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I've quit my job and I'm going to be a monk.

BhanteLuckyBhanteLucky Alternative lifestyle person in the South Island of New ZealandNew Zealand Veteran
edited November 2013 in Sanghas
Yes, I have taken the plunge and done it.
I finish work in two weeks, then off to the monastery to begin training/monastic life/the grand experiment/a big mistake/who knows what!
The first few months I'll be wearing normal clothes. Then I'll apply to be an Anagarika, (pure white clothes!?... lots of bleach in with the laundry) which is basically a year-long try-it-out period before I ask to be ordained as a novice monk and get the pretty saffron robes.
Then... who knows. Most western monks return to lay-life after a few years / a few decades... but... I will take it one day at a time, as someone wisely suggested to me.

It's at Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia, and the famous Ajahn Brahm is the abbot there.
I'm not going there because of him, but rather because it is the biggest Theravadan monastery in Australasia.
There is an excellent community of about 20 monks there, and a good sangha is really important for a newbie to learn from. There are also monks with very different approaches to being monks; some are scholar monks, meditation monks, work monks, teaching monks,etc. There are eccentric men there, and also quite normal level-headed types.
So there is tremendous potential for learning different aspects of the life from different style monks.
It's also quite a progressive monastery, with the consequence that this monastery has been expelled from the Wat Pah Pong association of monasteries, for ordaining women as nuns. The monastery and Ajahn Brahm is still a firm member of the Forest Sangha however. A fair price to pay, I say, for dragging a chauvinistic sect into the 21st century... or for returning the sangha to the way it was a thousand and more years ago – a double sangha of both monks and nuns. Anyway, it's awesome.

I'm not jumping into this blind, by the way, this isn't some sudden idea I've had.
I have stayed as a guest for 6 months at a monastery in New Zealand, have lived at a meditation centre for 6 months or so, and have done a good amount of meditation, so I know roughly what I might expect. I've been working to pay off my debts ( can't ordain if you owe money) for the past year, and now I'm all set.

From now on it's going to be one long psychedelic roller-coaster of wild meditations, mystical adventures, and, um, other cool stuff.
Either that, or a life of getting up appallingly early, wearing ridiculously impractical clothes, having no dinner and no sex, and being bored a lot.
Or something in between.

Much excitement! So if you don't see much of me around here in future, that's why.
I'm not going for another three weeks yet though.
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Comments

  • :clap:

    Bravo. Keep in touch if you can. How exciting. Wishing you every success. :clap:
    Kelsang_Tsering
  • James, I am happy for you (I know, we've never spoke or met, but so what, ya know?) What a perfect setting for monastery : WA! It is probably Buddhaistically inappropriate, but I've fantasized about doing the same. Its still possible, I suppose. On the other hand, I believe I may have done something similar in a previous incarnation. Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

    My point is - goodonya, mate!
    BhanteLucky
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited April 2013
    That's great, James. I'm really excited for you; and I hope that being in such a conducive setting will help you take your practice to the next level and give you the wisdom to be great teacher and/or a source of inspiration for others.
    JeffreyBhanteLucky
  • What a wonderful adventure of self-discovery!!
    I only hope there might be a way for you to keep us posted, even every few weeks (if permitted that kind of contact) after your initial settling in period, and let us know how you are doing .... But if not, please know that we all wish you the BEST, James!
    nenkohaiBhanteLucky
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    @JamestheGiant - good for you! Much metta in this exciting chapter of your life.
    BhanteLucky
  • I wish you all the luck
    JeffreyBhanteLucky
  • I bet being a monk would be so cool... No work, no 'boss' , no tax to pay, no worries, no stress, no nothing = NO THING!

    Awesome! The only thing stopping me is my little son... Otherwise, if also bow out! The working mans life is pop pop! :(

    We're slaves to money then we, die!!!
    DaltheJigsawBhanteLucky
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    James...it's been real. :)
    I have enjoyed you here.
    Love, Light and Metta on your journey.
    BhanteLuckySerena
  • Congratulations, James, and I hope the environment helps you to progress.
    BhanteLucky
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Sadhu !
    BhanteLucky
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Terrific! Best wishes and many blessings to you on your new journey.
    BhanteLucky
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    Before you bleach it, can I have your blue jumper?

    :D

    I hope you will be able to visit us occasionally, and give us an insight into your progress.

