Preparing for Ordination in Chan

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Preparing for Ordination in Chan

Post by Dharmasherab »

I am making this thread more on behalf of an online group and its potential members who would be Chan Buddhists rather than myself.

The questions is how to best prepare as a lay Buddhist in one’s practice prior to ordaining in the Chan school of Buddhism?

It is about collecting all types of ideas on how to best prepare as a lay Buddhist before making the decision of ordaining as a monastic as well as a lay ordained member in Chan with a view to making that a lifetime commitment (and not a trial). It is also about how to optimise one’s practice as a Buddhist before making the decision to ordain in Chan.

I hope to share these ideas with the online group because we are a group looking for all types of advice and suggestions for ordination and the way to prepare for Chan ordination will be of great benefit. But even otherwise people who are are thinking of ordaining in Chan in this forum might find the comments helpful.

I am aware there could be Chan monastics/priests/lay-ordained members who are highly aware of the difference between the lay life and monastic life and I will be very thankful for their advice. I can also appreciate there could be lay Chan Buddhists who are already optimizing themselves before ordination and I will be thankful for their tips and suggestions too.

Names of books, documents, websites, links to web articles and videos will be highly appreciated (as long as their within the boundaries of ToS).

Thank you.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Preparing for Ordination in Chan

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

I dunno as I am no zen expert. But I'd say that it is like everywhere else. You have to engage with teacher. Really meditate a lot, study and think about the teachings. Also work on your conduct. As far as I know the zen ordination seems to be the one that is most available (at least here in Czechia as there are not many monks here or any monastery). Also it seems that zen monastics are really devoted students of zen usually, so unless you know you can meditate daily for some hours and follow strict conduct (although I believe sex and meat is allowed in some schools) don't do it.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Re: Preparing for Ordination in Chan

Post by RisingSon »

Hello Dharmasherab,

I would recommend getting into contact with a teacher. This doesn't have to be hard, I've met mine through the internet and would really recommend getting into contact with one to help you understand the path of Chan (we are having a weekly meeting through an online platform with other enthousiasts).
Besides this, I can recommend studying "The Platform Sutra" by Hui-Neng, The Diamond Sutra & the Heart Sutra.... 3 very essential Chan Sutra's.
Maintaining a practice of sitting meditation (Silent Illumination) for around 30 minutes and keep applying 'Ordinary mind is the way' to daily activities.
Hope this helps

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Re: Preparing for Ordination in Chan

Post by SilenceMonkey »

I asked a few nuns in China this question. They joked that as long as you can memorize the Surangama mantra, you'll be fine. They do this mantra as well as great compassion dharani and the ten small mantras for morning service. In the evening they alternate reciting the Amitabha sutra and 88 Buddhas repentence each night.
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