Choosing a Monastery

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

Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Fri May 21, 2010 4:33 am

What should one look for in choosing a monastery, and a preceptor?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby Goofaholix » Fri May 21, 2010 4:40 am

convivium wrote:What should one look for in choosing a monastery, and a preceptor?


The same kinds of things you look for when looking for a long term living situation, or job, or house, or partner.

Somewhere where you feel comfortable, somewhere where you fit in, somewhere where the style of practice fits in with what you are looking for, somewhere that is going to challenge you, somewhere that has a teacher you respect, somewhere where you'd like to learn the culture, somewhere that will open up future opportunities for you, somewhere that won't aggravate any health problems you may have...

Depending on your circumstance I'd say somewhere far from home, as being too close to home is likely to have too much of a pull on you.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 21, 2010 7:46 am

convivium wrote:What should one look for in choosing a monastery, and a preceptor?


I posted an attachment here which may help
viewtopic.php?t=3401&p=49343#p49343
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby BlackBird » Sat May 22, 2010 12:13 am

- A supportive, encouraging and dilligent community who have their heads screwed on properly.
"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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby Cittasanto » Sat May 22, 2010 6:11 am

BlackBird wrote:- A supportive, encouraging and dilligent community who have their heads screwed on properly.


:namaste:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sat May 22, 2010 6:46 am

ajahn thanissaro suggested as the most important thing: a teacher you can trust and strong vinaya.
- A supportive, encouraging and dilligent community who have their heads screwed on properly.
well said. how can we perceive this without staying for some time? is it possible or reasonable to stay as an anagarika and then leave and do the same at different monasteries? there's a story about a guy in korea who really liked being an early initiate and doing all the hard work, so he just kept doing it, being well respected in each monastery, and just moving from monastery to monastery.
"somewhere that will open up future opportunities for you"
future opportunities?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby Goofaholix » Sat May 22, 2010 9:40 am

convivium wrote: well said. how can we perceive this without staying for some time? is it possible or reasonable to stay as an anagarika and then leave and do the same at different monasteries?


Of course.

convivium wrote:future opportunities?


Some monasteries have a lot of branch monasteries around the world, some have opportunities for different styles of practice like living in a cave in a remote mountain for example. I think it's important to consider what you want to be doing after 5 years when you have the freedom to move around more, you might be happy to ordain with your favourite teacher in Burma for example but do you want to be stuck there for 5 years? 10 years?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sat May 22, 2010 5:36 pm

Some monasteries have a lot of branch monasteries around the world, some have opportunities for different styles of practice like living in a cave in a remote mountain for example. I think it's important to consider what you want to be doing after 5 years when you have the freedom to move around more, you might be happy to ordain with your favourite teacher in Burma for example but do you want to be stuck there for 5 years? 10 years?
you give any examples? i know there's the ajahn mun lineage vs. ajahn chah lineage and the monasteries all over thailand... what would be some you'd recommend?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby cooran » Sat May 22, 2010 9:49 pm

Hello convivium, all,

Worldwide Monasteries of the Thai Forest Sangha
http://www.forestsangha.org/index.php?o ... 0&Itemid=9

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sun May 23, 2010 12:21 am

Between Maha Nikaya and Dhammayuttika Nikaya you'd recommend the former for this reason? There's a teacher in Thailand named Ajahn Dick in the Dhammayuttika that i was pointed towards from Wat Metta. All the other students of Ajahn Mun are in Dhammayut. Ajahn Mun told Ajahn Chah not to switch lineages so all those monasteries are Maha Nikaya like most of Thailand...
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun May 23, 2010 1:46 am

are you saying you want, specifically, a thai forest monastery?
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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sun May 23, 2010 2:22 am

specifically to some extent, but also open to other traditions, especially non-commentarial traditions. i really like milarepa...
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun May 23, 2010 2:52 am

well milarepa was Tibetan so completely different... maybe it would help to first settle on what exactly you want to study. how long have you been seriously studying Buddhism?
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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 23, 2010 2:59 am

convivium wrote:specifically to some extent, but also open to other traditions, especially non-commentarial traditions. i really like milarepa...
Ah, Milarepa, one of the founding dad's of the Kagdyu school. All the schools of Tibetan Buddhism expect some degree of learning specific to their school that goes along with the practice. If you want an orthopraxic rather than an orthodoxic school, maybe Japanese Zen, but even they have their particular type of study that goes along with their practice. The other major orthopraxic school would be the Ajahn Chah "lineage," which uses a careful observance of the Vinaya as a central form of practice, which means there will be some degree of study of those texts. Even if a tradition does not follow the poor maligned traditional commentaries, that does not mean they are free of a point of view as to what is what and there is always some expectation of some degree of adherence to that point of view.
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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sun May 23, 2010 3:36 am

The other major orthopraxic school would be the Ajahn Chah "lineage," which uses a careful observance of the Vinaya as a central form of practice, which means there will be some degree of study of those texts.
i still feel a connection to abhayagiri, and ajahn chah tradition. also dhammayut and maha boowa, ajahn lee lineages. i had my first foray into the dhamma a few years ago and practiced in the goenka tradition.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sun May 23, 2010 5:56 am

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... nance.html
it's articles like that.. thots that we must follow the eightfold path at least foundational seeing that it works, that keeps me in therevada sutta-based traditions. the possibility of encountering teachers in the internal worlds that can teach these other practices and perspectives is fine enough to not worry about it for now. that's where most teachers and all their initiations are found. if one day this is necessary or i am moved to do more then it will come. i was thinking about going to http://www.garchen.org for now the foundations of therevada are more than sufficient.
Last edited by convivium on Sun May 23, 2010 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 23, 2010 6:02 am

convivium wrote:. i was thinking about going to http://www.garchen.org for now the foundations are more than sufficient...
So, you are looking at the Theravada as a "foundational" practice in preparation for?
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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sun May 23, 2010 6:13 am

therevada is called foundational to those (vajrayana, tantrayana, bodhisattva) practices and perspectives. therevada is all we need for total parinibbana which is the only ultimate end.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Choosing a Monastery

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 23, 2010 6:17 am

convivium wrote:therevada is called foundational to those (vajrayana, tantrayana, bodhisattva) practices and perspectives. therevada is all we need for total parinibbana which is the only ultimate end.
No. For the "vajrayana, tantrayana, bodhisattva practices" is the hinayana/shravakayana that they refer to as the "foundation." As Reginald Ray states in his Indestructible Truth:

In fact, as we shall see presently, "Hinayana" refers to a critical but strictly limited set of views, practices, and results. The pre-Mahayana historical traditions such as the Theravada are far richer, more complex, and more profound than the definition of "Hinayana" would allow. ...The tern "Hinayana" is thus a stereotype that is useful in talking about a particular stage on the Tibetan Buddhist path, but it is really not appropriate to assume that the Tibetan definition of Hinayana identifies a venerable living tradition as the Theravada or any other historical school.." Page 240.

The Theravada is a path to full awakening, no different from that of the Buddha, which is why at times in the Pali suttas the arahant is called tathagata and buddha.
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: Choosing a Monastery

Postby convivium » Sun May 23, 2010 6:26 am

true. kagyu, etc is concerned with the creation of the subtle bodies, varjrasattva, etc. for the bodhisattva path. http://sacred-sex.org/buddhism/
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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