Ordaining

Here are things to think about

Considering Ordination? The aspiration to ordain is beautiful and noble.

What is required to ordain and live as a monastic? Taking your time before you ordain supports your monastic life to flourish.

Leaving the home life to dedicate yourself to study, practice, and service takes commitment, courage, and faith based on reason.

Renouncing the pleasures and illusions of cyclic existence and living in pure ethical discipline are particular qualities of monastics.

Being willing to undergo hardships to develop spiritually indicates a special kind of spiritual longing. Treasure your aspiration and nurture it with careful consideration.

Ordination ceremony begins with the head-shaving ritual.

Preparation essentials

Stable Practice
It’s essential to set a firm foundation of Buddhist practice before taking monastic precepts. Take your time.

You need to establish a strong daily meditation practice and to know which Buddhist practices appeal to you most. Reflect deeply on the four noble truths to clarify your motivation.

Relationship with a Teacher
It’s also important to have a teacher. Before accepting someone as your teacher, you should know his or her qualifications and be familiar with his or her teaching style to be sure it suits your temperament.

When that relationship is well established, discuss ordination with your Buddhist teacher and follow his or her counsel. Before ordaining, you must also have confidence that the teacher will train you as a monastic and provide Dharma guidance.

Post-ordination Conditions
It is also imperative to put the proper conditions in place for post-ordination training. Where will you live? How will you be supported? Who will guide you in keeping the monastic precepts? There is no substitute for the value of living in a monastic setting after ordination. Explore the options thoroughly.

The most important preparation is your motivation. In particular, strengthen your determination to be free from cyclic existence (renunciation) and your loving, compassionate motivation to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings (bodhicitta). To develop these, meditate daily on the stages of the path to awakening (lamrim). Focus especially on the eight worldly concerns and their antidotes, the disadvantages of cyclic existence, and the three higher trainings that lead us to liberation. Find these meditations on ThubtenChodron.org.

By taking the time to set up supportive conditions, your Dharma aspirations become firm and your ordained life will flourish.

Steps You Can Take

Resources & Readings

Preceptor giving instructions to new monks.
Practicing ceremonies together.

“Now it is time for the flourishing of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. That is why I wish for Sravasti Abbey to continue to increase, so a proper monastic sangha will exist in the West.”

Panchen Otrul Rinpoche

 Bowing shows respect and cultivates humility.

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Sravasti Abbey

692 Country Lane
Newport WA 99156 USA
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509-447-5549