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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Sobeh
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Sobeh »

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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Guy
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Guy »

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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oceanmen
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by oceanmen »

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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Pannapetar
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Pannapetar »

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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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Phra Chuntawongso »

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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suriyopama
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by suriyopama »

What is holding you back from ordaining?
Ten years ago I would have mentioned hundreds of reasons, like that I would not be able to live without music (my guitars, my keyboards, my home recording studio). But today I don't have so many "my... my..." and I've abandoned a lot of passions. This is what is holding me back today:

1.- Wife. Although we have no kids, and she would support me if I go forth, I do not like the idea of leaving her alone.

2.- Parents. They are too aged to come to visit me to Thailand, and I'm afraid that I would not have the opportunity to see them again if I order here. I have sisters that could take care of them in case of need, but I would like to be part of it.

3.- Cat. It's not "my cat", I'm rather "his human" and he behaves strange and sad when I'm not around for more than one day.

4.- Minor details. This are just small things. Maybe they could be cured with more effort and practice:
- I have problems to adapt to the "one meat per day" schedule. I'm very thin and I run out of energy very fast.
- I have difficulty to sit on the floor for a long time without leaning my back onto the wall.
- I'm very slow learning Thai (to say it more clear: this days I am more lazy than a bear on winter :lol:) and I wouldn't choose an international monastery.
- Spicy food. Sometimes you can choose what you pick, but sometimes you can't.

I believe that this is all.

Chiangmaigreg, good luck clearing that debt. You're close! :twothumbsup:

:namaste:
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BlackBird
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by BlackBird »

chiangmaigreg wrote:.
So here I am working,working,working.
I know the feeling man.
chiangmaigreg wrote: Later this year I will head to Myanmar to begin my new life.
Metta :buddha1:
Best wishes with your quest :)

metta
Jack
"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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Alex123
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Alex123 »

Pannapetar wrote: 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.
Well what is better for progress:
being married with lots of responcibilites + full time job
vs
being a monk with some duties (that you do only outwardly, you don't need to believe in rites & rituals) and much less stress and responcibilities.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
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Pannapetar
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Pannapetar »

Alex123 wrote:Well what is better for progress:
being married with lots of responcibilites + full time job
vs
being a monk with some duties (that you do only outwardly, you don't need to believe in rites & rituals) and much less stress and responcibilities.
Good question.

Since I live in Thailand I had the opportunity to observe actual monks a little closer and I came to the conclusion that monasticism is often idealised. Few monks spend decades in caves, or on snowy mountain tops to realise lofty spiritual goals. Many monks just go about their daily grind like householders. They have a regulated daily routine, chores, services to perform for laypeople; they have to deal with hierarchy and bureaucracy, friends and foes, likes and dislikes, and lots of ceremonial and ritual occupations. They live in a tight-knit community where everything is strictly regulated. This makes life simpler, calmer, and it also offers protection from temptations and the rougher edges of household life. I can easily see how this benefits some people, but I am not sure if it would work for me. I guess the only way to be certain is to try it out. :)

Cheers, Thomas
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Wind
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Wind »

Pannapetar wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Well what is better for progress:
being married with lots of responcibilites + full time job
vs
being a monk with some duties (that you do only outwardly, you don't need to believe in rites & rituals) and much less stress and responcibilities.
Good question.

Since I live in Thailand I had the opportunity to observe actual monks a little closer and I came to the conclusion that monasticism is often idealised. Few monks spend decades in caves, or on snowy mountain tops to realise lofty spiritual goals. Many monks just go about their daily grind like householders. They have a regulated daily routine, chores, services to perform for laypeople; they have to deal with hierarchy and bureaucracy, friends and foes, likes and dislikes, and lots of ceremonial and ritual occupations. They live in a tight-knit community where everything is strictly regulated. This makes life simpler, calmer, and it also offers protection from temptations and the rougher edges of household life. I can easily see how this benefits some people, but I am not sure if it would work for me. I guess the only way to be certain is to try it out. :)

