Temporary Ordination

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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jcsuperstar
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by jcsuperstar » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:06 am

i had planed, for years, to ordain for life, worked on saving up to pay off all my debts had a pretty meager existence for quite sometime, then as i was living in a temple here on the verge of leaving i met a thai girl who started helping me with my thai and well now we're married so unless she dies or dies first i have no plans to ordain for life, however i will ordain temporarily (maybe 3 months to a year) since 1. i want to, and 2. shes thai and her parents have no sons so i would be making merit for her family and be becoming more a part of thai culture. i'm looking forward to it, i think it will do wonders for my practice, my attitude, my patience etc, i've had nothing but great experiences with my extended stays in temples and i'm quite sure this longer stay will be of great benefit not only to me but my married life as well.
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LauraJ
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Temporary Ordination

Post by LauraJ » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:46 am

I know there must be a simple answer to this :)
Who do people take temporary ordination? Does it benefit one's later lay practice? Is it done for reasons of virtue?

Thanks!
Laura
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DNS
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by DNS » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:05 am

I think it could be like an extended retreat. While on retreat it is sort of like being monastic, temporarily.

jcsuperstar has a great answer here:

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 476#p49476" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Paññāsikhara
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by Paññāsikhara » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:01 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:There are many possibilities:
....
:goodpost:
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Goofaholix
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by Goofaholix » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:39 am

Temporary ordination is when one ordains with the intention of it being for a specific period of time or at least with the idea that this is something you're going to do before going on to something else.

Of course everything is impermanent and sometimes things don't work out for someone who intended to go forth for life, but to me that's different, the intention wasn't that it be temporary.

I, and I think most westerners, struggle to believe that temporary ordination is anything close to the ideal of going forth from home to homelessness, and in a world where retreat centres are readily available I don't really see the point other than cultural.

Despite this I did ordain for 3 months before getting married for much the same reasons as outlined by jcsuperstar as my wife is thai and it seemed like the best way for me to get a good long retreat before getting married.

I was lucky to get into a very good forest wat and it was a really good experience but even so I think I probably would have gained more from doing something like the 3 month retreat at IMS.

I do think temporary ordination cheapens the ideal of monkhood and it would be better if people did retreats instead like we do in the West unless they want to make a long commitment, but it was a matter of fitting in with the culture I was marrying into and making a compromise that benefited everyone.
“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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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by MJH » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:50 pm

appicchato wrote:I believe that's a question only you can answer...
Very true, venerable. It is something that I will have to look at deeply. No snap decisions, I promise.
meindzai wrote:Have you been to any centers or done any retreats yet? I would think that such things would be in order first. Also remember there are other options like longer retreats or a residency.

If the opportunity came up for me (time off, ability to travel) I wouldn't hesitate.

-M
Hi Meindzai,

I have a center I go to weekly and I have been on a few (much shorter) retreats, but I do appreciate you bringing these options up. I think it's very important to explore all avenues.

Just for clarification, this is not something I would be able to do right away. I have too many obligations right now. But knowing that it is a viable option has planted a seed. I will be going to India, Sikkim and Bhutan for 3 weeks, very shortly. I hope to have a little time to do some thinking.

This is a very interesting thread. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.

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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by suanck » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:15 am

Goofaholix wrote: Despite this I did ordain for 3 months before getting married for much the same reasons as outlined by jcsuperstar as my wife is thai and it seemed like the best way for me to get a good long retreat before getting married.
Could you tell me a bit more on the procedure of temporary ordination? Is it equivalent to a samanera (novice) ordination? What are the rules you must keep? Do you need to memorize some standard Pali phrases during the ordination? Many monks are required to be present at the ceremony? Could it be conducted anywhere or within a declared sima boundary? etc.

Thanks
Suan.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by Goofaholix » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:09 am

suanck wrote:
Goofaholix wrote: Could you tell me a bit more on the procedure of temporary ordination? Is it equivalent to a samanera (novice) ordination? What are the rules you must keep? Do you need to memorize some standard Pali phrases during the ordination? Many monks are required to be present at the ceremony? Could it be conducted anywhere or within a declared sima boundary? etc.
It was a full Samana ordination and you keep the 227 precepts. I suppose it would be equally possible to do a Samanera ordination instead but it's not generally done in thai culture for those over 20.

Yes you need to memorise the chanting formula and it's pretty long, but they were happy to prompt me when I lapsed. You need lots of monks present (10?) and it has to be within a Sima boundary
“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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Ben
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by Ben » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:47 am

It is something that I am interested in pursuing when my kids have grown up and if my wife lets me go.
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LauraJ
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by LauraJ » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:03 am

My question was very well answered in here, thank you.
I can completely understand why someone would do this and it seems very admirable :)

Best,
Laura
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Conquer the angry man by love. Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar with truth. -The Dhammapada

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ShinMeiDokuJoh
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Re: Temporary Ordination

Post by ShinMeiDokuJoh » Thu May 13, 2010 4:13 pm

suanck wrote:I understand that Temporary Ordination is popular in Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, but this practice is not popular in Sri Lanka. Is it correct ?

Suan
Hi Suanck,

last year I was in Sri Lanka and one Monk told me, that temporary ordination ist not common in SriLanka.

Here is an article about temporary ordination,

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 44,0,0,1,0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Temporary monks for better society By Janaka Perera, Asian Tribune, September 19, 2009

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- After six years, the largely negative attitude among many Sri Lankan Buddhists towards temporary ordination has undergone a welcome change. The credit for this achievement goes to the Buddhist Cultural Centre (BCC) Nedimala, Dehiwala, which arranged for lay Buddhists to become monks and nuns temporarily in 2003. The scheme has become highly successful attracting many young Buddhists to the BCC -run Dekanduwala Meditation Centre, Kahatapitiya, and Kananwila in Horana. The temporary ordination has been limited to a period of 14 days to make it easier for those doing jobs to obtain leave for the purpose. ...etc ...
and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
under the chapter: Ordination some more information about temporary ordination in Sri Lanka:
... In Sri Lanka, temporary ordination is not practiced, and a monk leaving the order is frowned upon. The continuing influence of the caste system in Sri Lanka may play a role in the taboo against temporary ordination and leaving the monkhood. Though Sri Lankan monastic nikayas are often organized along caste lines, men who ordain as monks temporarily pass outside of the conventional caste system, and as such during their time as monks may act (or be treated) in a way that would not be in line with the expected duties and privileges of their caste. ...

With best wishes
ShinMeiDokuJoh
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