Why we should NOT to ordain?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Nwad
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Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by Nwad » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:25 pm

Hello dear friends ,

We all know why it is good to ordain, but i would like to ask to those who disrobed (or never ordained) : can you list some reasons why someone should NOT to ordain?

Metta :)

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:08 pm

I was a monk for 3 years, and in monasteries for 6 years. Here are some reasons I thought of just now...

If you have an ongoing mental illness, you should not ordain. (But one of the best monks I know suffers from Schitzophrenia, and another from occasional bouts of insanity where he has to be admitted to the mental hospital. They are both excellent monks, and both take anti-psychotic medication.)

If you do not have an every-day meditation practise, you should not ordain. (But I know a monk who never meditated before he entered the monastery, and he is now a very good meditator and a great monk.)

If you can't follow the 8 layperson precepts, you should not ordain. (But I know of a lot of good monks who didn't even follow the 5 precepts before entering the monastery.)

If you have a family who relies on you to provide for them, you should not ordain. (But then again, before he became the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama walked out on his wife and baby... but I suppose he was a prince, they weren't going to starve without him.)

If you have a health problem which requires constant treatment or a special diet or way of life, you should not ordain. (But I know of a good monk who must take medicine every day, and visit a clinic every month for a whole day of treatment for his health problem. But health-care and hospitals are free in that country.)

So those are some of the reasons that I thought of, off the top of my head. As you can see, there are exceptions to all of them.

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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by SarathW » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:45 pm

Ask yourself whether there is anything that you can't do as a layperson without being a monk.
What roadblocks do you have as a layperson to attain your goal?
What is your goal and can you attain it becoming a monk or without becoming a monk?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by paul » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 pm

The central issue is not whether you ordain, but releasing the grip the defilements have on you; that state is not going to change just because you make the choice to enter the ritual state of monkhood. Inner progress is made gradually and steadily, and by putting a mental shield of insight knowledge around yourself in lay life, you can utilize the rougher environment to advantage. Some temperaments need this ground to strengthen practice. However following the instructions for suitable living conditions for meditation is necessary (Vism. IV:34):

"So guard the sign, nor count the cost,
And what is gained will not be lost;
Who fails to have this guard maintained
Will lose each time what he has gained."

Tranquility and insight must be balanced; activities in conventional reality (the painful raw material for insight) must be balanced with periods of quietude.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:32 am

paul wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 pm
...not going to change just because you make the choice to enter the ritual state of monkhood.
That's so important to keep in mind. Becoming a monk or nun will likely NOT solve your problems! Problems have a way of following you around, even into the holy life.

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Nwad
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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by Nwad » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:42 am

Thank you for these wise responses friends! :anjali:

And what are the most difficult things in monkhood?
What are things to be clearly aware of before ordain?
Is the minkhood, by its discipline etc, improuves your sila samadhi panna?
What qualities are needed in one's mind/behavour/personality to be a good/happy monk?

Thanks ! :)

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Nwad
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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by Nwad » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:49 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:32 am
paul wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 pm
...not going to change just because you make the choice to enter the ritual state of monkhood.
That's so important to keep in mind. Becoming a monk or nun will likely NOT solve your problems! Problems have a way of following you around, even into the holy life.
Thank you James to visit this topic! I have already read your explenation about your experiance and its a very good informations for those who need them :anjali:

When you and Paul speaking about "problems" , what kind of problems you thinking about?

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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by ieee23 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:43 pm

Nwad wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:25 pm
Hello dear friends ,

We all know why it is good to ordain, but i would like to ask to those who disrobed (or never ordained) : can you list some reasons why someone should NOT to ordain?

Metta :)
I was never a monastic, but in my own personal opinion people should not ordain until they have lived a full life, seen what life has to offer, and they have come to feel dispassion for it all.

I think too many people on Buddhist forums idealize monastichood, not realizing that they think of it as an escape.

It is only my opinion, but I think at the core Buddhist practice is about facing things, not avoiding things.

If someone has social awkwardness issues, can't adjust to "civilian life", they should face it, learn those lessons before becoming a monk or nun.........which I think will be tougher.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:56 pm

since I'm a current monk I technically don't meet the criteria to respond to this thread, but I have to back up everything James has said.

plus..
I was never a monastic, but in my own personal opinion people should not ordain until they have lived a full life, seen what life has to offer, and they have come to feel dispassion for it all.

I think too many people on Buddhist forums idealize monastichood, not realizing that they think of it as an escape.
This is extremely important for anyone even considering monastic life, your ideals of monasticism will slowly be destroyed bit by bit with the reality, that is always what happens in any situation where people mistake ideals for reality.
on.

as someone who ordained at age 36 i completely concur. There are always tons and tons of young people who want to come to the monastery to escape one thing or another, you escape nothing because no matter where you go, there is greed, hatred, and delusion. One of the best pieces of advice I received from a monk whom I asked advice about ordination from was " become a monk when becoming a monk, and not becoming a monk, are the same in your mind". It sounds like a zen koan, and took me a good few years to understand what It meant, but I give that to you as possible reason not to ordain :).

and if I may add a personal reflection. I don't know how long I will be a monk, it could be for life it could be until next week, but what I do know is that I always have my practice, the noble eightfold path, and I can always move further down the path and live a life of meaning and benefit to myself and others by doing so.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra -http://www.youtube.com/studentofthepath and https://bhikkhujayasara.wordpress.com/

ieee23
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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by ieee23 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:23 pm

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:56 pm
since I'm a current monk I technically don't meet the criteria to respond to this thread, but I have to back up everything James has said.
Well, disrobe, then you can come back here post in this thread :-).

