Hesitating

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

Post by simsapa »

Hi all, I'm hesitating to ordain because I'm concerned about breaking a rule. I've thought about just remaining a samanera, in order to have a smaller number of rules to follow. Has anyone else struggled with this concern, and how did you handle it?
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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Re: Hesitating

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara »

Firstly I'd say that I've never met a monk yet who has never broken a rule. The monastic rules, like the precepts, are there to train you, the monastic rules, and life, are the perfect vessel for awakening, or as I like to say; you don't become perfect then become a monk, you become a monk to become perfect.

Secondly, if it is a major rule, for instance related to sexual actions, then perhaps it may be best to get some years of experience under your belt and develop some dispassion and wisdom before ordaining, or find a place that is a training monastery with a good teacher and a large number of fellow monks to help you not break a major rule.

I have been in robes as a fully ordained Bhikkhu now about 4 and a half years, and I've not come close to breaking a major rule, nor did I ever have a good supportive community, but i had nearly a decade of practice and study under my belt and developed along the path so that even without the support I have been ok. in those 4 and a half years I've broken a bunch of the more minor rules for various reasons, then you confess and try to do better next time, thats all there is to it.

It is very important for development on the path to have a good community for support, but that is not always possible and in those times one must relay on their own disenchantment, dispassion, and wisdom to keep them from breaking a major rule. Having both good disenchantment AND a supportive community is the most ideal for living the holy life more purely.

I have met one person who was a Bhikkhu but then downgraded himself to a samanera and had already lived some years as one, with no real plan to take higher ordination in the future. It is quite possible to essentially stay a samanera if you feel its best for you, but do not do so out of fear, that is not wisdom nor the growth of wisdom.
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Bhikkhu Jayasāra -http://www.youtube.com/studentofthepath and https://maggasekha.org/
simsapa
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Re: Hesitating

Post by simsapa »

Thanks, Bhante.

How have you distinguished between a good community and a not so good one?

How did you know the time was right to ordain?

And how have you known that fear was not motivating you to do something? To some extent, dosa will be there...
Alino
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Re: Hesitating

Post by Alino »

simsapa wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 1:32 am Thanks, Bhante.

How have you distinguished between a good community and a not so good one?
(Yesterday I red about an intresting thing. Ajahn Nanadhammo from Thai Forest Tradition said that when meditation masters visit a monastery, firstly they check meditation paths. If paths are long and well used - it's a good monastery.)
We don't live Samsara, Samsara is living us...

"Form, feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousness - don't care about us, we don't exist for them"
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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Re: Hesitating

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara »

simsapa wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 1:32 am Thanks, Bhante.

How have you distinguished between a good community and a not so good one?

How did you know the time was right to ordain?

And how have you known that fear was not motivating you to do something? To some extent, dosa will be there...
its not easy to know what is a good community and what is not. Reputation can be one factor, but you cannot solely rely on it. The only way to really do it is to visit/live with them for a long time and you'll start to see how the community is, to see behind the curtain as it were, but even that may still take many years. This is always solid advice for someone going forth, if you jump into a place you know nothing about, you are simply taking a gamble it will work out for the best.

I had a four year period between the time I started thinking ordaining was something I wanted to do, and actually moving to the monastery to go forward with it. I had a career, a business, and payments to finish, so it was not a drop everything and go situation.

I frequently checked my desires and compared the best possible lay life vs a good monastic life and watched which my mind was most attracted towards. You need to see that drive and desire within yourself, that thought that even if you end up not being ordained, or ordaining and then later disrobing(never trust a monk who says they are in robes for life... no one knows the future), you know that you are happy you at least tried, and would of regretted not doing so on your death bed.

Fear is not a very useful thing most of the time in modern life, outside of real survival situations. It has its uses , but can often enough be the actual cause of ending up doing the thing you feared doing in the first place. The monastic life is not easy, nor is the path easy, if fear rules you, then mara rules you, and can do whatever he likes with you.

when you practice long enough, you start to know when your mind is giving you a line of bull crap, and when its being truthful, thats how I knew my motivations, watch your mind, watch its motivations and impulses, then you may find your answers.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra -http://www.youtube.com/studentofthepath and https://maggasekha.org/
simsapa
Posts: 305
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 5:51 pm

Re: Hesitating

Post by simsapa »

its not easy to know what is a good community and what is not. Reputation can be one factor, but you cannot solely rely on it. The only way to really do it is to visit/live with them for a long time and you'll start to see how the community is, to see behind the curtain as it were, but even that may still take many years. This is always solid advice for someone going forth, if you jump into a place you know nothing about, you are simply taking a gamble it will work out for the best.
And what did you look for when you lived with them?
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