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in the united states? - Dhamma Wheel

in the united states?

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

Postby dhammastudier » Wed May 26, 2010 4:12 pm

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 :broke: . do any temples allow people to just pay some money and stay for a few months or a year or so? i could probably save up enough for something like that depending on how much it would cost. in america one couldn't even decide to just be a wandering monk and beg for food as it's illegal to be homeless! you have to work and in order to work you have to have a residence and a car (no mass transit in my area). it's so hard to give up attachment to things when you are required by law to work, get and then pay for these things! it seems that without a big wad of cash i'm probably doomed to live in a situation where i'm forced to work to pay for my car, house, etc. and am therefore quite attached...? and yes i realize that one could give up mental attachment while still doing this but come on! who is it easier for to give up attachment to a car, house, job, etc. a guy living in a temple where these things aren't even offered and you would have to leave the temple to get them or someone who is living in the world where these things are essentially (unless you come from money) required by law? blah, any ideas are welcome, thanx :smile:

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Sobeh
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Re: in the united states?

Postby Sobeh » Wed May 26, 2010 7:49 pm

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.

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Agent
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Re: in the united states?

Postby Agent » Thu May 27, 2010 1:36 am

Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.

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Agent
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Re: in the united states?

Postby Agent » Thu May 27, 2010 2:28 am

Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.

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Sobeh
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Re: in the united states?

Postby Sobeh » Thu May 27, 2010 2:30 am

(Anything I know about it pertains only to the United States)

Student loans are considered to have upped your earnings potential and over many years of working in the chosen field the extra earnings you get from doing that, instead of some other job that paid less, are first directed at loan repayment, and then towards your own financial aggrandizement. In this, the student loan is different from other loans because the repayment is expected to happen as a result of increased earnings, as opposed to it being a payday advance, simple credit, or other loan. Since monks do not earn any income, and since they also are not making a living on their degree(s), the final state of things is that your student loan is in permanent default, but you're then free to ordain.

This can be bad if you ever think you'll be rejoining secular society. Being in default means the government can garnish up to 15% of your wages to repay the loan, and in addition to that will garnish all income tax refunds as well. Finally, you are barred from accessing government funds like Social Security or Medicare. The loan might eventually be abandoned by the Department of Education after something like 25 years in default, but don't count on it.

But that's it. There is no debtor's prison. Basically, if you have a student loan and want to ordain, you just need to be doubly damned sure it's what you're doing with the rest of your life, because clawing your way back into society after renouncing it is a long row to hoe.

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Agent
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Re: in the united states?

Postby Agent » Thu May 27, 2010 1:24 pm

Hmm. That's interesting and does make a lot of sense. In a way I think it may not apply to my specific circumstance, though, as the majority of my student loans are private, not federal. The government penalties would probably be less of a problem, but I don't think private student loan defaults are handled or viewed in the same way as gov't student loan defaults. In any event I know I'm not ready to ordain at this time, but it does somewhat change my view of the possibility down the road. Thanks for the info.

My apologies to the OP for getting a bit off topic here.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.

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Re: in the united states?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 27, 2010 10:18 pm


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dhammastudier
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Re: in the united states?

Postby dhammastudier » Fri May 28, 2010 3:42 pm


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Agent
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Re: in the united states?

Postby Agent » Fri May 28, 2010 4:59 pm

There is no fee to ordain.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.

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Sobeh
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Re: in the united states?

Postby Sobeh » Fri May 28, 2010 5:21 pm

In other words, it doesn't cost money to renounce money, but it can take a lot of time.

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dhammastudier
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Re: in the united states?

Postby dhammastudier » Sat May 29, 2010 3:09 am


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dhammastudier
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Re: in the united states?

Postby dhammastudier » Sat May 29, 2010 3:11 am


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mikenz66
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Re: in the united states?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 29, 2010 3:33 am


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dhammastudier
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Re: in the united states?

Postby dhammastudier » Sat May 29, 2010 6:44 am


alan
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Re: in the united states?

Postby alan » Sat May 29, 2010 6:46 am

Zac,
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!
:lol: [url][/url]

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mikenz66
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Re: in the united states?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 29, 2010 7:02 am


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cooran
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Re: in the united states?

Postby cooran » Sat May 29, 2010 7:12 am

Since the Buddha's time, the teachings have traditionally been given away free of charge, passing freely from teacher to student, from friend to friend. The teachings are regarded as priceless, and have been conveyed to us across the centuries by an unbroken stream of generosity — the very foundation of all the Buddha's teachings. I would investigate closely anyone charging for the Buddha's teachings, and I would completely avoid anyone charging dearly for them.

It may be that, if a private venue has been hired, that separate charges are made for accommodation - but the Dhamma Teachings should always be freely given.

As an example, Bodhi Tree Monastery (the home of Buddhanet.net), like most Theravada monasteries, does not impose a charge for Retreats - food, accommodation or Teachings. Most yogis, of course, give Dana generously - but this is by choice, and no note is taken of who gives and who does not.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: in the united states?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat May 29, 2010 7:24 am

Regards student loans, the main point is that during ordination one has to certify that one is not in debt. Those in debt who wish to ordain, often considered from ancient times as a way out of debt, is not permissible in the Buddha's sasana. Such is my understanding.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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dhammastudier
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Re: in the united states?

Postby dhammastudier » Sat May 29, 2010 4:57 pm


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dhammastudier
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Re: in the united states?

Postby dhammastudier » Sat May 29, 2010 5:02 pm



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