Hello Huseng, if you truly are in search of a teacher to teach you the ways of enlightenment, i wouldn't waste my time with the 4 major temples.Huseng wrote:There are pros and cons.Jnana wrote: For example, in some organizations the process leading toward full ordination can take 5 or more years, during which time both the applicant and the senior monastics can periodically assess the mental fitness and aptitude of the candidate. IMO this is a good thing, and should probably be more widely adopted.
The dropout rate for such seminaries in Taiwan, at least among males, is quite high. A lot of men start out wanting to become monks, but drop out before they are permitted the full precepts.
I think it has less to do with adjusting to celibacy, but more to do with the stringent demands placed on them. You surrender all freedom and autonomy in such seminary programs. They make you memorize liturgy as a requirement for ordination, train you to follow their version of social conventions (like how to eat with their version of table manners) and arrange your schedule for you. At the end it is the powers that be that decide whether or not you are qualified to become a monk. I imagine if you demonstrated an unwillingness to comply with authority they'd see you as unfit even if you were fine with celibacy and all other basic monastic norms. Obedience to authority shouldn't be a prerequisite for receiving precepts.
Such a program, in my mind, is suited to adolescents maybe, but not adult males who already have an education and plenty of life experience (and a will of their own).
I've come to wonder if in contemporary Taiwanese Buddhist seminaries they didn't get a lot of their ideas from Jesuit missionaries and/or the military. In East Asia at least the old model was basically one where a novice lived with their preceptor for some years, learned the ropes from him/her and then got full precepts.
I think a lot of would-be monks are fine with celibacy. It is just the psychologically crushing seminary program that turns them off.
You know, as much as how Taiwan irks me nowadays with its bloody commercialism (ain't too much of a difference between Taiwan and China nowadays), there is still quite a number of enlightened teachers in Taiwan. Buddhism isn't the only school which teaches the ways of enlightenment.
If you wanna stick with buddhism, then I suggest looking for the smaller temples in the Taiwanese mountains. The more rural and isolated the temple, the higher your chances of finding a true enlightened teacher. Stay away from the cities.
The truly enlightened ones do not waste their time and energies mixing with the mundane masses. Nor do they require large amounts of money. I assume your asian language is above average. Ask the villagers.