Dhammayut Ordination Options

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Dali348
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Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Dali348 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:54 pm

Hi everyone, this is my first post but I've turned my attention to these threads for years and have found them incredibly helpful and inspiring. It's really cool to see everyone helping each other and supporting each other to pursue their studies or practice or interest in the Dhamma!

Anyway, I am planning to ordain in Thailand next year and am trying to decide between ordaining in the Ajahn Chah tradition and the Dhammayut tradition. What I do know is that I want to ordain in the Thai Forest tradition, and I want to find a nice forest monastery.

I have been reading similar threads on here already and haven't quite found the answers to some of my questions. Maybe some of you will know more than I do about this process. I have stayed as a guest or practitioner at around 20 monasteries around Thailand, so I have a pretty good idea what to expect, but here are a few remaining questions, specifically about ordaining in the Dhammayut Nikaya.

WAT BOWON - This seems like a common entry point for foreigners to ordain in the Dhammayut Nikaya. I did go there to speak with one of the Ajahns maybe last year or two years ago. He didn't speak English but I speak Thai fairly well. Anyway the conversation seemed a bit rushed (maybe he was on his way somewhere or I caught him at a bad time) and I wasn't fully satisfied that I asked all my questions.

Basically, what I gathered was that it's possible for full Bhikkhu ordination there at Wat Bowon in a pretty short time, maybe as little as 2 weeks if I remember correctly. As usual, the exact time probably depends on the aspirant, their ability to recite the Pali and perhaps just general conduct/attitude.

From there, it seems that many of those monks will then ship off to stay in forest monasteries around Thailand. It seemed like they had no problem with this on their side of things, but does anyone know how exactly that process is arranged? Do you know if they usually seek permission form the abbot of wherever they are headed before they leave? Or are they free to just kind of bounce around Thailand wearing robes and staying at different monasteries. From my perspective, it seems having untrained western monks traveling about wouldn't be a good idea. And does that mean they are using money or is there another way they manage to get to and from? I suppose I do like the idea of having a bit of freedom to choose where to stay, but I don't want to use money and I don't want to be carrying around my cell phone either. Another question, what about the "5 years with your teacher" policy? Does Wat Bowon just kind of entrust you to the other monasteries or forgo their sense of responsibility altogether?

ISAAN FOREST MONASTERIES -

In many ways, what seems more natural and traditional to me is the idea of finding the "right" place, staying for a while as a guest, then going through the ordination procedure. I understand that permission would need to be granted from the abbot and that not all forest monasteries would be willing to take on a foreign monk. Besides the obvious Wat Pah Baan Taad, does anyone have any other suggestions for Dhammayut forest monasteries in Isaan?

Here are some of the things I am hoping to find (of course I understand that the perfect place might not exist):

- little to none foreigners (I'm looking for a real cultural immersion)
- a good teacher who actively gives Dhamma talks and guides the community in their practice (in Thai is fine)
- quiet, not too close to a city or town and away from local pubs or nightclubs
- forested! I want to actually live in a real forest, not just in a concrete slab with a few trees here and there
- preferably not a big tourist attraction monastery, but if it's a really important place that people visit, that might be okay
- simple but clean and well-supported
- a place that has a traditional alms round (within walking distance, not a place that shuttles monks around in buses to neighboring villages)
- walking mediation paths
- a place where the monks are practicing hard and are there for the right reasons (at least the majority of them)

How about Wat Hin Maak Peng, does anyone know if this is still an option? The only information I found was from when Ajahn Thate was still alive. Does anyone know who the abbot is now and if they are still practicing well there? Are there any foreign monks there now? Seems like there are definitely some tourists but maybe there is also enough space in the forest for the kutis.

How about Wat Doi Dhamma Chedi? Anyone have any updates?

Preferably I am looking for something that is directly linked to Ajahn Mun or one his disciples. It seems incredibly hard to learn about the different teachers and their monasteries online in English. Does anyone have a good resource for that? The Ajahn Chah tradition seems to have swallowed up the Dhammayut side of the forest tradition! I am definitely a big fan of the Ajahn Chah tradition as well but I might prefer to ordain somewhere that is a bit more disconnected from that big global movement.

Okay, thanks to everyone who wishes to comment or even just use the questions to discuss more about the Dhammayut lineage/teachers/monasteries/ordination, it's all welcome on my end!
3 - Triple Gem - TISARANA
4 - Noble Truths - ARIYA SACCA
8 - Noble Path - ARIYA MAGGA
*Middle Path - MAJJHIMA PATIPADA
Study, Practice, Realize - PARIYATTI, PATIPATTI, PATIVEDHA

dharmacorps
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by dharmacorps » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:06 pm

I can't help with specific wats in Thailand, but if I were in your shoes, I would make the visit (or write a letter, or call) to San Diego to speak with Thanissaro Bhikkhu who is the foremost English speaking Dhammayut monk (to me, at least). He is very respectful of the Ajahn Chah tradition too. He may have some good advice for you, or good information.

