Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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ChristianDhamma
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Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by ChristianDhamma » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:26 pm

Dear people,

I want to ask, if anyone can say me, if there is the possibility to ordain at a good, but more moderate monastery in Sri Lanka, where sutta study has a focus, so in the direction of Mahamevnawa?

Mahamevnawa maybe could be suitable, but I read, that someone has to give up all electronic devices. (see "One important thing […]")
The thing is, that I wanted to use an e-reader (and maybe also laptop), for reading (and maybe also work on) my own texts.

So I have the thought of a monastery, where is a firm practise of Vinayo, but not understood as "training", but more understood as "growing in". And with possiblities, to use electronic devices.

Where there is the freedom to study and practise more on someones own, to find for someone self a good mixture of studying, sila/vinaya and meditation and therefore very important: where someone is not be forced to practise "samatha/vipassana"-Meditation?

Maybe I´m wrong, but it seems to me, that the nuns have of more of this mixture? Or I´m wrong in this case?

Maybe someone can give me a tip there.

Thank you very much, greetings from my heart
Christian

Chanh Dao
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by Chanh Dao » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:50 am

They're is definitely a possibility. I'd recommend saving some money and going to the country yourself to identify and investigate various temples that may suit your disposition.

Temples are very diverse.

BKh
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by BKh » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:32 am

Are you talking about ordaining? Or living there as a layperson?
where is a firm practise of Vinayo, but not understood as "training", but more understood as "growing in".
Can you say more about what that means? Examples?

It sounds like you want the freedom of lay life while being close to learned and ethical monks and a quiet place to meditate. You may not be able to meet all that in a monastery, either as a lay person or a monastic. But renting a small house or room close to a monastery might be the way to go if you didn't want to ordain.

And a lot may depend on who the monks are at a place at the moment you are there. Visiting several places might be a good idea.

Generally the more freedom you have at a monastery, the less disciplined they are. Not always, but a pattern can be seen.
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ChristianDhamma
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by ChristianDhamma » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:31 pm

Chanh Dao wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:50 am
They're is definitely a possibility. I'd recommend saving some money and going to the country yourself to identify and investigate various temples that may suit your disposition.

Temples are very diverse.
Thank you very much.

Can someone say me, if it would be a good thing, to apply on a certain monastery for a resident visa from my home country before traveling, with the aim, to stay on the monastery, but for the case, that it don´t work with the monastery/teacher, then set forth to another monastery?
Or would they then be niggled?

Christian

ChristianDhamma
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by ChristianDhamma » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:37 pm

BKh wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:32 am
Are you talking about ordaining? Or living there as a layperson?
where is a firm practise of Vinayo, but not understood as "training", but more understood as "growing in".
Can you say more about what that means? Examples?
The thing is, that rules can make the heart wide, but can also make the heart small. So it can be good, to have more a sight of "growing in": being firm, but not be too harsh.
And that may be take some time. And so someone has to balance Vinayo, studying and meditation out.
It sounds like you want the freedom of lay life while being close to learned and ethical monks and a quiet place to meditate. You may not be able to meet all that in a monastery, either as a lay person or a monastic.
Maybe you can write me, where you can read this in my post?
Generally the more freedom you have at a monastery, the less disciplined they are. Not always, but a pattern can be seen.
Yes, there you may be right.
But on the other side, if there is too harsh or also wrong disciplin (e.g. overemphasizing small rules), and the disciplin is not connected with the heart, then someone also can fail and maybe, if he is overstrained, he can become corrupted.

So: For my feeling, some freedom is necessary and it lies on someones own, rightly to use it.

With heartful wishings
Christian

BKh
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by BKh » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:51 am

ChristianDhamma wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:37 pm
Maybe you can write me, where you can read this in my post?
When I said that I wasn't trying to accuse you or criticize you. It's fine to be looking for the situation you mention. Re reading your post I see that you do in fact seek to ordain. That's great. I'm just not familiar with any monasteries where you could meet all of your requirements as a monk. Perhaps talk to the monks at Forest Hermitage in Kandy, the place associated with the Buddhist Publication Society. I don't know if they ordain monks, but they are more study focused and may know of places that would get you what you are looking for.

From what I have heard about their training process, I think you are correct that Mahamevnawa is not going to be what you are looking for.

As I understand it, resident visas in SL require a sponsor. If a monastery grants you one and then you leave that place, they would likely notify immigration to cancel the visa. The sponsor has some level of responsibility and if problems happen with a foreigner they sponsor, it could endanger their ability to sponsor future foreigners.
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ChristianDhamma
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by ChristianDhamma » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:56 pm

Dear Bkh,

thank you for your writing, then it is good.

Thanks for your tip with the Forest Hermitage, maybe that can be a possibilty.

And also for your estimation with Mahamevnawa.
Therefore concering the training process -
From what I have heard about their training process [...]
- some details would be interesting. Can you write something about?
As I understand it, [...] future foreigners.
Thanks for that, that helped me. I´m not really familiar with that travel formalities.
I had the thought, that the resident visa, once issued by the monastery, is valid for one year. And then also independent from the monastery, even I would left the monastery.

But as you said, that can cause problems for the monastery. So it is understable, that they, although the visa was issued, can cancel it.

Then I will see, how it can go in a good way.

