How does one go about ordaining?

Take a random US citizen. Suppose they’re in good health, with no debt, and have explored the idea of becoming a monk for many years, concluding they’re going to make that decision.

What steps might one take? What should one prepare for? What is the process like?

(I’ve search the forum for this topic, but didn’t find any results. Perhaps I didn’t search well enough, which I hope isn’t the case.)

Thank you.


You’ll find much more information perusing the Ordnation and Monastic Life section at Dhammawheel Forum. I wish you luck in your search.



One would assume that the first step would be to locate a Wat or monastery and talk with monks who will provide guidance and teaching. I met an individual recently (a U.S. citizen) who ordained for ten days as part of a meditation retreat. The monks in attendance oversaw the process. It seemed to be fairly straightforward. Of course, he was not making a lifetime commitment, much like young men in Southeast Asia who ordain for brief periods.


For those seekers of the unchanging state, ordination is the path supreme.
For those intent on disintegrating ‘phassa’,
Sankhāric dukkha is their friend until the grave.

(The picture is of the monastery door that is about to collapse becuase of the recent earthquake , hopefully tomorrow we can salvage it although it’s risky.)


Some amount of the following short interview is a bit tangential to the given question, but in and amongst it perhaps there are some relevant general notes for consideration.


"Yes, it is, great king. But first, with regard to that, I will ask you a counter-question. Answer however you please. Suppose there were a man of yours: a farmer, a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal treasury. The thought would occur to him: ‘Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it astounding? — the destination, the results, of meritorious deeds! For this King Ajatasattu is a human being, and I, too, am a human being, yet King Ajatasattu enjoys himself supplied and replete with the five strings of sensuality — like a deva, as it were — while I am a farmer, a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal treasury. I, too, should do meritorious deeds. What if I were to shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?’
Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life

Here are some usueful links to visit:
Thailand: A Guide to Centers , Thai Forest , Pateeparam , Boonyawad , Nanachat
Burma: Burmese Information, Bahiya Blog
Sri Lanka: Monasteries and Meditation in Sri-Lanka , Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya
Pure Inspiration: A Maha Kassapa of Our Time


Thanks for the link on Ven. Nyanavimala…


Thank you everyone, for providing your insight for my questions.