What is holding you back from ordaining?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Wind
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What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Wind » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:29 am

From time to time, the thought of ordaining crosses my mind. I find myself becoming less passionate about lay life and the meaningless pursuit of material gains and unsatisfying fulfillment of sensual pleasures. I think I am waiting for my mind to reach that final point when it is clear that I am ready to leave everything behind. I am not there yet, not even sure if I will ever get to that point but deep down I feel it is something I wish I could do in this life time. I ask myself what is holding me back from going forth? To be honest, I still enjoy my comfortable living and not quite ready to give up on relationships. There are still so many places I want to visit and new experiences I want to try. Not to mention I still have to pay off my debt. It so hard to let go and be able to drop everything, but gradually.. I hope one of these days, I can.

How about you guys? Have you thought about ordaining? What is holding you back?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:33 am

Check out this web site: Going Forth
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retrofuturist
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:39 am

Greetings,

Wind wrote: What is holding you back?

Family obligations. I was already married and with a 1 year old son by the time I discovered Buddhism.

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Check out this web site: Going Forth

Nice collection - thank you.

:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)

"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." - Thomas J. Watson

Never again...

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Ben
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Ben » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:43 am

Wind wrote:What is holding you back?

Family.
Maybe when my kids are adults and my wife is amenable to me disappearing for months at a time, I hope to ordain temporarily.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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ando
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby ando » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:58 am

I've let go of the last of my earthly posessions last year... my car and house, and I've cleared off all my debts. I have neither wife nor children. The only thing that's holding me back now is my parents. I work so they could live.

My wish is when I pass on, I will be wearing saffron robes.

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Wind
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Wind » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:03 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Check out this web site: Going Forth


Thanks Venerable!

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David N. Snyder
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:26 pm

ando wrote:The only thing that's holding me back now is my parents. I work so they could live.


Good man!

The rest of you too, taking care of family obligations.

:buddha2:
:anjali:

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby plwk » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:35 pm

What is holding you back?

Lets see...my parents?
One is an ordained Christian minister and the other who once told me to get out of the family when I was found out as a Buddhist... :guns:
It was already a mega scandal when I opted out of the family's Christian tradition...now ordination?
My sister would never forgive me if I was a cause of heart stroke for either one... :tongue:
I am resigned to the fact that I am better off an Upasaka... :sage:

Buddham Saranam Gacchami.... :console:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Reductor
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Reductor » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:13 pm

Oh, you better believe I'm going to ordain. Now, just 17 more years and the kids should be able to manage their own happiness. The wife indicates that she will be alright with me going... probably :tongue:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


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Cittasanto
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:00 pm

Obligations!

I made a promise that I need to fufill before my mother will give her permission, plus I don't want to leave just yet due to circumstances which are more of a make sure everything is OK rather than a issue as such.
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."

meindzai
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby meindzai » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:37 pm

Spending time in various monasteries made me realize that for me they are a "nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there." I don't think I am cut out for the lifestyle, or perhaps more honestely, not ready to let go of certain things.

Pretty much sealed that last week too since I got engaged. :) My fiancee is of course very suportive of my spiritual practice (I wouldn't bother with somebody that wasn't) and has served as a good partner in this regard. Sometimes I think she's a better Buddhist than I am and she's not even a Buddhist.

-M

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:41 pm

When I started out in practice I was sure I would ordain. I was probably more interested in monasticism than Buddhism as a whole, I wasn't very happy with how I was handling relationships, career, and life in general and saw monasticism as a viable alternative.

As I did retreat after retreat in preparation I found gradually my outlook became more positive and my ability to deal with "normal" life so much better, I had several opportunities to ordain but decided against it each time.

Now I have a wife, a child, and a successful career so ordaining isn't an option. However I did ordain for 3 months before I got married as is thai tradition and what I learned from that is I would be very happy as a long term monk, but too late now really.

However life goes on and the householders life presents different opportunities to learn as one must let go and make compromises all the time.
"Right effort is effort with wisdom. Because where there is wisdom, there is interest. The desire to know something is wisdom at work. Being mindful is not difficult. But it’s difficult to be continuously aware. For that you need right effort. But it does not require a great deal of energy. It’s relaxed perseverance in reminding yourself to be aware. When you are aware, wisdom unfolds naturally, and there is still more interest." - Sayadaw U Tejaniya

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:48 pm

Greetings,

meindzai wrote:Pretty much sealed that last week too since I got engaged. :)


Congratulations! (I think? :tongue: - it feels like a funny sub-forum in which to say that...)

meindzai wrote:My fiancee is of course very suportive of my spiritual practice (I wouldn't bother with somebody that wasn't) and has served as a good partner in this regard.


:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)

"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." - Thomas J. Watson

Never again...

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Guy
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Guy » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:17 pm

Hi All,

I could easily say "well, in western countries you need to do X number of retreats and X number of years as an anagarika before they even consider you, blah blah blah..." but then why not just go overseas and ordain?

