I have made this mentality to accept where I was born and accept that it means that becoming a monk wasn’t probably my current life karma. There is also acceptance that I didn’t get parents that are into Buddhism nor meditation to truly want me to go become a monk. Is acceptance of our current life situation a Dhamma virtue? Contentment? And if it’s a Dhamma virtue did those from other countries that are not Buddhist that went forth accepted the fact that their current life didn’t allow them to be born in a Buddhist country?
karma is not destiny
You just have to be pragmatic and make do with what you have. For me, I was able to move to Thailand and while it’s difficult to learn Thai, it’s not impossible.
Many many people, including my own father and grandfather, have had to immigrate to another country to get the opportunities they want. We’re lucky to live in a day and age with language apps and airplane travel. It’s so much easier than when Chinese pilgrims had to cross the Himalayas on foot to get the Dharma from India.
Remember the Sabbasava Sutta: some obstacles are to be overcome by acceptance. But others have to be overcome by striving.
None of those are unsurmountable obstacles to ordination. You just have to want it enough. MN82 MN 82: Raṭṭhapālasutta—Bhikkhu Sujato (suttacentral.net) is an inspiration.
So many westerners also are not born into Buddhist countries and have parents who are not Buddhists, and may even object. They are brave enough to go forth anyway. So many stories from monks where their parents reluctantly only accepted their son’s situation after many years after their son ordained.
But Bhante we choose our parents according kids that recall rebirth. We have certain lesson we have to learn also. Life karma as in lessons that I still have to learn. I also have a reason to believe I was sended to where I am because I need help with dhamma work.
Countries aren’t Buddhist—people are.
Don’t take kamma as predestination, predetermination, fate.
Whatever situation one finds oneself in, there’s certain leeway to direct oneself to the direction and situation one wants to be in. Especially in this day and age where slavery is illegal, there’s ample amount of information, education for social mobility and the sangha never had any requirement of people needing to be of any country or class or wealth status to ordain.
Bhante what the auspicious moments Buddha talked about? It seems around Vasubandu time they strongly believed in them. It seems being born at the correct time during Buddha birth or Middle Country. All that. I can’t find the sutta. But you probably know
In his book “Mind is what Matters” Ven. Amaro tells a story about when he was going to go out on pilgrimage. His teacher, Ajahn Sumedho told him that, actually, he wasn’t going anywhere – there would only be changing conditions in awareness.
Ven. Amaro goes on to write how that’s all we have to work with in our practice – as the Buddha also taught in the Sabba Sutta, (SN 35.23).
Some conditions are more amenable to Dhamma practice, true, but I’ve corresponded for years with prisoners living in very hellish conditions who have stuck with their practice, working skillfully with and within those very challenging conditions, and have progressed on the Path.
Where dowe direct our attention and efforts – towards the practice, whatever the circumstances, or towards wishing things were otherwise?
The most important thing is to be born as a human being and recognise that goodness and heart have no borders. And with the means we have today for communication, I don’t find the distance an obstacle to having a sound practice. Whenever I hear and feel pleasant vibrations from a friendly voice that speaks from the heart, I can ask consciousness; How far away from me is this voice?
The mind goes silent, and consciousness brightens up instantly and sees no distances anywhere.
Bhante I think I went already to the monastery you reside. But I think you wasn’t there at that time. I actually went with the idea to go forth. But a reality was weak because illness so at the same night I arrived I realized. Or let’s got thinking what I’m doing? So same minute I arrived Māra visited. The bond of wife and son suddenly spring to mind. I called my mom crying that I can’t do this, I want to go back. My mother was like disappointed I wanted to go back. So I stayed a few days at the monastery and went Thailand and flew Holland after 2 weeks to go back Caribbean. Long story short. I mean. That seemed a spontaneous action that happened to be the first minute I arrived the monastery. It’s like for me karma. Because I had bad thought of leaving a getting a child and leave long time before I even got a child. Now life have me learning a lesson. And I feel that I can’t truly leave him again although now I’m divorced.
