Taking the plunge

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

Taking the plunge

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:04 am

Today I took the plunge, and booked my plane flight to Sri Lanka. I'm leaving NZ on May 26th to begin in earnest a life of homelessness.

To describe the feeling just before hitting that button, it was like standing at the door of a plane ready to jump out. You know you've got the parachute and your emergency-chute, it's all packed, secured, you checked it thrice, but all the same there's that last minute wish to stay with what you know - something to stand on. For me that something to stand on was the life I have led over the past 19 and a bit years, in a southern New Zealand town called Dunedin, where you run into people you know on the street, the Winters are cold and romantic, the Summers lazy and warm, and nothing really changes.

Of course that middle class comfort, replete with the sensual pleasures is a mere illusion, disguising the inevitable disease, decay and death that must befall us all, and yet there was a hesitation, a willingness to continue this life of grand procrastination. There was a willingness to go down with the ship, a long with all those that I love.

But in the end that's all it is, a great deception. No comfort. No safety.

It's time to do what should be done. It's time to put forth effort and steer this raft to the farther shore.

metta
Jack :heart:
Last edited by BlackBird on Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:19 am

Congratulations Jack! :anjali:

Your parachute comment reminds me of a simile for awakening, but I don't remember the source...

You jump out of the plane...

Then you are thankful that you have parachute...

Then you realise that the parachute doesn't work...

Then you realise that there is no ground...

Metta
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby cooran » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:57 am

Hello Jack,

Anumodana in your kusula cetana!
So attha-laddho sukhito
Viru.lho buddha-saasane
Arogo sukhito hohi
Saha sabbehi ñaatibhi.
May he gain his aims, be happy,
and flourish in the Buddha's teachings.
May you, together with all your relatives,
be happy and free from disease.

Which monastery are you planning to go to? Have you had contact with any particular one?
How long can you legally enter Sri Lanka for? Have you been learning a little Sinhalese?

metta
Chris
Last edited by cooran on Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:04 am

Sadhu!
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:16 am

Be careful.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:29 am

Hello Mike, Chris, Sanghamitta, Tilt, and everyone else, thank you for your kind words :anjali:

Chris wrote:Which monastery are you planning to go to? Have you had contact with any particular one?
How long can you legally enter Sri Lanka for? Have you been learning a ittle Sinhalese?

metta
Chris


Hi Chris

A couple of friends from Sri Lanka have been teaching me a bit of Sinhala, although I must admit I haven't been putting in enough effort into this department.

When I arrive in Sri Lanka there are three monasteries I would like to stay at to begin with:
- Na Uyana.
- Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya (for the Rains retreat, have talked it over with Ven. Dhammajiva Thero).
- Potgulgala (Where Ven. K. Nyanananda thero resides).

As a kiwi, one gets a month visa-free on the house, however the Sri Lankan consulate in Wellington tell me it's easy to apply for a meditation visa once in the country.

metta
Jack
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:55 am

:anjali: Image
keep in touch when you go! which plan did you opt for? out of curiosity!
Sri Lanka did crop into my mind a couple of times, but unfortunately there is something I must do before making any move :(
have you contacted anywhere... probably loads more questions to ask and answer!

BlackBird wrote:Today I took the plunge, and booked my plane flight to Sri Lanka. I'm leaving NZ on May 26th to begin in earnest a life of homelessness.

To describe the feeling just before hitting that button, it was like standing at the door of a plane ready to jump out. You know you've got the parachute and your emergency-chute, it's all packed, secured, you checked it thrice, but all the same there's that last minute wish to stay with what you know - something to stand on. For me that something to stand on was the life I have led over the past 19 and a bit years, in a southern New Zealand town called Dunedin, where you run into people you know on the street, the Winters are cold and romantic, the Summers lazy and warm, and nothing really changes.

Of course that middle class comfort, replete with the sensual pleasures is a mere illusion, disguising the inevitable disease, decay and death that must befall us all, and yet there was a hesitation, a willingness to continue this life of grand procrastination. There was a willingness to go down with the ship, a long with all those that I love.

But in the end that's all it is, a great deception. No comfort. No safety.

It's time to do what should be done. It's time to put forth effort and steer this raft to the farther shore.

metta
Jack :heart:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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: Taking the plunge

Postby Guy » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:20 am

Hi Jack,

I hope everything goes well for you in Sri Lanka. I really understand where you are coming from, being a dissatisfied young middle class man, thinking a lot about living the monastic life. Procrastination is a hindrance I am all too familiar with, therefore your decisive action is very inspiring to me!

May your path to Liberation be a fast and happy one.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:24 am

Greetings Jack,

I am incredibly happy for you!

Do your research and planning and I'm sure it will go great.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:38 pm

Best of luck, Jack, and most importantly lots of perseverance when you hit those bumps!

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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:49 pm

:anjali:
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:31 pm

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! All the best!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:37 pm

Best of luck to you!

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby alan » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:35 pm

Hi Jack. Admire your aspirations.
Don't mean to throw a bucket of cold water on your head, but, well, Ok please allow me to throw a bucket or two. I've been traveling on and off since I was your age, and if I may offer one bit of advice it would be: make sure you know what you are getting into!
I left the US three days after high school and spent over a year bicycling/hitchhiking/working odd jobs around Europe/Mid-east and (after some college) another year living an working in Greece and Norway before even attempting Asia. Even after all that, at times Asia kicked my ass! Spent 6 months in India--it was fascinating but never easy. It's been almost 20 years and I've spent most of the last 7 in Asia and even now I'm aware of the fact that a new country can be a challenge. So as Tilt said be careful.

Is there a place to study in lovely NZ? Maybe best to start there.

If you are determined to go:
Forget about learning Sinhala. There is no possible way you'll master it in the time you have, and anyway there should be plenty of English speakers available to you. (This is based on my time in India; I haven't been to SL).
Get an extended stay Visa before you leave.
Bring lots of mosquito repellant.
Good Luck and don't go. Stay where you are. You're doing fine.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby poto » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:16 pm

Good luck, and I hope it's a fruitful path for you.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Dhammabodhi » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:44 pm

Whatever the outcome, deep bows to you for taking the plunge. :anjali:

Try to maintain your upekkha, which from your other posts I think you have in copious amounts , and u'll do fine wherever you go. Of course planning and preparation is also important, so do all you can to be well-prepared.

May you find profound and unshakeable peace. :buddha1:

Metta,
Dhammabodhi
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby appicchato » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Dhammabodhi wrote:...u'll do fine wherever you go.

May you find profound and unshakeable peace. :buddha1:

:thumbsup:
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:44 pm

Hi Jack,

If we're going into advice mode, the advice I would give is to not expect anywhere or anyone to be perfect.

I think that this is especially important if you eventually decide to ordain. I'm not sure if you read Kevin's (he had several different screen names including Alexander) posts on E-Sangha about his ordination, and disrobing, in Thailand (a year ago?). I don't know him at all, but my impression was that he really, really, wanted to be somewhere where all the monks had perfect sila, perfect (corresponding with his opinion) view of the Dhamma, and perfect everything else. That's impossible.

Metta
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby puthujjana » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:37 pm

Sādhu, sādhu, sādhu!

:bow:
"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."
- Ajahn Chah
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Re: Taking the plunge

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:46 pm

My love and good wishes go with you Jack!
May you be successful in your noble endeavours!
metta

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