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Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:55 am
by manas
Greetings all,
well my eldest child is now 20 years old and living independently, my youngest who is 16, has chosen to live at her mother's place, and I once again find myself with no real aspirations in life, aside from the spiritual. I'm giving away most of my material possessions, have given notice to vacate at the flat I've lived in for about 12 years or so, and am looking to live in an environment more conducive to the physical seclusion that assists in cultivating a deeper practice of the Dhamma, especially the cultivation of meditation.

Some monasteries offer laymen the opportunity to reside for a period of time and follow the monastic life and routine, to try it out. I have no illusions about the attempt being easy, but I also know that to some extent, it will be easy or difficult to the extent that I control my mind, or not. Memories will no doubt flow up, perhaps worries, and almost certainly desires from the lay life, but surely they are only a hindrance if one gives such thoughts credence, if one identifies with them as 'me' or as 'mine', or allows them to linger, rather than quickly sweeping them out, and replacing them with thoughts or resolves 'connected with skill', instead. Surely, if we simply apply ourselves to the practice, and quickly sweep aside any intrusive thoughts or doubts as the 'old mental rubbish' they generally are, it can't be that hard to live a more renounced life.

I wanted to share my intention here because, I've never before felt so much faith in the Dhamma, and this site (Dhamma Wheel) has been a significant part of my journey towards greater conviction in the Teachings. Nor has the thought of getting rid of virtually all my material possessions (I will keep a few things in storage, such as my PC, and a few other items), been so appealing. I'm going to at least make an attempt, and whether that translates into long-term residence, or just a temporary stay from which I will probably learn much, either way, it seems very right at this time.

Thank you so much to all the practitioners here, and please forgive my sometimes overly-emotionally reactive posts from the past, although I do want to state for the record, my intentions were, to the best of my knowledge, generally good, but I was simply rather mentally undisciplined and distressed at the time, plus I guess I was rather more deluded back then, although there's still plenty of that to deal with, of course! :)

Ok, now that's all said, any suggestions and advice are welcome! I'm rather busy atm cleaning out my flat and throwing out stuff :thumbsup: however I will of course be checking in on this post, to read any replies.

May you all be well, happy, and flourish in the practice of the precious Buddha-Dhamma, and find the ending of all suffering & stress.
:anjali:

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:11 am
by SarathW
Have you contact any monastery?
Do you like any particular country.
Considering you are a long time practioner, do you practice eight precepts?
Practicing eight precepts could be a great start.
Wish you all the best.

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:38 am
by JamesTheGiant
Will you stay instate, and stay at the very traditional Bodhivana https://buddhabodhivana.org/gallery-3/

Or across the other side of the city at Newbury Monastery, with the Buddhist Society of Victoria? http://nbm.org.au

...or maybe some other monastery? There are quite a few in Victoria.
Overseas monasteries are quite good because I feel they are sort of like an island. It's harder to just give up and walk out the door in a foreign country.
Best wishes!

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:40 am
by DooDoot
Asia (e.g. Thailand or Sri Lanka) is always ideal. Its warm, you can travel light, you are well supported. Plus Buddhist culture.

Otherwise if you wish to stay in cold winter Aussie place, maybe here: https://www.wbd.org.au/
Rains Retreat 2019
16th July to 13th October
You are cordially invited to spend the Rains Retreat at the Wat.
To serve and to deepen your practice.
Minimum stay of one month and priority will be given to those who can commit themselves for the entire three months.

For further enquiries, please email: wbdoffice@gmail.com or call the office at 0409-389-887 between 9 - 12 noon.

http://www.wbd.org.au/category/news/

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:45 am
by Idappaccayata
I believe birken is looking for a long term resident to help in the kitchen.

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:22 am
by JamesTheGiant
Idappaccayata wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:45 am
I believe birken is looking for a long term resident to help in the kitchen.
Birken often has trouble attracting laypeople. It's known for it.

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:13 am
by Dan74-MkII
Hello manas ! :hello:

Very happy for you!!! This letting go and embracing your practice in a joyful wholehearted way is a wonderful thing.

A word of caution will probably sound somewhat tone-deaf at this stage, but anyway here it goes. I don't know how much experience you've had with longer retreats or periods of intense practice. Difficult things tend to float up to the surface. One starts to miss the familiar comforts, get annoyed at all the little things. It is not easy. And if one finally packs it in and returns to the life before, you can feel disenchanted, disappointed with yourself or with the Dhamma, but in any case with little drive or energy to practice.

The pendulum tends to swing from the romantic notion of a spiritual practitioner, monk-like, pure and radiant to the confused and filthy samsara-dweller. Both of these are illusions. Stay in the moment as much as possible, aware of what arises and facing it squarely, leaving the narratives and expectations aside, and this will surely be a worthwhile time for you.

