How to join a buddhist monastery?

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Mirror
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How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Mirror » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:31 am

Hello my Friends.

I want to be a vajrayana monk in the kagyu tradition.

I'll be glad for any advice. Please forget questions like:"Is it the right decision?, why do you want to be a monk?, etc." I don't have much money, so I can't afford paid retreats or something like that. I want to be just another traditional monk on the northern India (before in Tibet, but now it's not possible, due to the China's invasion to Tibet).

Thank you for everything!

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm

Hello

I'm not a kagyu practicioner but I am going to ordain in the gelug tradition.

My advice really is:
1) speak to your teacher, they will recommend a monastery, who to ordain with etc.
2) visit the monasteries to make sure the conditions are right for you
3) save up money now because you'll have to support yourself to a level
4) this is quite important, you shouldn't have a romantic view of what being a monk will be like
"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

Mirror
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Mirror » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:57 pm

Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm

4) this is quite important, you shouldn't have a romantic view of what being a monk will be like
I don't have any romantic views, but only one expectation, it makes me happier (I mean the true hapiness).

smcj
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by smcj » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:27 pm

I live at a Kagyu monastery that will support its monks in exchange for 40+ hours of work per week. Plus monks are supposed to help with the daily chanting. So it takes quite a lot of effort every day.

PM me if you're interested in working for your keep.
Mirror wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:57 pm
Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm

4) this is quite important, you shouldn't have a romantic view of what being a monk will be like
I don't have any romantic views, but only one expectation, it makes me happier (I mean the true hapiness).
That is the romantic view Lobsang Chojor is talking about.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Mirror
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Mirror » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:18 pm

But what do you think, what makes you happy? I don't take buddhism like a hobby, I take it seriously. It couldn't be comfortable or pleasant. I expect that many years of learning and practising could make your mind more stable and maybe happier. What do you expect from your lifes? Nothing will satisfy you in our materialistic world, because everything is relative. That's why I'm looking for happiness in buddhist teaching.

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Empty Desire
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Empty Desire » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:27 pm

Mirror wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:31 am
Hello my Friends.

I want to be a vajrayana monk in the kagyu tradition.

I'll be glad for any advice. Please forget questions like:"Is it the right decision?, why do you want to be a monk?, etc." I don't have much money, so I can't afford paid retreats or something like that. I want to be just another traditional monk on the northern India (before in Tibet, but now it's not possible, due to the China's invasion to Tibet).

Thank you for everything!
I was a monk in the Thai Forest Tradition between the age of 20-26

From 29 (11 years ago) I practiced as a Lay Practitioner as my primary focus. Pure Land and now Secret Mantra.

In this case I would recommend the Teacher as the main focal point, source of blessings.

Also having lived in Thailand and practiced as a Lay Practitioner in England, there's nothing quite like having people speak the same language, the food being to your liking and also I got quite bad homesickness in Thailand.

Most important thing is to prosper in the Dharma. Within Secret Mantra the source of the lineage is the Guru.

All the best with your Aspiration.
No Beginning, No End, Just Mind......

Attachment's True Face is Aversion....

smcj
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by smcj » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:38 pm

Ok then, great. I'll PM you with the contact information.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:46 pm

Mirror wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:18 pm
But what do you think, what makes you happy? I don't take buddhism like a hobby, I take it seriously. It couldn't be comfortable or pleasant. I expect that many years of learning and practising could make your mind more stable and maybe happier. What do you expect from your lifes? Nothing will satisfy you in our materialistic world, because everything is relative. That's why I'm looking for happiness in buddhist teaching.
The point is that people expect to be happier straight away but holding the vows is very difficult.
"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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Empty Desire
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Empty Desire » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:52 pm

Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:46 pm
The point is that people expect to be happier straight away but holding the vows is very difficult.
That's why you'd need training.
No Beginning, No End, Just Mind......

Attachment's True Face is Aversion....

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Aryjna
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Aryjna » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:23 pm

smcj wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:27 pm
I live at a Kagyu monastery that will support its monks in exchange for 40+ hours of work per week. Plus monks are supposed to help with the daily chanting. So it takes quite a lot of effort every day.
What about long retreats?

Mirror
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Mirror » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:39 pm

Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:46 pm
Mirror wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:18 pm
But what do you think, what makes you happy? I don't take buddhism like a hobby, I take it seriously. It couldn't be comfortable or pleasant. I expect that many years of learning and practising could make your mind more stable and maybe happier. What do you expect from your lifes? Nothing will satisfy you in our materialistic world, because everything is relative. That's why I'm looking for happiness in buddhist teaching.
The point is that people expect to be happier straight away but holding the vows is very difficult.
It depends on your cultural roots and on the conditions of your life. If you are from a poor country, then you don't have a problem at all.

