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I'm considering of becoming a monk

Hello everyone,
the reason of this topic is that I’m considering becoming a monk.

It is already for some time I found devotion to Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha (still as a lay person without officially taking refuge) . Daily I do devotional practises, meditate, recite suttas. Studying and learning of the teaching of venerable Buddha is daily matter and five precepts and also some precepts intended to monks are in my mind everyday too.

Now I have these thoughts in my mind about deepening my devotion and continue further on the path. Please, can someone help me, how and where can a humble, almost 30 years old lay follower ask for becoming a monastic life? It would be great to find oportunity in states like Austria, Germany and other countries around (where it would be possible to speak english). Simply said… How it works? It would be great to talk about this with venerable monks.

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Hello @Kraty and welcome to the forum! Well, start by visiting monasteries. It sounds like you’re in Europe, so start by searching online for Buddhist monasteries to visit and go :slight_smile: :walking_woman:t5: :handbag:

Once there, get a feel for the practice, the teachers, and monastery life, and if it seems like a good fit, ask about if/how you can join. Some places are systematic about this; others are very casual. You’ll find a whole range.

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I’m not a monk, but I’ve visited and stayed in many monasteries (mostly in Asia). There are a few questions you can ask yourself that will make your search easier.

  • You mention finding a monastery in Austria or Germany. Do you have a passport for an EU country? If not, you could have trouble finding a monastery that can provide you with a visa.
  • I’m guessing that because you’re asking this question on this forum, that you want to ordain in a Theravada monastery. How strictly do you want to keep the patimokkha? Do you want to handle money? If not, your options shrink down to…the Ajahn Cha branch monasteries and maybe a few others. There’s an Ajahn Cha branch monastery in Switzerland. The whole list of branch monasteries is here Community - Monasteries - Forest Sangha.
  • You can ordain and live in Asia without knowing the language first. There are benefits to ordaining in Asia, actually. For example, you can go on alms round every day. It’s a beautiful practice. It’s also usually possible to get visas to stay in Asian countries if you’re a monk.
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May I ask you which sutta inspire you to ordain as monk ?

Ven @sarana, Ven @Vimala and Ven @sabbamitta are monastics on this forum who are originally from your part of the world AFAIK. Perhaps they might be able to offer advice?

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Maybe this fine monastery can be of interest. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Oh, wow. I didn’t know that there was a Thai forest monastery next door to Sweden, where I live.

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There’s also a fine Swedish monk in that monastery. :slight_smile:

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  1. What nationality are you?

  2. Consider this: https://sasanarakkha.org/monastery/. In forest monastery in a hill in Malaysia, english speaking, international nationality sangha, strict in vinaya rules (no money, etc), Early Buddhism based (not tied to any traditions like Thai, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, so no need to adopt their extra stuffs, eg, shaving eyebrow for Thai), in our sutta class, we also have comparative studies.

  3. Have you been to a meditation retreat before? Have you been joining Buddhist societies before?

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Venerable Pannadipa, I should visit first monastery as a lay follower during May (as Upāsaka if pandemic situation allows it). I’am from Czech republic and all I know now is from studies of the teaching of venerable Buddha (from books for example and my own searching for informations like on this website). There are venerable monks who already helped me so much too both through texts or online Dhamma talks.
One of reasons why I’m thinking about this decision is because I feel great devotion to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

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Hmm. My advice would be to contact monasteries in the region where you would like to be ordained and get to know the monks there. Different monasteries may have different procedures and conditions for new aspirants. Live there for some time before definitely making up your mind.

You can find a list of places in Germany on the website of Theravadanetz (look under “Tempel und Klöster”).

The Theravadanetz website is all in German, but many, probably most, of the actual monasteries have English sections on their websites. There are nuns’ and monks’ monasteries among them, so you have to look what fits for you.

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One thing to keep in mind is that the community decides when you ordain, not you. Like Sabbamitta said, different communities have different procedures. It’s quite normal to wait a minimum of 6 months after you express your desire to ordain before novice ordination will be considered. It isn’t unusual to keep novice vows for a year before receiving the full bhikkhu ordination. In Asia you can find places where they do novice and bhikkhu ordination all at once. Those monasteries tend not to be places where there have been many foreign monks, though.

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If you view the monastery resident monks, we have 2 others from Czech Republic. Buddhism is going to be strong in your home country after you completed training and have some good conditions to go back to your country to propagate the Dhamma there!

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I realize that community, venerable monks decides when I ordain. And I would like to thanks to everyone who answered in this topic, thank you very much for your help.

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Yes, I actually have a friend (Czech, I’m also Czech) who I believe is a monk there - Bhikkhu Nanda.

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