Ordination in Thailand

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

Post by martinfrank » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:53 am

Thank you, Ven. Appicchato, for your kind advice to the monk-to-be.

I believe it would be best for the monk-to-be to travel to Thailand and visit a few monasteries and see for himself where he is welcome and where he will find friendly monk-brothers who will help him tie his robe and tell him what to do and what not to do.

Maybe it would be good advice not to travel to Thailand during the Rains Retreat (vassa) from 2 AUG to 30 OCT 2014 as most monasteries will be full and busy. After the Rains Retreat the monasteries will return to normal and resident monks will have more time to talk to visitors.

Once the monk-to-be has found a wat where he feels welcome, visa problems can be sorted out. To start with an invitation letter seems risky to me because the monk-to-be may be stuck with a monastery and a teacher where he doesn't feel at ease.

There are more than three thousand wats in Thailand. Trying to find the best wat in Thailand is like trying to find the best taxi in Bangkok. The official place to start for foreign monk candidates is Section 5 of Wat Mahathat in Bangkok. But why start in Bangkok? Why not in Hatyai?

Monks in South Thailand generally welcome foreign Buddhists and are relaxed and helpful. Phra Kroo Aphicharto at Wat Bo Pradoo (T. Watjant, A. Sathingphra, J. Songkhla) is a modern young teacher and head of a small monastery. He is very kind and speaks English well. He is a good ordination guide. In the area there are several monasteries with serious, intelligent young monks.
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thaijeppe
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by thaijeppe » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:57 am

Maybe it would be good advice not to travel to Thailand during the Rains Retreat (vassa) from 2 AUG to 30 OCT 2014 as most monasteries will be full and busy. After the Rains Retreat the monasteries will return to normal and resident monks will have more time to talk to visitors.

Just to get the right dates Vassa 2014 is 12 of july to 8 October

:anjali: Jeppe
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you
let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely,
you will know complete peace and freedom.
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appicchato
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by appicchato » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:29 pm

There are more than three thousand wats in Thailand.
Thirty plus thousand is a bit more accurate...

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gavesako
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by gavesako » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:45 pm

INTO THE DHAMMA: The Journey of a Novice Monk

After coming to Wat Marp Jan for many years, Wen Jie from Singapore decides to give ordination a go. He finds it's not as easy as he first thought.
Forest monastery of Ajahn Chah tradition in Rayong -- Wat Marp Jan วัดมาบจันทร์

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txvtird_W4k" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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samseva
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by samseva » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:51 am

gavesako wrote:INTO THE DHAMMA: The Journey of a Novice Monk

After coming to Wat Marp Jan for many years, Wen Jie from Singapore decides to give ordination a go. He finds it's not as easy as he first thought.
Forest monastery of Ajahn Chah tradition in Rayong -- Wat Marp Jan วัดมาบจันทร์

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txvtird_W4k
Thank you, Ven. Gavesako.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:45 am

I've just received news of a new regulation for foreign nationals wishing to ordain in Thailand. They are now required to bring a copy of their police record in their native country and submit it to their upajjhāya before ordaining. As I haven't yet seen a copy of the regulation I don't know whether it requires that the candidate have a completely clean record or merely that it be free of serious crimes.

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samseva
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by samseva » Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:34 am

Dhammanando wrote:I've just received news of a new regulation for foreign nationals wishing to ordain in Thailand. They are now required to bring a copy of their police record in their native country and submit it to their upajjhāya before ordaining. As I haven't yet seen a copy of the regulation I don't know whether it requires that the candidate have a completely clean record or merely that it be free of serious crimes.
Before reading, I was scared that it would be bad news, but that is actually really good news. :smile: It means there are some positive changes taking place in the Thai sangha.

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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:14 pm

samseva wrote:Before reading, I was scared that it would be bad news, but that is actually really good news. :smile: It means there are some positive changes taking place in the Thai sangha.

