I want to become an ordained monk in an orthodox Theravada monastery so that I can live the holy life recommended by the Buddha to those who want to achieve nibbana.
I’d like to know what preparations a lay person needs to make before becoming a monk.
For example, is it necessary to learn the language of the monastery’s country (e.g. Thai, Burmese, etc.)?
Is it necessary to have already practiced meditation in prolonged retreats?
Is it necessary to have a thorough knowledge of the mentality and culture of the country in question (if so, how?)?
What’s more, even though I really want to become a monk, I have strong social anxiety which is holding me back from ordination. What should I do about this?
This is a vast subject, but I’m sure your answers will help many beings. Thanks in advance.
I don’t have a wife, I’ve never had a wife (mostly because of my social anxiety), and I don’t wish to have a wife. It’s quite the opposite: I wish I didn’t have a wife in order to live the holy life to the full.
So a priori, being single doesn’t and won’t cause me any problems. But of course, I can’t be 100% sure of what the future holds for me.
Two major obstacles to my ordination are my social anxiety (monastic life is very social), and the fear that my hygiene level will drop (because of the communal toilets).
Of course, there’s nothing rational about these fears. I know they’re just illusory mental constructs. But I find it hard to get rid of them.
If you have faith, Saddhā, you like to practice Meditation and other Kusala, you have no wife and are ok with Brahmacariya :
For sure, you are suitable to ordain.
Please join the Pabbajjā Sāsana :
" Ārabatha nikkhamattha, Yuñjatha Buddha Sāsana, Dunātha maccuno senam Nalāgaram va kuñjaro,
Yo imasmim Dhamma Vinaye appamato Vihessati, Pahāya Jāti Samsāram Dukkhasantam karissati!"
Put effort, exert yourself, join the Buddha’ s Dispensation, Crush the army of death like an elephant would crush a bamboos hut.
One who dwells heedful in this Dhamma Vinaya, will give up Rebirth Cycle and make the end of Suffering!"
Thorough knowledge comes only after spending some years in a culture.
Faith in Correct Dhamma and Strict Vinaya. Respecting both Samatha and Vipassana.
Comparative investigation, gratitude, determination etc.
I think it can be overcome gradually with the time. You can even discuss it with the abbot and ask to allow you remain a bit solitary for some duration until you get accustomed to the monastery. I don’t think it’s a big problem.
Please know that celibate means purely celibate… No masturbation. If you do, you have to go to a probation monastery for 6 nights minimum if you cannot do your rehab at the same monastery.
You need to be mentally stable as well.
It does not take much to be a monk. All you need is the faith to ordain a robes and bowl.
There is often a waiting period to “check you out” as well and follow some stages to become a monk.
Generally speaking, the traditions with more of a training period will give you ehem better training.
Shop around… visit different places. Learn different meditation techniques while you are a lay person. Once you are ordained, you are locked into one method.
Best of luck.
I’m glad you liked the article. I recently removed SBS from the webpage and added a section why I don’t recommend EBT places.