I feel I've been blessed to find myself involved in a monumental undertaking in my first few weeks in Sri Lanka. It seems that next May is the 2600th anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment by Sri Lankan reckoning. In honour of this, Sri Sambodhi Viharaya and The Buddhist ( http://www.thebuddhist.tv ) are working with the government and sangha council to, among other things, start a 500-acre (may be an exaggeration) forest monastery for meditation training. As a part of this project, they will arranging the ordination of 100 bhikkhus at the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy for the anniversary. I have been asked to participate in this, as one of the teachers for the new monks, and have been given permission to open the project up to international applicants. Details:
- Applicants are required to send a CV outlining both their experience in Buddhist study and practice as well as worldly study and work (send an email to yuttadhammo at gmail).
- A minimum anagārika period of one month is required before the ordination (earliest acceptance will be March 2011).
- The May ordination, in accordance with Sri Lankan tradition, will be, I am told, a sāmanera (novice) ordination, followed by upasampadā (full ordination) after 4-6 months.
- Applicants may be required to stay at the Sri Sambodhi Viharaya until enough space is available at the forest monastery, though there should be enough room for everyone by May.
- As it stands, the quota for foreigners is 5, but I imagine this can be stretched. Preference will be given, if we need to limit the number of applicants, to those who have experience in intensive meditation practice and/or involvement with forest monasteries (letters of reference might help).
- Bhikkhuni ordination is still not officially recognized by the sangha council, but sāmanerī ordination will be conferred upon request (and as I understand, bhikkhuni ordination can be pursued in Sri Lanka at a later date).
- Applications will be probably be accepted up until March or April, 2011.