becoming monk

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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diamind
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becoming monk

Post by diamind » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:26 am

Hi,

I want to take monk vows for 1 year in Thailand. Is it a beneficial thing to do even tho its so short time?
And what exactly are the vows and how do I live as monk are there any books or websites?

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DooDoot
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Re: becoming monk

Post by DooDoot » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:12 am

You would probably need to find a Thai monastery prepared to ordain you for the short term, which most likely would be when Thai laymen ordain for 3 to 4 months during the Rains Retreat (from around June to October; depending on the lunar months). I imagine a monastery for training Westerners (such as Wat Pah Nanachat) would not ordain you for the short term. Wat Sriboonruang (which I know nothing about) appears to have the most comments on the internet about short-term ordination for Westerners ('farang'). I imagine the monastery would want to get to know you first as a practising layman, for two or three months. There was a DW topic here on the subject, although some of monasteries listed would not accept short-term ordination unless they knew you very well and it was not inconvenient for them.

diamind
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Re: becoming monk

Post by diamind » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:37 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:12 am
You would probably need to find a Thai monastery prepared to ordain you for the short term, which most likely would be when Thai laymen ordain for 3 to 4 months during the Rains Retreat (from around June to October; depending on the lunar months). I imagine a monastery for training Westerners (such as Wat Pah Nanachat) would not ordain you for the short term. Wat Sriboonruang (which I know nothing about) appears to have the most comments on the internet about short-term ordination for Westerners ('farang'). I imagine the monastery would want to get to know you first as a practising layman, for two or three months. There was a DW topic here on the subject, although some of monasteries listed would not accept short-term ordination unless they knew you very well and it was not inconvenient for them.
Thanks for the reply. I know a monk who has already agreed to do it, he said it takes about 30 mintues. I just want to get it clear in my mind first if this is a good thing to do or not for so short. Then how to keep the vows. I only know a few of them.

dharmacorps
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Re: becoming monk

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:18 pm

The usual rains ordination most Thai men take is 3-4 months I believe. It is good kamma to ordain especially if done out of faith. If you can do it and want to, you should do it. Many of us are unable to ordain even temporarily due to health concerns, mobility, life situation, financial, and family responsibilities. You have a really good opportunity here to do good! So do it!

The vinaya includes many rules which pertain to eating, clothing, conduct, and consideration of other monks and lay people.

TRobinson465
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Location: United States

Re: becoming monk

Post by TRobinson465 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:38 pm

Ive taken short term ordination before. its a great experience and lets you experience serious Buddhist practice firsthand. certainly worth taking a year to do it. I wish i had the ability to take a year off from my life and do it for a full year.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

thang
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Re: becoming monk

Post by thang » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:22 am

We highly appreciate your ambition. I'm sure the Buddhists in Thailand, Burma or Sri Lanka will appreciate and welcome you too.
I'm quoting here a passage about the advantages of ordination for your wise consideration.
The First Visible Fruit of the Contemplative Life
"So, lord, I ask the Blessed One as well: There are these common craftsmen: elephant-trainers, horse-trainers, charioteers, archers, standard bearers, camp marshals, supply corps officers, high royal officers, commandos, military heroes, armor-clad warriors, leather-clad warriors, domestic slaves, confectioners, barbers, bath attendants, cooks, garland-makers, laundrymen, weavers, basket-makers, potters, calculators, accountants, and any other common craftsmen of a similar sort. They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible in the here and now. They give pleasure and refreshment to themselves, to their parents, wives, and children, to their friends and colleagues. They put in place an excellent presentation of offerings to brahmans and contemplatives, leading to heaven, resulting in happiness, conducive to a heavenly rebirth. Is it possible, lord, to point out a similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?"

"Yes, it is, great king. But first, with regard to that, I will ask you a counter-question. Answer however you please. Suppose there were a man of yours: your slave, your workman, rising in the morning before you, going to bed in the evening only after you, doing whatever you order, always acting to please you, speaking politely to you, always watching for the look on your face. The thought would occur to him: 'Isn't it amazing? Isn't it astounding? — the destination, the results, of meritorious deeds. For this King Ajatasattu is a human being, and I, too, am a human being, yet King Ajatasattu enjoys himself supplied and replete with the five strings of sensuality — like a deva, as it were — while I am his slave, his workman... always watching for the look on his face. I, too, should do meritorious deeds. What if I were to shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?'

"So after some time he shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into homelessness. Having thus gone forth he lives restrained in body, speech, and mind, content with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude. Then suppose one of your men were to inform you: 'You should know, your majesty, that that man of yours — your slave, your workman... always watching for the look on your face... has gone forth from the household life into homelessness... content with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude.' Would you, thus informed, say, 'Bring that man back to me. Make him again be my slave, my workman... always watching for the look on my face!'?"

"Not at all, lord. Rather, I am the one who should bow down to him, rise up out of respect for him, invite him to a seat, invite him to accept gifts of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicinal requisites for the sick. And I would provide him with righteous safety, defense, and protection."

"So what do you think, great king. With that being the case, is there a visible fruit of the contemplative life, or is there not?"

"Yes, lord. With that being the case, there certainly is a visible fruit of the contemplative life."

