Monks don’t usually spend all their time sitting in silence. A week, a few weeks or a month or two is quite common, with most Thai businesses allowing unpaid leave so a Thai man can become a monk. The path to those 227 rules of conduct takes place along a journey of four steps. Love who you’re with. Monks must be at least 21 years old before agreeing to take a vow to follow the 36 rules of conduct for a novice monk. Monks cannot be judged by the dress they wear. Wherever you feel your breath the most (tip of nose, throat, stomach, etc), you try to focus on that area – and clear your mind of any other thought. Change and destiny, especially my own, bore a lot of weight. And Toffer – I would like to borrow that book, if possible. I also have another one of his books Wherever You go There You Are. Now I had the opportunity to ask the above question to two Thai Buddhist monks who were visiting Joensuu for a few days. How does one initially become a Buddhist? The merit that arises from good deeds should lead to a happy life and, subsequently, a good rebirth. Becoming a monk for a man in Thailand shows his commitment to his Buddhist faith. This is my first time entering this blog and I like your writing about the Buddhist monks and meditation so I have something to share. Requesting Ordination. By Gaël Blanchemain. There are eventually 227 rules of conduct for male monks. You close your eyes and only focus on “seeing” your breathing. We are very fortunate that the monastic tradition started by the Buddha is still alive today, thanks to the devotion, dedication and efforts of many thousands of monks and nuns in Asia over the last 2500 years. It was also difficult not to be distracted as my legs and butt slowly felt more discomfort from sitting in the same position, as I felt an itch on my face, or as some other distraction occurred in the room – but supposedly those distractions provide the best opportunities to really focus on your breathing in deeper way. He always spent all his extra time at the temple which was in his village, respected the monks, and knew that is what he wanted to do. AIDS, hunger, conservation, animal protection, and so on. As I was sitting there, my brain kept rushing through thoughts of things that had happened or things that were coming up which I needed to do. Buddhist monks take it as part of their training to care for their own Saṅgha members as well as for the devotees, particularly when they are ill. I think nobody can answer your question but you. Meditation will serve this purpose. Check out books from the library, do research on line, and if possible, take classes from an instructor who has been ordained as a monk. I did enjoy it but as a normally tense person It was kind of strange to experience the “letting go” feeling. I had to be true to who I was, or what I was to become. So, to get rid of the feeling of “self” is the only way to liberate ourselves from the illusion. My personal mantra when I’m going about my day is “Be where you are. Once they can help themselves, they can use their life helping the others — especially in the term that they help the others have less sufferings in life. Required fields are marked *. Girls, girls, girls….. As a Buddhist monk, you’ll take the vow of chastity (unless you become a Zen … Becoming a Buddhist is a journey that anyone can choose to make. Also don’t worry about your English, I’m just glad that you shared your thoughts. However, I did not reach any permanent state of pure mind just yet, that’s why I came out of the cave and entered the real material world. If you are beginning to think seriously about becoming a monk at Shasta Abbey, here is some information for you to consider. I’m writing this from Bangkok, Thailand. Then, when you are ready, you can formally become a Buddhist by undertaking the Affirmation or Ordination Ceremony. It can actually be quite physically demanding at times. The less we attach our mind to it, the less suffering we will feel. I’ve never tried Buddhist meditation before, but I found it quite difficult yet enjoyable. Hi I started going to a Thai Buddhist temple and after six months became a monk. When my mind is anxious, or I do this before bed it helps me sleep a lot better! The ultimate understanding of all is that there is no “self” in life. Glad to come in here and join the blog. Do one thing at a time. Both your experiences are really interesting. It was in 1986 at age 21, I stayed 7 years, then left, as I felt unhappy. I do this until I feel like I’ve cleared my heart of everything that would otherwise fester, and filled my life with peaceful thoughts. The going forth. (Sometimes the same word keeps coming back to my mind–in which case I keep expelling that same emotion until I feel like it’s gone!) There seems to be many types of meditation and I think whichever a person chooses can be beneficial for them. 489978 8:10 - 8:14 Maybe I'm going to offend the other monks because of my existence. But what all Buddhist monks have in common is them striving to do good deeds. I’m curious what stuff other people do to slow down for a bit and contemplate? The Basic Concept of Buddhism. I lowered myself down to pick up the watch. It’s important to understand that my time as a monk was not necessarily typical of a monk’s life in Myanmar. Both seemed very happy (aside from the cold weather, that is.). The most important life lesson I learned was trying something three … This is a question only you can truly answer. Love, greed and anger, for instance, once attached to our mind, it brings sudden and long term suffering. Those books sound neat, Toff! Here are my thoughts, but if anyone else knows better – feel free to correct me. The 11 months after that, it’s like heaven and you didn’t want to come back. Your email address will not be published. There are different kinds, but we sat with our legs crossed, back straight but not rigid, and hands comfortably in our lap. Those responsibilities will haunt you anyway. Slowing down enough so that your conscience can speak – digging past appearance to substance – transcending the immediate emotion or feeling to the