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Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:04 am
by BlackBird
Today I took the plunge, and booked my plane flight to Sri Lanka. I'm leaving NZ on May 26th to begin in earnest a life of homelessness.

To describe the feeling just before hitting that button, it was like standing at the door of a plane ready to jump out. You know you've got the parachute and your emergency-chute, it's all packed, secured, you checked it thrice, but all the same there's that last minute wish to stay with what you know - something to stand on. For me that something to stand on was the life I have led over the past 19 and a bit years, in a southern New Zealand town called Dunedin, where you run into people you know on the street, the Winters are cold and romantic, the Summers lazy and warm, and nothing really changes.

Of course that middle class comfort, replete with the sensual pleasures is a mere illusion, disguising the inevitable disease, decay and death that must befall us all, and yet there was a hesitation, a willingness to continue this life of grand procrastination. There was a willingness to go down with the ship, a long with all those that I love.

But in the end that's all it is, a great deception. No comfort. No safety.

It's time to do what should be done. It's time to put forth effort and steer this raft to the farther shore.

metta
Jack :heart:

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:19 am
by mikenz66
Congratulations Jack! :anjali:

Your parachute comment reminds me of a simile for awakening, but I don't remember the source...

You jump out of the plane...

Then you are thankful that you have parachute...

Then you realise that the parachute doesn't work...

Then you realise that there is no ground...

Metta
Mike

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:57 am
by cooran
Hello Jack,

Anumodana in your kusula cetana!
So attha-laddho sukhito
Viru.lho buddha-saasane
Arogo sukhito hohi
Saha sabbehi ñaatibhi.
May he gain his aims, be happy,
and flourish in the Buddha's teachings.
May you, together with all your relatives,
be happy and free from disease.

Which monastery are you planning to go to? Have you had contact with any particular one?
How long can you legally enter Sri Lanka for? Have you been learning a little Sinhalese?

metta
Chris

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:04 am
by Sanghamitta
Sadhu!

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:16 am
by tiltbillings
Be careful.

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:29 am
by BlackBird
Hello Mike, Chris, Sanghamitta, Tilt, and everyone else, thank you for your kind words :anjali:
Chris wrote: Which monastery are you planning to go to? Have you had contact with any particular one?
How long can you legally enter Sri Lanka for? Have you been learning a ittle Sinhalese?

metta
Chris
Hi Chris

A couple of friends from Sri Lanka have been teaching me a bit of Sinhala, although I must admit I haven't been putting in enough effort into this department.

When I arrive in Sri Lanka there are three monasteries I would like to stay at to begin with:
- Na Uyana.
- Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya (for the Rains retreat, have talked it over with Ven. Dhammajiva Thero).
- Potgulgala (Where Ven. K. Nyanananda thero resides).

As a kiwi, one gets a month visa-free on the house, however the Sri Lankan consulate in Wellington tell me it's easy to apply for a meditation visa once in the country.

metta
Jack

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:55 am
by Cittasanto
:anjali: Image
keep in touch when you go! which plan did you opt for? out of curiosity!
Sri Lanka did crop into my mind a couple of times, but unfortunately there is something I must do before making any move :(
have you contacted anywhere... probably loads more questions to ask and answer!
BlackBird wrote:Today I took the plunge, and booked my plane flight to Sri Lanka. I'm leaving NZ on May 26th to begin in earnest a life of homelessness.

To describe the feeling just before hitting that button, it was like standing at the door of a plane ready to jump out. You know you've got the parachute and your emergency-chute, it's all packed, secured, you checked it thrice, but all the same there's that last minute wish to stay with what you know - something to stand on. For me that something to stand on was the life I have led over the past 19 and a bit years, in a southern New Zealand town called Dunedin, where you run into people you know on the street, the Winters are cold and romantic, the Summers lazy and warm, and nothing really changes.

Of course that middle class comfort, replete with the sensual pleasures is a mere illusion, disguising the inevitable disease, decay and death that must befall us all, and yet there was a hesitation, a willingness to continue this life of grand procrastination. There was a willingness to go down with the ship, a long with all those that I love.

But in the end that's all it is, a great deception. No comfort. No safety.

It's time to do what should be done. It's time to put forth effort and steer this raft to the farther shore.

metta
Jack :heart:

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:20 am
by Guy
Hi Jack,

I hope everything goes well for you in Sri Lanka. I really understand where you are coming from, being a dissatisfied young middle class man, thinking a lot about living the monastic life. Procrastination is a hindrance I am all too familiar with, therefore your decisive action is very inspiring to me!

May your path to Liberation be a fast and happy one.

With Metta,

Guy

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:24 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Jack,

I am incredibly happy for you!

Do your research and planning and I'm sure it will go great.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:38 pm
by Dan74
Best of luck, Jack, and most importantly lots of perseverance when you hit those bumps!

_/|\_

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:49 pm
by Paññāsikhara
:anjali:

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:31 pm
by Khalil Bodhi
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! All the best!

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:37 pm
by bodom
Best of luck to you!

:anjali:

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:35 pm
by alan
Hi Jack. Admire your aspirations.
Don't mean to throw a bucket of cold water on your head, but, well, Ok please allow me to throw a bucket or two. I've been traveling on and off since I was your age, and if I may offer one bit of advice it would be: make sure you know what you are getting into!
I left the US three days after high school and spent over a year bicycling/hitchhiking/working odd jobs around Europe/Mid-east and (after some college) another year living an working in Greece and Norway before even attempting Asia. Even after all that, at times Asia kicked my ass! Spent 6 months in India--it was fascinating but never easy. It's been almost 20 years and I've spent most of the last 7 in Asia and even now I'm aware of the fact that a new country can be a challenge. So as Tilt said be careful.

Is there a place to study in lovely NZ? Maybe best to start there.

If you are determined to go:
Forget about learning Sinhala. There is no possible way you'll master it in the time you have, and anyway there should be plenty of English speakers available to you. (This is based on my time in India; I haven't been to SL).
Get an extended stay Visa before you leave.
Bring lots of mosquito repellant.
Good Luck and don't go. Stay where you are. You're doing fine.

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:16 pm
by poto
Good luck, and I hope it's a fruitful path for you.

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:44 pm
by Dhammabodhi
Whatever the outcome, deep bows to you for taking the plunge. :anjali:

Try to maintain your upekkha, which from your other posts I think you have in copious amounts , and u'll do fine wherever you go. Of course planning and preparation is also important, so do all you can to be well-prepared.

May you find profound and unshakeable peace. :buddha1:

Metta,
Dhammabodhi

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:07 pm
by appicchato
Dhammabodhi wrote:...u'll do fine wherever you go.

May you find profound and unshakeable peace. :buddha1:
:thumbsup:

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:44 pm
by mikenz66
Hi Jack,

If we're going into advice mode, the advice I would give is to not expect anywhere or anyone to be perfect.

I think that this is especially important if you eventually decide to ordain. I'm not sure if you read Kevin's (he had several different screen names including Alexander) posts on E-Sangha about his ordination, and disrobing, in Thailand (a year ago?). I don't know him at all, but my impression was that he really, really, wanted to be somewhere where all the monks had perfect sila, perfect (corresponding with his opinion) view of the Dhamma, and perfect everything else. That's impossible.

Metta
Mike

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:37 pm
by puthujjana
Sādhu, sādhu, sādhu!

:bow:

Re: Taking the plunge

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:46 pm
by Ben
My love and good wishes go with you Jack!
May you be successful in your noble endeavours!
metta

Ben