Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Thread: How does one become a Buddhist monk?

  1. #1
    Forums Member Karma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    168

    How does one become a Buddhist monk?

    How does one become a Buddhist monk? Does one just turn up at a monastery and say "hello, I'd like to be a monk"? What is the criteria of acceptance into the monastery?

  2. #2
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
    Location
    Under the Bodhi Tree
    Posts
    5,679
    Quote Originally Posted by Karma View Post
    How does one become a Buddhist monk? Does one just turn up at a monastery and say "hello, I'd like to be a monk"? What is the criteria of acceptance into the monastery?
    Good OP Karma... So please can also be given some advice to become a Bhikkhuni in Theravada, preferably for the Thai Forest Tradition.

    Last edited by Esho; 14 Oct 11 at 14:12.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Karma View Post
    How does one become a Buddhist monk? Does one just turn up at a monastery and say "hello, I'd like to be a monk"? What is the criteria of acceptance into the monastery?
    Hi Karma,

    In Theravada Thai Forest tradition monasteries I think to begin with its usual to stay as a guest at a monastery for a period of time to see how one gets on within the community. After that one can request to become an Anagarika which is the first of the training processes for monks. After that one then becomes a novice monk for a while and finally after another period of time one takes full ordination.

    The best thing to do is to contact a monastery of choice and ask for details. Whatever the tradition, you can't become a monk straight away you have to follow other procedures first.

    If you live in the UK, I would suggest getting in touch with Amaravati monastery - or Chithurst - and getting some information from them.

    Here's the website for Amaravati.

    http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/index.php/about_us/faq


    with kind wishes,

    Aloka

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaarine Alejandra View Post
    Good OP Karma... So please can also be given some advice to become a Bhikkhuni in Theravada, preferably for the Thai Forest Tradition.

    I don't think one can take the full bhikkuni ordination in the Forest Tradition. Element is probably the best person to ask about that.

    I think Abhayagiri monastery in California might be the nearest place to where you live, Kaarine

  5. #5
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    418
    Meanwhile...take a look at this, this & this too
    Last edited by plwk; 14 Oct 11 at 15:00.

  6. #6
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
    Location
    Under the Bodhi Tree
    Posts
    5,679
    Thanks Friends,


  7. #7
    Forums Member Karma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    168
    Thanks, Amaratvati is very close to where I live, just 50 minutes away by car and I'm planning to visit in the near future. I'm not actually planning on becoming a Buddhist monk as the youngest of my children is still at school and I have commitments to her and my wife. I was just asking out of curiosity really but I would seriously consider it if it wasn't for my personal commitments.

  8. #8
    Forums Member FBM's Avatar
    Location
    S. Korea
    Posts
    666
    Hi, Karma. I can only speak about how it worked for me in Thailand, but if you're curious:

    I showed up unannounced at a temple/monastery/meditation retreat. The Ajahn was away, but I got permission from the ranking monk to stay for a few days. The rule was that if you're going to stay over 3 days, you have to shave your head (and eyebrows) and wear a white uniform (supplied). I did all that on my second day, if I recall correctly. A few days later, I had a personal interview with the ranking monk (through bi-lingual monks). He is/was among the most gentle/humble people I've ever known. (I later found out that he did the Patimokkha recitations every couple of weeks.)

    He asked me about my interest in and knowledge about Buddhism, and about how things are done in Korea, why I didn't want to ordain in Korea, etc. After a while, he said that I could stay in a kuti for as long as I wanted and help out taking care of the monks' needs as a layperson. (Laypeople can't usually stay in kutis, but he understood that I was seriously contemplating ordination.) He told me to take as much time as I needed to decide what I wanted to do, and in the meantime get a good look at a monk's life from the inside.

    After a month or so, I met with the Ajahn, who'd since returned from his trip. I told him that I'd decided to ordain, but that I should take a trip back to the States to settle my affairs back there. He said it would be fine. When I got back a month later, I started memorizing the ordination procedure in Pali. (I also had to leave Thailand for a few days and come back with a different visa.)

    As a foreigner, I could only get permission to take the samanera vows first. When that day came, I went through the samanera ordination. "Esaham, bhante..." At one point, they lead you out and dress you in the brown (for forest monks, anyway) robes. That's when I found out that monks can't wear underwear.

    It's up to the Ajahn to decide when the samanera is ready for full ordination. They estimated 3~6 months. I stayed for a year, but never requested full ordination. (That's a long story.) Anyway, that's the way I went about it in the forest tradition in Thailand. It's very easy, really.

  9. #9
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,713
    Quote Originally Posted by FBM View Post
    ... you have to shave your head (and eyebrows) and wear a white uniform (supplied)...and in the meantime get a good look at a monk's life from the inside. It's up to the Ajahn to decide when the samanera is ready for full ordination. They estimated 3~6 months. It's very easy, really.
    the above reflects my understanding, also

  10. #10
    Forums Member Karma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    168
    Thanks for that FBM.
    That's when I found out that monks can't wear underwear.
    I learn something new everyday

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Thu, 8:49 AM Thu, 10:49 AM Thu, 4:49 PM Thu, 9:19 PM Thu, 11:49 PM Fri, 2:49 AM