Sobeh wrote:Anyway, to do this I first settled all of my credit card debt, a sizeable sum coming out of grad school. That took a couple of years, but that sort of debt being unresolved is considered a theft (student loans are often not considered this way - your mileage may vary, check local listings).
zac wrote:so i wanted to ordain for a long time and i know there are a lot of temples in the states but i have no idea what that entails. does it cost a lot of money? i am quite poor and so this would be difficult . do any temples allow people to just pay some money and stay for a few months or a year or so?
Agent wrote:Having an absurdly large student loan debt that has kept me from seriously considering ordination, I am curious about this. Do you know why is it they are often not considered this way?
Sobeh wrote:I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. and am going to Bundanoon, NSW, Australia to ordain in November (of course, I'll be anagaraka for all of 2011, but I'm ordaining for life). I could have chosen the life of a college professor in comparative religion (got my MA-ABT right here), and I've been married, so I know what sort of successful secular life I could have led. However, there comes a time when you see enough of the Dhamma for yourself that cars and houses and computers and the whole shebang is simply boggling, as opposed to attractive.
Anyway, to do this I first settled all of my credit card debt, a sizeable sum coming out of grad school. That took a couple of years, but that sort of debt being unresolved is considered a theft (student loans are often not considered this way - your mileage may vary, check local listings). After that, I sent an application to Santi Forest Monastery and laid out my intentions, which were accepted.
These days I am slowly divesting myself of 'the stuff' we all accumulate, because when I leave in November I'm basically packing all of my remaining belongings. In this, I am guided by the advice and rules for what is and is not allowed at the monastery - they are happy to ease my transition into the community, all I have to do is ask important questions (for example, washroom facilities - am i going to be charging my electric razor, or do I need to pack a straight razor). Real basic stuff. It does allow me to be in a position to donate a lot of what I used to own - the computer I'm using right now, for example, will be donated to a good friend of mine who won't be able to afford one for a while otherwise.
So what is it all costing me? New passport fees, the Australian visa fee, the plane ticket (the big ticket item), one night in a hotel to fix jet lag, and a train ticket from Sydney to Bundanoon. Now, mind you there are a lot of places I could have gone, including one monastery in California that offers ordination (Thanissaro lives there, Metta Forest Monastery I think), but I chose Santi because I was lucky enough to be able to make the journey, and I prefer the environment and overall gestalt of Santi (for example, even the stars at night will be different than what I'm used to, highlighting the fact that I'm taking refuge solely in the Triple Gem).
In any event, local ordination ought to be possible - aside from California, I know there's a temple out in West Virginia of all places, so surely something can be found. Once you do, start making phone calls or writing letters, and while waiting for a response take some inventory of your financial obligations and decide how best to extricate yourself from them.
My only advice to you is patience.
Sobeh wrote:In other words, it doesn't cost money to renounce money, but it can take a lot of time.
Agent wrote:There is no fee to ordain.
zac wrote:how to temples survive? charity?
mikenz66 wrote:Hi zac,zac wrote:how to temples survive? charity?
That is how the Sangha have always survived.
In traditional Buddhist countries families will usually make donations when one of their family members ordains. This will probably involve a variety of reasons: They think it's the right thing to do, it is good merit, they would be embarrassed if they didn't, etc. I think that this is especially the case for short-term ordinations. If I ordained for a short time I would want to have made a significant donation (just as I make donations when I go on retreats).
You might find it helpful to visit a few temples. I couldn't imagine making a decision to ordain without having some previous contact with the Sangha and lay people. And you would want to find out some information about wherever you intended to ordain. The sort of Temple that would be suitable for someone who on'y speaks European languages may well have waiting lists.
zac wrote:well the language issue should be fine if it's an american temple and i doubt there's a crazy waiting list. an english speaking temple in thailand would have a long list for the small american population though.
I'm sorry but you are making a big mistake if you read posts like this. Don't you know real Dhamma isn't cheap? I mean, let's face it, you get what you pay for. What good teacher would work for free?
I don't ever pay attention to those cheap monasteries. You know, the ones what rely on charity. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, dammit!
If you want good Dhamma, PAY. Cheap Dhamma isn't worth the paper it was written on.
As my Guru always says: Bring your own bread or don't even bother!
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Zac,zac wrote:well the language issue should be fine if it's an american temple and i doubt there's a crazy waiting list. an english speaking temple in thailand would have a long list for the small american population though.
Depends what you mean by an "American" temple. There are a number of Theravada monasteries in the West which are mostly populated by Thai or Sri Lankan monks (like the local monasteries in my city). They exist mainly to support their local ethnic communities and while they are probably happy to have others turn up, if you don't speak Thai or Sinhalese you may feel a bit lost at times.
There are a rather small number of Theravada monasteries in the US and Canada that have been set up primarily for Westerners, such as Abhayagiri http://forestsangha.org/index.php?optio ... s&Itemid=9 or Metta Forest Monastery http://www.watmetta.org/. Those are the sort of places I mean when I talk about waiting lists.