Ordination in Thailand

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Anagarika
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Anagarika » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:50 am

Beneath the Wheel:

Wat Sri Boen Ruang is a true Wat/Temple. It has on its premises a school for novices, a radio station, and all the elements of any well establish Thai Wat. Yes, full ordination is conducted at WSBR in the normal course. One of my teachers, Ven. Phra Fred, ordained there, and of course Thai samanera go forth for full ordination there.

The advantage to WSBR, in my opinion, is the presence of a young, gifted, and dynamic Abbot who speaks English well, along with Phra Fred and Phra Greg, both native English speakers.

I may at some point ordain; go forth. I would choose to ordain only at WSBR. It is my Dhamma home, in a sense. Now, if only my Thai and Pali would progress and improve..I might stand a chance at being considered for this ordination.....

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gavesako
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by gavesako » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:22 pm

http://www.watthaitemple.com/ordination ... hist-monk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Ordination of Buddhist Monk
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Dhammanando
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:36 am

sonictravels wrote:Hello,

Does anyone have any information about Wat Tha Ma O? I cannot locate a website which may suggest it wouldn't be easy to ordain there as an english speaker..

Thanks
The abbot of Wat Tha Ma O, Sayādaw Dhammānanda, is now nearly blind and too frail to teach. The de facto abbot now is a very talented Burmese-trained Thai monk, Sayādaw Gandhasāra. U Gandhasāra has undertaken a fair bit of international teaching (mostly leading retreats in Europe) and speaks English well. He is also an incredibly prolific translator, especially of Burmese treatises into Thai, and impresses me as a competent meditation technician.

Earlier this year I transcribed and translated Wat Tha Ma O's Pali evening chanting and confession formulas for another Englishman who was preparing to ordain there. As these are rather different from those in general use in Thailand I am uploading the file here for anyone who might be considering ordaining at Tha Ma O.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando
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mr.c
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by mr.c » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:38 pm

Hi everyone.

This thread starts with a reference to the homonymous one from E-Sangha, that isn't available anymore. I "discovered" the old thread back in 2009. I was then. and still am. interested in ordaining. I was very eager to read it but it was rather lengthy, so... I made a print out of it! Until some time ago I forgot where it was or if still existed, but some months ago I found it by chance.

It has taken me some time to transcribe it into electronic form again (a few minutes every day), but here it is once more. It covers from its first post on 6/aug/2006 until 25/jan/2009.

I hope someone still finds it useful, or has some value as a "historical" document... :)

Best wishes!
MrC
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mikenz66
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:24 pm

Thanks MrC!

(and welcome...)

:anjali:
Mike

Apawang
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Apawang » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:37 am

It looks as if there hasn't been activity on this thread for a bit, but any relevant response is appreciated!

I am 44 years old and married with young(er) children. I'm waiting for my kids to grow up and finish school. I have always intended to ordain in Thailand since visiting there and doing retreats there many years ago. I recently read on WPN website that they have a age cutoff of 50. This is very disappointing since my kids won't be finished with school before I turn 50.

I'm confused about this because I was under the impression that it was common for laypersons to ordain after their children were grown. I had heard that this is common in many countries including Thailand. I also don't understand why the Sangha would turn their back on older people who want to ordain. This doesn't seem to be in keeping with stories I had read about the Buddha and his disciples.

At any rate, if I'm not able to ordain in one of the English-speaking Wats in Thailand, are there other good suggestions? I am trying to teach myself Thai at the moment but I'm not sure how that will progress without living in Thailand.

Thanks for your kind responses!

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Anagarika
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Anagarika » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:47 pm

Apawang wrote:It looks as if there hasn't been activity on this thread for a bit, but any relevant response is appreciated!

I am 44 years old and married with young(er) children. I'm waiting for my kids to grow up and finish school. I have always intended to ordain in Thailand since visiting there and doing retreats there many years ago. I recently read on WPN website that they have a age cutoff of 50. This is very disappointing since my kids won't be finished with school before I turn 50.

