Being turned down from ordination

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

Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:27 pm

pilgrim wrote:
Dhammakid wrote:
I hope so, that would be great. Maybe that's motivation for more lay supporters to get involved, and do fundraisers or court wealthy donors or something like that. One of my goals as laity is to start a fairly large monastic fund for Theravadin monasteries in the States.

:anjali:
Dhammakid

I wonder what's the limitation on expansion. Surely it's not too expensive to put up a few more kutis. As for meals, a monk needs just one or two main meals a day. At some of the danas I've been to there's enough food to feed the resident population several times over.

The Buddha set up the sangha to be easy to support. All a monk needs is a bowl to collect his food and suitable lodging. But in reality, it is the contrary. Every time a monk comes to stay in our temple, it becomes a huge organisational affair. How did it come to this?

maybe it's not too expensive, so go ahead and do it, and bring the extra foods along too.
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: Being turned down from ordination

Postby bhikkhuni sobhana » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:06 am

Dhammakid wrote:
What do you think for a monastery like Abhayagiri or Bhavana Society? Any differences or special variations?

Dear Dhammakid,
Compared to Abhayagiri, it is easier to get in to Bhavana Society. We are less wealthy, less focused on monastic training (since we are also a public retreat center), not committed to the specific Ajahn Chah style of training through community life, less emphasis on Asian cultural forms, but very focused on the Dhamma and Vinaya of the Pali Canon. Bhavana Society works best for self-directed students who know how to ask for guidance and have some talent for meditation. The training comes from your personal bond with Bhante Gunaratana. Otherwise, you are allowed to drift and waste time. After beginning a residency, it is rare for someone to be sent away, more common for them to send themselves away, usually because of trouble balancing work and individual practice. This is a "co-ed" monastery. The bhikkhus have their own dwellings, their own patimokkha and sangha meetings, and usually their own chores. Meals, Sutta, Pali and Vinaya classes are shared. We uphold the canonical Vinaya.

Really it's best to visit and form your own judgement. The other North American places that I respect for training are Wat Metta and Tisarana. Hope this helps.
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby martinfrank » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:56 pm

Hi Dhammakid!

When a young Buddhist first time knocks at the door of a Buddhist monastery and asks to get ordained, he/she may think that this is the now! or never! moment of their life. It happened to me too.

At the time, I wasn't aware that there are thousands of good enough Buddhist monasteries in the world. If your first choice Lord Abbot doesn't like your face or gender or skin color or way of moving your hands when you talk, say "Thank you very much!" and move on to your second choice. There is always another monastery and another Lord Abbot.

Looking for gurus... sorry, abbots, seems like deciding what netbook to buy, but do we know which teacher is right for us?

Is the road from California to Nibbanam shorter than the road from Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan...?

The farmer orphan turned village monastery abbot who doesn't speak English might teach you more (about sweeping the stains off your heart and the leaves off the monastery grounds) than the guy whose talks you can order on amazon. The Forest Tradition is great (like a great Teak tree in a great botanical garden). No name, no publications, no website monks and nuns are the great Teak trees in the forest.

Don't give up and don't get disheartened if your first choice Super Monastery has a waiting list. There is a small monastery on the other side of the river in Luang Prabang... or take the bus to Temoh...

And don't give up if you give up after six weeks; just start again! Some monks enter a monastery at 9 years (as novices) and stay until death, and some monks weave in and out of monasteries all their life. (Nuns generally seem to be less fickle.) You don't enter a monastery to get a good-looking CV; you want to get closer to (closer to what?) step by step for the benefit of all beings.

My admirable meditation teacher was from Section 5 of Wat Maha That in Bangkok, which is the Central Station of Thai Buddhism. It is still a good enough starting place to travel Bangkok-Nibbanam in economy.

For Buddhists, "Love is a Kind of Faith." Even more so is becoming a novice. You will meet the teacher you deserve without hunting him or her down; and if you don't deserve it, you can hunt all your life and will never see the tips of his or her ears, though he/she is living next door.

Good luck!

Martin
The Noble Eightfold Path: Proposed to all, imposed on none.
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:34 am

:thumbsup:
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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby Virgo » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:05 pm

As Lay-Buddhists, we need to get our hands on some land and build monasteries in the West. It's possible to get land cheap in less populated areas (which is better for a monastic settings anyway) with many acres for reflection and meditation and build simple housing for monastics on it without spending too much money. This is the kind of thing rich lay-people should to do. Also, this is something that someone who is trustworthy and has a mind to, can take up donations for and make a large project out of. Tibetan lamas frequently build monasteries in the west simply off donations. This is something western lay-people need to get involved in.

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Re: Being turned down from ordination

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:59 am

go for it
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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