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Student Of The Path

BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
edited September 2014 in Buddhism Today

So friends,

Tonight I will be driving to Maryland to stay with friends and then tomorrow the two hour drive to Bhavana Society to begin my journey, however long it lasts. I will be going in as a resident with intent to renounce and if all goes well(ie I feel the life is right for me, and the monastics feel I'm appropriate), in two years will be a fully ordained Bhikkhu.

I've been keeping updates mostly on a thread I started when I put my application in, but I wanted to use this thread from here on in to post updates. "Student of the Path" is the name I chose for my youtube channel and blog years ago and I think it's a fitting name for this thread. We dhamma practitioners are all students of the well trod path of the noble ones.

For those interested I will be mostly posting updates and journaling on my blog (http://jayantha.tumblr.com/) but I will also be coming here. I know this forum has been a wealth of information for me the last few years as I've moved towards my path so hopefully I can provide some information for others following the same path.

Lastly I'd like to post my final "goodbye" facebook/blog post:

Well, this is it my friends, as of tomorrow at noon I will be at Bhavana Society of West Virginia, so of course I have to write a big silly post with nerdy references, it's what I do :).

There is a traveling song from the Lord of the Rings that has been in my head lately and I think it fits the occasion:

"Home is behind
The world ahead
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadow
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight"

"Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall fade"

Home is indeed behind me and the world ahead. In the grand adventure that is life, I now begin the next chapter. There will be mountains and forests to traverse and many people to meet on this journey, but the greatest adventure is and always shall be the one that takes you deep inside to the inner workings of "you".

There are many wondrous landscapes to see on the inner journey, many strange creatures. You will even do battle with the armies of your own ego, which is much more powerful then Sauron could ever dream to be and who's vast armies hold sway over everything you do and everything you are, if you let them. This battle however, is unlike any other battle in history, as it is a battle you cannot win by fighting.

Can you tell the importance of fantasy adventure and the heroes journey in my life? For so much of my life I have lost myself in grand adventures with wizards, warriors and dragons. To this day I still enjoy these games and stories, these fantasy worlds, but I've come to see that our own world itself is a fantasy world, with the same elements of fantasy, human nature and the same nagging feeling that there is something more, that this is not quite the true reality, the true nature of things.

There was one man who's story follows the "Heroes Journey" arc, the Buddha, who had these same feelings, and he made the determination to find the true reality of existence. The Buddha "woke up" from the dream of existence, which is why he is called "Buddha", the "awakened one". He was an amazing man(and he was just a man) who did an amazing thing that we all are capable of doing and I can only hope to follow the path he tread to lasting peace and happiness.

So I leave you these few(snicker ;P) words before I begin my next adventure. It's funny that it is not until you "leave" that you begin to realize how much of an impact you've had on other peoples lives, and how much of an impact they have had on yours. I thank you all for being a friend in the past, and into the future. You have all played a part, small or large, in helping me become the man I am today and I thank you for that.

I am "leaving" now, but I'm really not, I will still be around on Facebook, and my blog(http://jayantha.tumblr.com/) which is where I will be doing most of my updating and journaling of my adventure. There is nothing sure or secure with this next chapter, I could move out to West Virginia and last a month, or I could be there for the rest of my life, no one knows and no one can know. Life itself, and all existence, is uncertain.

For my old friend Raef Lawson I should add in a line from our favorite TV mini series Merlin, with Sam Neil, from 1997. When Arthur is questioned about the type of king he will become, he says these words " I cannot know what I'll become, only what I am". These words(and many others from that story) have stuck with me and ring truth.

I do not know what I'll become but what I do know however is that I can trust my gut, my intuition. It has never lead me astray. Thats not to say that It has never lead me through tough and trying situations in my life, it has, but it has ALL been worth it and has shaped the man I am today, which is a man I'm happy to be stuck with. My Intuition tells me that this is a calling for me, this is what I want to do with my life, and it may be just that, or it may be another adventure to move on from in the future.

