Why not ordain?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Future Bhikkhu
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:25 am

My responsibility to my family. Let me just say here that the lay-life is by no means 'second rate'.
I never claimed it to be second rate. It is just an alternative path. All I wish to hear is why you did not or do not choose the option of becoming a Bhikkhu or Bhikkuni.

With metta

:anjali:
The mind is everything; what you think you become.
-The Buddha

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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:27 am

That's cool looking but I think they bite and are poisonous aren't they? Wow living in a Kuti's gotta be cool. By the way where was it again Tilt? I don't remember if you mentioned it already where you lived in that time.

I had a friend with a defanged Chilean Rose haired one who tried to see if he could scare me with it. He was surprised.
Image

So fuzzy!
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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tiltbillings
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:29 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:That's cool looking but I think they bite and are poisonous aren't they?
Only mildly so, as I found out years later.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Euclid
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Euclid » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:37 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:I just wanted all to know that I hope it is hard.
Be careful what you wish for :stirthepot:

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Ben
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Ben » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:02 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:
My responsibility to my family. Let me just say here that the lay-life is by no means 'second rate'.
I never claimed it to be second rate.
I didn't suggest that you did. I only mention it as it is an underlying assumption by many (but not all) lay Buddhists.
“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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Goofaholix
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:08 am

From my experience the mind is very skilful at playing the grass is greener on the other side games.

I've gone to monasteries with the intention of ordaining at least three times, one time I did though it was only intended to be for three months before getting married.

Mostly I really liked it, I didn't mind the lack of sense pleasures at all, the hardships weren't a big deal. However the mind would always come up with the things that I hadn't done yet and maybe I should do and maybe they'd make me happy. After a couple of years back in laylife I'd be frazzled at the edges again but then after a few months in monasteries or retreat centres my outlook was much more positive and I was thinking about all the things I could do again.

The other issue for me was I didn't feel I could buy into the asian ritualistic superstitious thing that monks have to be a part of.

Also not wanting to disappoint the parents.

Lastly not having had a long term relationship yet I still clung to the world view of this being a potential ticket to happiness and fulfilment, now I know better.

I don't know the statistics but I'm guessing a high proportion of westerners who rock up to a monastery wanting to ordain for life don't, and of those that do not many stay for life.

Anyway if you practise well it gets to the stage when the mind is calm and clear that the suffering in life doesn't seem so overwhelming anymore and you feel rightly or wrongly that you can make practise work in any situation.

At your young age not having so much life experience behind you when doubts about the monastic life arise your mind might be fertile ground. I think an important part of gaining freedom from the samsaric world is knowing that you've tried everything of interest to you and found nothing gave lasting satisfaction, and I include monastic life in that everything.
“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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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:28 am

Goofaholix wrote: The other issue for me was I didn't feel I could buy into the asian ritualistic superstitious thing that monks have to be a part of.
What ritualistic things are you talking about specifically for reference? The majority of Vinaya training rules are pretty straightforward from what I remember, and they're also not very superstitious at all. Each rule has a very reasonable origin story.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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Future Bhikkhu
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Future Bhikkhu » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:50 am

I think that I will give it try because it can't do any damage. Although I don't have much experience in life I do have a drive to rid of suffering. The youngest person to become enlightened in the time of the Buddha was only seven. Whether that be true or not I don't know, but I do know that I'm old enough to have suffered many time before. Being young doesn't exclude me from the worst of suffering. Anyway, I will strive to become ordained whilst continuing to get good grades at school and I will experience it for myself. At the moment I do not think of the ordained life as good or bad, merely something which assists in an end to suffering.

With metta

:anjali:
The mind is everything; what you think you become.
-The Buddha

grasshopper
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by grasshopper » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:13 am

Future Bhikkhu wrote:I was interested in hearing why you do not ordain. I know that many of you are well versed and practiced but if you know that life is full of suffering, why do you not strive to end that suffering with the most effective way possible? All opinons are valid.

With metta,

:anjali:
What a thread!

