Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the situation for disrobing looks grim…
“Bhikkhus, any bhikkhu or bhikkhunī who gives up the training and reverts to the lower life incurs five reasonable criticisms and grounds for censure in this very life. What five? (1) ‘You did not have faith in cultivating wholesome qualities. (2) You did not have a sense of moral shame in cultivating wholesome qualities. (3) You did not have moral dread in cultivating wholesome qualities. (4) You did not have energy in cultivating wholesome qualities. (5) You did not have wisdom in cultivating wholesome qualities.’ Any bhikkhu or bhikkhunī who gives up the training and reverts to the lower life incurs these five reasonable criticisms and grounds for censure in this very life."
“Bhikkhus, possessing five qualities, a bhikkhu is deposited in hell as if brought there. What five? Here, a bhikkhu is devoid of faith, morally shameless, morally reckless, lazy, and unwise. Possessing these five qualities, a bhikkhu is deposited in hell as if brought there."
I’ve put the suttas out of order to show the logic. If you disrobed, it can be said that you didn’t have the five qualities mentioned in 5.5 and a bhikkhu who doesn’t have the five qualities is deposited in hell according to 5.4
Here is letter 47 from Ñanavira’s Clearing the Path:
I shall use the knife—what use is this life to me?
How can one such as I meet his death having put aside
the training (i.e. disrobed)?
And the Buddha himself warns (in the Mahàsuññata Sutta—M. 122:
iii,109-18) that one who becomes a layman after following a teacher
may fall into the hells when he dies. There is no doubt at all that,
whatever public opinion may think, a bhikkhu is probably worse
advised to disrobe than to end his life—that is, of course, if he is gen-
uinely practising the Buddha’s Teaching. It is hard for laymen (and
even, these days, for the majority of bhikkhus, I fear) to understand
that when a bhikkhu devotes his entire life to one single aim, there
may come a time when he can no longer turn back—lay life has
become incomprehensible to him. If he cannot reach his goal there is
only one thing for him to do—to die (perhaps you are not aware that
the Buddha has said that ‘death’ for a bhikkhu means a return to lay
life—Opamma Samy. 11: ii,271).
There is in my present situation (since the nervous disorder that I
have had for the past year consists of an abnormal, persistent, some-
times fairly acute, erotic stimulation) a particularly strong temptation
to return to the state of a layman; and I have not the slightest inten-
tion of giving in to it. This erotic stimulation can be overcome by suc-
cessful samatha practice (mental concentration), but my chronic
amœbiasis makes this particularly difficult for me. So for me it is sim-
ply a question of how long I can stand the strain. (I do not think you
would think the better of me for disrobing under these conditions.)
Here is the passage he is referring to from MN 122:
And how is there a peril for a spiritual practitioner? It’s when when a Realized One arises in the world, perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed. He frequents a secluded lodging—a wilderness, the root of a tree, a hill, a ravine, a mountain cave, a charnel ground, a forest, the open air, a heap of straw. While meditating withdrawn, he’s visited by a stream of brahmins and householders of the city and country. When this happens, he doesn’t enjoy stupefaction, fall into greed, and return to indulgence. But a disciple of this teacher, emulating their teacher’s fostering of seclusion, frequents a secluded lodging—a wilderness, the root of a tree, a hill, a ravine, a mountain cave, a charnel ground, a forest, the open air, a heap of straw. While meditating withdrawn, they’re visited by a stream of brahmins and householders of the city and country. When this happens, they enjoy stupefaction, fall into greed, and return to indulgence. This spiritual practitioner is said to be imperiled by the spiritual practitioner’s peril. They’re ruined by bad, unskillful qualities that are corrupted, leading to future lives, hurtful, resulting in suffering and future rebirth, old age, and death. That’s how there is a peril for the spiritual practitioner.
I disrobed after quite a number of years due to chronic health problems. These suttas are motivating me to reordain as soon as possible if I ever fix my issues. I keep sila as pure as possible but my mindfulness has definitely lost that lucid quality that i had as a monk and I’m not able to meditate anymore both due to health problems and lack of continuity. So sometimes I listen to music or play computer games just to stay remotely sane. I keep away from girls, that would be real game over… I read the suttas almost every day but they make me depressed ocasionally since I’m not able to practice the meditation aspect of the path. Also, talking to ordinary people or even ‘spiritual’ people from other traditions is depressing since they just don’t get the Dhamma.
I have a huge sense of samvega, spiritual urgency, and do see disrobing as a defeat in battle regardless of the cause. I don’t understand the monks who disrobe so casually… The chance may not come again for a long, long time. Simile of the turtle and yoke and the simile of the stick are apt here. I hope that sharing my experience may help someone…