Ordaining when children leave home

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Ordaining when children leave home

Post by DCM » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:48 pm

Hi, are there any examples in the Suttas of Lay disciples ordaining once their children leave home?

Also, has anyone got any expamples of any Bhikkus or Bhikkhunis in modern times who have done likewise. How does renunciation relate to this situation, I understand that when ordaining the monk renounces all, so would he still have contact with his children?

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Re: Ordaining when children leave home

Post by DNS » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:37 pm

I believe many do still have contact with their adult children, not on a daily basis, but once in a while visits.

The topic title reminded me of this joke:

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Re: Ordaining when children leave home

Post by pilgrim » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:47 pm

I know a few people who ordained after their children grew up. Yes, they still have contact with their children even thru Facebook. I think any lack of contact in such cases is very often a result of the adult children being too busy with their lives and not from any monastic restriction. :thinking:

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Re: Ordaining when children leave home

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:46 pm

One of the things that tend to be a misconception is that when someone becomes a monk they cut off all ties with family and friends and vow to never see them again. This was not the case even in ancient times.

in the sutta/vinaya You can see various examples of a monastic having to help a family member. Family are the only people a monastic can directly ask for something from. Also One of the more recent ones I found that is still in my head appears in the rules regarding the rains retreat. Most people know monks can be invited during the rains to go out and give dhamma talks, but they don't know that in that same set of rules monks are to go home if the family calls them due to a family member being sick, etc.

There are also modern day monastics, Ajahn Viradhammo and Bhante Analayo come to mind, who actually lived with their parents for years to help them in elderly life. When I spoke to Bhante Analayo about that he gave me a wise response that I still remember " a mature meditator takes care of his responsibilities and does not create any new ones". I found this to be right on point. And my family knows the limits of what I can and can't do regarding my contact with them and ability to help them out when needed.

That being said , there is such a thing as being too attached, and that is not good for the monastic life. Both parties need to understand that the person becoming a monastic truly is taking on a new way of living different then the lay life, they will not be the same person they were, but it is important for the family to know that while you will be out of their daily life, you will still be able to keep in touch and see each other occasionally.

When I was young my dad's side of the family moved to arizona, and I got to see them once a year or once every two years. That is how it is with my family. I am a long distance relative, one phone call a month, one trip home a year, and internet contact. And as Pilgrim said above, at first there is a desire for constant contact, but then people get use to it and get on with their busy lives. Even though I am on facebook with my mom and sisters, we barely connect on there at all.
Bhikkhu Jayasāra -http://www.youtube.com/studentofthepath and https://bhikkhujayasara.wordpress.com/

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Re: Ordaining when children leave home

Post by manas » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:41 am

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:46 pm
Although not the OP, I'm in a similar situation; thank you for that informative post, Bhante. Sounds do-able.

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