Its great to hear you are pursuing ordination! You sound well suited to it, ready and knowledgable about what to expect! :anjali: I wish you all the success in the world.

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Dali348
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Dali348 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:51 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:06 pm
I can't help with specific wats in Thailand, but if I were in your shoes, I would make the visit (or write a letter, or call) to San Diego to speak with Thanissaro Bhikkhu who is the foremost English speaking Dhammayut monk (to me, at least). He is very respectful of the Ajahn Chah tradition too. He may have some good advice for you, or good information.

Its great to hear you are pursuing ordination! You sound well suited to it, ready and knowledgable about what to expect! :anjali: I wish you all the success in the world.
Yeah, thanks for the support and the advice! I was actually thinking about trying to get ahold of Thanissaro Bhikkhu as well, and perhaps trying to contact Ajahn Dick over at Forest Dhamma Monastery in Virginia. I'm in China at the moment so it won't be easy to go there in person but maybe I can call them.
3 - Triple Gem - TISARANA
4 - Noble Truths - ARIYA SACCA
8 - Noble Path - ARIYA MAGGA
*Middle Path - MAJJHIMA PATIPADA
Study, Practice, Realize - PARIYATTI, PATIPATTI, PATIVEDHA

SarathW
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:07 pm

The way I understand the choice between the Ajahn Chah tradition and the Dhammayut tradition is a big one.
There was a post in this forum about comparing the two traditions.
Dhammayut considers Nibbana as another type of consciousness. This is more in line with Mahayana rather than Theravada.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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pilgrim
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by pilgrim » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:17 pm

You could also speak with Ajahn Keng Khemako, a singaporean monk who speaks excellent English and Thai. His monastery is in Johor, the southern tip of Malaysia. Contact details on the FB page
https://www.facebook.com/SantiMonastery/

"Chao Khun Keng Khemako is a Singaporean monk of the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Mun Buridatto. He is commonly known as “Ajahn Keng”. He was ordained in 1987 under the recommendation of Ajahn Geoffrey (Thanissaro Bhikkhu). One of his main teachers was Luang Pu Jiak Cundo, the first generation disciples of Ajahn Mun disciples. He received the title of Chao Khun in 2012. Currently, Ajahn Keng is the Abbot of Santi Forest Monastery (JB) and the Abbot of a hill-tribes forest monastery in Om Koi, Chiangmai , President of Palelai Buddhist Temple (Singapore)."

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pilgrim
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by pilgrim » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:25 pm

SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:07 pm

Dhammayut considers Nibbana as another type of consciousness. This is more in line with Mahayana rather than Theravada.
That's just ridiculous. Dhammayut is a monastic lineage not a doctrinal sect. One may as well say Mahanikai believes in sakyant tatoos.

Chanh Dao
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Chanh Dao » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:32 am

From everything I'm reading you have two options.

Write a letter to wat pah nanachat and see about going and living there or find a monk who is willing to sponsor and support you for ordination in a Thai lineage/tradition.

My opinion is that if you just wiggle your way into a random temple that for some reason is willing to ordain you you'll be basically just left out in the cold. For lack of better words.

You need support for visa. You need monk who is willing to organize for you and support you in travelling to a Forrest monastary after you ordain.

It's highly unlikely you will find a secluded Forrest monastary that is willing to receive and ordain you and if you do, unlikely they will be able to help with Visa if they are remote.

I reccomend letting go of the idea of not using money and not having a phone. This is the 21st century and if you intend to navigate a foreign country you should have both of these items at your disposal.

Especially as a foreigner.


I reccomend you forgoe all the struggle of navigating Thai culture and try to get in at wat pah nanachat.

If you are hungry for Thai culture when you are there you can walk a few kilometers to the nearby Thai monastary.



I ordained about two weeks ago in the Dhammayut order.
Unless you have a dear friend who is a senior monk I don't see how it would be possible to ordain.

Let alone find ideal conditions for practice and become immersed in the culture.


Good luck.