Seriously, I was the one who wrote the quote you replied to and I am not, and have never been James :-).
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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binocular
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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by binocular » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:58 pm

Nwad wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:25 pm
We all know why it is good to ordain, but i would like to ask to those who disrobed (or never ordained) : can you list some reasons why someone should NOT to ordain?
Knowing that one isn't sure about the Buddha's enlightenement, but hoping that ordaining will somehow make one have that certainty or at least that faith.

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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:45 am

if you are technically barred from ordaining, although there are said to be ways around
if you are taking care of your parents that is noble
if you are serious about your practice it is better not to delay
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by Samana Johann 1 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:46 pm

My person took uninvited the possibility to take a stand (jāti) here, trusting that it is wecome for this case here, since it's aswers bear a fatal notion turning away from the Gems.
Venerable members of the Sangha, dwelling here, Upasaka David Snyder,

It was asked "Why we should NOT to ordain?" and my person likes to rephrase it, so that it may be more effective in regard of responsibility of each individual: "Why should one not desire to ordain (lead the holly life?"

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

For one seeking for liberation, the end of suffering, there is NO reason to not desire even strongly to get ordained, to access the mode of the holly life.

Even if one faces outwardly or inwardly hindrences for now, one should never walk the "fox and the grapes" path.

And one not desiring a holly life, not desiring to escape outwardly and inwardly, even for the case such a person, strongly bound to Mara, become outwardly a homeless person, such may increase his reason why not putting efforts into reaching the peak of life possible to archive by human effort.

It never happened, does not happen and will never happen that wise would share any reasons why not seeking to desire or even entering the living mode of the Noble Ones and one does good to know it as a sign of an enemy in disguise, if in association with people praising the life of household, either outwardly or inwardly and encouraging for secular interpretations and bounds in the world. This no need to elaborate if such kind of discouragment comes even from people feeding on the goodness of the Tripple Gems.

It is maybe also good to oriented a little on people more used to the culture of renouncing. Even if 95% of people who went forth late come back to the lower life it would be hard to find one of them who would speak in praise of the house life later on. People of fundamental respect whould be merely ashamed and would say "my arms are to short", never discourage others to give it a try.

On the other side one might be reminded that to dis-rope, laying down the bound, is to reject to refuge as such and there is a reason why not easy fining one story of a householders life after ordaining, not to speak of even teachers of Dhamma, previously having renounced their refuge.

Even for leaving the holly life there is NO single valid reasoning but of cource a cause: indoxicated with youth, with health, with life, one goes back or stays in the lower life (if nothing else external would hinder to do), the Buddha used to tell.

Since many of you here are often most inspired by words of late Ven. Ajahn Chah, let my person give a share of two similies of him here:
http://www.zugangzureinsicht.org/html/lib/thai/chah/insimpleterms_en.html wrote: A Sense That Your Arm is Short

The Buddha's teachings are direct, straightforward, and simple, but hard for someone who's starting to practice them because his knowledge can't reach them. It's like a hole: People by the hundreds and thousands complain that the hole is deep because they can't reach to its bottom. There's hardly anybody who will say that the problem is that his arm is short.

The Buddha taught us to abandon evil of every kind. We skip over this part and go straight to making merit without abandoning evil. It's the same as saying the hole is deep. Those who say their arms are short are rare.

Rubbing Fire Sticks

The practice is like a man rubbing fire sticks together. He's heard people say, "Take two pieces of bamboo and rub them together, and you'll get fire." So he takes two pieces of bamboo and rubs them together. But his heart is impatient. After rubbing them together a bit he wants there to be fire. His heart keeps pushing for the fire to come quickly, but the fire just won't come. He starts getting lazy, so he stops to rest. Then he tries rubbing the sticks together again for a little bit, and then stops to rest. Whatever warmth there was disappears, because the warmth isn't connected.

If he keeps acting like this, stopping whenever he gets tired — although just being tired isn't so bad: His laziness gets mixed in too, so the whole thing goes to pieces. He decides that there is no fire, he doesn't want fire after all, so he gives up. He stops. He won't rub the sticks anymore. Then he goes about announcing, "There is no fire. You can't get it this way. There is no fire. I've already tried."

Please be always reminded on the first three "greatest blessings/protections: Not to associate (approve) with fools, associating (approve/follow/give into) the wise, honor of what is worthy to honor (sacrificing of what is regarded as own): this is the highest protection.

Anumodana.

One may feel free to ask further and (also for the case my person can not give release for doubts) it would be good it the elders of the Sangha would expand this matter, probably with more smooth and encouraging words.
It's not clear if the possibility to take on form here is given, so also this post might be made on merely uncomfortable trust. Please don't be shy to make remark as well as to do what ever with the post you might be inspired to. Key is found here. May it be, how ever, understood as Dhamma-Dana toward the Sangha of Buddhas Savakas and those following them and not thought for any kind of trade or exchange for low purpose for the world. Feel also always welcome here.

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Nwad
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Re: Why we should NOT to ordain?

Post by Nwad » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:47 pm

:goodpost: :anjali:

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