can someone with depression ordain?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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kamui
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can someone with depression ordain?

Post by kamui » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:29 pm

hi
i was wondering if it can be beneficial for someone with depression to ordain and if its even possible?(maybe its something that disqualifies you from ordaining). meditation and dharma help me but not enough (after work have little energy and motivation for meditation because already exhausted
from the depression so meditation are quite short and the relief also ). i already have no interest in "regular" life so i think the transition would be easier
and ill have the opportunity without the distraction and goals of lay life to dedicate myself completely to the practice which may help my condition.
is it a reasonable idea or i just deluding myself ?

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:30 pm

If you are able to maintain a routine work and a little meditation it is because you do not have depression or at least it is controlled.

To be ordained I think I just need to be able to maintain the daily routine of the monastery.

Daily Routine
http://www.watpahnanachat.org/8-precepts.php

Many monasteries ask if people use any remedy, so I think it's common for some people to use some medication for depression, for example.

I think that you can not be monk if you have a disease that incapacitates this person from enduring the daily routine of the monastery.

Ordaining at Wat Pah Nanachat
http://www.watpahnanachat.org/8-precepts.php

When I began to think about ordering in a Theravada monastery many people only advised me to develop a firm basis of study and practice of Buddhism before going to the monastery. Because many give up because they do not prepare much to follow this path.

:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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TreeSleeper
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by TreeSleeper » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:44 pm

Yes, definitely. That's a very inspiring and noble pursuit. Go become a monk to come to complete end of your problems once and for all. The Buddha would take anyone who had depression or what ever problem they had without exception. You become a monk so you can realize the end of your suffering.

But, if you go become a monk and you not even able to go on alms round or do chores because your too tired then you might have a hard time. But those things can also motivate you because you don't really have a choice, so it might even give you upper hand in dealing with the depression.
I was depressed and anxious when I went to move into a monastery, heck I still am, highly reduced at that though. It's one of those defilement that doesn't easily go away, it's quite sticky. I hardly meditated and I only knew the basics of Buddhism. You get better at it the more you're there. From what I've seen, people who decide to become monks have a lot of problems in general, that's why they're trying to find a way out of it. We all got our baggage of bad kamma to take care of, if we didn't have problems we'd all be Arahants. I would not have been able to make the progress I did if I didn't go to a monastery, it's just a great environment. Especially if the master is top notch.

It's not delusional at all, it's the highest aspiration. Good luck.

dharmacorps
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by dharmacorps » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:43 pm

There is no reason you can't ordain because of depression as others have said. I would however, say that if your depression is long standing and impairs your ability to live a functional worldly life, it may very well effect your ordained life. I've struggled with depression since age 14 or 15 and after many many rounds of trying to go without antidepressants, have found I cannot function without them-- this includes my ability to practice meditation and the Dhamma. I have no idea what your experience is other than what you have posted but you may want to explore options to help make the most of your very noble and praiseworthy intent to ordain :)

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Maitri
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by Maitri » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:51 am

TreeSleeper wrote:Yes, definitely. That's a very inspiring and noble pursuit. Go become a monk to come to complete end of your problems once and for all. The Buddha would take anyone who had depression or what ever problem they had without exception. You become a monk so you can realize the end of your suffering.
I'm sorry, but do you know this as a fact or this just your opinion? Many centers in the West will carefully vet people who come for ordination because they cannot assist people with mental illness. This person should speak with her or his teacher about ordaining. Many people come onto these online forums looking to "escape" to ordination and really haven't a clue about proper Dhamma teachings or practice. I'm not saying that about OP, but we should be careful in just declaring anyone can ordain.

The Buddha was the Buddha. That is a very different framework from what we have now. You should not tell someone they can be ordained if you are not doing the ordaining or not ordained yourself. It is up to the person and their teacher to determine.
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

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TreeSleeper
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by TreeSleeper » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:24 am

Maitri wrote:
TreeSleeper wrote:Yes, definitely. That's a very inspiring and noble pursuit. Go become a monk to come to complete end of your problems once and for all. The Buddha would take anyone who had depression or what ever problem they had without exception. You become a monk so you can realize the end of your suffering.
I'm sorry, but do you know this as a fact or this just your opinion? Many centers in the West will carefully vet people who come for ordination because they cannot assist people with mental illness. This person should speak with her or his teacher about ordaining. Many people come onto these online forums looking to "escape" to ordination and really haven't a clue about proper Dhamma teachings or practice. I'm not saying that about OP, but we should be careful in just declaring anyone can ordain.

The Buddha was the Buddha. That is a very different framework from what we have now. You should not tell someone they can be ordained if you are not doing the ordaining or not ordained yourself. It is up to the person and their teacher to determine.
Yes, but it's like how do you define depression? And what is mental illness? If you're not enlightened, that's mental illness. Anyone who wants to be a monk has a lot of good kamma going for them and I think should go will what they think is right. I'm not giving anyone permission to ordain or saying who can and cannot be ordained, I'm just saying give it a shot.