_/|\_

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:06 pm
by manas
SarathW wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:11 am
Have you contact any monastery?
Do you like any particular country.
Considering you are a long time practioner, do you practice eight precepts?
Practicing eight precepts could be a great start.
Wish you all the best.
That's good advice. I can manage on just two meals a day - a substantial breakfast and lunch, and only juices after that - but I'd have to make sure anywhere I go, actually does breakfast. I'm already thin (that does not bother me, and I don't lose energy by only eating twice a day) but if it was only one meal a day, I might take on a 'skin and bones' look lol. Once again doesn't bother me but yes so long as I can eat twice a day, I will survive. :)

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:16 pm
by manas
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:38 am
Will you stay instate, and stay at the very traditional Bodhivana https://buddhabodhivana.org/gallery-3/

Or across the other side of the city at Newbury Monastery, with the Buddhist Society of Victoria? http://nbm.org.au

...or maybe some other monastery? There are quite a few in Victoria.
Overseas monasteries are quite good because I feel they are sort of like an island. It's harder to just give up and walk out the door in a foreign country.
Best wishes!
Vihara Buddha Gotama (Malaysia, Abbott: Luangpor Dhammavuddho) offer the chance for laymen to stay for one month, subject to being approved. One can stay at Wat Metta (Texas, Ajahn Thanissaro) but the plane ticket is much more expensive, would take ages to save up for atm). Of course , I will ask Ajahn Kalyano of the Warburton Monastery, but I'm not sure they have laymen over in that way. Nothing about that on the website afaik. He's a very kind monk though, known him for about twenty years.

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:26 pm
by manas
DooDoot wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:40 am
Asia (e.g. Thailand or Sri Lanka) is always ideal. Its warm, you can travel light, you are well supported. Plus Buddhist culture.

Otherwise if you wish to stay in cold winter Aussie place, maybe here: https://www.wbd.org.au/
Rains Retreat 2019
16th July to 13th October
You are cordially invited to spend the Rains Retreat at the Wat.
To serve and to deepen your practice.
Minimum stay of one month and priority will be given to those who can commit themselves for the entire three months.

For further enquiries, please email: wbdoffice@gmail.com or call the office at 0409-389-887 between 9 - 12 noon.

http://www.wbd.org.au/category/news/
Thailand would be great because the warm weather would assist my health (I'm not good in the cold). Tropical or sub-tropical climates, suit me physically. Thailand would suit because the monks I tend to follow, all come from the Thai Forest Tradition. However, surely I should go somewhere where English will be understood, right?

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:28 pm
by Idappaccayata
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:22 am
Idappaccayata wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:45 am
I believe birken is looking for a long term resident to help in the kitchen.
Birken often has trouble attracting laypeople. It's known for it.
Interesting. Didn't you say they don't train monks either? Is the lack of lay people just because of the location?

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:32 pm
by manas
Idappaccayata wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:45 am
I believe birken is looking for a long term resident to help in the kitchen.
I have not heard of this place, but I suppose being useful would be a plus :) but I'll need to look it up first.

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:35 pm
by manas
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:22 am
Idappaccayata wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:45 am
I believe birken is looking for a long term resident to help in the kitchen.
Birken often has trouble attracting laypeople. It's known for it.
should i take that as a warning? why would that be, may I ask?

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:36 pm
by dharmacorps
manas wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:16 pm
One can stay at Wat Metta (Texas, Ajahn Thanissaro) but the plane ticket is much more expensive, would take ages to save up for atm).
Wat Metta is in Valley Center, California, outside of San Diego. Slightly closer to Australia than Texas :jumping:

Re: Preparing to stay at a Monastery, to experience the lifestyle for a while :)

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:43 pm
by manas
Dan74-MkII wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 6:13 am
Hello manas ! :hello:

Very happy for you!!! This letting go and embracing your practice in a joyful wholehearted way is a wonderful thing.

A word of caution will probably sound somewhat tone-deaf at this stage, but anyway here it goes. I don't know how much experience you've had with longer retreats or periods of intense practice. Difficult things tend to float up to the surface. One starts to miss the familiar comforts, get annoyed at all the little things. It is not easy. And if one finally packs it in and returns to the life before, you can feel disenchanted, disappointed with yourself or with the Dhamma, but in any case with little drive or energy to practice.

The pendulum tends to swing from the romantic notion of a spiritual practitioner, monk-like, pure and radiant to the confused and filthy samsara-dweller. Both of these are illusions. Stay in the moment as much as possible, aware of what arises and facing it squarely, leaving the narratives and expectations aside, and this will surely be a worthwhile time for you.

_/|\_
Thanks Dan, that's good advice. It would just be for one month at this stage, however. As you say, after a month I will probably either want to leave, or remain for life, depending on how i find it. No, I don't have any illusions or romantic notions about being radiant etc :lol: My life could hardly be more boring than it is right now, so if anything the change of scenery will be like a holiday. Have not had a gf for over six or more years now, so being celibate is same old, same old. Nothing new about that LOL. Thanks for the note of caution, however.

I will not go into any detail, but my heart's already been through the wringer, especially regarding my dear children, who have been through so much pain and distress for the last few years), and I've had to learn that while doing the best I can as a father to protect them, help them heal etc, there comes a stage where you realize you can't protect them from getting hurt in life, ultimately. My heart has already been wrung out, and I ended up with nowhere else to turn, but the Dhamma for solace. Learning to trust and let go regarding them (they are both doing much better lately, thank goodness :smile: )but I have a note of warning to anyone considering having kids: the more you care (and grow attached) to someone, the more it will hurt you, should they suffer. To sum it up, attachment leads to grief and sorrow. Nothing at the Monastery could compare with the distress of the past year or so, believe me. It was the Dhamma that got me through. :heart: