wise word from someone who
sounds as though they have a lot of experience in Sri Lanka and ordination procedure.

I wish you a wonderful trip in Thailand and hope this is an experience you gain much from

Once again thank you so very much for your valuable input into helping me have a general
idea of the Sri Lanka and her people.

Andrew

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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby Rob1980 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:08 pm

You dont need to learn Sinhalese as a monk in Sri Lanka. At Na Uyana you can quite easily get around not learning the language and it might, depending on your temperament, be detrimental knowing the language as it means you get to hear all the gossip. The sermons are sometimes given in English and Sinhalese. Most monks speak some english and a rare few may even speak better english than you.

I would strongly advise you to look at as many places as possible before ordaining, once you have decided on a place, stay there for at least 5 years. There are many monks who after just 1 month, 1 year, decide that there might be a better monastery somewhere else. And so off they go, 10 years later they are still searching(or have disrobed).

Look around in Thailand and also the monasteries in England, as well as Sri Lanka. Remember, if you are thinking of ordaining you need to be committed and so it is a good idea to know that you are at the best place for you.

There is a short video on Na Uyana if you are interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-sk9SGaZUk

I think that Na Uyana is the by far the best place for someone to learn how to be a monk and learn something about meditation. But remember that you are a foreigner, and you will never be able to fully integrate into the sinhalese culture no matter how long and how well you can speak the language. That is the advantage of being in a community in the west. However, if you have strong meditation, then Sri Lanka is a great place for solitude and practice and one can live out ones romantic ideals of monkhood very nicely. If ygou dont have very very good meditation I would advise caution before embarking on monasticism outside of the west. The support simply is not there(I am talking about emotional support rather than material support(which is in abundance)

Best of luck. I was in the same boat as you 5 years ago, I lived out in Sri Lanka for 5 years as a monk.

I have now returned to the west as a lay person for various reasons.

With metta

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EXTREME READER DISCRETION ADVISED

Postby melancholy » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:34 pm

EXTREME READER DISCRETION ADVISED REGARDING ON-LINE RECOMMENDATIONS! IN THE END, IT IS OUR OWN LIFE & SPIRITUAL PATH AT STAKE.

on Nov 07, 2012:
Rob1980 wrote:I think that Na Uyana is the by far the best place for someone to learn how to be a monk and learn something about meditation.

we foreigners must be very cautious about asian spiritual adventures. strange, how people can recommend the very place where they got "extremely disillusioned with monasticism". at the end of four years in the best place as a monk, the subject:

    1. got extremely disillusioned
    2. did not have a strong enough foundation in meditation
alas! now he recommend others to go there. :thinking:

on Jul 16, 2013. 12th and 18th posts here:
Rob1980 wrote:I ordained there from 2007-2011.

Rob1980 wrote:Anyway, it was enough for me to be extremely disillusioned with monasticism in general and I disrobed in August 2011, just before the end of the vassa. The only viable option I saw was to live alone in the forests, as do a quite a few forest monks away from all the politics, but I did not have a strong enough foundation in meditation.

why the contradicting recomendation? perhaps, this fear is the reason (18th post):
Rob1980 wrote:I felt slightly hesitant to give my pali name, as I have friends at Na Uyana, and I thought if the elders read what I have said, perhaps I may not be able to go back to Sri Lanka to visit them.

related:
16th post here and here.
Last edited by melancholy on Wed May 07, 2014 3:14 am, edited 3 times in total.
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."

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Power & Problems

Postby ArkA » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:29 pm

Power can make problems disappear, so they are no longer problems!

;)
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572

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melancholy
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Re: Power & Problems

Postby melancholy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:58 pm

ArkA wrote:Power can make problems disappear, so they are no longer problems!

;)


well ArkA, power can do that but only if it can abandon the moral judgement. making problems disappear is not the same as solving them!

;)
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."

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Re: Power & Problems

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:25 pm

Check out SN 51.20: Iddhipadavibhanga Sutta... or, the Analysis of the Bases of Power.

:anjali:

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melancholy
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Re: Power & Problems

Postby melancholy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:29 pm

beeblebrox wrote:Check out SN 51.20: Iddhipadavibhanga Sutta... or, the Analysis of the Bases of Power.

:anjali:


thanks beeblebrox, but ArkA not talking about "chanda, citta, viriya, vimansa". he was talking about my post just before his. it is about the corrupted mundane power and fear about that corrupted power. kind of "paranimmita vasawatti" (control freak) power.

:anjali:
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."

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Re: Power & Problems

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:48 pm

melancholy wrote:it is about the corrupted mundane power and fear about that corrupted power.


This quote from the sutta might be related:

SN 51.20

"And how does a monk dwell so that what is below is the same as what is above, and what is above is the same as what is below? There is the case where a monk reflects on this very body, from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin, & full of various kinds of unclean things: 'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.' This is how a monk dwells so that what is below is the same as what is above, and what is above is the same as what is below.


To put that into context: during the Buddha's time it was commonly believed that the brahmin's caste was born from the crown of Brahma (or his mouth), and that the lowest caste was born from Brahma's foot... people believed that this was what made the brahmins "pure," and that it was what gave them power.

Conversely, they also believed that the lowest caste were unclean (or corrupt), and therefore, unworthy of attention.

There is nothing to be disillusioned about. I think that everyone is a human being, including the monks.

:anjali:

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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby melancholy » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:38 am

well said beeblebrox, well said! sadhu! sadhu!!

surely there is nothing to be disillusioned about, unless the student willingly illusioned himself about the teacher at the first place. buddha gave enough advice regarding how to pick a teacher and the qualifications he must have. to quote thanissaro bhikkhu (thanks to binocular):

/.../
Sometimes you read about teachers who turn out to be major disappointments. They do really horrible things to their students, and the students complain that they've been victimized. But in nearly every case, when you read the whole story, you realize that the students should have seen this coming. There were blatant warning signals that they chose to ignore. You have to be responsible in choosing your teachers, choosing your path. Once you've chosen the path that looks likely, you have to be responsible in following it, in learning how to develop your own sensitivity in following it. Because after all, what is the path that the Buddha points out? There's virtue, there's concentration, and there's discernment. These are all qualities in your own mind. We all have them to some extent. Learning how to develop what's in your own mind is what's going to make all the difference. The Buddha's discernment isn't going to give you awakening; his virtue and concentration aren't going to give you awakening. You have to develop your own. Nobody else can develop these things for you. Other people can give you hints; they can help point you in the right direction. But the actual work and the actual seeing is something you have to do for yourself.
/.../

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Adult Dhamma.


:anjali:
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."

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Re: EXTREME READER DISCRETION ADVISED

Postby ArkA » Sun May 04, 2014 11:20 pm

melancholy, did you miss this?

Rob1980 wrote:I think that Na Uyana is the by far the best place for someone to learn how to be a monk and learn something about meditation.


Rob1980 wrote:I ordained there from 2007-2011


Rob1980 wrote:Anyway, it was enough for me to be extremely disillusioned with monasticism in general and I disrobed in August 2011, just before the end of the vassa. The only viable option I saw was to live alone in the forests, as do a quite a few forest monks away from all the politics, but I did not have a strong enough foundation in meditation.
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572

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melancholy
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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby melancholy » Mon May 05, 2014 4:16 am

:D ;)

thanks ArkA, good observation. i edited my post.

regards :anjali:
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."

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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby ccook70 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:07 am

Are there a lot of English-speaking teachers and monks at Na Uyana?

I'm interested in NaUyana but I need to have an English-speaking Dhamma teacher.

Thanks,

Corey

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Re: Ordination in Sri Lanka

Postby happylotus1 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:51 pm

I lived at Na Uyana about 3 months as a lay practitioner. I felt like this is the ideal place for contemplation and meditation. The area is very large; may be the largest on the earth as a Buddhist Monastic area. In size, it is about 10 times larger than Pa Auk monastery, Burma with about 10 times lesser residing population. Despite its large area, it is well managed. Road and drinking water network are well done surprisingly in such a vast mountainous forest area. Kutis are simple but well designed. Foods are diverse, palatable, and healthy. The place is mixture of old Na tree forest and recently reforested area which are very good for isolation and meditation. The monastery is not crowded with people as the size of the monastery and number of people makes this monastery with low population density. Despite with the negative remarks from some people and even one book is published highlighting negative aspects of this monastery, I am sure that no one will ever regret living in such a peaceful place. Wisdom is "Just don't involve in monastic politics". As Buddha points out "Wander Alone, Like a Rhinoceros".

And yes the main meditation teacher speaks English. there are 15-20 English speaking monks as well.
A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?


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