What is holding you back from ordaining?

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

Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Brizzy » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:29 pm

Hi

Just thought I'd look at this thread to see what everyone elses reasons are for not ordaining. I think everybodys posts cover why I havent. I think we have to be true to ourselves and realise that the lay life can be a very strong attachment - it is for me, and although I may think that when my family commitments are reduced, I will ordain - I am still not sure if I am kidding myself.

On another subject :-


Freawaru wrote:What I want to say is that I would not call anyone an arahat who cannot stay aware and knowing just because body and mind are in a state of orgasm. Or just because there is a baby that needs to be attended to and there is nobody else. How should that be Liberation? But as the suttas state that arahats are celibates the term "celibate" cannot possibly refer to it's every-day biological meaning.


Freawaru, are you implying that Arahants have sex or engage in sexual activity. The Buddha states in one of the suttas that craving can be overcome by craving and conceit by conceit etc. However in regard to the sexual act the Blessed One has advised the destruction of the bridge.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.159.than.html

If you want to read the Buddhas explanation of celibacy it is found here :- AN 7 47, the sutta actually mentions coitus in regard to celibacy. Celibacy is to be celibate regarding the sexual act and sexual activity.

:smile:

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby James the Giant » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:34 am

I am wondering and thinking about ordaining...
But before I ordain I will spend six months living and working voluntarily at my local meditation centre. (and obeying the eight precepts).
I am going there in three weeks, to and staying till the end of September. I've taken six months off from work.
I think this is a good intermediate step on a path which may lead to ordination...
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:50 am

Two big thumbs up: :twothumbsup:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Guy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:08 am

BlackBird wrote:Two big thumbs up: :twothumbsup:

Seconded! :twothumbsup:
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: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:22 am

Greetings James,

James the Giant wrote:I am wondering and thinking about ordaining...
But before I ordain I will spend six months living and working voluntarily at my local meditation centre. (and obeying the eight precepts).
I am going there in three weeks, to and staying till the end of September. I've taken six months off from work.
I think this is a good intermediate step on a path which may lead to ordination...


I like it... it's got a bit of "try before you buy" about it.

: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: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Freawaru » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:27 am

Hi Brizzi,

I think I have already said everything I want regarding my reasons not to ordain on this thread.

I will answer your question on your thread at viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3837&start=0

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Clayton » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:27 pm

Well I do have occasional bouts with ordination fantasies... I notice however that they tend to co-inside with the more difficult stages of my practice... Although it is plain to me that the problems are within my own relationship to circumstances I sometimes desire to have a complete spiritual environment. What holds me back? Well I have no debts, wife, kids etc. One of my main concerns is the one session rule. I am a borderline diabetic and to eat once a day doesn't work with my body... I am not exactly sure if my health would be able to take ordination...

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby adosa » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:28 pm

Clayton wrote:Well I do have occasional bouts with ordination fantasies... I notice however that they tend to co-inside with the more difficult stages of my practice... Although it is plain to me that the problems are within my own relationship to circumstances I sometimes desire to have a complete spiritual environment. What holds me back? Well I have no debts, wife, kids etc. One of my main concerns is the one session rule. I am a borderline diabetic and to eat once a day doesn't work with my body... I am not exactly sure if my health would be able to take ordination...



Hi Clayton,

I almost certain that in your situation a variance would be made. If you are serious I think it would be worth checking into it.


adosa :smile:
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:24 am

I did want to ordain but had to make a choice because my parents were unwell and unable to take care of themselves. So I decided to go down the path of a lay person. It has been challenging for my practice- I have learnt a lot doing it- and I have looked after my parents. I sometimes feel like tearing my hair out (if I had any) when I see people who have the opportunity to ordain but don't go for it because they don't understand the dhamma enough.
I found that my ordination fantasies were strongest when I became sad -suggesting some kind of escape perhaps? I'm not sure. But now I don't wish strongly to ordain- that is yet another craving and I need to make peace with my choice. However I do teach and practice the dhamma- I guess I live partly vicariously from those I teach but also I have pushed the envelope of my development in many directions sometimes drawing back before I completely snuff out my sex drive (..my wife wants to have kids!). I have no problem with having kids- they will be yet another challenge to my practice- perhaps I will grow more towards the path because of it. I am confident that I will get to where I want to go before I die. I see my goal as nibbana if not in this lifetime then at the most by the next. What I do with my life -career etc- is just spending time-things I have to do- while I keep my eye on the goal and slowly build towards it.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:34 am

