Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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pbampton
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Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by pbampton » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:57 pm

Hello,

Could anyone give me any advice about where I may be able to ordain in Sri Lanka or Thailand at the age of 53? As far as I can tell most Western sangha monasteries have a 40-50 age limit. I am fit and have lived in intensive spiritual community for many years so I am not approaching this as a complete novice to the challenges involved. However, i am drawn more to a forest/meditative monastic life with plenty of time for intensive practice rather than a busy monastery. I feel a great urgency to give myself completely to a renunciate life and would also like to be in a monastery where there are other Western monks with deep commitment. I know there are so many factors to consider and i will have to spend some time visiting monasteries to find out for myself, so any suggestions that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.

Dhammavaro
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by Dhammavaro » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:57 pm

I have spend some years in Thailand with 8 Precepts, and for a year as a Monk.
You have to find a temple which supports the elder Monks , specially the westerners.
It's easy to ordain somewhere in Thailand, but it's difficult to find a place with real support.

Specially the famous places are already full with westerners. So they keep the level really high.
A good place will not ordain you in a Month or two.
Before I become a Monk, I spend already 4 month with 8 Precepts there. After the 4 month I become a samanehn (novice) for 3 months. You have to learn a lot.

If you ordain in a strict place, you have to give up all your wishes, views.
The first 3 to 5 years are really difficult.
The weather is difficult. Try to find a monastery close to you. Stay there for some months.
Soon or later they will help you.
I would not ordain again in Thailand, I would go to Myanmar.
Maybe you take a year off , and spend some time in different countries.
I wish you peace !
^^The Greatest Gift to Buddha, our Parents, our teacher..is to open the eye of dhamma^^

dharmacorps
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:52 pm

I've heard that Burma is a better place for older people to ordain. Elderly and even disabled people ordain there.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:58 pm

Ordaining in Asia is tough for an old person. A lower standard of health care, tropical heat and humidity, mosquitoes, etc. I'd recommend visiting and staying at monasteries in western countries you can get a visa for. Such as your own country. Many monasteries say "Nobody over 45 years" or whatever age, but when you are known well by the abbot and community, they may decide to ordain you regardless.
Ordaining in Asia is a nice romantic idea, but the reality is harder.

Trindolex2
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by Trindolex2 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:52 pm

What is the maximum age to ordain for the forest tradition monestaries in the west?

pbampton
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by pbampton » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:01 pm

Thanks for your replies so far. Funny I dont feel like an "elderly" person at all but I guess I would be compared to other junior monks! I am sure i have a few more decades in me yet.

I heard that the Western monasteries would not ordain someone of my age and I am more attracted to the idea of practice in Asia. Does anyone know about Sri Lanka? I heard they may be more open to ordaining older men?

pbampton
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by pbampton » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Dhammavaro wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:57 pm
I have spend some years in Thailand with 8 Precepts, and for a year as a Monk.
You have to find a temple which supports the elder Monks , specially the westerners.
It's easy to ordain somewhere in Thailand, but it's difficult to find a place with real support.

Specially the famous places are already full with westerners. So they keep the level really high.
A good place will not ordain you in a Month or two.
Before I become a Monk, I spend already 4 month with 8 Precepts there. After the 4 month I become a samanehn (novice) for 3 months. You have to learn a lot.

If you ordain in a strict place, you have to give up all your wishes, views.
The first 3 to 5 years are really difficult.
The weather is difficult. Try to find a monastery close to you. Stay there for some months.
Soon or later they will help you.
I would not ordain again in Thailand, I would go to Myanmar.
Maybe you take a year off , and spend some time in different countries.
I wish you peace !
Thank you Dhammavaro, I am curious why you would go to Myanmar over Thailand? I am curious where you trained in Thailand?

A. Bhikkhu
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by A. Bhikkhu » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:25 pm

pbampton wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:57 pm
Hello,

Could anyone give me any advice about where I may be able to ordain in Sri Lanka or Thailand at the age of 53? As far as I can tell most Western sangha monasteries have a 40-50 age limit. I am fit and have lived in intensive spiritual community for many years so I am not approaching this as a complete novice to the challenges involved. However, i am drawn more to a forest/meditative monastic life with plenty of time for intensive practice rather than a busy monastery. I feel a great urgency to give myself completely to a renunciate life and would also like to be in a monastery where there are other Western monks with deep commitment. I know there are so many factors to consider and i will have to spend some time visiting monasteries to find out for myself, so any suggestions that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.
Generally I can suggest the first three of the ones described here: https://embracing-buddhism.jimdo.com/re ... /thailand/
They all have good vinaya but just the first and second you can expect Westerners to be. Seclusion and freedom you will have most at the third one (you basically just have to pick up the food if you wish and eat by yourself or with the others). You may ordain in the first and the third. At the second you may stay as a monk when having ordained elsewhere. The place of Ajahn Achalo, Anadagiri, is nice too. He lays emphasis on practice and quite some Westerners are staying. They have also periods where somebody may bring you the food for enhanced seclusion and practice. http://www.peacebeyondsuffering.org/

You may also come to the place where I am staying -- ordination possible and a secluded lifestyle with good facilities and food. None I suggested have an age limit as far as I know. It won't be a problem at all, I think, if you are healthy.

If you specify which conditions you prefer or need as it comes to food, lodging, hygiene, noise, community, amount of seclusion etc. I may be able suggest some more places.

Mettā
"One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds." -- The Buddha (Dhp.50)

Website: www.embracing-buddhism.jimdo.com

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manas
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by manas » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:10 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:52 pm
I've heard that Burma is a better place for older people to ordain. Elderly and even disabled people ordain there.
What level of disabled do you mean? I'm quite sure that, if someone has an infirmity that would hinder them from supporting themselves as a layman, they are not permitted to ordain (in order to prevent people just looking for a comfortable life where they don't need to worry about food, etc)?
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

dharmacorps
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by dharmacorps » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:22 pm

manas wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:10 am
dharmacorps wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:52 pm
I've heard that Burma is a better place for older people to ordain. Elderly and even disabled people ordain there.
What level of disabled do you mean? I'm quite sure that, if someone has an infirmity that would hinder them from supporting themselves as a layman, they are not permitted to ordain (in order to prevent people just looking for a comfortable life where they don't need to worry about food, etc)?
Yeah I am not entirely sure about that. In Burma they have a lay sponsor system, where if a lay sponsor is willing to get you your requisites, and provide support then the ordination will likely happen. That I am aware of this type of system where the lay sponsor gains merit by performing this act is not present in other theravada countries or at least not as pervasive. From what I understand though of the conditions in monasteries in Burma, nobody is going to be ordaining there to get the easy life.

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manas
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Re: Suggestions for ordination at age 53 in Asia

Post by manas » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:04 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:22 pm

Yeah I am not entirely sure about that. In Burma they have a lay sponsor system, where if a lay sponsor is willing to get you your requisites, and provide support then the ordination will likely happen. That I am aware of this type of system where the lay sponsor gains merit by performing this act is not present in other theravada countries or at least not as pervasive. From what I understand though of the conditions in monasteries in Burma, nobody is going to be ordaining there to get the easy life.
I see. In any case, it's compassionate and generous, of the lay sponsors who do this.
:anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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