I'm confused about this because I was under the impression that it was common for laypersons to ordain after their children were grown. I had heard that this is common in many countries including Thailand. I also don't understand why the Sangha would turn their back on older people who want to ordain. This doesn't seem to be in keeping with stories I had read about the Buddha and his disciples.

At any rate, if I'm not able to ordain in one of the English-speaking Wats in Thailand, are there other good suggestions? I am trying to teach myself Thai at the moment but I'm not sure how that will progress without living in Thailand.

Thanks for your kind responses!
Apawang:

I do not believe that there is a strict age restriction in Thailand. I believe that the requirements for samanera and Bhikkhu ordination depend on the preceptor and the abbot of the Wat where you would request ordination. I know of at least one retired gentleman from the US who has ordained as of last year, and is living as a monk in a Thai Wat, and very happy there.

Take a look at http://www.monkordination.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; At Wat Sri Boen Ruang, you can go through training, study and temple living and then request to ordain as a samanera (novice) at the Temple. I do not believe that any age restriction is in place; there are other requirements that the Vinaya sets forth with regard to physical fitness etc. Ordaining as a novice is a step toward ordaining as a bhikkhu, and it allows one to fully experience the life of a bhikku (almsrounds, vinaya code) before going forth as a bhikkhu. I ordained as a samanera there. WSBR's Abbot is also a very good man, highly educated, speaks English, young, and a dynamic community leader.

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appicchato
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by appicchato » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:24 pm

I do not believe that there is a strict age restriction in Thailand.
There is none...WPN (probably) being the only (out of 35k) one that does...

Knowing more Pali than Thai would impress (as an aid to securing permission to ordain) a Thai abbot more...

Success to you...

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Dhammanando
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:58 am

Apawang wrote:I'm confused about this because I was under the impression that it was common for laypersons to ordain after their children were grown. I had heard that this is common in many countries including Thailand.
Yes.
I also don't understand why the Sangha would turn their back on older people who want to ordain. This doesn't seem to be in keeping with stories I had read about the Buddha and his disciples.
I think Wat Pa Nanachat may well be unique in this respect. I have a septuagenarian American friend who has sometimes stayed at WPN for lengthy periods and was hoping to ordain there. His application was rejected on account of the rule you mention. The explanation given to him was that the community had found it too difficult to train westerners who ordain in old age. Western quinquagenarians, sexagenarians, etc., find it irksome to be bossed about by vicenarians and tricenarians (which is what most of the WPN community are) who are their monastic seniors. It might not be so bad if there wasn't actually a lot of bossing about but at WPN there's a great deal of it.

With Thais ordaining in late life doesn't seem to be so much of a problem. The difficulties WPN encountered are avoided largely through senior Thai monks having the skill to train their charges in a non-coercive fashion, without needing to issue peremptory orders, pull rank on one's juniors, and that sort of thing. In fact there's many a Thai abbot who will never order anyone to do anything but will get things done by just quietly dropping hints.

Apawang
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Apawang » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:05 pm

Thanks so much for the replies. This really makes me feel much better! I found the age restriction strange so it's good to hear it's limited to WPN. I'll keep practicing and am hoping to visit Thailand this year or next for a retreat and a chance to visit some of the different Wats.

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gavesako
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by gavesako » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:19 pm