Lately I have been finding in my meditation practice that I reach a certain point and then I hit this wall of fear and bounce right back out. I believe it is this same fear (the fear of letting go, fear of "disappearing") which is holding me back from ordaining too. Seeing the problem is a good start though, for a long time I didn't even want to look at this, now I see it I am chipping away at it little by little.

Hopefully it is just a matter of time now.

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

ando
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby ando » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:55 am

Sometimes when I think about ordaining or even a life of solitude, I think about this:

Am I running towards something?
Or am I running away from something?

It can be discomforting if you come from a culture that tells you to strand straight and fight like a man, and you're called a chicken for walking away from life's challenges, like leaving home.

Does it matter what one's intentions are though when it comes to being a monastic? Any thoughts?

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Guy
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Guy » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:03 am

Hi Ando,

ando wrote:Does it matter what one's intentions are though when it comes to being a monastic? Any thoughts?


The three types of Right Intention: Renunciation, Kindness, Compassion.

If you ordain with these intentions in mind then only positive results can come from that.

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

ando
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby ando » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:32 am

Thanks Guy,

One of the things I've had trouble explaining to my non-Buddhist friends is in what way was Gotama kind and compassionate when he walked out from his wife and child. I'm still uncertain if he had the permission of his parents and wife when he did.

Quite frankly, my leaving my family would cause hardship to my siblings who, like my parents, depend on my income to survive. My renuncuation would be a betrayal, a most unkind act to them. Although my desire to ordain is high, I haven't finished thinking about the fallout that would happen when I leave home. :|

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Guy
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Guy » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:13 am

Hi Ando,

ando wrote:One of the things I've had trouble explaining to my non-Buddhist friends is in what way was Gotama kind and compassionate when he walked out from his wife and child. I'm still uncertain if he had the permission of his parents and wife when he did.


This is just my understanding of why he left, I might be wrong: After seeing the realities of aging, sickness and death which apply to all beings the Buddha-to-be had a strong sense of urgency to find the way out of suffering. In India at that time the spiritual quest was relatively common, many people left home and became wanderers and ascetics. From a Buddhist POV, the difference between the Buddha and other wanderers is that the others failed to reach the goal, whereas the Buddha successfully fulfilled the spiritual life, discovered the Four Noble Truths, and taught the True Dhamma to others.

First of all his compassion was to himself, I believe that he recognized that if he is to help anyone else out of Dukkha he must first help himself. As kind and compassionate as he could be to his family in a household life that kindness and compassion would never be as far-reaching and long-lasting in its benefit (to himself and other beings) compared to if he became the Buddha, which I am very grateful he did. Once he attained Buddhahood he could help many many beings that he might not have been able to otherwise even if he were the best husband, the best father or even the best king. Also, the kind of happiness a husband, father or king can provide is only temporary whereas a Buddha who teaches others how to free themselves from suffering forever, irreversibly is the greatest gift he could give to the world.

Quite frankly, my leaving my family would cause hardship to my siblings who, like my parents, depend on my income to survive. My renuncuation would be a betrayal, a most unkind act to them. Although my desire to ordain is high, I haven't finished thinking about the fallout that would happen when I leave home. :|


You don't need to rediscover the Dhamma - the Buddha has done the hard work already. If it is not practical to become a monastic at the moment I wouldn't worry too much, just do the best you can for now. Even lay people can become stream-winners, once-returners and non-returners. Worst case scenario is you live a wholesome life as a kind and caring layperson. That's not so bad, is it?

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

ando
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby ando » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:44 am

Guy wrote:This is just my understanding of why he left, I might be wrong: After seeing the realities of aging, sickness and death which apply to all beings the Buddha-to-be had a strong sense of urgency to find the way out of suffering.


Hello Guy, yes this is precisely why I would ordain. Not to rediscover but to walk down the discovered path. Staying on as a householder is inviting more suffering on oneself, especially when one has developed a dispassion for it. The parable of the turtle and the rarity of human life tells me I better not miss this train, but doing so would mean deserting my dependents. It's a hard decision to make.

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Wind
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Wind » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:47 am

ando wrote:
Guy wrote:This is just my understanding of why he left, I might be wrong: After seeing the realities of aging, sickness and death which apply to all beings the Buddha-to-be had a strong sense of urgency to find the way out of suffering.


Hello Guy, yes this is precisely why I would ordain. Not to rediscover but to walk down the discovered path. Staying on as a householder is inviting more suffering on oneself, especially when one has developed a dispassion for it. The parable of the turtle and the rarity of human life tells me I better not miss this train, but doing so would mean deserting my dependents. It's a hard decision to make.


It is indeed a hard decision there ando, one I can somewhat relate. I too have to make sure my family is taken care of before I can ever consider ordaining. They will probably need my financial support during these hard economic times. I don't want to live them in burden. I am trying my best to save up as much as I can so that if I do decide to ordain, I will leave them with all my savings. Although what i leave them will not last long, it is the best I can do. And I wish to one day be able to gain some attainments in my practice so that I can then offer them an even better gift than money, the Dhamma.

Wish you the best ando.


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