Cheers, Thomas
what you describe, are they city temple monks or the forest monks?
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suriyopama
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by suriyopama »

And the winner is... :juggling:

- Family (wife, kids, parents, relationships, pets...) 20
- Attachment to sex, food, comfort life... 4
- Health, problem with food, lack of strenght4
- Afraid to be running away from something 3
- Debts 3
- Doubt that monastic is the only/best path 2
- Making sure that everything is OK before going forth / No pending issues 2
- Still figuring out teacher/school 1
- Different religion at family 1
- Want to travel, new experiences 1
- Fear of letting go 1
- To experiment more suffering oneself (as a layman) 1
- Boredom at monasteries 1
- Besides obligations, I already have freedom to practice as a layman 1
- To preserve national identity (culture/behaviour/ideology) 1
- Disagreement with celibacy 1

I hope that I can keep the list updated as we have more posts.

Thank you very much :namaste:
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suriyopama
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by suriyopama »

BlackBird wrote:It's interesting to see that when we strip away all the distractions of daily living, what we find is boredom, the ever present tedium of not having sense stimulation that we have become so accustomed to. I think a portion of Monks and Nuns disrobe because the boredom get's to them. But what is the boredom really? It's dukkha in a very pure, unadulterated form. It's a complete dissatisfaction with having nothing to worry about. We want the drug of sense stimulation, we don't care that it burns us up from the inside because at least it manages to distract the mind from that underlying dukkha, which has been there all along.

I think perhaps some people are not ready to face up to the fact that this is how life is, it's always been that way, and it always will be. We can continue to distract ourselves right up until we breath our last if we choose, but in reality the distractions are more painful than the boredom itself. Craving and delusion play some cruel tricks on the minds of mankind.
:goodpost: Thank you, Jack
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Goedert
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Goedert »

Well, there are two things holding me back for ordination:

1. I have a girlfriend, and she is a buddhist too. She was catolic, I changed all her way of life and she really loves me, from the bottom of her heart. It is like a duty to me be with her, cause I don't want her to suffer.

2. I have to finish the Bachaelor of Laws. I made promise to my mother that it would be done. (2 years to finish it, its a 6 years course). Before I meet buddhism, my job made me ingaged in politics and laws things, thats why I need to finish. In Brazil a diplom (Academic Title) is very imporant for ordinary people and my mother would be proud if her son have one. You know... I just want to give a little happy to her. So the mission will be acomplished.

The place were I work is ok, I just need to quit. I also work in a filantropic sector, we take care of 200 childrens.

The real problem is the girlfriend, I think she will be deluded and depressed, you know, I'm on an airplaine going to Thailand to ordain and her in that state... It's kind of selfish, because she supported every decision that I made.

I currently frequent a Vajrayana Center (Chagdud Gompa), because there is no Theravadin center here. So I have a interview with the responsable Lama and he told to go to Thailand and he asked my girlfriend what she thinked about that, and the answer was that She loves me and support my decision but she would be very unhappy/sad.

Actually that interview occured because I had seven strange dreams.

1 - A very old man, dressed in white, he was in a forest, and told this: "The wisdom is in your heart".
2 - The symbol ying-yang surronded with yellow, red, green and blue colors, came to me from the space and said: "You need to have compassion for the beings."
3 - The vision is that I was in a persian palace, with golden walls and plants in it, a very beautifull arcteture. I could see a women in the right side of the place and in the left side of the place I could see a great tomb. I keeped change the focus of the view in both of them, but I turned the focus later on the tumb, and the I feeled that the tomb carried my body.
4 - I was walking with my girlfriend over the ocean and a great wave come ingulfing us, so I managed to the top again but my girlfriend didn't, I find my self in front of a great security island, a man and a women welcomed me.
5 - I have no body, only vision, all I see was white light and the body that I posses was in the middle of that light moving in pure ecstasy with open arms from side to side, with no destiny, just felling the ecstasy.
6 - I was in space, the planet Earth was in front of me like a soccer ball. First, I hitted it with my left indicator finger, Second with the right indicator finger, third with the left indicator finger, so I decided to make more effort, so my right arm made a position of a 'sword to slash' and my body disappeared , in that moment I was the bodhisatta Manjushri. Finally with the flaming sword I could cut the Planet Earth in two, in the fourth attempt.
7 - I was in a copper colored mountain meditating and a Circle of fire arose around me. Then many Budas in yellow, red, green and Blue colors come emiting light to me.