Try living in the Bible Belt and being a Buddhist practitioner, that’s me…
It’s not so bad living for seeking metta and Brahma as Buddhist. Just maybe it makes it easier to gradually reach Nibbana. Either this life or next. Because you never know if the Path of Love together with your meditation practice makes you a Non-returner. But then again it’s all game.
Sounds hilarious! I traveled by RV through Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, NM, Arizona, Louisiana.
Many stories, but one time we had to get a couple of things at a Walmart outside New Orleans. The girl at the counter was trying to play it cool, but my friend Chandra laughed and said to her, “You can’t wait for your shift to be over so you can tell everyone you saw a Buddhist monk at work, right?” She just laughed and said, “That’s exactly what I’m going to do!”
I think it’s true to say that whenever there’s a dominant ideology built on greed and delusion, there are always those who long for something real. We came across lots of seekers in unexpected places!
The way to defeat mara is to recognise it. Can just stay and let the unpleasant experiences pass by on it’s own. To wish it to be gone can have subtle craving there which fuels it. So just relax into whatever that arises. Allow, make peace.
What I had was brainwashing myself for 17 years and over 30 meditation retreats to prepare for renunciation. A lot of difficulty in adjusting to the renouciate life is experienced and rehearsed in those adjustment periods of the retreats. Due to the strength of the determination for renounciation, I was not afraid of stepping into many new unknowns. Learning the vinaya happened properly for me after getting into novice robes. Finishing the 4 nikayas for the 1st round too.
The traditional commentary speak about the good fortune of being born in madhyadesa - (the center village).
That was the area of north-central india, where the Buddha lived and taught, and where Buddhism flourished. Later it was referring to the whole of India.
Fast forward some thousand years, Buddhism was wiped out from India. Madhyadesa no more?
Then the Tibetan commentators redefine Madhyadesa as the land where the Buddha’s teaching exist, and where there are four assemblies of bhikkhu, bhikkhuni, upasaka, upasika (ironically Tibet didn’t have bhikkhuni)
In the past, pilgrims must travel long way in dangerous route, from Tibet and China to India.
After that Buddhism flourished in Tibet, China, and spread to Mongolia, Korea, Japan.
Even that is not permanent.
Tibet was invaded and it is no longer a place where Buddhism can be practiced freely. Many monks escape to India (again!) and other countries.
During communist rise to power and cultural revolution, many monks from China escaped to Taiwan.
During Russia occupation of Mongolia, the communist oppressed the monks.
Even in Southern Buddhism. Countries that have armed conflict like Vietnam, Cambodia, they affect the Buddhist in that countries.
What I want to point out is, everything is impermanent and conditional. Even "Buddhist Countries are not permanent. Those born in Buddhist Countries may seem fortunate to you now, but next year, who knows?
Also, I think this period is the most fortunate in terms of spreading Buddhism.
Compared to ancient times where Xuanzang must travel on land for thousand kilometers.
Compared to last couple of decades where the hippies generation travel by airplanes or ship to India, Nepal, Thailand.
Now we have internet. Everyone on earth, as long as they can access internet, can learn Buddhism, without travelling anywhere.
In my opinion, you can try changing your lifestyle to lay renunciate /yogi. Observe ten precepts in daily life. Meditate regularly.
You may find that the real obstacle are not outside, but within.
Usually after you are really ready, the karma will mature, and maybe some opportunities will come. (No promise though )
I think you are blessed not being born in a buddhist country. Most buddhist countries follow a “religion” with “rites & rituals” being one of the main obstacle working against your “awakening / enlightenment “.
Not being born in a buddhist country, you reach buddhism by careful investigation - this is what Buddha recommended!
I deleted my response bc I made fun of the southerners I deal with on a daily basis and that is far from practicing right speech. I’m sorry
Welcome to the D&D forum!
Many resources are here available for you to explore: may these be of assistance along the path!
Yeah. True that. I remember reading of benefits for us westerns
Why does one need to be born in a Buddhist country?