deeper parts of existence and the core of who you are. For at least, we can experience the empty mind at sometimes of a day. Twenty years later, I still long for that moment again. Keep trying until you get it right. They sweep, they clean, they fix broken things. One of the main reasons you become a monk is to have more time to meditate. Dont get me wrong. Some monks work in humanitarian needs i.e. Churn those things early in the morning to decide. Once, there is no attachment, once all sufferings and fears disappear. Despite the lack of formal qualifications needed to become ordained within the Buddhist faith, however, an acceptance of the Buddhist teachings and a willingness to apply these teachings where they can … This means that Buddhism would have to categorically reject Jesus from even starting the path to becoming a monk, because not only did He identify Himself as God, but He identified as the Son of the Godhead who is the Creator and moral lawgiver for all of creation. We called it ‘mind objects’. I found it interesting that the author points out at the beginning that our thoughts are not us. There is also a wide variety of ages, from age 15 to 79, though most of the monastics are in their 20’s and 30’s. Familiarize yourself with Buddhist teachings. by Clint | Jun 11, 2008 | Cross-cultural perspectives, Religion | 5 comments. Buddhism also rejects the notion of a Creator that provides value for the world. Just for a thought of today. To become a bhikkhu, it is sufficient to want it!This is the main going forth. Japanese monk names, for example, almost always consist of two characters, in which at least one of these characters has a special Buddhist meaning. Maybe I’m totally missing some of the most important things, so feel free to correct me if you know any better. Most monks wake up early and meditate for 1… I was told earlier that in certain Buddhist traditions every boy is expected to spend a period of 3-6 months as a monk (as a sign of love to his mother), but only certain ones decide to continue to live in the monastery and spend their life as a monk. That’s the best feeling in the world! He relates stories of people whose minds are so caught up in the past or in the future that they are never “here”. First of all, we use the term “monk” for both male and female monastics. I’d rather be with who I’m with–usually =o)–and want them to know it.). Some monks who reached a certain higher state of mind may just wear ordinary dress and work in the office in downtown New York. Log in. It does not matter whether you are born... We will be guiding you through the paths of becoming a true Buddhist with these three steps:. Every moment of time of those Arahat will be passed on through the complete mindfullness or purified mind. Even our body is not ours, how can love, greed, and anger can be ours. I also think it is a healthy thing to do. With the proper preparation and sense of commitment, anyone can take the vows of a Buddhist monk or nun and enter the walls of monastic life. But yes, one must not run away from the responsibilities just because we cannot take it. Monks and nuns in the Plum Village tradition are celibate and make a deep commitment to the community. We need to control our mind, and learn to let things go at will. As I picked it up, I felt it was one of the heaviest things I had ever picked up. Love brings fear – i.e. How To Become A Buddhist Introduction. how to become a monk? But once you become an Arahat or a person who reached enlightenment, you will automatically liberate yourself from sexual desires, and other mind objects. 5 things to do if you want to become a Buddhist monk. That’s why they are all not worth clinging to. Though our monastic Sangha represents many co… Many Buddhists monks and nuns are celibate. When I breathe in, I think, “In with ____” and usually say ‘peace’ first, but say whatever positive feeling that comes to my mind. A couple of years have passed since I wrote “4 things you should know if you want to be a Buddhist monk”. Both books are about mindfulness/awareness. But that doesn't mean that everybody should. Or does anyone know any other reasons why meditation is healthy? The first one month was a nightmare because I could not control my mind. Why I think meditation is healthy? While we normal people think it’s a kind of illusion to stay alone and away from society, many monks (maybe included the Buddha himself) think the outside world itself is the illusion. That’s why ordinary people like us need to learn to see inside our heart and learn every bit of the internal movement as much as possible. Everything is subject for changes, including all mind objects. This term implies leaving the household life, living in the monastery and ordination into the Buddhist priesthood. At the Buddhist Faith Fellowship, we highly suggest taking a beginner’s course in our Buddhism 1.0 series to learn about the basics. They live, practice, and teach as a community and not as individuals. There seems to be something good about being in the present moment. "What inspired you to go into Buddhism and ultimately becoming a monk?" Becoming a Buddhist minister is an opportunity and calling open to anyone interested. They have seriously helped me to start thinking a little more clearly and to be more in the moment. Yongyut – thank you for sharing your interesting experience with Buddhist mediation and philosophy. STEP 4: Becoming a Buddhist Being a monk means living in spiritual, … Becoming a monk is extremely easy. They even think the “self” does not exist. When I breathe out, I think “Out with ____” and say whatever negative emotion that comes to my mind. Becoming a Monk. In Theravada Buddhism, there is a tradition that the son of the family is supposed to become a monk (at least once in the lifetime) in order to repay their parents’ favors.. Being a monk allowed him to continue his studies, and he has now graduated from the Buddhist university in linguistics, having studied semitic languages and Buddhist traditions. I don’t know if you have ever sat for an entire hour before in the same position and just tried to only focus