Where can a 50 y/o man go to become a monk?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Where can a 50 y/o man go to become a monk?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:38 pm

Greetings,

If there's genuine concerns about the financial burden of supporting those who ordain later in life, what's to stop the person in question liquidating their assets and establishing their own "trust fund" that can be drawn upon for any medical requirements etc.? If there's any left once they die, it can go to their descendents and/or the monastery.

Frankly, I think any Sangha who would turn away someone based on their age alone has their priorities horribly skewed, and that such discrimination is not in keeping with the Dhamma or the Vinaya. Perhaps to that end, it's a good "red flag" of places to avoid...

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Sam Vara
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Re: Where can a 50 y/o man go to become a monk?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:27 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:38 pm

Frankly, I think any Sangha who would turn away someone based on their age alone has their priorities horribly skewed, and that such discrimination is not in keeping with the Dhamma or the Vinaya. Perhaps to that end, it's a good "red flag" of places to avoid...

Metta,
Paul. :)
I heard from a senior monk in the Ajahn Chah tradition that it was extremely unlikely that they would take anyone over the age of 45; this seemed to be about mental flexibility and the resilience to adapt to training. There is a monk in the same tradition who ordained when he was older, but it took him some time to persuade them to have him.

On the other hand, I like the fact that Maurice O'Connell Walshe took robes for a rains retreat when he was 77. He wrote a humorous little article about it (I think in The Middle Way) and said that he would do it again when he was 90. Alas, he never made it.

rolling_boulder
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Re: Where can a 50 y/o man go to become a monk?

Post by rolling_boulder » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:46 pm

I would consider Sri Lanka as well
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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Polar Bear
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Re: Where can a 50 y/o man go to become a monk?

Post by Polar Bear » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:38 pm

Frankly, I think any Sangha who would turn away someone based on their age alone has their priorities horribly skewed, and that such discrimination is not in keeping with the Dhamma or the Vinaya. Perhaps to that end, it's a good "red flag" of places to avoid...

Apparently it’s been going on for some time:
When my last rebirth was attained,
I was born in a brahmin clan,
poor, and wanting for clothes and food,
in Rajgir, ultimate city.

I gave a ladle’s worth of food
to Sāriputta, neutral one,
when I was old and decrepit,
and I came to his hermitage.

Nobody was ordaining me,
being old and of failing strength;
due to that, old and discolored,
I was sorrowful at that time.


Having seen me, Great Compassion,
the Sage So Great said this to me:
“What meaning has this sorrow, son?
Tell me of your mental anguish.”

“I’m not getting ordained, Hero,
in your well-preached dispensation;
thus I’m miserable with grief;
be my refuge, O Leader.”

Then calling the monks together,
the Seventh Sage questioned them thus:
“Let them speak, those who remember
the service of this one for us.”

Sāriputta spoke at that time:
“I remember his deed for us.
He gave a ladleful of food
to me then wandering for alms.”

Excellent, Excellent, grateful
Sāriputta! Now you ordain
this man, an elderly brahmin;
he’s going to be a thoroughbred.

Then I got to go forth and got
ordained with proper ritual.
In a short time I then attained
destruction of the defilements.

Thrilled and mindful, I’m listening
carefully to the Sage’s words.
Then the Victor placed me in the
foremost place of those with quick wit.

My defilements are now burnt up;
all new existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint.

Being in Best Buddha’s presence
was a very good thing for me.
The three knowledges are attained;
I have done what the Buddha taught!

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
I have done what the Buddha taught!
- https://suttacentral.net/tha-ap541/en/walters
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

frank k
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Re: Where can a 50 y/o man go to become a monk?

Post by frank k » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:37 pm

TheFarDwelling wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:05 pm
...
In asian countries it is common for even very old grandfathers to become monks because temples there are typically better funded and staffed than in America. Does anyone know of a place in the States where I can train as a Theravada monk? An asian monastery might take me but surely there is someplace I can go that doesn't involve putting tons of carbon in the atmosphere?

I trained as a postulant at Providence Zen Center twenty years ago but the sensuality of lay life proved too much of a draw and I left. I've spent long periods in monastery since. As my study of the Pali Canon deepened these past five years the drawbacks of lay life have become irrefutable. Damn me if it isn't true after all: nothing lasts, every aspect of life is unsatisfying, nothing belongs to me. It is impossible to arrange life so it is always nice. Not the love of a good woman nor a comfortable job nor a healthy, happy child can provide lasting happiness. The pursuit of pleasure leads to pain. Intellectual pursuits and culture are ultimately worthless. The fruits of my action may cause me to be reborn in a lower state of being. The Buddha has shown the direct path to the end of suffering and I must take it, now, before it really is too late.
Sadhu! I hope you follow through with your aspirations before its too late. Some of the flights to asia, would have empty seats had you not purchased one, so I hope you don't discount asian monasterys as an option just for the carbon reason.

I hope you don't have an either/or mentality of ordaining or living life as a worldling indulging in sensual pleasures.
There are lots of other ways to accomplish your goal without ordaining. You can be an 8 preceptor who lives as a volunteer at a buddhist monastery, or if you have the financial means, you can live on a rental property near a favorite monastery of yours, and spend part of each day at the monastery.
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