What happens to ex-monks?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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What happens to ex-monks?

Post by householder » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:33 pm

Hi all,

Moving towards ordination again. The mind is resisting for stupid reasons, but curiosity got the better of me on one particular matter, which I'm not sure has been touched on here before:

What happens to Western monks who disrobe, whether in Asia or in the West?

Do they pick up their old life where they left off?
Do they start anew?
Do they move to a different life of service?

I'd be curious to hear from people who are, or know of, former monks and how they retransitioned into lay life, what they did for a living, how they approached their suspended relationships or formed new ones etc?



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Re: What happens to ex-monks?

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:59 pm

There have been several ex monks living around here over the past few years.

Earning a living can be a problem, especially if they've been a monk for a long time as it doesn't really do much for your cv.

Some are teaching meditation, some trying to earn a living doing so, others finding what work they have the skills to do handyman work etc.

Most have relationships.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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James the Giant
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Re: What happens to ex-monks?

Post by James the Giant » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:04 am

I know four western ex-monks. All three adapted back to lay life, and all three are still very involved in the dhamma, and visit the monastery fairly often.
One runs his own successful landscaping/gardening business.
One is an investment portfolio manager... or something like that. Big business, big money.
One is a school-teacher who rides a really nice motorcycle.
And the fourth is currently travelling around trying to find a monastery he likes so he can re-ordain.
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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Re: What happens to ex-monks?

Post by pilgrim » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:16 pm

They get together here.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3764416 ... ts&fref=ts

An ex-monk runs this interesting retreat centre

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