Want to explore ordination but...

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Nuggets
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:56 pm

Want to explore ordination but...

Post by Nuggets » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:07 am

Hi everyone

Over the last six months or so I've realised that I am keen to explore the monastic life in the Theravadan tradition.

I have spent several weekends and stints up to five days at a local Monastery and I can see that it's something that really appeals to me.

I've been on this path all together for about seven years (both Tibetan, and more recently, Theravadan).

But.....I have a four year old son and a seven year old daughter. I'm 45 years old.

I'm single - my wife and I split amicably a little over a year ago. We're still friends.

I love my kids, they're awesome (with the usual frustrations). They stay with me up to 3 or 4 nights a week. My ex and I just live around the corner from each other.

But anyway, I have realised that I am really no longer interested in the worldly life. Eating out, drinking, sport, work, hanging with friends / family (all non-Buddhist)....all the things that I was into don't appeal to me any more. Not saying that I don't do them anymore, they just don't hold the same appeal. In fact, they hold very little appeal.

So, given I reckon it'll be a decade before I can go forth (don't really want to leave my kids + I couldn't afford the final maintenance I'd need to pay up until their 18th birthdays), can anyone offer any advice on how I can stay positive about my situation? Lately I have been slipping back in to old worldly habits i.e. thinking sex, relationships, booze, food can make me happy, but I just end up as dis-satisfied as I was before (surprise, surprise!)

Any comments /advice welcome. I am finding it hard to stay positive right now and sometimes just feel like dropping the path and going back to worldly life - but I just can't! Which is a good thing I guess?

Thanks :candle:

SarathW
Posts: 8288
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Want to explore ordination but...

Post by SarathW » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:16 am

[Lately I have been slipping back in to old worldly habits i.e. thinking sex, relationships, booze, food can make me happy, but I just end up as dis-satisfied as I was before (surprise, surprise!)k/quote]

This can happen even if you become a monk. Start ppp
Practicing eight precepts before become a monk.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:54 am
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Re: Want to explore ordination but...

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:56 pm

Focus on your practice and fulfill your duties and responsibilities. Spend more time around monastics and attending retreats. Mold what you can of your life in a way that benefits your practice. If you have some disenchantment with the world that is good, but it is just a start. As someone who's 12 years of practice was mostly as a lay person, I know what it is to feel like I've made so much progress in letting things go and becoming detached to the things and wanting to let go of the world.

Don't be too sure of yourself however, because it's been my experience that things go in cycles, and the deeper you go the more you realize how much you still have to let go of, even things you thought you already did. I don't think it's a coincidence that they say that Mara doesn't put too much focus on you until you become a monastic, the difficulty ramps up pretty steeply.

There were desires and cravings I thought I was beyond in my practice, that now a few years into monasticism they decided to come out and say "surprise! I'm still here" hehe.

Life is uncertain, and I cannot know if I will truly be a monastic for the rest of my life, but what I do know is that whether I am a lay person or monastic, I have my practice, following the noble eightfold path is available for us anytime, no matter who we are.

So do not forget the Noble Eightfold Path is there as your guide.Keep practicing and see where it leads you. Things may unfold in a way you never expected.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra -http://www.youtube.com/studentofthepath and https://bhikkhujayasara.wordpress.com/

DCM
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 7:48 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Want to explore ordination but...

Post by DCM » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:32 pm

Hi Luke, your story sounds similar to mine, I'm a bit younger though (35, lol), my children are of similar age, 4 and 8. It's a great aspiration to want to ordain and it's heavy on my mind too, but what the Venerable Jayasara said 'fulfil your duties and responsibilities' has real meaning for me. I lost my father at a young age and found my teens and even 20's pretty unbearable as a result. I would not want my children to suffer not having their dad around every day.

When they leave home and are settled then if the conditions are right and the time is right, then it could be an option. I truly believe that as we go along the path and practise the way the Buddha says in the Suttas with effort, we will experience the fruits, and the urge to go out drinking, crave for sex, etc, will dissipate.

I too practised Tibetan Buddhism for about 2 years but got no where unfortunately, it is only since reading the Suttas and practising Anapanasati that I can truly say things have improved. Take care and best wishes.

Nuggets
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:56 pm

Re: Want to explore ordination but...

Post by Nuggets » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:11 pm

Thanks for your responses everyone. Food for thought.....

I certainly have no intention of not fulfilling my duties with my kids. I made my bed etc.

The honeymoon of being single has started to wear off I guess. Now I'm in a place I didn't think I'd end up in......just struggling right now.

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