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Aloka
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by Aloka » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:00 am

kamui wrote:hi
i was wondering if it can be beneficial for someone with depression to ordain and if its even possible?(maybe its something that disqualifies you from ordaining). meditation and dharma help me but not enough (after work have little energy and motivation for meditation because already exhausted
from the depression so meditation are quite short and the relief also ). i already have no interest in "regular" life so i think the transition would be easier
and ill have the opportunity without the distraction and goals of lay life to dedicate myself completely to the practice which may help my condition.
is it a reasonable idea or i just deluding myself ?
Hi kamui,

I think these are questions that you need to ask in person at a monastery, or alternatively write to the abbot or head monk at a monastery about, rather than ask on the internet. In internet forums its always possible to get a variety of responses from different people - but they may not always be suitable for your particular disposition and circumstances,


:anjali:

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Maitri
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by Maitri » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:49 am

TreeSleeper wrote:
Maitri wrote:
TreeSleeper wrote:Yes, definitely. That's a very inspiring and noble pursuit. Go become a monk to come to complete end of your problems once and for all. The Buddha would take anyone who had depression or what ever problem they had without exception. You become a monk so you can realize the end of your suffering.
I'm sorry, but do you know this as a fact or this just your opinion? Many centers in the West will carefully vet people who come for ordination because they cannot assist people with mental illness. This person should speak with her or his teacher about ordaining. Many people come onto these online forums looking to "escape" to ordination and really haven't a clue about proper Dhamma teachings or practice. I'm not saying that about OP, but we should be careful in just declaring anyone can ordain.

The Buddha was the Buddha. That is a very different framework from what we have now. You should not tell someone they can be ordained if you are not doing the ordaining or not ordained yourself. It is up to the person and their teacher to determine.
Yes, but it's like how do you define depression? And what is mental illness? If you're not enlightened, that's mental illness. Anyone who wants to be a monk has a lot of good kamma going for them and I think should go will what they think is right. I'm not giving anyone permission to ordain or saying who can and cannot be ordained, I'm just saying give it a shot.
Please don't be so obtuse. There is this non-sense that Buddhists push that we are all "mentally ill" because we are unenlightened. It's frankly insulting to people who truly struggle with mental illness and want to walk the path of the Dhamma. Not all approaches to Dhamma practices are appropriate for all people at all times.

This idea of just give it a go is really terrible advice. I have seen many instances of unstable people trying to go into retreat or monastic settings who were struggling either with personality conflicts or mental illness and it ending badly. Putting someone who states they have depression into a monastic setting just to "give it a shot" is really not a serious approach and does a lot of disservice not only to the individual, but the community as a whole. As others said, it should be something carefully considered and discussed with a senior monk or nun, not done on a whim. The monastic life isn't for everyone and simply ordaining doesn't take problems away but can amplify them.
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

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TLCD96
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by TLCD96 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:29 am

Some Sanghas will take just about anybody. Some, such as the Ajahn Chah Tradition, require more time.

Whether or not your depression is a "deal-breaker" is up to the Sangha, really. I'm sure there are plenty of people with depression who have ordained, or ordained people who are even going through a low period. It happens.

If you haven't visited a monastery before, that might be a good thing to do before deciding to ordain right away. It could be both an uplifting and deeply insightful experience. Some people realize it's not for them and they were looking for something else, others find it to be just the right thing. Either way, it gives you a good taste of a spiritual lifestyle. And, in my experience (as a guest at a monastery), it does not involve isolating yourself in a room in such a way that you would drive yourself mad; being a monk or guest at a monastery does not equate to being thrown into intense retreat. It's more like living with people who, like you, go through life's difficulties and value peace and freedom.

Though, like others have suggested, it's not an escape. Liberating yourself from Samsara is not as easy as changing external circumstances.
All of us are bound by birth, aging, and death. - Chanting book

2600htz
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by 2600htz » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:13 pm

Hello:

I have no experience with ordinations, but in the case of someone with chronic depression i would focus on two things.

A)Does the person with depression is under medication?, would he able to maintain that medication once ordained? (Some meds are expensive, others are under restrictive licenses, so if you go to another country they might not have).

B)Some people with depression are stable, they feel always the same level of sadness or pain, others are a rollercoaster of emotions and go through episodes that require attention of everyone around them. Of this two, which category i belong?.

Regards.

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purple1
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Re: can someone with depression ordain?

Post by purple1 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:20 am

kamui wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:29 pm
hi
i was wondering if it can be beneficial for someone with depression to ordain and if its even possible?(maybe its something that disqualifies you from ordaining). meditation and dharma help me but not enough (after work have little energy and motivation for meditation because already exhausted
from the depression so meditation are quite short and the relief also ). i already have no interest in "regular" life so i think the transition would be easier
and ill have the opportunity without the distraction and goals of lay life to dedicate myself completely to the practice which may help my condition.
is it a reasonable idea or i just deluding myself ?
My case is similar. I have depression and anxiety disorder also. For me it is impossible to even thinking about ordination because I must make big efforts to be able to sit down and practice meditation and living my every day life. Psychology helps to me a lot but I hardly handle my depression. If you hardly handle your depression then deciding ordination is not really a good choice....

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