Greetings Clayton,

Clayton wrote:One of my main concerns is the one session rule. I am a borderline diabetic and to eat once a day doesn't work with my body... I am not exactly sure if my health would be able to take ordination...


I'm pretty sure the one-session rule is one of the ascetic practices, and not one of the patimokkha rules. I think two meals are fine so long as they are before the sun crosses the zenith (or noon for simplicity)? Certain things would also be allowable as medicines in the afternoon, particularly given your condition.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:11 am

there are diabetic monks, so there has to be some sort of a way they're not just dropping dead etc.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:25 am

Hi RYB

rowyourboat wrote:I did want to ordain but had to make a choice because my parents were unwell and unable to take care of themselves. So I decided to go down the path of a lay person. It has been challenging for my practice- I have learnt a lot doing it- and I have looked after my parents. I sometimes feel like tearing my hair out (if I had any) when I see people who have the opportunity to ordain but don't go for it because they don't understand the dhamma enough.
I found that my ordination fantasies were strongest when I became sad -suggesting some kind of escape perhaps? I'm not sure. But now I don't wish strongly to ordain- that is yet another craving and I need to make peace with my choice. However I do teach and practice the dhamma- I guess I live partly vicariously from those I teach but also I have pushed the envelope of my development in many directions sometimes drawing back before I completely snuff out my sex drive (..my wife wants to have kids!). I have no problem with having kids- they will be yet another challenge to my practice- perhaps I will grow more towards the path because of it. I am confident that I will get to where I want to go before I die. I see my goal as nibbana if not in this lifetime then at the most by the next. What I do with my life -career etc- is just spending time-things I have to do- while I keep my eye on the goal and slowly build towards it.


Indeed, having children does present its challenges with regards to practice. The very real challenges faced by a lay person in the day-to-day of daily life are not without significant pay-off with regards to progress on the path. I don't consider living the life of a householder and having a wife and children as second-rate compared with monastic life. One may not be able to meditate and study as much as one could without family, but renouncing our own desires and serving others, I have found, have profound benefits. Any life that is anchored on the Dhamma is not only a good life but a great life. RYB, remember the example of Anathapindika.
metta

Ben
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
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Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Clayton » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:08 am

Thanks Retro, JC, and Adosa for your encouragement. I have probably close to a year left before I finish my undergraduate degree. As this is something my parents encourage I have no intention of going forth before I complete this part of my practice. I don't believe I wish to be in robes for the rest of my life, im just 22, but I really feel like a year or so would be a great opportunity for me to center further in my practice. Besides I imagine that soon enough I will have a partner, job etc... which will make monastic life out of the question. I guess I could just look up some Theravada monasteries and try to contact them to see what is possible...

With Metta,

Clayton

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Midnight Passenger » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:35 pm

Good afternoon, all,

I have been thinking about becoming a monk for a few years, but the only thing that is stopping me is the first Saṅghādisesa rule in the Vinaya. I feel confident that I can abide by all of the rest of the rules without much strain, but after a few weeks I think I would break this one. Any insight on this would be appreciated!

Thanks!

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:59 pm

Midnight Passenger wrote:I have been thinking about becoming a monk for a few years, but the only thing that is stopping me is the first Saṅghādisesa rule in the Vinaya. I feel confident that I can abide by all of the rest of the rules without much strain, but after a few weeks I think I would break this one. Any insight on this would be appreciated!


Then you probably should not ordain, at least not yet! The reason I say that is because it is probably an issue that will keep coming up (no pun intended).