People have asked me lately if I'm excited for this next adventure, and I am excited, but I'm also scared. There is nothing wrong with being scared and admitting it, what you don't want to do is allow fear to control your life. These two emotions(excitement and fear) create a nice balance, a middle path, that allows me to take this day by day. There is a great quote that goes like this " Do something that scares you every day". This scares me, it scares my ego most of all, who will be going through a big detox program followed by an IOP(love you my former co-workers :P), to cleanse itself of all the impurities and distractions in the mind.

So friends, I will see you on the path, safe journeys to you all,

Joe D(Jayantha)

HamsakaVictoriousbookwormEarthninjalobsterStraight_ManDavidkarastianatamanBunksVastmindNamadaDhammaDragonToshDredsmisecmisc1lamaramadingdongnamarupaTheswingisyellowpegembaraRebornsndymornRowan1980stavros388dantepwNichyWalkerInvincible_summermockeymind
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Comments

  • Lonely_TravellerLonely_Traveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    Good luck @Jayantha‌. I hope you reach the far shore in this very life.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Best of luck to you in your journey!

  • And a safe journey to you, wherever your path takes you.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    I'm really happy for you Jayantha, you inspire me.

    Earthninja
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    I signed up with Tumblr to get notifications when you blog. Wow, here you go!

  • best of luck and have smooth walking in the spiritual Path

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    All best wishes ... no matter what.

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    May all beings benefit!

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    This is incredible, go well :)

  • :bowdown: .

    Bravo.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    Sweet.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Best wishes, and safe and wonderful journeys to you! I will be following along :)

    dantepw
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    ... \ lol / ...

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Hurrah!

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Best of luck @Jayantha‌. You are (and continue to be) an inspiration to us all!!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Get into the habit of making your bed the moment you leave it. Then, falling back into it won't be so tempting! :lol: .

    Just kidding.... What I wouldn't give to have a simple little hut like that, and live a life of serene solitude....

    I wish you well. Wonderful for you.....

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited September 2014

    Namaste @Jayantha

    ... _/_ ...

    Happiness is a state of mind.

    Metta

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    All the best on your path, @Jayantha!
    Hold fast to the Dharma as a refuge!

  • Hey Jayantha i have a genuine question for you, & wondered what your thoughts we're..If everyone's path is an inwards path/journey/investigation etc, why did you feel the need to leave home?..In my opinion your path like everyone else's path is an inwards path, & so your the only one who can tread your own path..So it has to be done using meditation, emotions & feelings control practice, & thought control practice..Those monks will give you all sorts of tasks etc to try to shatter the illusion of your mind, but you can do that just as easy sat at home with your folks & probably quicker....So your not going into battle with your ego when & if you do, you should see it as going into battle with your identity as your mind itself..People who shatter their ego which is the real self, end up in the emotional neutral zone because they've just unintentionally shattered their own life at the same time..They call it the "death of their ego", when it's actually a trick of their mind..So all you have to do is learn to not think when you shouldn't be thinking, learn to control all of your emotions & feelings & eventually you will realise the self..That for me is the awakening stage of awareness from the self's perspective, & only the first step of many towards enlightenment....Good luck though buddy, & I'm sure your'l learn plenty while your there. :-)

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @federica said:
    Get into the habit of making your bed the moment you leave it. Then, falling back into it won't be so tempting! :lol: .

    Just kidding.... What I wouldn't give to have a simple little hut like that, and live a life of serene solitude....

    I wish you well. Wonderful for you.....

    I didn't try for it, but I am living in a one room kind of place and IT IS lovely how small and simple it has turned out to be. I even have that OSB board on some interior walls, I kinda like it. It was a garage when it was built in 1930 or so, and the kids have the 'big house'. I tell people I live in a garage but my kids get a little uncomfortable looking so to them I call it a studio.

  • He gets a bed!!!!
    Boy those Theravada folks have it soft.