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:10 am

Mirror wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:39 pm
It depends on your cultural roots and on the conditions of your life. If you are from a poor country, then you don't have a problem at all.
I wouldn’t be certain about that, everyone is afflicted by desire and the eight worldly concerns.

Another point about living in India or Nepal, have you looked into visas etc. you’ll have to prove you have the ability to support yourself at least for a short while.
"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

smcj
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by smcj » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:42 am

Aryjna wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:23 pm
smcj wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:27 pm
I live at a Kagyu monastery that will support its monks in exchange for 40+ hours of work per week. Plus monks are supposed to help with the daily chanting. So it takes quite a lot of effort every day.
What about long retreats?
The 3 year retreats are on premises but behind locked gates. Both men's and women's retreats are given. The current retreats won't end until early 2020. It will be some time after that that the next retreats start. There has to be a minimum number of retreatants in order for the next one to start. So it is possible the next one won't start anytime soon. So far only two males and zero females are preparing for retreat. It could be quite a few years away.

As of this writing the practices done during retreat are still in Tibetan. So the more Tibetan language you have under your belt the better. I'm not exactly sure what the specific requirements are though in terms of practice or language for starting retreat. I don't think you can just show up with a check and start a retreat. You've got to be given the green light.

There's also an outside foundation that can give scholarships. I don't know what the requirements are for receiving a scholarship.

Usually people stay here for a while as they are getting ready for doing retreat. I sometimes call this place a retreat factory with a halfway house for retreatants attached. Everybody here, except me, has either done at least one retreat (a half dozen have done two retreats) or is getting ready to do one. I pay rent and help with the dishes, so they don't mind the fact that I'm never going to do retreat. I'd pop a cork if I was pressured into that. So far they have given me a pass.
It depends on your cultural roots and on the conditions of your life.
I have yet to meet a Westerner that has found retreat to be either easy or fun. A good percentage quit part way through and never make it to the end. YMMV.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Aryjna
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Aryjna » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:18 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:42 am
Aryjna wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:23 pm
smcj wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:27 pm
I live at a Kagyu monastery that will support its monks in exchange for 40+ hours of work per week. Plus monks are supposed to help with the daily chanting. So it takes quite a lot of effort every day.
What about long retreats?
The 3 year retreats are on premises but behind locked gates. Both men's and women's retreats are given. The current retreats won't end until early 2020. It will be some time after that that the next retreats start. There has to be a minimum number of retreatants in order for the next one to start. So it is possible the next one won't start anytime soon. So far only two males and zero females are preparing for retreat. It could be quite a few years away.

As of this writing the practices done during retreat are still in Tibetan. So the more Tibetan language you have under your belt the better. I'm not exactly sure what the specific requirements are though in terms of practice or language for starting retreat. I don't think you can just show up with a check and start a retreat. You've got to be given the green light.

There's also an outside foundation that can give scholarships. I don't know what the requirements are for receiving a scholarship.

Usually people stay here for a while as they are getting ready for doing retreat. I sometimes call this place a retreat factory with a halfway house for retreatants attached. Everybody here, except me, has either done at least one retreat (a half dozen have done two retreats) or is getting ready to do one. I pay rent and help with the dishes, so they don't mind the fact that I'm never going to do retreat. I'd pop a cork if I was pressured into that. So far they have given me a pass.
It depends on your cultural roots and on the conditions of your life.
I have yet to meet a Westerner that has found retreat to be either easy or fun. A good percentage quit part way through and never make it to the end. YMMV.
Thanks, do the monks there need a scholarship to do a 3-year retreat, as they cannot keep working during that time?

smcj
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by smcj » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:37 am

...do the monks there need a scholarship to do a 3-year retreat, as they cannot keep working during that time?
They either need to pay for the retreat or get someone else to pay for it. The possible scholarship I mentioned is offered by a separate foundation. It does not come directly from the monastery.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Aryjna
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Aryjna » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:40 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:37 am
...do the monks there need a scholarship to do a 3-year retreat, as they cannot keep working during that time?
They either need to pay for the retreat or get someone else to pay for it. The possible scholarship I mentioned is offered by a separate foundation. It does not come directly from the monastery.
Thanks

yagmort
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by yagmort » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:00 am

hello, Mirror.

i don't want to discourage you so dismiss my words if they don't click with you.