Well, not really. The last good state-instituted sangha reforms were in Thaksin’s day. The latest is actually a national security measure. It seems the Thai authorities have received an intelligence report that some Muslims have entered the Kingdom with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks on Russian tourists in Pattaya. There’s a concern that they may try to disguise themselves as monks and the new regulation is the junta’s response to this.
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SarathW
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by SarathW » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:58 pm

gavesako wrote:INTO THE DHAMMA: The Journey of a Novice Monk

After coming to Wat Marp Jan for many years, Wen Jie from Singapore decides to give ordination a go. He finds it's not as easy as he first thought.
Forest monastery of Ajahn Chah tradition in Rayong -- Wat Marp Jan วัดมาบจันทร์

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txvtird_W4k" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks for the video.
What I noticed was monks are engage with continuous chores.
Very little to do with the practice. (Perhaps the practice is the mindfulness of the chores)
I have never seen Sri Lankan monks are doing so much chores.
This is a great example to show that lay people can do the same.
:anjali:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

robbie77
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by robbie77 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:08 pm

gavesako wrote:INTO THE DHAMMA: The Journey of a Novice Monk

After coming to Wat Marp Jan for many years, Wen Jie from Singapore decides to give ordination a go. He finds it's not as easy as he first thought.
Forest monastery of Ajahn Chah tradition in Rayong -- Wat Marp Jan วัดมาบจันทร์

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txvtird_W4k" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Thanks for an interesting video upload. I am curious to know how he managed to ordain in the lineage of Ajahn Chah after, in his own word, "about fifteen minutes." I understood the process of ordination to be much more rigorous in the Ajahn Chah tradition and liked this reality as it weeds out those who ordain on a whim. Any reflections on this anybody?

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gavesako
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by gavesako » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:31 pm

The process can be faster if you go to Wat Marp Jan or another Thai branch monastery rather than to Wat Pah Nanachat. But usually it means that you have to speak Thai already. Then you might skip the long anagarika-samanera stage or just do a few months' stint and be quickly ordained as a bhikkhu (which is the normal way for Thai men to get into robes). The reason is that many just take a temporary ordination and will disrobe again soon. Those who stay on have to learn gradually the things which elsewhere they would pick up as anagarika-samanera.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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mysterie
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by mysterie » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:57 am

someone above said that it might be a bad idea for a foreigner to come to thailand looking to ordain during the rains retreat.

i'm planning to get to thailand early june and is this the case? i thought that it was easier to stay at a monastery during rains retreat. would it just mean that i have to stay at one monastery for the 3 month rains retreat? or would i still be able to stay at different monasteries for 20 days - a month during this time?

thanks.

ttliic
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by ttliic » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:32 am

Where is the best place currently for an foreigner to ordain at a Dhammayut monestary - do people still ordain at Wat Pa Ban Taad?

Shodo Jishin
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Ordain as a monk and still stay vegetarian/vegan?

Post by Shodo Jishin » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:56 am

Hello,

I would like to ordain in the Theravada tradition in Thailand (I live in Bangkok), but the one thing I would like to continue is living vegan. I heard of one temple, Sunnararam in Kanchanaburi, where as part of their metta practice eat only vegetarian. I can't find a way to contact them though. Does anyone have info on where I could ordain and still be vegan? Or anyone know how I can contact Sunnararam? Thank you.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Ordain as a monk and still stay vegetarian/vegan?

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:37 am

Shodo Jishin wrote:Or anyone know how I can contact Sunnararam?
Assuming you mean Sunyataram, this is the address of the wat:

Samnak Pa Sunyataram,
Tambol Prang Phen,
Amphoe Sangkhlaburi,
Kanchanaburi 71240

สำนักป่าสุญญตาราม
ตำบล ปรังเผล
อำเภอ สังขละบุรี
จังหวัด กาญจนบุรี 71240

And its Facebook page:

https://web.facebook.com/สำนักป่าสุญญตา ... 3855305359



I would remark, however, that abstention from meat can be practised at nearly any monastery in Thailand, excepting those of Ajahn Maha Bua and his disciples, where it's expressly prohibited.

