Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Chanh Dao
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:39 am

Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by Chanh Dao » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:59 am

Would be ideal if there was someone I could talk to one on one about it.

Can find more information about my practice history in the introduction I posted on the forum.

paul
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Location: Vietnam

Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by paul » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:45 am

Reading your introduction it's puzzling that most of your previous experience has been in Mahayana, then suddenly there's a proposition to become a Theravada monk, and it seems to indicate that becoming a monk in Thailand would be easier than elsewhere, which is not an appropriate reason. To become a monk the practitioner needs to be motivated by knowledge of, and a strong belief in Theravada and sees the monkhood as the way of furthering their meditation path as specifically expounded in the Pali Canon.
Last edited by paul on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

rightviewftw
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Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:59 am

I recommend you take time to look at the "ordination and monastic life" section of the forum.

There is also an active thread outlining some differences between the various traditions within Theravada;
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33046

I am also curious about your goals and aspirations in regards to ordination
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

Chanh Dao
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:39 am

Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by Chanh Dao » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:44 pm

As far as goals. Purify my mind, help others, live simply and be happy.

Thank you for linking information.

Responding to Paul I personally have met and spent time with both Mahayana monks and theravada monks.

I think monastic life at it's core shares deep similarities regardless of the tradition.

I don't expect monastic life to be easy.

paul
Posts: 1360
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Vietnam

Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by paul » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:02 pm

Chanh Dao wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:44 pm
As far as goals. Purify my mind, help others, live simply and be happy.
These intentions are good as they are similar to the ones the Buddha-to-be had prior to enlightenment, as can be read in MN 19, but note that the Theravada view of “helping others” is confined to meditation:
"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.”

The beginning practitioner who has these right intentions must ensure they are properly fostered in their choice of path so they build on them and go onwards towards nibbana. Recent problems have shown the Tibetan teaching to be faulty, and Mayhayana as a whole has an opposite goal, unity, to Theravada which maintains the duality of nibbana and samsara:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_27.html

So the choice of becoming a monk in Thailand is a good one in these terms.
Last edited by paul on Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

Chanh Dao
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Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by Chanh Dao » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:02 pm

Thank you very much for the reply Paul

rightviewftw
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:58 pm

paul wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:02 pm
"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.”'
here is another excerpt
[The Buddha addressed the monks:]
Once upon a time, monks, a bamboo acrobat,
setting himself upon his bamboo pole,
addressed his assistant Medakathalika:
"Come you, my dear Medakathalika,
and climbing up the bamboo pole,
stand upon my shoulders."
"Okay, master" the assistant Medakathalika
replied to the bamboo acrobat;
and climbing up the bamboo pole
she stood on the master's shoulders.

So then the bamboo acrobat said this to his assistant Medakathalika:
"You look after me, my dear Medakathalika, and I'll look after you.
Thus with us looking after one another, guarding one another,
we'll show off our craft, receive some payment,
and safely climb down the bamboo pole."

This being said, the assistant Medakathalika said this to the bamboo acrobat:
"That will not do at all, master!
You look after yourself, master, and I will look after myself.
Thus with each of us looking after ourselves, guarding ourselves,
we'll show off our craft, receive some payment,
and safely climb down from the bamboo pole.
That's the right way to do it!"

[The Buddha said:]
Just like the assistant Medakathalika said to her master:
"I will look after myself,"
so should you, monks, practice the establishment of mindfulness.
You should (also) practice the establishment of mindfulness (by saying)
"I will look after others."

Looking after oneself, one looks after others.
Looking after others, one looks after oneself.

And how does one look after others by looking after oneself?
By practicing (mindfulness), by developing (it), by doing (it) a lot.
And how does one look after oneself by looking after others?
By patience, by non-harming, by loving kindness, by caring (for others).
(Thus) looking after oneself, one looks after others;
and looking after others, one looks after oneself.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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DooDoot
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Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by DooDoot » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:27 am

Chanh Dao wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:59 am
Would be ideal if there was someone I could talk to one on one about it
Personally, I could speak to you one-on-one but I do not see the need for that. I would simply travel to Thailand and stay in various monasteries as a lay man. In those monasteries, you can participate in the daily routine, get to know the lifestyle & culture and speak to the monks. Naturally, you would start at Wat Pah Nanachat and any other monastery with a reputation for ordaining and training Western monks. Staying in a monastery generally will not involve any financial cost. As for Thailand, it is probably the best country to ordain in because of the support and its history of training Western monks. Also, first check with your local Thai embassy or consulate about the best visa options. If they don't grant you a long visa then you can probably get a letter of recommendation from a Thai monastery after the monastery sees your sincerity and then you can get a longer visa in Malaysia or Laos. Its very easy and cheap to travel in Thailand; to do a "visa run" to a neighboring country when your tourist visa expires.

As for your Mahayana ideas about "meaningful work in community" and "helping others", these are not greatly relevant for a monk in training in Thailand. "Helping others" is generally about sharing the Buddhist teachings. In Thailand, Western monks generally familarize themselves with a certain set of teachings they repeatedly (routinely) teach to lay people when they are required to teach or do a ceremony.

Naturally, no eating food after noon however this is not a difficulty. No sex. No masturbating.


paul
Posts: 1360
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Vietnam

Re: Looking for advice in becoming a monk in Thailand

Post by paul » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:56 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:58 pm
here is another excerpt
:goodpost:
SN 47.19 the Bamboo Acrobat (above), shows the simple and obvious logic of why Theravada puts the emphasis on the practitioner developing their own practice first so they can better help others, in opposition to the Mahayana view that the practice is primarily about helping others.

"The Buddha discovered this twofold division of thought in
the period prior to his Enlightenment (see MN 19). While he
was striving for deliverance, meditating in the forest, he found
that his thoughts could be distributed into two different classes.
In one he put thoughts of desire, ill will, and harmfulness, in
the other thoughts of renunciation, good will, and harmlessness.
Whenever he noticed thoughts of the first kind arise in him, he
understood that those thoughts lead to harm for oneself and
others, obstruct wisdom, and lead away from Nibbana. Reflecting
in this way he expelled such thoughts from his mind and
brought them to an end. But whenever thoughts of the second
kind arose, he understood those thoughts to be beneficial, conducive
to the growth of wisdom, aids to the attainment of Nibbana.
Thus he strengthened those thoughts and brought them
to completion."---"The Noble Eightfold Path", Bikkhu Bodhi

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