    BhikkhuJayasaraReborn
  • @SpinyNorman
    You caught me. The source of my Dharma... exposed.

    lobster
  • http://jayantha.tumblr.com/post/97776191053/bhavana-society-end-of-week-one

    First week blog/journal is up.. Its been a long and interesting one for sure.

    bookwormbravehawklobsterVastmind
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Thank you Jayantha for taking the time to write and for sharing your life as a monk in Bhavana Society, it is very kind of you, i'm going to read it now. Thank you again Jayantha.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    Going through @Jayantha's journal made me realize the many attachments I have.
    The ascetic path is definitely not for me.
    I'm a doomed laywoman Buddhist for life. Now I know.

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Going through Jayantha's journal made me realize the many attachments I have.
    The ascetic path is definitely not for me.
    I'm a doomed laywoman Buddhist for life. Now I know.

    It's ok...I signed up in the householder line too! We're legally released from the doom and loom.

    I am enjoying the reading/posts/tidbits he's doing.
    Feels very relateable to me.

    DhammaDragon
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @DhammaDragon said:
    The ascetic path is definitely not for me.

    Perhaps.
    Perhaps some of us will take temporary ordination.

    Asceticism is a state of mind, not a location or exterior. However I appreciate why you say this. I consider myself a novice lay monk key. I don't think I could be a none[sic], which is a higher calling.
    :dunce: .

    On occasion I do consider some form of Dharmic transvestism, that is where I would wear robes in private. To do so publicly would for me be an affectation.

    However from Tantrist practice, you might like to wear robes or a whole goddess. :wave: .

    how
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited September 2014

    Bumped. Jay posted a good TED talk/meditation on death.

    Are you going to die? Yes....you are.....Im going to die too.

    Check out his tumblr link in the OP

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited September 2014

    All the best to you @Jayantha‌ . Today I opened this thread, so I was late on this thread, so sorry for that. Hats off to you for your courage and your determination for your above step. May you help all sentient beings.

    Metta to you and all sentient beings.

    I went through your blog now. Great blog :thumbsup: Also I saw your kuti's photo - nice photo. A question came to my mind - is the bathroom with toilet attached to the room which is showed in the picture? I have not seen a kuti, so asking this type of silly question.

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @misecmisc1 said:
    All the best to you Jayantha‌ . Today I opened this thread, so I was late on this thread, so sorry for that. Hats off to you for your courage and your determination for your above step. May you help all sentient beings.

    Metta to you and all sentient beings.

    I went through your blog now. Great blog :thumbsup: Also I saw your kuti's photo - nice photo. A question came to my mind - is the bathroom with toilet attached to the room which is showed in the picture? I have not seen a kuti, so asking this type of silly question.

    No bathrooms water or electricity in my kuti, wood stove for warmth. Thanks for the compliments for the blog. Same to you @Vastmind‌

    Feel free to ask any questions you wish regardless how silly you think they are lol.. Personally ive still yet to ask how monks manage thier robes while going to the bathroom lol, cant be more silly then that.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Gather, gather, gather, gather, hold tight - finish paperwork - stand, release.

    Works every time.... I hear..... ;) .

    Steve_B
  • I lived in a buddhist majority nation. I remember one trip to a state (Shan state bordering with Thailand), where there is a really old monastery with a lot of monks. There, I accidentally saw some monks taking a bath in a nearby lake and they are in saffron color shorts. I am not peeking anyone, just accidental thingy. I think they got their ways of dealing with day to day things. :D

    BhikkhuJayasara
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited October 2014

    driving monastics and picking up various supplies. I continue to find it hard to concentrate and devote much time to my meditation as I have been working so much and I have been very tired,

    don't you think that is because you consider them as 'task' and think that you missed the time for meditation?

    because you are doing two at a time so you get tired?

    if you could mindful with such 'tasks' that itself become meditation and you wouldn't feel tired?

    try and tell us please

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    I think it might be wise if we refrained from offering jay advice about practice. In his situation this is a job for senior monastics or the abbot.

    vinlyn
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited October 2014

    Since I just started shaving my head this year, I have to ask, how often and what do monks use to shave their heads? Does everyone get a supply of safety razors? Do you shave each other's head or struggle with reaching your left ear with your right hand, etc?