on one thing in the moment – but it is tough. Although some monasteries offer part-time ordination, in most schools of Buddhism, the choice to become a Buddhist monk or nun is a lifetime commitment. Once they can help themselves, they can use their life helping the others — especially in the term that they help the others have less sufferings in life. It puts everything else into perspective and nearly always makes me feel lighter and happier, or more enabled to handle particular challenges with a clearer mind. Preparing for a Monastic Life Devote yourself to religion. I spoke with them briefly before a couple of meditation sessions that my good friend Antony invited me to (which they kind of took us through). If you’re new to Buddhism and would like to know where to start please check my post. Monks learn best on this as their final goal is to get rid off the ‘self’ completely. In fact, monasteries in Asia can be quite noisy and bustling places.Monks typically have many chores to do around the monastery. (Although it is not about Buddhism, it reminds me of movie called “Peaceful Warrior” which I would recommend that deals with being in the present moment. The reason is that we cannot control our “self”. I’m not a guru in Buddhism but I still want to share some ideas as I have interest in the issue on this blog. I thought, by me becoming a Buddhist monk, 487284 8:07 - 8:10 I might degrade the impression of Buddhism. Because it’s all about the internal world. Nothing is real. After this, the only question was when I would become a monk, and that was only a matter of time. The first step includes the Five Precepts, in which a layperson pledges to: The first time the abbot asked me, I said ‘’I could never become a monk’’. Personally, I think of prayer when I think of meditation, and love to try to clear my mind and just listen and be at peace particularly in the temple. For the whole first 12 months, I lived in a cave, with other monks, and spent day and night meditating. The vocation to be a monk requires a wholehearted commitment. Depends on the tradition/school/country, but you're a mindless slave for a minimum of 6 months to a couple of years, where you really don't do anything special beyond house chores (cleaning, scrubbing, dusting), then study sutras and/or koans for another couple of years until you get ordained as a proper monk. One of these monks said that he wanted to become a monk since he was a small boy. It may sound weird but that’s what we are taught to do. Monks learn best on this as their final goal is to get rid off the ‘self’ completely. I had been a monk myself for 4 years. It is a freedom from all of the worldly needs. It is a freedom from all of the worldly needs. The other monk said that he came from a very poor family and always wanted an education beyond the primary school. Your email address will not be published. I was not aware this post would be read by 33000 people, many of whom subsequently emailed me about their project to embrace the simple and tough ascetic life. We think having all we want is the way, despite the fact that, the more we want, the more we want more.. and more. I took the opportunity just this last Tuesday to take a class on Yoga Nidra and Walking Meditation. Begin your path to becoming a monk by understanding the basics about Buddhism. I know this will be a years / decades long journey simply to find the correct teacher, let alone be accepted, let alone travel to another country/learn another language and become a monk etc. Specifically, something that works for me is to close my eyes and focus on breathing. I must say the calming influence it had was a bit weird. It’s just an wandering object visiting us from times to times. This rule (and some of the others that follow) will be familiar to long-time … Try the lifestyle out before you commit to it. Live today!” (And I try not to take text messages when I’m with people for that reason. I imagine ridding my heart and mind and soul and body of it with the exhale. Any person can be a Buddhist. Also, we offer a Growth Track to help guide you on your journey. 494248 8:14 - 8:17 Then I don't want to be a monk. However, as a human being, most of us don’t believe that’s a way to bring happiness to our lives. fear to lose love, fear to get the things we don’t love, fear to observe the changing phenomenon. We Buddhists are taught to let go all attachements to our mind. It … Somehow it is fulfilling and reenergizing to clear away the clutter. Usually the first feeling that comes is one of being loved by God. And, I believe, enables us to be more receptive to the sweet and quiet voice of the Spirit. As a candidate to become a monastic you should stay at Blue Cliff Monastery for at least three months. The world inside us, when clearing from all thoughts and worries, is as clearly as cristal. The Buddhist Dharma appears from my (admittedly limited) understanding to be ultimately true and I want to deepen my understanding of that truth. I would suggest that you visit a Buddhist monastery and live with the monks for a week. Early I had a blog entry about Catholic monks. Technologies for Intercultural Communication, Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), Professors of Instructional Design & Technology (PIDT), Department of Instructional Psychology and Technology, BYU, Podcast on Buildling Cross-Cultural Awareness, The First International Workshop on Intercultural Collaboration, Wiki on Culture and Communication in Online Environments. In the Plum Village monastic communities there are monks and nuns from many different countries including France, England, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Canada, Sweden, Portugal, USA, and Australia. Sorry with my poor English. It is one of my favorite movies at the moment. One can be of any race, country, socio-economic background, gender, etc. Read the pros and cons of renouncing the world physically to become a monk. We thought the opposite. I just recently started reading a book called Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zin. 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