Why go to Thailand when there are so many Western monasteries, many of them from Ajahn Chah's lineage? Thailand isn't hurting for monks but Western monasteries can use every monk they can get if the monastic tradition is going to last in the West.
>>71379 Monks are forbidden from all sexual activity and a person that finds it ok to have sex with random people, and prostitutes to boot, won't be receiving much if not any benefit from the practice.
>>71733 There is quite a bit of irony to be found here. The buddhist nation of Thailand is being corrupted by western consumerism. At the same time buddhism is being revived by westerners that go there to do proper practice.
>>71662 >Also the standards of practice seemed rather relaxed comparted to wat pah nanachat.
Shitty. I've been to Bhante Gunaratana's place on the East Coast of the U.S. and Abhayagiri over in California and was generally disappointed with both for various reasons. They did only have two and one anagarikas, respectively.
I hope I don't end up having to go to Thailand. I know my Dad's going to really miss having me around and it'll be bad enough without going to the other side of the world. My last hope over here is Thanissaro Bhikkhu's monastery, also over in Cali. His Dhamma talks that I've read are very legit but I suppose there's no way to know if his monastery lives up to the standards of his talks without going to visit. If it turns out that they're half assing it there as well then I might end up seeing you in Thailand.
>>72408 >Was the practice itself bad or was it just a question of anagarikas? I can't judge anyones practice but my own. The senior monks that I met in western branch monasteries all seemed legit to me. You don't really get to know them until you're part of the sangha. What I was missing was a sense of sincerity in the practice. In Thailand the practice was imbedded in the cultural background, the ubon province being culturally conservative. Thai people that come to offer dana in western monasteries are always very easy going, so are the monks.
>>72282 > I know my Dad's going to really miss having me around and it'll be bad enough without going to the other side of the world. I can relate to that but if my family has to visit me in Thailand they'll have to go way out of their comfort zone. It'll be good for them.
Well, Bhante G's place had, I think, only three resident monks which seemed like a poor endorsement of a monastery that was established thirty years ago. Aside from that, it seemed structured as more of a meditation retreat center than a monastery.
Abhayagiri is in a really beautiful location, on a mountainside up in Cali's redwood valley area and had closer to seven or eight monks but the Abbot seemed sort of flaky. His talks and responses to questions from laypeople were pretty uninspired and definitely didn't make me think, "Yes, this is someone I want to come and learn the Dhamma from."
There was also one point where we were gathered in one of the main halls before a meal. A fly was buzzing around and landed on his robe and he quickly reached down, snatched it up in a closed fist and carried it outside to let it go. And it sounds nice and all but there's no way you can guarantee you're not going to kill the fly when you try something like that even if you're a young guy with top tier reflexes, much less in your sixties. I wonder what he would have done if he had missed by a fraction of a second and crushed the fly instead - "I didn't intend to kill it, so it's ok"?
I think that was the main thing that turned me off of wanting to stay there, though no one else there seemed to notice or care. I dunno, maybe I'm overreacting.
>>72903 I see. I can understand what you felt about the fly incident.
>which seemed like a poor endorsement of a monastery that was established thirty years ago. I believe the whole monasticism thing is still not something that sits well with many Western Buddhists. It's true that the sense of community is much stronger in societies where this is traditional.
>>72821 How does it actually work in your situation? Do you go through screening or a novice period first, or do you directly join the monks? Also are you doing a temporary ordination, or are you planning on becoming a monk for good?
>>73203 >Do you go through screening or a novice period first, or do you directly join the monks? The ajahn chah tradition has two stages of monk apprenticeship, anagarika and samanera. Before becoming an anagarika you should stay three months as a lay person. It's a good casual filter, other theravada sects just ordain you straight away.
>Also are you doing a temporary ordination, or are you planning on becoming a monk for good? I can certianly see myself commiting to the monastic lifestyle.
>>73865 I wrote a letter in advance to the guest monk of wat pah nanachat. I already know him so I have little doubt they're going to let me stay when I ask for a refuge. So I'll just show up on their doorstep by end of this month.
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