I’ve recently made the decision that I want to become a Buddhist monk, I was just wondering what some peoples takes on this are. Most of my friends think they have me figured out and it’s quite annoying when it comes to the subject of me wanting to become a monk. My mom supports it but she wants me to live life before I just go of somewhere and become a monk, I recently decided that’s a good idea due to the fact that having regrets will just slow the process off enlightenment. I was originally going to head out to Tibet as soon as possible but that was a little far-fetched. I’m going to a Buddhist monastery this spring to check it out in either NC or some other place my mom said we should checkout but I’m going to try to find some other ones also. Please feel free to lend me some advice, thanks in advance!
Enlightenment is only one conscious step and one conscious breath away. Although I do think that would be a cool experience, if you want to do it, do it now. From what I’ve heard, most Buddhist monks are not Buddhist monks for life. You typically just go and study until you feel your ready or something and then you move on with life.
Hi there, I’ve also had this thought to go off and become a Buddhist monk. Sounds pretty cool. Know what you are getting into first, get to a Sangha in your country, get to a monastery in your country, speak to Monks then decide. Once you have done that you can honestly make the right decision. Good luck.
The fact that you’re asking shows that you have an open mind.
@niglet, 5-year program to become a Zen Buddhist Monk through Plum Village which is located in France, but I think you can do the first 3 years at an affiliate location in New York state. Read up on it. http://plumvillage.org/sangha-projects/295-5-years-monastic-program.html
@niglet The word “monk” means “religious hermit” and is derived from the same word as monos, which means alone, like monotone, or monopoly. So, if you want to be a religious hermit, be a religious hermit. I live at home and study God/The One Mind virtually all day and night, contemplating God from sunrise to sunset, meditating and praying with every action, for indeed every action is a prayer. Am I a monk? Yes. Are you?
If what you seek is enlightenment, they cannot help you. If what you seek is a quiet place which is conductive for contemplation, then yes, you must go. You have my blessing. Know thyself. :)
I agree with @maximus39 if you are looking for any sort of validation in any form whether or not you should become a monk I believe its a bad idea. Becoming a monk is an extremely noble thing to do but not a decision that should be influenced by others.
Why do you wanna become a monk?
If you want to have a clearer/purer state of mind, you can achieve the same without having to become a monk and follow all the rules.
How about practice Buddhism and live the lifestyle of a monk where you are now?
Here are two questions- Why do you want to become a monk?
Whatever the answer is- can you achieve the same thing
without having to become a monk and move to tibet?
@niglet, I had a friend that went to the monastery in NC, he came back after a few weeks because it was not what he expected. He wanted to become a monk to become enlightened to help other people, aka a “boatman”, but he found all the monks there wanted to become enlightened for themselves to go to and stay in heaven, aka a “king” if I remember my Bodhisattva’s correctly.
Basically he went for selfless reasons and found they were all there for selfish.
I was fixated on the same idea for a long time and had even decided that I was gonna take the leap of faith right after graduating college and get together some money for a plane fare to Japan and ordain in a Zen monastery I had found and felt an affinity for. For me I had begun to feel like an outsider to society and that I was not capable of spiritual progress in the midst of all the negative influences. Ultimately, I came to see the “becoming a monk” idea as a sort of cop-out – an escapist fantasy. It was just a reaction of my mind to the state of affairs of the world, horrible as it can sometimes seem to be. The whole essence of the Buddha-Dhamma is to learn acceptance (and keep working on that until it develops into equanimity). So, I decided that I would slog through the difficulties, and walk the path that life had directed me towards. Even if it takes a lot longer to reach the final goal, any resistance to this idea implies impatience, which implies a reaction of aversion, which is precisely the symptom of the underlying problem that we walk the path to cure. You cannot crave Nirvana, for if you do you will be running in the opposite direction.
anyway, I finally decided to try out this silent meditation retreat (www.dhamma.org) which appeared to offer all the discipline of monastic life for 10 days in order to see how serious I was about ordaining. That experience changed my life, and made me realize that it is entirely feasible to walk the path as a layman, with all the responsibilities and duties of a householder. I have settled into a regular meditation practice, and go back to do one of those retreats at least once a year, and have found myself progressing on the path.
may all beings be happy ~
@niglet, Seems to me like you want to be a monk for the sake of being a monk. If you want to attain ‘enlightenment” (although there is no you that can attain this) then just say yes to it in your heart and start the ‘journey’ to where you already are. Try out a satsang somewhere near by or travel somewhere for a 2-3 week satsang.
@niglet, i think that going to a monastery in your country is a good idea, you will find out if that is what you want for yourself before you take that big leap without being 100% sure.
not that you have to be sure, i guess its much like everything else: you just feel it.
do what your heart tells you to do-
Why a Buddhist monk?
I mean, if you want to become a monk, go for it. But attaching yourself to a religion–no matter how nice it may be–isn’t going to lead you down a better path.
Good luck, though, with whatever you decide to do. :D If I had to pick a religion, it’d probably be Buddhism, lol
You do know half of what they teach is just religious dogma, however, the meditation techniques are useful. Like was said before, why don’t you just learn the techniques of meditation and ignore the fantasies they teach. Go on meditation retreats, study science of the mind, don’t get trapped by joining a religious sect.
@americium, actually as far as I know, while buddhism is technically a religion, many Buddhists monks are atheists. That said you can practice Buddhism without believing in any god. Its more of a lifestyle devoted to mental development.
I have entertained the thought, but at the time being I am just planning on finishing my degree. even still, I am looking to practice more meditation and mindfulness throughout my daily life. I also try to emulate the values of a monk. I try to keep life simple and enjoy the little things. just go for walks alone and spend time in nature, you’d be amazed at how good it makes you feel.
@minch, have you read much of Buddhism, it’s prolific in metaphysics and other nonsense. That was my point, take the mindfulness meditation and other useful techniques and forget the rest. Becoming a monk is the path that includes all the bunk.
@niglet, I plan on becoming a monk in my later years. So, right on man :) I say, fuck everyone’s advice and opinions. Do what you want to do, and if it turns out to be unsatisfying, then quit it. But don’t change your dreams based on anyone else’s opinions.
Go be a goddamn monk! :)
@iamdrugs, so purposefully plan on learning things you know can’t possibly be true? Just because it’s satisfying to believe there are answers to the big questions in life, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to believe in fairy tales. Unless you mean becoming a monk and not believing in half the things they teach.