Westerners choose a monk's life in Thailand


SCRIPT: Thailand might be better known in the west for its beaches but some visitors come here with other plans. Several hundred have left behind Europe, the US or Australia to be ordained as Thai Buddhist monks. SOUNDBITE 1 Phra Asoko (man), Swiss Buddhist monk (French, 12 sec): "You free yourself from a whole pile of difficulties and suffering which are an integral part of a non-religious life. There are difficulties, there are sacrifices to make. But these are things which are a part of the decision." [French: "On se libère d'un tas de difficultés et de souffrances qui font partie intégrante de la vie d'un laïque. Il y a des difficultés, il y a des sacrifices à faire, mais ce sont des choses qui font partie du choix."] One of Phra Asoko’s mentors is the American monk Luang Poh Sumedho. He donned his saffron robe 46 years ago and is one of the most respected foreign monks in Thailand. Buddhism appeals to him for its pragmatism - and the fact it's not focused on a god. SOUNDBITE 2 Luong Por Sumedho (man), American Buddhist monk (English, 12 sec): "There is something very appealing to Western mind about Buddhism, because it isn't, it doesn't demand that you believe in things, it is not a theistic approach." But making the leap to a disciplined monastic life isn't easy. There are many rules to follow including sexual abstinence and isolation from the wider world Phra Ashal, an Australian who entered monkhood 35 years ago, says around half of the foreign monks he's known have given up. SOUNDBITE 3 Phra Achalo (man), Australian Buddhist monk (English, 21 sec): "I have never met one who regretted trying. And every single one of them has left with confidence in the Buddhist training and gratitude for the community and feeling happy that they tried and usually they leave because they think like, it's too hard for them." While most western visitors to Thailand may return home feeling they’ve experienced a slice of paradise, these foreign monks, who’ve stayed the course, hope to experience a whole new level of enlightenment. SHOTLIST: UBON RATCHATHANI, NORTH-EAST, THAILAND, JUNE 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV -Wide of temple -Various of Phra Asoko and fellow monks collecting alms -SOUNDBITE 1 -Various of Phra Asoko walking with Luong Por Sumedho -SOUNDBITE 2 -Various of interior of temple Wat Pah Nanachat -Various of mountain views of Khao Kor -CU of Buddhist statue -Set up of Phra Achalo -SOUNDBITE 3 -Monks collecting alms -Monks chanting -Monk walking on hillside END

http://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/video/ ... 30601.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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AllenCN
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by AllenCN » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:30 pm

Venerables, fellow candidate-venerables, and lay-friends,

Ajahn Dhammanando mentioned earlier in this thread what he coined a "monk-to-be visa." I know myself that such a thing exists... as a layman at WPN, I accompanied anagarikas on their final visa run before ordination (I myself was one, on just another TR visa run), but unfortunately I was not paying enough attention. Would anyone happen to know the technical, legal terminology for this visa, or have a citation for the Thai regulation? Is the regulation cited here? http://www.onab.go.th/index.php?option= ... Itemid=188

I'm soon to be going through the process of ordaining at a small forest temple that has very limited experience with foreigners... Unfortunately, that was prior to the regulations cited in Dhammanando's 2010 post. Would anyone happen to have specific information about what is required? I realize that details are far too much to ask for in Thailand, but am grateful for even hints and innuendos. Many thanks.

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appicchato
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by appicchato » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:31 pm

Basically any type of 'non-immigrant' visa will suffice...once ordained you will get a 'bisuti', and with that you can get the paperwork to obtain the one year extensions to that visa...there is no 'monk visa'...

All the best...

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Dhammanando
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:43 pm

appicchato wrote:Basically any type of 'non-immigrant' visa will suffice...once ordained you will get a 'bisuti', and with that you can get the paperwork to obtain the one year extensions to that visa...there is no 'monk visa'...
Bhante, are you sure your info is up to date? Though I've no idea what the current regulations are, I recall that whereas a non-immigrant visa sufficed when I came out to ordain in 1985, when I came back to re-ordain in 2003 I did have to apply for a special 'monk-to-be' visa and wouldn't have been permitted to ordain without one.

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appicchato
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by appicchato » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:03 am

Venerable,

I don't really keep close tabs on the regs although I've been getting year long extensions since '06 (7?), and that was with a single entry non-immigrant ('O') visa...a Caucasian ordained where I reside (Wat Thewasangkharam, Muang Kanchanaburi) last year with nought but the same...I've been getting uninterrupted Thai visas since the seventies (whew)...I don't think he will have a (major) problem with just a non-immigrant visa...but, as this is Thailand, that thought is not chiseled in stone...

Be well...

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