According to Ven. Dhammika, about 70% of all monastics disrobe because of issues about lust and sex. Therefore, it is best not to ordain until that is no longer an issue for you. (The other 30% is from boredom, or rather lack of interest in meditation, pastoral duties, etc.)

The usual prescription for lustful thoughts is meditation and reflection on the foulness of the body, impermanence, and mindfulness of death.

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Sobeh » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:04 am

The Buddha knew this was a particularly difficult sense pleasure to overcome an attachment to, which is why this isn't a pārājika; as you attempt to keep your vow of celibacy it is important to be realistic about the difficulties that will arise. This compassion for yourself while you undertake this vow is very important. On a related note, it is one thing to abide by the injunction to not partake of sexual pleasure, but the goal is not the practice so much as to see it with Right View for what it is: just one more attachment to form. Once this is experienced first hand ( ;)), celibacy becomes a peaceful abiding here and now.

I also think it is important to realize that celibacy is easier to the extent that you aren't subjecting your senses to things like advertisements and standard television, because they usually contain some sexual imagery of one sort or another and what seem like minor examples now will, for a time, become VERY salient and bothersome. In my direct experience, the precepts against entertainments, shows, and perfumes really helps as separating oneself from those things often also creates a felt sense of seclusion from such distractions which can be very beneficial.

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Guy » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:17 am

Hi Midnight Passenger,

David N. Snyder wrote:The usual prescription for lustful thoughts is meditation and reflection on the foulness of the body, impermanence, and mindfulness of death.


Yep, this works for me. Sometimes it is a case that our imagination doesn't want to visualize these things because we enjoy having lustful thoughts. If this is the case, you could use google as a training wheel. Simply look up decaying, rotting, unpleasant things whenever you are thinking lustful thoughts and hopefully they will drop away pretty quick. Watch the mind as you do this, see how it reacts. The idea is to develop a balanced and equanimous view of the body, lust comes from an unbalanced mind, aversion comes from an unbalanced mind. It is easy when doing these meditations to fall into the trap of aversion to the body.

This will suppress lust, but it won't eliminate it altogether, only a Non-Returner or Arahant have completely abandoned the hindrance of sensuality.

Sobeh's advice is very good.

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: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby oceanmen » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:37 am

its been my dream ever since i was a child to be ordained. after a 10 day goenka retreat in thailand my life changed completely.
before that i used to think of my solitary meditations as "hey...i m doing pretty good",
the retreat taught me there is still a loooong way to go...and i have so much to learn :smile:

perhaps after my new born baby girl is old enough(another 20 years) :coffee:
perhaps then i can go for temporary ordination, my wife is ok with it as well

metta to all

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Pannapetar » Fri May 07, 2010 6:00 am

At this point in my life, ordination is out of the question, because I have a wife and two little daughters whom I love and who depend on me. It is my intention to do as much for them as I can and to give them a great start in life. I guess that many of the middle aged members here might be in a similar situation. But even if things were different, I am not sure if I would choose ordination, because I have doubts that simply ordaining and living the life of a monk is a warranted better/faster/superior path. If I thought so, I would already have chosen to ordain, rather than to get married. There's been ample opportunity for that. The odd thing is that I can't really articulate why I feel this way. I am aware that I have a dislike for excessive regulations, conventions, hierarchies, dogma, rites, ceremonies, and religious fuss. But this is probably not it, because on the other hand I also realise the need for conformance for the benefit of the community. As mentioned, it's a gut feeling rather than a clear thought.

Cheers, Thomas

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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Fri May 07, 2010 5:17 pm

Nothing.Well almost nothing.
I have one debt to pay off then I will ordain.Realistically I believe that I am looking at the end of july.
I spent several months at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep meditating and assisting around the temple.
As a result of time spent around the monks I started thinking seriously about ordaining,but still found myself holding off.
Earlier this year while in Thailand the feeling that the time had come was really strong and I made my decision then and there.I would ordain as soon as I was clear of my debt.
So here I am working,working,working.
Later this year I will head to Myanmar to begin my new life.
Metta :buddha1:
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning


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