"This, great king, is the first fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now, that I point out to you."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html [Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life]

Here are some links on which you can find particulars about the Thai monasteries, meditation, ordination and monks.

http://www.dhammathai.org/e/meditation/page1.php
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3014
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, utters, or expounds
in the interval between
the night when he awakens to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment
and the night when he attains final nibbāna,
all that is just so and not otherwise"
;

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AgarikaJ
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Re: becoming monk

Post by AgarikaJ » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:17 am

diamind wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:26 am
And what exactly are the vows and how do I live as monk are there any books or websites?
Not to put a brake into your effort and enthusiasm, but I would suggest in the most friendly manner that you at least read up what it means to be a monk.

If you have not gotten far enough in your studies that you were able to find those resources by yourself, would it make much sense to start your learning by giving a vow?

That the process of vow-taking itself "takes only 30 minutes" seems, frankly spoken, an insufficient criteria to make this decision.

Good resources so that you are able to to make an informed decision; the rules for monks and how they live, as you asked that specifically, are found under the header Vinaya Pitaka:
- https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index.html
- https://suttacentral.net/

In case that you still want to experience life as a monk immediately, maybe this program is laid out in a way which might be fitting your interests:
- http://monkforamonth.com/

With metta :anjali:


Edit: looking at your posting history, you seem further in your study as I had assumed from your OP. All the less to I understand your question.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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StormBorn
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Re: becoming monk

Post by StormBorn » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:10 pm

diamind wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:26 am
Hi,

I want to take monk vows for 1 year in Thailand. Is it a beneficial thing to do even tho its so short time?
And what exactly are the vows and how do I live as monk are there any books or websites?
I'm bit doubtful about the temporary ordination after reading AN 3.70 regardless of the modern popularity of the practise. It seems the Buddha even laughed at the idea of a "temporary letting-go of the lay life". Surely, if one let go truly, there's no need for a time limitation of that letting go. :smile:
And what is the sabbath of the Jains? There’s a kind of ascetic belonging to a group called the Jains. They encourage their disciples: ‘Please, good people, don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the east. Don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the west. Don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the north. Don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the south.’ So they encourage kindness and compassion for some creatures and not others. On the sabbath, they encourage their disciples: ‘Please, good people, take off all your clothes and say: “I don’t belong to anyone anywhere! And nothing belongs to me anywhere!”’ But their mother and father still know, ‘This is our child.’ And they know, ‘This is my mother and father.’ Partner and child still know, ‘This is our supporter.’ And they know, ‘This is my partner and child.’ Bondservants, workers, and staff still know: ‘This is our master.’ And they know, ‘These are my bondservants, workers, and staff.’ So, at a time when they should be encouraged to speak the truth, the Jains encourage them to lie. This, I say, is lying. When the night has passed they use their possessions once more, though they’ve not been given back to them. This, I say, is stealing. That’s the sabbath of the Jains. When the Jain’s sabbath is observed like this it’s not very fruitful or beneficial or splendid or bountiful.
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

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budo
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Location: The world

Re: becoming monk

Post by budo » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:05 pm

StormBorn wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:10 pm
diamind wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:26 am
Hi,

I want to take monk vows for 1 year in Thailand. Is it a beneficial thing to do even tho its so short time?
And what exactly are the vows and how do I live as monk are there any books or websites?
I'm bit doubtful about the temporary ordination after reading AN 3.70 regardless of the modern popularity of the practise. It seems the Buddha even laughed at the idea of a "temporary letting-go of the lay life". Surely, if one let go truly, there's no need for a time limitation of that letting go. :smile:
And what is the sabbath of the Jains? There’s a kind of ascetic belonging to a group called the Jains. They encourage their disciples: ‘Please, good people, don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the east. Don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the west. Don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the north. Don’t hurt any living creatures more than a hundred leagues away to the south.’ So they encourage kindness and compassion for some creatures and not others. On the sabbath, they encourage their disciples: ‘Please, good people, take off all your clothes and say: “I don’t belong to anyone anywhere! And nothing belongs to me anywhere!”’ But their mother and father still know, ‘This is our child.’ And they know, ‘This is my mother and father.’ Partner and child still know, ‘This is our supporter.’ And they know, ‘This is my partner and child.’ Bondservants, workers, and staff still know: ‘This is our master.’ And they know, ‘These are my bondservants, workers, and staff.’ So, at a time when they should be encouraged to speak the truth, the Jains encourage them to lie. This, I say, is lying. When the night has passed they use their possessions once more, though they’ve not been given back to them. This, I say, is stealing. That’s the sabbath of the Jains. When the Jain’s sabbath is observed like this it’s not very fruitful or beneficial or splendid or bountiful.
I also remember reading a sutta with a prince who attained a level of enlightenment in the middle of the night while he was sleeping, he woke up in the morning and was disgusted by everything, his maids, mistresses, food, etc.. and the Buddha telepathically communicated with him and told him to come and ordain and that's where he'll find refuge.

Imho, I think ordaining is pulling the cart before the horse. I think one should be meditating for several hours a day, maybe around 3-4 hours a day for several years, before even deciding to ordain. The only exception is if your lifestyle prevents you from meditating that many hours, but if that's the case maybe ordaining isn't a good idea either in that situation.

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