I also want for a spiritist medium, and he sent me a message:

"Destinated to discover new truths, you will have to fight to contemplate the beautiful from what you realise'.

My mother and father went to a spiritist vident, because father was with alergic ill, and the man said to my mother:

"Don't worry for your son.
You have to be very pround, because you gave birth to a great being of light.
He was born here to help humans from the great climatic changes that will occur in the near future,
especially the people from asia. Thats why he was born here.
He alredy passed in the disciple of the body, (Actually I was an athlete for 8 years)
now he is passing in the discipline of the mind.
Maybe he will go to another country seeking for great masters,
but in due time he will return.
I can see him teaching in another language."
Then my mother asked him: "I will have grandchildren?"
The man said: "If you don't have, adopt them!"
"Tell him that he can benefit much more people if he don't only follow the spiritual life
This country need beings like him.
I would have a great pleasure to meet your son. Bring him here to talk to me".

Actually, I didn't go there and I think my mother give informations, without percepet, about me that made the man saying this things.

The good Lama, didn't tell me the significance of the dreams. He only told that in due time I will know it, thats why he didn't want to tell me. He also said to ignore every single word from the vident that my mother want.

Why I want to ordain?

The life of a ordinary person in Brazil is very ignorant and people don't understand if I abstain from sex, from alcoohol, from taking meat, eatting once in a day, not sleeping, retire... etc. Taking the precepts and do that things right here is difficult, people don't understand it, most of them don't see dukkha and they have a horrible act to juged.
In this case the life of a monk is the best thing for the proper pratice, 'find the truth by my self'. You know... the dhamma is the boat, truth is the other shore of the river... that kind of smiles that we buddhist are familiar...

What place to ordain?
Wat Pa Nanachat of course.

And thats it. You know friends... The dotricne is here and now, we just have to put in practice. The path was discovered 2.500 years ago.

Sorry if there is any writtings mistake.

EDIT: correct many writting mistakes.
grasshopper
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by grasshopper »

It's interesting to see that when we strip away all the distractions of daily living, what we find is boredom, the ever present tedium of not having sense stimulation that we have become so accustomed to. I think a portion of Monks and Nuns disrobe because the boredom get's to them. But what is the boredom really? It's dukkha in a very pure, unadulterated form. It's a complete dissatisfaction with having nothing to worry about. We want the drug of sense stimulation, we don't care that it burns us up from the inside because at least it manages to distract the mind from that underlying dukkha, which has been there all along.

I think perhaps some people are not ready to face up to the fact that this is how life is, it's always been that way, and it always will be. We can continue to distract ourselves right up until we breath our last if we choose, but in reality the distractions are more painful than the boredom itself. Craving and delusion play some cruel tricks on the minds of mankind.

metta
Jack
This post of Jack, is one of the most amazing if not the most amazing post I have seen on Buddhist message boards and/or newsletters. It cuts through allllllllll sh!t and hits the bull's eye! Thank you very much for this Jack :)
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BlackBird
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by BlackBird »

Thank you Grasshopper. The next step is for me to practice what I preach. It's one thing to be a (sometimes) lucid communicator but another thing to truly live one's insights. The whole Buddhist practice is a bit like peeling layers off an onion, I guess.

metta
Jack
"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

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks
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