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Dali348
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Dali348 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:16 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:07 pm
The way I understand the choice between the Ajahn Chah tradition and the Dhammayut tradition is a big one.
There was a post in this forum about comparing the two traditions.
Dhammayut considers Nibbana as another type of consciousness. This is more in line with Mahayana rather than Theravada.
There are a lot of similarities between the two traditions because Ajahn Chah considered himself a student of Ajahn Mun. Indeed Ajahn Mun's main teaching to Ajahn Chah was regarding consciousness. Anyway, I am far from Nibbana so I'm not concerned with how they describe it. My main concern is finding a good place to live and practice meditation under the guidance of master.
3 - Triple Gem - TISARANA
4 - Noble Truths - ARIYA SACCA
8 - Noble Path - ARIYA MAGGA
*Middle Path - MAJJHIMA PATIPADA
Study, Practice, Realize - PARIYATTI, PATIPATTI, PATIVEDHA

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Dali348
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Dali348 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:16 am

pilgrim wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:17 pm
You could also speak with Ajahn Keng Khemako, a singaporean monk who speaks excellent English and Thai. His monastery is in Johor, the southern tip of Malaysia. Contact details on the FB page
https://www.facebook.com/SantiMonastery/
Okay thanks, that seems like a good lead for sure!
3 - Triple Gem - TISARANA
4 - Noble Truths - ARIYA SACCA
8 - Noble Path - ARIYA MAGGA
*Middle Path - MAJJHIMA PATIPADA
Study, Practice, Realize - PARIYATTI, PATIPATTI, PATIVEDHA

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Dali348
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Dali348 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:25 am

Chanh Dao wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:32 am
From everything I'm reading you have two options.

Write a letter to wat pah nanachat and see about going and living there or find a monk who is willing to sponsor and support you for ordination in a Thai lineage/tradition.

My opinion is that if you just wiggle your way into a random temple that for some reason is willing to ordain you you'll be basically just left out in the cold. For lack of better words.

You need support for visa. You need monk who is willing to organize for you and support you in travelling to a Forrest monastary after you ordain.

It's highly unlikely you will find a secluded Forrest monastary that is willing to receive and ordain you and if you do, unlikely they will be able to help with Visa if they are remote.

I reccomend letting go of the idea of not using money and not having a phone. This is the 21st century and if you intend to navigate a foreign country you should have both of these items at your disposal.

Especially as a foreigner.


I reccomend you forgoe all the struggle of navigating Thai culture and try to get in at wat pah nanachat.

If you are hungry for Thai culture when you are there you can walk a few kilometers to the nearby Thai monastary.



I ordained about two weeks ago in the Dhammayut order.
Unless you have a dear friend who is a senior monk I don't see how it would be possible to ordain.

Let alone find ideal conditions for practice and become immersed in the culture.


Good luck.
I have no desire to ordain with at Wat Pah Nanachat. There are a number of other monasteries in the Ajahn Chah tradition that I would end up at before WPN. Mainly because I want to ordain with Thai people for personal reasons.

As far as Dhammayut monasteries. I wouldn't say I'm looking for a "random temple", but more for a place that is well-known for being linked with a disciple of Ajahn Mun, well-supported, and with a meditation master acting as their abbot. Ajahn Mun had lots of disciples that established forest monasteries and many of them are connected to a network that can help with the visa process.

I do have a few places in mind already, and you don't need to be friends with a senior monk there. Foreigners have been coming to ordain in Dhammayut monasteries steadily for the last 40 years or so. But many of the great masters passed away at the end of the 20th century, and now the big question is, where are the great teachers of the Thai Forest tradition. Indeed my efforts here are to track down someplace special, rather than someplace random.

Where did you ordain? And how did you choose it?

As far as the idea of using a phone and money, that's not something I am okay with. Money, definitely not. I will only travel as a monk by foot or if a lay supporter or the monastery supports it.

A phone? I have no intention of being connected online or using technology after ordination. Just a few simple emails once or twice a month to my family will be enough.

There are many reasons for ordination but my intention is to live the simple life of a forest monk, away from the modern world, close to nature, and away from technology, so I can focus on the practice. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience.
3 - Triple Gem - TISARANA
4 - Noble Truths - ARIYA SACCA
8 - Noble Path - ARIYA MAGGA
*Middle Path - MAJJHIMA PATIPADA
Study, Practice, Realize - PARIYATTI, PATIPATTI, PATIVEDHA

Chanh Dao
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Chanh Dao » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:05 am

Please keep me informed as far as what happens and where you ordain.

Chanh Dao
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Chanh Dao » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:29 am

As a foreigner I would expect you to pay money to go through ordination. What places are you considering?

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Dali348
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by Dali348 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:16 am

Personally I'd stay away from monasteries that don't strictly adhere to the Vinaya. Does that pretty much leave it at the Ajahn Chah monasteries these days? I'd like to believe that there are still some strict Dhammayut monasteries!
3 - Triple Gem - TISARANA
4 - Noble Truths - ARIYA SACCA
8 - Noble Path - ARIYA MAGGA
*Middle Path - MAJJHIMA PATIPADA
Study, Practice, Realize - PARIYATTI, PATIPATTI, PATIVEDHA

SarathW
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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by SarathW » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:21 pm

I wish you all the best, and please dedicate a chant for me at morning or evening puja!' :anjali:
What will happen if someone does a bad chant for you?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Dhammayut Ordination Options

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:34 pm

General discussion on handling money moved here: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=33304

Mike

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