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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Shodo Jishin » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:45 am

Thank you very much!

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Stiphan
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Re: Ordain as a monk and still stay vegetarian/vegan?

Post by Stiphan » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:13 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:37 am
I would remark, however, that abstention from meat can be practised at nearly any monastery in Thailand, excepting those of Ajahn Maha Bua and his disciples, where it's expressly prohibited.
This is good to hear since I am vegetarian and plan to go vegan. I had thought monks had to accept whatever was offered or put into their bowl?
You can call me "Stiphan" (correct spelling: Sṭīphan) or Stephen. May you be well and happy. :heart:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Ordain as a monk and still stay vegetarian/vegan?

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:53 pm

Stiphan wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:13 pm
This is good to hear since I am vegetarian and plan to go vegan. I had thought monks had to accept whatever was offered or put into their bowl?
One needs to distinguish between the requirements and prohibitions of Vinaya and those of popular custom.

The Vinaya prohibits a bhikkhu's eating of anything that hasn't been offered to him. It doesn't, however, require him to accept everything that's offered. Nor does it require him to eat everything that he's accepted.

Popular Asian custom, on the other hand, deems it bad form for a bhikkhu to decline any lawful food offering. In some places it's also deemed courteous for a bhikkhu to eat anything he's accepted if the donors are watching him.

The confusion of custom with Vinaya often leads to the erroneous assertion that the Vinaya requires bhikkhus to accept and eat everything they're offered.

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Stiphan
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Stiphan » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:34 pm

Thank you, Bhante Dhammanando. Good to see you! :anjali:

If one explains to the Asian donors that one is vegetarian/vegan, would they still consider it bad manners that one hasn't accepted part of their offering, would you say? One could politely refuse and explain the reasoning behind one's choice of abstaining from meat - that it is done out of compassion. I guess I just wonder whether I will have any difficulties being vegetarian/vegan if or when I ordain.
You can call me "Stiphan" (correct spelling: Sṭīphan) or Stephen. May you be well and happy. :heart:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Ordination in Thailand

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:14 am

Stiphan wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:34 pm
If one explains to the Asian donors that one is vegetarian/vegan, would they still consider it bad manners that one hasn't accepted part of their offering, would you say?
It depends on the situation.

When walking on almsround, for example, it would be unspeakably bad-mannered to refuse a donor's food offering because you notice that it includes meat, or to stipulate what kind of food you're willing to accept. (The latter behaviour would also be skating close to a breach of the 39th pācittiya rule). But when you get back to the monastery you're not obliged to eat the meat item.

When laypeople invite you to their home for a meal, if they are acquaintances then they'll probably know of your dietetic habits and so there won't be any problem. If they're strangers, however, then the proper course for a vegetarian would be to accept what's offered but not eat the meat. Some laypeople will just offer the food and then leave the monks to eat in peace, so there won't be any problem. Others, however, have an annoying habit of hovering about the table and fussing over the monks, dropping suggestions that they should try this and that, or trying to cajole them into eating some special dish that they've gone to a lot of trouble to make. In this case you might occasionally get into awkward situations: "Oh, Phra Stiphan, what's wrong? You haven't even touched my spaghetti bolognese! I made it specially because they told me a phra farang would be coming."
Stiphan wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:34 pm
One could politely refuse and explain the reasoning behind one's choice of abstaining from meat - that it is done out of compassion.
I think it would be better to learn what karuṇā means and abandon the un-dhammic view that a bhikkhu is performing a "compassionate" act by his choosing to eat this food rather than that food.
Taking life, torture, mutilation too,
binding, stealing, telling lies, and fraud;
deceit, adultery, and studying crooked views:
this is carrion-stench, not the eating of meat.

Those people of desires and pleasures unrestrained,
greedy for tastes with impurity mixed in,
of nihilistic views, unstable, hard to train:
this is carrion-stench, not the eating of meat.

Etc., etc.

https://suttacentral.net/en/snp2.2

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