I once gave a ride of several hours back from a retreat to a woman from my sutta study class who was hell bent on ordaining. During the whole car ride back she kept chiding me not to waste my life and ordain as soon as I could. She kept asking me why I didn't do it. I gave her some answers that sounded similar to yours:
1. Being a guest is different from being an inmate
. I was fortunate enough to get other things I wanted only to learn that truth through experience.
2. I've been poor and I did not want to give up what power I had to live on my own terms, eat what I wanted to eat, go somewhere when I wanted to go, etc. etc..
3. I'm not done with samsara.
. I know there would be things I would miss.
JamesTheGiant wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:33 pm
One week ago I disrobed and returned to "normal" life.
I have been at monasteries and meditation centres for a total of 6 years, at Bodhinyana monastery for 4 years 6 months, two years as a full bhikkhu, a year and a half as a novice, and a year-and-a-bit as an anagarika. I've spent more than a year and six months in intensive silent retreat.
I have been a big fan of Ajahn Brahm for many years.
I'm also on the other side of the planet with a job that gives me very, very, very little leave time.
For me it was a major gift from the universe to me, when he travelled to California a few years ago and I was able to fly out to go to several of his appearances.
I would like nothing more than to go to one of his retreats and stay for a month.
Given my job and career situation that isn't likely.
Be grateful for what you had, not everyone else can have those things.
I used to love coming to the monastery and staying for a few months each year, when I was a layperson.
I get maybe two weeks a vacation a year if I don't use leave up from getting sick once or twice. How did you manage to get several months off each year and retain your livelihood?
At the commune if someone was having a hard time, or got into trouble, my friends would be concerned and there would always be someone to help out.
Is that how? You lived on a commune rather than as a 9-5 member of the rat race?
SO WHAT'S THE PLAN?
Go back to New Zealand, get a temporary job, maybe tour-guiding? Then spend a year at university getting a Post-Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching, then become a schoolteacher.
Buy a sailboat! Live on it, and sail a lot. I would like a huge yacht, but my budget probably extends only to a 8.5m keeler, with one bedroom, a kitchen-lounge, and shower and toilet. It's like living in a big caravan, except it floats.
Be grateful for what you have.
Many people would not have those options. I do not.
If I went away for several years, it would be very difficult for me to get a decent job in my field again, or any job . I wouldn't have anyone to help me out. My sister would lend me her guest room for a while to keep me from sleeping on the street, but that wouldn't be a situation that could go on for very long. She lives in suburbia, I wouldn't have a car returning from such a life. The only resource I would have would be retirement savings.