Monk for a Month?

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

Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby robertk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:12 am

One can check with the Tipitaka and Vinaya and see whether promotions like this were done in the Buddha's time. If they were then it is great, if on the other hand ordaining as a Bhikkhu was a serious undertaking then it might be different.
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby Jesse Smith » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:23 am

robertk wrote:One can check with the Tipitaka and Vinaya and see whether promotions like this were done in the Buddha's time. If they were then it is great, if on the other hand ordaining as a Bhikkhu was a serious undertaking then it might be different.


Are these promotions offering the heartwood, or selling pieces of bark as souvenirs?
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:02 pm

no more or less than any retreat session i'd say depending on the person. but if you find a problem with that then thats your deal i guess. what these things are suppossed to do is let people learn more about the dhamma, and the life of monks in an intensive learning setting. i can hardly find fault in that, it would be a blameless act.

i've never done the "monk for a month" package, but i took 10 precepts when i lived at a Wat in thailand to practice meditation, theres no difference, but i guess i didnt get anything from it though, somehow me living in a temple to study with monks cheapend the dhamma and would be something the buddha was against? i dont get the critisism.... i along with many thai women will be living at a temple this weekend (though with only 8 precepts ) for magha puja day again this is seen as a great way to honor the buddha and sangha is that somehow disrepectful too?
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:07 pm

Temporary ordination is common in Burma. Temporary monks are known as Dullabha = difficult to get. That is because human rebirth is difficult to get (rare), to meet the Buddha sāsana is rare, and to ordain as a bhikkhu in that sāsana is rare.

The custom in Burma is for many men (and some women) to enter the Sangha at some stage in their life at least once, and some do it many times. During early adolescence they may become a novice, and at 19 years from conception they enter the Sangha again as a bhikkhu.

It is not uncommon for them to stay for only two weeks — often during the Burmese New Year vacation when many offices and colleges are closed. Young novices may stay only a matter of days.

If the abbot is good, they will get some useful education and training. If they are well-educated Buddhists from pious families they will already have a basic understanding of what the monks' life entails, and what the benefits of meditation are.

On balance, I think it is a beneficial custom, but it is unfortunate if young men are bribed and cojouled into become monks by relatives, although they have neither the will mor wisdom to do it voluntarily.

If you have the opportunity to ordain, and wish to meditate seriously, do take it — you will learn a lot more from living the monk's life than looking at how well or badly others manage to do it.
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby Snowmelt » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:02 am

I understand that monastics may not ask for food. I had understood that they also may not ask for money. Is this not the case? Or are these people not monastics?
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:33 am

Snowmelt wrote:I understand that monastics may not ask for food. I had understood that they also may not ask for money. Is this not the case? Or are these people not monastics?

the person who sets it all up isnt a monk

basicly from what i know about this, the monks arent heavily involved, they allow it, and it helps them out, but a layman sets it up runs it etc. this wasnt the idea of monks who wanted some cash going out and buying ads and charging for retreats
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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: Monk for a Month?

Postby Snowmelt » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:04 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
Snowmelt wrote:I understand that monastics may not ask for food. I had understood that they also may not ask for money. Is this not the case? Or are these people not monastics?

the person who sets it all up isnt a monk

basicly from what i know about this, the monks arent heavily involved, they allow it, and it helps them out, but a layman sets it up runs it etc. this wasnt the idea of monks who wanted some cash going out and buying ads and charging for retreats


Understood. :)
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby Avery » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:41 pm

Jesse Smith wrote:With no disrespect intended to the Thai tradition, I see so many problems with this. It seems to minimize the basis for take up the robes, leaving home, sincere renunciation, commitment to a homeless life, etc.
I reiterate what other people said, this is a quite common practice in countries with a Theravada tradition and it seems to tie the monasteries in with their communities. I believe that before government-mandated schooling anyone who wanted to learn to read would be taught in a monastery.

I am surprised by the cost, though. I think if you entered a monastery in Burma the cost would be roughly half of this. I'm sure it sounds nice to give a lot of money to support the monastery that houses you, but if you pay so much you might start thinking it is a vacation you have paid for instead of a devotion which you are engaging in. Does this make sense? See, normally, a three-week "retreat" or dullabha is part of a local community that supports the monks on a regular basis, so there is no payment made before or after dullabha. In this case, though, you are coming in from the outside and giving them money to house you up. If it's a small amount it will seem more like a donation, and maybe you will realize it is insufficient for the long-term maintenance of the monastery. But for $700... I associate that sort of price with Caribbean cruise lines.

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:On balance, I think it is a beneficial custom, but it is unfortunate if young men are bribed and cojouled into become monks by relatives, although they have neither the will mor wisdom to do it voluntarily.
This is also true. There are many services like this that actually attract pious relatives, who then force their nephews or sons into the sangha. Last night my Burmese friend told me that this is how he was "turned off" from Buddhism.
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby fabianfred » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:13 am

To get more details click on the link to the Facebook pages for Monkforamonth (in the bottom corner of the Monkforamonth website)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fang-Thai ... 5067157310

There you will find many more photos and comments by those who have attended the project.

I am fabianfred at the E-Sangha site and I do the Dhamma and Vipassana instruction....if anyone has any more questions..

we also have a monkforamonth group on Flickr for more photos

http://www.flickr.com/groups/974377@N21/
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:59 am

Hi Fabianfred.

:hello:

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel, by the way.

:buddha1:

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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby fabianfred » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:56 pm

Thank you kindly sir... :anjali:
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby salmon » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:00 am

Hi,

I hope this is a typo error?