    All the best James - no matter when, or where. :)
    nenkohaiBhanteLucky
  • howhow Veteran
    Oh I bet they'll be some mornings upon rising, when your still not sure if it's morning or night, you'll pine for these slacker days. The grass being greener and all that stuff.
    Gassho Bro, with walking the walk.
    H
    nenkohaiInvincible_summerBhanteLucky
  • Good luck!
  • Wish you all the best! For your reference, a good set of guides to the monastic rules by Thanissaro Bhikkhu can be found here:
    accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc1/bmc1.intro.html
    accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc2/bmc2.intro.html

    BhanteLucky
  • cazcaz Veteran
    Congratulations I rejoice in your good fortune ! :D
    BhanteLucky
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    Congratulations and good like, may you be an inspiration to us all
    BhanteLucky
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    All the best! _/\_

    Let us know when you really take off, eh? A proper send-off!
    BhanteLucky
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    All best wishes!
    BhanteLucky
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran
    Best of luck my friend! If you can definitely keep us posted! Take notes!!:)
    BhanteLucky
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran
    That sounds fantastic, all the best.

    What happens when you make that step? Give up your home and live at the monastery? How are you supported, like financially? Do you just disappear in to this other world where normal everyday life and stresses vanish?
  • SOOOO happy for you! :rocker:
    Jeffrey
  • nlightennlighten Explorer
    I think that is amazing! Definitely very courageous.

    I've wanted to do this so much and was so close to doing it at one point, but then let myself get tangled up in worldly commitments. That is great that you took the karmic opportunity in front of you. I am sooo jealous :clap:

    May your good karma and wisdom increase without decline till you reach the enlightened state of buddha in order to benefit us all!
    Lucy_BegoodBhanteLuckyInvincible_summerpegembara
  • jlljll Veteran
    Congrats and all the best in your journey.

    If it is possible, please keep a journal of your experience,
    it will be invaluable.
    whether you choose to share it with others or not is up to
    you.
    i think it will be extremely useful to record your experiences as it happens.
    anyway, this is just a suggestion.

    i am very impressed by your courage n commitment.
    i hope someday, i will walk the same path.

    may you find peace n happiness in your path.
    cheers.

    also, can i stay in contact with you via email?

    Yes, I have taken the plunge and done it.
    I finish work in two weeks, then off to the monastery to begin training/monastic life/the grand experiment/a big mistake/who knows what!
    The first few months I'll be wearing normal clothes. Then I'll apply to be an Anagarika, (pure white clothes!?... lots of bleach in with the laundry) which is basically a year-long try-it-out period before I ask to be ordained as a novice monk and get the pretty saffron robes.
    Then... who knows. Most western monks return to lay-life after a few years / a few decades... but... I will take it one day at a time, as someone wisely suggested to me.

    It's at Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia, and the famous Ajahn Brahm is the abbot there.
    I'm not going there because of him, but rather because it is the biggest Theravadan monastery in Australasia.
    There is an excellent community of about 20 monks there, and a good sangha is really important for a newbie to learn from. There are also monks with very different approaches to being monks; some are scholar monks, meditation monks, work monks, teaching monks,etc. There are eccentric men there, and also quite normal level-headed types.
    So there is tremendous potential for learning different aspects of the life from different style monks.
    It's also quite a progressive monastery, with the consequence that this monastery has been expelled from the Thai Forest Sangha for ordaining women as nuns. A fair price to pay, I say, for dragging a chauvinistic sect into the 21st century... or for returning the sangha to the way it was a thousand and more years ago – a double sangha of both monks and nuns. Anyway, it's awesome.

    I'm not jumping into this blind, by the way, this isn't some sudden idea I've had.
    I have stayed as a guest for 6 months at a monastery in New Zealand, have lived at a meditation centre for 6 months or so, and have done a good amount of meditation, so I know roughly what I might expect. I've been working to pay off my debts ( can't ordain if you owe money) for the past year, and now I'm all set.

    From now on it's going to be one long psychedelic roller-coaster of wild meditations, mystical adventures, and, um, other cool stuff.
    Either that, or a life of getting up appallingly early, wearing ridiculously impractical clothes, having no dinner and no sex, and being bored a lot.
    Or something in between.

    Much excitement! So if you don't see much of me around here in future, that's why.
    I'm not going for another three weeks yet though.

    Invincible_summer
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    Congrats dude. a very courageous action to take - hats off to your determination. wish you reach enlightenment and help us in ending our suffering. metta to you and all sentient beings.
  • BhanteLuckyBhanteLucky Alternative lifestyle person in the South Island of New Zealand New Zealand Veteran
    jll said:

    ...If it is possible, please keep a journal of your experience,
    it will be invaluable.
    whether you choose to share it with others or not is up to you.
    i think it will be extremely useful to record your experiences as it happens.
    ....
    also, can i stay in contact with you via email?

    Thanks @Jll, yes I will keep a journal of some kind, it helps me think clearly and sort things out in my head. Sometimes I lose track of what I'm feeling, and what the real issues are, and writing helps me cut through the confusion.
    Unfortunatley I won't be emailing or accessing the internet. They do have the net up there, but they discourage people from using it more than absolutely necessary.
    Cheers for the good wishes!
    riverflow
  • carolanncarolann Explorer
    Wishing you all the best.xx
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