  • By observation I have seen monks shave their heads solo. When older monks need assistance they are helped. The easiest way is to begin buy using the electric razor that come with a home haircutting kit. Get as close a cut as you can. Then shaving cream and a safety razor seem to do the trick.

    Jeffrey
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited October 2014

    @Chaz said:
    I think it might be wise if we refrained from offering jay advice about practice. In his situation this is a job for senior monastics or the abbot.

    >

    I'm inclined to agree.

    I think we should refrain from offering unsolicited advice and merely respond with a "This is just my PoV" only, and ONLY if @Jayantha‌ asks for it specifically...

    upekka
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @grackle said:
    By observation I have seen monks shave their heads solo. When older monks need assistance they are helped. The easiest way is to begin buy using the electric razor that come with a home haircutting kit. Get as close a cut as you can. Then shaving cream and a safety razor seem to do the trick.

    Huh. Maintaining a shaved head is actually a pain. The other thing I noticed is, I have to be careful to wear a hat or use strong sunblock in the summer now. And misquitos love shaved heads. Of course, I don't tan at all. Typical red-haired freckled northerner. I'd be blistered quickly on my head if I tried to walk around like a typical monk in summer. There's a good reason why evolution kept the hair on top of our heads, even if we lost it most other places.

    DhammaDragon
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:
    There's a good reason my evolution kept the hair on top of our heads, even if we lost it most other places.

    I'll vouch for that!

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:
    Huh. Maintaining a shaved head is actually a pain. The other thing I noticed is, I have to be careful to wear a hat or use strong sunblock in the summer now. And misquitos love shaved heads. Of course, I don't tan at all. Typical red-haired freckled northerner. I'd be blistered quickly on my head if I tried to walk around like a typical monk in summer. There's a good reason why evolution kept the hair on top of our heads, even if we lost it most other places.

    I guess the question is whether you feel like you have to be completely bald or not?

    I shave my head every two to three days with electric Wahl clippers without a comb.

    It keeps me almost bald and takes about two minutes out of my day before I hop in the shower. Easy peasy.

  • @Bunks said:

    I might eventually do an "almost bald" look, but for now I see the stubble in the bathroom mirror and it just looks like I'm too lazy to shave it every day. Which I am, if you count the weekends.

    Just made me wonder if monks shaved their heads every day, or once a week, etc. They always seem to have such smooth domes, don't they?

    And just this morning I reached over with my right hand to shave the left side of my head and nicked my left ear. Someone had to point out at work I had dried blood all over my ear. Embarrassing. Nobody thinks about problems like that when they picture a monk's life, do they?

    Bunks
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    bumped.

    Are you guys following Jay? ....the acorns made him cuss....hahaha

    He's posting great pics and said hi to NB ..... :) ....

    I'm still enjoying keeping up with him and he gives good tidbits.......

    http://jayantha.tumblr.com/

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    It sounds like he's doing what I do every day!

    Only I am not meeting the same kind of people.

    Good luck Jay!

    Vastmind
  • Lonely_TravellerLonely_Traveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    @Jayantha Thanks for the wonderful video, looking forward to seeing more as you continue on the path.

    lobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Thanks a lot @Jayantha! Loved your words about your nephew. He's obviously very special to you.

    Please keep posting the video's when you're able.

    I'm living a little vicariously through you as a tiny part of me would love to run away to a monastery and escape my crazy kids, wife, friends etc. but I think I'd miss them too much. I'm too entrenched in the lay world! :-)

    lobster
  • Since the internet at Bhavana is comparable to 1995 dial up

    Luxury. ;) .

    I hope you post something before you return. The sensory ascetic you practice is commendable. Bravo. Most of us if fortunate, know it briefly in retreat.

    Many thanks for inspiring us. :bowdown: .

    Bunks
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