I have gone from being a casual Buddhist to a dyed-in-the-wool Buddhist (i.e. studying and practising Buddhism to the best of my ability for 10 long years with strong ordaining intentions) to a completely non-Buddhist agnostic who meditates; dunno know where to next though, lol.

The ritualistic stuff is something I can tolerate though I am not a fan...but I can not tolerate office-politics in monasteries carried out by monks and anagarikas. I have seen it first-hand in Asian and Western monasteries both, to the point that, unfortunately, no special reverance arises in me towards these institutions and the people in them as a whole anymore (individually, yes). This is in stark contrast to what my mind felt towards these places and people before (no offense intended if you are a nice monk or a nun). One day when I woke up, I realised that I am no longer in love with Buddhism - the sparks and the magic, simply gone out of the window. How can I marry myself to monkhood when I am not in love with Buddhism? But the Buddhism-less life has become so very freeing for me - like a rock lifted off my head - and my meditation is better and I am more content.

In case you wonder, then what am I doing in a Buddhist Forum? I am attracted spiritualism.... I have always been.....and even though this Forum says it is a Buddhist one I have noted there are secret agents of spiritualism here who drop beautiful gems of spiritual wisdom attributed to no organised religion; and I love collecting them!
Last edited by grasshopper on Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.

grasshopper
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by grasshopper » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:21 am

BlackBird wrote:
In order for one to see just how addicted one is to sensual pleasures, you first have to remove them. Forest monasteries in Sri Lanka do a bloody good job of this.
ROFLMAO :rofl:

And thanks for writing a brief description about your Sri lankan experience. I have always wondered whatever happened and your subsequent return to dunners etc. Best wishes mate...

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adosa
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by adosa » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:05 pm

Jack,

Thanks for the synopsis. Not that it matters but you still have my highest respect for giving it a whirl. Well done, IMO..

Future Bhikkhu,

For me the challenge of practicing sila, dana, and tolerance is enough. If insight arises, then it arises. One step at a time and until I can master the basics, ordaining is not in the cards. My faith is not always strong as I tend to be materialistic in view. So, I strive to practice the basics of living a good life and test the dhamma from there.

adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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appicchato
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by appicchato » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:25 pm

It is almost like people are saying that I shouldn't become ordained because they don't like the idea.
Go for what you know friend...follow your heart...most of all pay no attention whatsoever to what some total stranger (or strangers) has (have) to say negatively regarding your desire to ordain...all the best...

Cessation
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Cessation » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:28 pm

Buddha said that even a blade of grass can hurt you if not handle right, so if someone ordains and lives on with the laity for support then misuses the requisites by being careless or a bad bhikkhu then that will lead to his suffering in this life and in the life to come. That is why I'm not ordained yet, I don't think I'm quit ready.
So, take heed of the warnings from everyone, and much luck with your good intentions.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:50 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote: What ritualistic things are you talking about specifically for reference? The majority of Vinaya training rules are pretty straightforward from what I remember, and they're also not very superstitious at all. Each rule has a very reasonable origin story.
These are expectations that come from asian lay people, not from the vinaya. Things like house blessings, lottery numbers, fortune telling, praying to give extra merit to passed away loved ones, good luck prayers/blessings, money trees, expecting more merit the more senior the monk you feed and the more you can feed him, good luck charms, relics, amulets etc etc.

To be fair forest and meditation monks usually don't get involved in most of these except the most benign ones.
“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

gingercatni
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by gingercatni » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:04 pm

plwk wrote:Parents....
1. Never mind being staunch evangelicals, they expect me to carry on the family lineage tradition...which I have resisted thus far
2. They have made it clear that I will never have their blessing nor consent for Ordination
3. So, I guess I will just have to keep supporting them until old age and wait for their passing and meanwhile continue my Dhamma journey as an Upasaka...

:sage:
Theres nothing wrong about being a lay follower, it takes a lot to ordain. For one thing you have to close bank accounts part with property its all very complicated and if you don't intend to stay a monk for life then it will only create suffering for you later. What you can do as a lay person is start a Buddhist group in your area, get people involved meet new people and develop your practice together.

peace

Scott

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