Good wishes :-)
Christian

BKh
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by BKh » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:14 am

ChristianDhamma wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:56 pm
From what I have heard about their training process [...]
- some details would be interesting. Can you write something about?
I believe it is similar to the training for new monks in the Ajahn Chah tradition. A period of time as an anagarika living in the monastery that is filled with communal activities of work, chanting, classes, group meditation. Not a lot of personal autonomy. Then a period as a novice. Only after some time the bhikkhu ordination. And yes, I believe no personal electronics or access at all to computers.
I had the thought, that the resident visa, once issued by the monastery, is valid for one year. And then also independent from the monastery, even I would left the monastery.
Well, the visa is issued by the government not the monastery (perhaps that is what you meant). But the monastery is a sponsor. Other than monasteries, I think to get a residence visia without an offer of employment you would normally need to be sponsored by a SL citizen. These are all quite common requirements for visas around the world. In any case the sponsor has to promise to look after the people they sponsor.

Visa rules are changing constantly. For example SL just started requiring medical exams for residence visas. And I think you need a police report from your country of residence. And it used to be that you could only get the residence visa from outside SL. Not sure if that has changed. So whatever you do, double check with the monastery you decide to go to. Don't rely on strangers on the internet. :rofl:
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ChristianDhamma
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by ChristianDhamma » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:28 am

Dear BKh,

thank you very much once again for your explanations.
[...] once issued by the monastery [...]
Well, the visa is issued by the government not the monastery (perhaps that is what you meant).
Yes, my writing was not right, sorry for that.
Visa rules are changing constantly. [...]
So whatever you do, double check with the monastery you decide to go to. Don't rely on strangers on the internet.
Some experience-informations round about that from others can be useful.

Thanking once again.
Christian

andrew73249
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by andrew73249 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:11 pm

Short of going to Sri Lanka, living there for several months, visiting places, and talking with as many people as you can, the best advice I can think of is to read this guide to monasteries in Sri Lanka maintained by the Buddhist Publication Society: http://www.bps.lk/olib/mi/mi008.pdf.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by salayatananirodha » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:10 pm

maybe the one where ven ñāṇananda was when he died?
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

ChristianDhamma
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by ChristianDhamma » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:08 pm

andrew73249 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:11 pm
[...] the best advice I can think of is to read this guide to monasteries in Sri Lanka maintained by the Buddhist Publication Society: http://www.bps.lk/olib/mi/mi008.pdf.
Thank you for the tip. Yes, I know from that guide and working through it.
The guide gives some descriptions and by searching the net, there can be gained also some helpful impressions more.
But the thing is, that there is less information, if a foreigner can ordain on a place.

Christian

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mikenz66
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Re: Searching for a good, but moderate monastery, with freedom for study and meditation in Sri Lanka

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:35 pm

salayatananirodha wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:10 pm
maybe the one where ven ñāṇananda was when he died?
Ven Ñāṇananda lived in isolation for some years before he died...
Analayo wrote: As I remember it, the first time we met he had come to the Lewella Meditation Centre – a small meditation centre at the outskirts of Kandy that I was in charge of. He had been brought there by Mr. Mapa, his chief disciple- and at that time the Public Trustee of Sri Lanka, later the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Myanmar. Ven. Kaṭukurunde Ñāṇananda was on a casual visit to the place and doing a little sightseeing. So I think that was the first time we met in person, although I had of course already heard about him and knew about his ‘Concept and Reality’.

I believe, not too long after that, he had made an English translation of the first of his famous Nibbāna Sermons given originally in Sinhala at Meetirigala Nissaraṇa Vanaya. He had done that just on a cassette tape and given it to, I think, Mr. Mapa. Mr. Mapa had then passed it on to Godwin Samararatne, or may be Ven. Ñāṇananda gave it directly to Godwin, I don’t know. But through Godwin from Nilambe Meditation Center, who was my kalyāṇamitta, I came to hear this English translation of the first of these thirty-three Nibbāna Sermons. I was electrified. I had never come across such clear and profound teachings and expositions on the PaliSuttas. It might have been on the same day, or immediately afterwards, I went there right away. He was staying in Kegalle, living in a cave. I said “Bhante, you just keep translating, I do all the rest. I will type it out and do whatever needs to be done”.

And so from then on, for the next, I believe, ten years, the venerable would in his cave translate his own Sermons from Sinhala into English and record them on a cassette tape. I would then get this cassette tape, sit there at the Lewella Meditation Center and transcribe them. I would also find all the references – because I had a computer, and at that time the Pali Canon had been already digitalized. So it was fairly easy to type in the Pali text and search. His Pali pronunciation was very clear, and I could find all the references and then provide all the annotation required to direct the reader to the Pali Text Society edition of the Pali passages Ven. Ñāṇananda was quoting in the Sermons. And so in relation to this transcribing and annotation work I would go to visit him, may be every two to three months, taking the occasion to ask all the thousand and one questions that I might have had in relation to the sermons or other parts of the PaliSuttas. He was always very obliging to discuss and explain things to me. Together with Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ven. Kaṭukurunde Ñāṇananda has been my second main teacher; I consider these two bhikkhus to have laid the foundation to all my work.
http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Conti ... 49312.html
:heart:
Mike

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