my observation is that many westerners who approach vajrayana have some unsolved psychological issues, mainly childhood traumas with divorced/emotionally and/or physically abusive/emotionally absent/manipulative parents, which were not able to show love, respect, support and appreciation for their children. becoming adults, if they never realised how their troublesome childhood affected them, they seek healing subconciously, but it is a mistake to expect vajrayana practice to heal all those wounds. renunciation from the life which did cause suffering will not heal it, because roots of it lies within. it is crucial for such a person to recognise, accept and heal such issues before putting any serious efforts in a vajrayana practice. you have to be a stable, healthy, confident individual if you want to be a practitioner.

second thing is that in my really humble opinion it's better to find a teacher first and establish a good connection with him before making attempts to be a monk.
if we talk about india then to be a monk there is very difficult due to visa limitations. if you are american that's much easier since u.s. citizens can get 10 years visa with a requirement of not staying longer 6 months, that's you have to leave india for 1 day each 6 months and then you can return. other people probably need student type of visa, which is hard to get from a buddhist institution if you don't have a teacher or someone who can confirm that you study and practice buddhism.
other places like smcj suggested may be easier to stay but still imho to be a monk without spiritual guidance of a teacher whom you trust and respect is like being a sailor on a ship without a captain.

and last thing you don't have to be a monk to be happy. imho buddhism show us that happiness which relies on external conditions - be it monkhood or wealth - is not a true happiness, because 1 external conditions are temporary like everything else in this transient world of samsara and 2 because of attachments for those conditions which makes you feel good. remember, that mahasiddhas fathers of vajrayana and early kagyu masters, like Milarepa, Rechungpa, Ngamdzong Repa, Lingrepa, etc were not monks, but really great practitioners in the first place.

i wish you all the best, man and i hope you'll find answers which bring you peace and happiness.

Mirror
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Mirror » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:47 am

yagmort wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:00 am

second thing is that in my really humble opinion it's better to find a teacher first and establish a good connection with him before making attempts to be a monk.

and last thing you don't have to be a monk to be happy. imho buddhism show us that happiness which relies on external conditions - be it monkhood or wealth - is not a true happiness, because 1 external conditions are temporary like everything else in this transient world of samsara and 2 because of attachments for those conditions which makes you feel good. remember, that mahasiddhas fathers of vajrayana and early kagyu masters, like Milarepa, Rechungpa, Ngamdzong Repa, Lingrepa, etc were not monks, but really great practitioners in the first place.

Mirror
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Mirror » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:55 am

yagmort wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:00 am

second thing is that in my really humble opinion it's better to find a teacher first and establish a good connection with him before making attempts to be a monk.

and last thing you don't have to be a monk to be happy. imho buddhism show us that happiness which relies on external conditions - be it monkhood or wealth - is not a true happiness, because 1 external conditions are temporary like everything else in this transient world of samsara and 2 because of attachments for those conditions which makes you feel good. remember, that mahasiddhas fathers of vajrayana and early kagyu masters, like Milarepa, Rechungpa, Ngamdzong Repa, Lingrepa, etc were not monks, but really great practitioners in the first place.
I don't take a buddhist monastery like a Christians do with their own monasteries. I take it as a school with teachers. I don't want to go there just, because I want to be a monk, I want go there because I want to learn something about buddhism. In my country isn't any teacher, that's why I want to go to the monastery. Being monk won't make me happy, but practise, learning and guidance of the teacher.

Miroku
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Re: How to join a buddhist monastery?

Post by Miroku » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:42 am

Mirror wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:55 am
yagmort wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:00 am

second thing is that in my really humble opinion it's better to find a teacher first and establish a good connection with him before making attempts to be a monk.

and last thing you don't have to be a monk to be happy. imho buddhism show us that happiness which relies on external conditions - be it monkhood or wealth - is not a true happiness, because 1 external conditions are temporary like everything else in this transient world of samsara and 2 because of attachments for those conditions which makes you feel good. remember, that mahasiddhas fathers of vajrayana and early kagyu masters, like Milarepa, Rechungpa, Ngamdzong Repa, Lingrepa, etc were not monks, but really great practitioners in the first place.
I don't take a buddhist monastery like a Christians do with their own monasteries. I take it as a school with teachers. I don't want to go there just, because I want to be a monk, I want go there because I want to learn something about buddhism. In my country isn't any teacher, that's why I want to go to the monastery. Being monk won't make me happy, but practise, learning and guidance of the teacher.
There are also work and study programs.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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