Resources for monastic ordination

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Kaung
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Location: Yangon Burma

Resources for monastic ordination

Post by Kaung » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:16 pm

Hello everyone,
I’ve really been considering about receiving monastic ordination and I strongly believe this is my direction in life but I’m at a loss because there seems to be very few resources and support especially for foreign aspirants.The only resource I can find is from FPMT.I think it’s something you do privately with your teacher.I’m looking for a monastery in Nepal or India that can facilitate foreigners(which Kopan isn’t) preferably Kagyu or Nyingma.I can only think of Ka Nying Shedrub Ling.I’m also seeking advice on how to proceed,general advice,things to consider and so on.

pemachophel
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Re: Resources for monastic ordination

Post by pemachophel » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:46 pm

In the West, people take Holy Orders in, for instance, the Catholic Church. As part of that, they typically take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. They enter their Order's monastery or nunnery and then the Order provides for their food, lodging, healthcare, retirement, etc. However, that was never the model in Tibetan Buddhism (don't know about other Asian countries,; I see you're from Myanmar/Burma). Monks and nuns had to provide their own food and lodging. Parents typically supported their monk and nun children. Otherwise Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns had/have to beg or even work in order to support themselves. This is a real hindrance for Western and other non-Tibetan/Himalayan practitioners who want to ordain and who want to practice full-time. Tibetan monasteries and nunneries are just not set up the way especially Westerners think of monasteries and nunneries. So, for non-Himalayan people, one either has to be a trust-funder, have a patron/s, do some sort of fundraising periodically, or work. If one is older and retired with some type of retirement income (Social Security, IRA, etc.), then that could also work. Or maybe one has won the lottery or cashed in their tech start-up stock options.

This issue has been discussed a number of times before here on Dharmawheel.

Sorry that I cannot tell you where you can go, sign the dotted line, take the vows, and then be taken care of by "the Order" as one pursues their religious vocation.

Good luck & best wishes.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Kaung
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:04 am
Location: Yangon Burma

Re: Resources for monastic ordination

Post by Kaung » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:04 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:46 pm
In the West, people take Holy Orders in, for instance, the Catholic Church. As part of that, they typically take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. They enter their Order's monastery or nunnery and then the Order provides for their food, lodging, healthcare, retirement, etc. However, that was never the model in Tibetan Buddhism (don't know about other Asian countries,; I see you're from Myanmar/Burma). Monks and nuns had to provide their own food and lodging. Parents typically supported their monk and nun children. Otherwise Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns had/have to beg or even work in order to support themselves. This is a real hindrance for Western and other non-Tibetan/Himalayan practitioners who want to ordain and who want to practice full-time. Tibetan monasteries and nunneries are just not set up the way especially Westerners think of monasteries and nunneries. So, for non-Himalayan people, one either has to be a trust-funder, have a patron/s, do some sort of fundraising periodically, or work. If one is older and retired with some type of retirement income (Social Security, IRA, etc.), then that could also work. Or maybe one has won the lottery or cashed in their tech start-up stock options.

This issue has been discussed a number of times before here on Dharmawheel.

Sorry that I cannot tell you where you can go, sign the dotted line, take the vows, and then be taken care of by "the Order" as one pursues their religious vocation.

Good luck & best wishes.
In Burma, the monastery normally would take care of its monks BUT there were always exceptions and in most cases the monks are left to fend for themselves.They either needed strong family support or wealthy patrons to engage in full-time study and practice or you’re left with the option of working for the monastery.Our family currently supports quite a few monks and it’s sometimes not very easy both for us and the monks.So,I think it’s the same problem here but I’m quite confused how such things can happen because both in Tibetan and Burmese traditions,the tradition of supporting monastic institutes is quite developed.In short, a wealthy sponsor IS a necessity.In that case,I have my family BUT they promised to support me only if I oradain as a Theravadan monk :thinking:

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Aryjna
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Re: Resources for monastic ordination

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:24 pm

There may be some options, but it may be very difficult to find ideal circumstances. Namdroling, which is of the Palyul lineage of Nyingma, seems to be an option. There is information here:

http://www.palyul.org/eng_about_monasticvows.htm

It is quite clear though that only the very basics are covered, so if you need to travel to meet other teachers, pay for a visa, etc., you will need some extra money.

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yan kong
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Re: Resources for monastic ordination

Post by yan kong » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:30 pm

I believe Sravasti Abbey in Washington state does a short program which is discovering monastic life. They practice Gelug but still it would help you get your feet wet.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun

Kaung
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:04 am
Location: Yangon Burma

Re: Resources for monastic ordination

Post by Kaung » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:36 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:24 pm
There may be some options, but it may be very difficult to find ideal circumstances. Namdroling, which is of the Palyul lineage of Nyingma, seems to be an option. There is information here:

http://www.palyul.org/eng_about_monasticvows.htm

It is quite clear though that only the very basics are covered, so if you need to travel to meet other teachers, pay for a visa, etc., you will need some extra money.
Yes,I’m pretty much aware.That’s the same here. :shrug: Well,better get some accomplishments in wealth practices in that case :tongue:

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Resources for monastic ordination

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:14 pm

I don't know about Nyingma and Kagyu monasteries as I'm from a Gelug background but the ordination is the same so I hope this can be of some help.

Most western sangha I know worked for a bit prior to their ordination, although I personally haven't had any advice about this from my teacher. You're fortunate that your parents support your wish to ordain, is there any way you can convince them to support you as a Mahayana monk?

Unfortunately there isn't many online resources because it's such a personal thing with your teacher, they might tell you which monastery you should study at or what you should do prior to ordaining.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

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