What is holding you back from ordaining?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Wind
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What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Wind » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:29 am

From time to time, the thought of ordaining crosses my mind. I find myself becoming less passionate about lay life and the meaningless pursuit of material gains and unsatisfying fulfillment of sensual pleasures. I think I am waiting for my mind to reach that final point when it is clear that I am ready to leave everything behind. I am not there yet, not even sure if I will ever get to that point but deep down I feel it is something I wish I could do in this life time. I ask myself what is holding me back from going forth? To be honest, I still enjoy my comfortable living and not quite ready to give up on relationships. There are still so many places I want to visit and new experiences I want to try. Not to mention I still have to pay off my debt. It so hard to let go and be able to drop everything, but gradually.. I hope one of these days, I can.

How about you guys? Have you thought about ordaining? What is holding you back?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:33 am

Check out this web site: Going Forth
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retrofuturist
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:39 am

Greetings,
Wind wrote: What is holding you back?
Family obligations. I was already married and with a 1 year old son by the time I discovered Buddhism.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Check out this web site: Going Forth
Nice collection - thank you.

:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Ben
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Ben » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:43 am

Wind wrote:What is holding you back?
Family.
Maybe when my kids are adults and my wife is amenable to me disappearing for months at a time, I hope to ordain temporarily.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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ando
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by ando » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:58 am

I've let go of the last of my earthly posessions last year... my car and house, and I've cleared off all my debts. I have neither wife nor children. The only thing that's holding me back now is my parents. I work so they could live.

My wish is when I pass on, I will be wearing saffron robes.

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Wind
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Wind » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:03 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Check out this web site: Going Forth
Thanks Venerable!

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DNS
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by DNS » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:26 pm

ando wrote: The only thing that's holding me back now is my parents. I work so they could live.
Good man!

The rest of you too, taking care of family obligations.

:buddha2:
:anjali:

plwk
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by plwk » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:35 pm

What is holding you back?
Lets see...my parents?
One is an ordained Christian minister and the other who once told me to get out of the family when I was found out as a Buddhist... :guns:
It was already a mega scandal when I opted out of the family's Christian tradition...now ordination?
My sister would never forgive me if I was a cause of heart stroke for either one... :tongue:
I am resigned to the fact that I am better off an Upasaka... :sage:

Buddham Saranam Gacchami.... :console:

Reductor
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Reductor » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:13 pm

Oh, you better believe I'm going to ordain. Now, just 17 more years and the kids should be able to manage their own happiness. The wife indicates that she will be alright with me going... probably :tongue:

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Cittasanto
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:00 pm

Obligations!

I made a promise that I need to fufill before my mother will give her permission, plus I don't want to leave just yet due to circumstances which are more of a make sure everything is OK rather than a issue as such.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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meindzai
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by meindzai » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:37 pm

Spending time in various monasteries made me realize that for me they are a "nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there." I don't think I am cut out for the lifestyle, or perhaps more honestely, not ready to let go of certain things.

Pretty much sealed that last week too since I got engaged. :) My fiancee is of course very suportive of my spiritual practice (I wouldn't bother with somebody that wasn't) and has served as a good partner in this regard. Sometimes I think she's a better Buddhist than I am and she's not even a Buddhist.

-M

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Goofaholix
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Goofaholix » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:41 pm

When I started out in practice I was sure I would ordain. I was probably more interested in monasticism than Buddhism as a whole, I wasn't very happy with how I was handling relationships, career, and life in general and saw monasticism as a viable alternative.

As I did retreat after retreat in preparation I found gradually my outlook became more positive and my ability to deal with "normal" life so much better, I had several opportunities to ordain but decided against it each time.

Now I have a wife, a child, and a successful career so ordaining isn't an option. However I did ordain for 3 months before I got married as is thai tradition and what I learned from that is I would be very happy as a long term monk, but too late now really.

However life goes on and the householders life presents different opportunities to learn as one must let go and make compromises all the time.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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retrofuturist
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:48 pm

Greetings,
meindzai wrote:Pretty much sealed that last week too since I got engaged. :)
Congratulations! (I think? :tongue: - it feels like a funny sub-forum in which to say that...)
meindzai wrote:My fiancee is of course very suportive of my spiritual practice (I wouldn't bother with somebody that wasn't) and has served as a good partner in this regard.
:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Guy
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by Guy » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:17 pm

Hi All,

I could easily say "well, in western countries you need to do X number of retreats and X number of years as an anagarika before they even consider you, blah blah blah..." but then why not just go overseas and ordain?

Lately I have been finding in my meditation practice that I reach a certain point and then I hit this wall of fear and bounce right back out. I believe it is this same fear (the fear of letting go, fear of "disappearing") which is holding me back from ordaining too. Seeing the problem is a good start though, for a long time I didn't even want to look at this, now I see it I am chipping away at it little by little.

Hopefully it is just a matter of time now.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

ando
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Re: What is holding you back from ordaining?

Post by ando » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:55 am

Sometimes when I think about ordaining or even a life of solitude, I think about this:

Am I running towards something?
Or am I running away from something?

It can be discomforting if you come from a culture that tells you to strand straight and fight like a man, and you're called a chicken for walking away from life's challenges, like leaving home.

Does it matter what one's intentions are though when it comes to being a monastic? Any thoughts?

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