Ordained stay Packages include :

Three cooked meals per day (Five Precepts),
Two cooked meals per day (Eight Precepts),

Clean accommodation, ...

:shrug:
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby fabianfred » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:21 am

If a person is doing the full 4 weeks we have them keeping the 5 precepts for the first week... eight for the second (dressed in white)...and then ordained as a novice for the final two weeks...

despite the catchy name (not my idea) monkforamonth...it is only ordination as a novice...as we know they are more careful about full monk ordination nowadays

so someone coming for only two weeks who wants to ordain will stay as five precepts for the first three days then go to the eight for a few days then ordain for a week..
obviously the three meals are only for the people keeping the five precepts.
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby fabianfred » Mon May 04, 2009 12:53 am

I am the one who gives the teaching of the dhamma and vipassana meditation.....
any questions please ask me

also a lively discussion here...

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Monk-Mont ... 90e670c293
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby thecharmedbaja » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:52 pm

Even though it's not free, yet there are free alternatives, that looks absolutely amazing! I'd love to go :)!
The other activities (teaching english to student monks, meditation retreats in nearby forest temples and guided day tours of the area) also sounds perfect, especially the second one! :D
What any of you ever do the extra activities?

Metta,
Jasmine

Didn't realise this post was so old... sorry! Anyway, the Monk for a Month concept looks great :D
'He is able who thinks he is able.' - The Buddha
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:24 pm

thecharmedbaja wrote:Even though it's not free, yet there are free alternatives, that looks absolutely amazing! I'd love to go :)!
The other activities (teaching english to student monks, meditation retreats in nearby forest temples and guided day tours of the area) also sounds perfect, especially the second one! :D
What any of you ever do the extra activities?

Metta,
Jasmine
Didn't realise this post was so old... sorry! Anyway, the Monk for a Month concept looks great :D

The age of a thread is ofno real concern, unless it is something which was of its time, as an example a concert which happened 7 months ago!

I would do the retreats if I went, but it would all depend on certain circumstances if I done the tours!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby Bankei » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:57 am

Snowmelt wrote:I understand that monastics may not ask for food. I had understood that they also may not ask for money. Is this not the case? Or are these people not monastics?


Technically this may be the case, but in modern day Thailand ordaining as a monk generally costs a fortune. For a start, there are all the monks robes, bowls, pillow, blanket, spitoon, unbrella, etc which need to be purchased. Many people also hire photographers, maybe even a band and there is usually a huge feast put on which costs a fortune.

One of the main costs is the 'donation' to the preceptor monk and all the monks participating in the ordination ceremony. Preceptors usually get around 3,000B ($100) and the rest of the monks will get at least 500B each and there are usually 10+.

The costs may even be higher in the city temples.

Ven Pesala, does this sort of thing happen in Burma?
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:48 pm

Not to dispute anything written here...but it's basically inaccurate...since 99.9% of males ordaining are Thai, their families cover all the expenses...'all the monks robes, bowls'...one set of robes, and one bowl...total cost about fifty bucks...a fortune?...the other stuff is already in the wat...photographer?...family with the point and shoot...band?...friends and neighbors...the meal afterward can be an outlay, although it's optional, not requisite...and while the 'donation' to the preceptor and attending monks can, in big city wats, be as much as you say, the vast majority of ordinations are nowhere near this much...half, or even less, would be closer to the mark...10+ is also a stretch...it depends on the wat...

While hi-so (high society) people will spend a lot on the fancy gear and splash for the banquet, we're talking about a very small minority...

This monk for a month is basically a business...I've known Caucasians ordaining where total (Thai) strangers, when hearing of their plans, step up and cover (part, or) everything...

Snowmelt...you understand correctly...I don't know who you're referring to when you say 'these people'...

The above is in reference to Thailand only...although considering Burma, Laos, and Cambodia are much poorer nations, one might surmise something comparable...

It's all good folks... :smile:
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:51 pm

appicchato wrote:[i]Not to dispute anything written here...but it's basically inaccurate...since 99.9% of males ordaining are Thai, their families cover all the expenses...'all the monks robes, bowls'...one set of robes, and one bowl...total cost about fifty bucks...a fortune?...the other stuff is already in the wat...photographer?...family with the point and shoot...band?...friends and neighbors...the meal afterward can be an outlay, although it's optional, not requisite...and while the 'donation' to the preceptor and attending monks can, in big city wats, be as much as you say, the vast majority of ordinations are nowhere near this much...half, or even less, would be closer to the mark...10+ is also a stretch...it depends on the wat...


Just as a comparison a Danish fella I met while at Amaravati, was a Bhikkhu for 18months or so at Pa Auk, and I did ask about how he got the robes etc, basically the answer was from the market, and it cost between 30-50 "bucks."
in contrast my teacher when he ordained it cost him nothing, it was completely sponsored by a lay friend (he found out after he disrobed.)

This monk for a month is basically a business...I've known Caucasians ordaining where total (Thai) strangers, when hearing of their plans, step up and cover (part, or) everything...

not sure if I understand this correctly, basically the "in contrast" of the above?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Monk for a Month?

Postby suanck » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:10 am

Manapa wrote:Just went to my face book account and noticed this link on the side
so done a search and found this http://monkforamonth.com/

what does everyone think of this?
I think it is a bit strange although I have heard of another temple doing the same thing.


Bhante Dhammika, in his blog, had some comments on the organization behind this program:

http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2010/02/special-offer.html

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