Pointers for ordination?

Hi there Dhamma friends,
I’m seriously considering ordination, I’m weary about giving my life story here. I have a sangha I am part of, I’m just looking for some advice.

I’m wondering what are the general steps for bhikkhuni ordination? Is there anything I would need to understand? I know it is a serious job, as you’re essentially representing the community of monks and nuns in a way. Also I’ve heard the nuns have more rules than monks, though I’m fine with that.

Therefore I would give this the utmost consideration before even becoming a lay renunciate and strengthen my practice 200% before wearing a white robe. I’m from experience with dealing with unhelpful advice I don’t want to give the wrong impression.

Also sorry if this is against the rules, this is my first time using the SuttaCentral forum. Thank you in advance! :slightly_smiling_face: :pray:


Hi Ginger,

It’s going to vary a lot depending on your personal situation, age, and where in the world you live, so there’s no one size fits all answer.

Generally, the first step is to visit several bhikkhuni monasteries, and spend a lot of time there. Establish a good relationship with the residents, get a feeling for how different communities are run, and then see if you can find a suitable place for your further steps towards ordination.
How the process works will vary from place to place.
Typical steps in western countries include a stay of least several months as a lay resident, then about one year as a practitioner on eight precepts (anagarika), then at least two years as a novice nun, and another two years training after full ordination. In Asia, the process may be significantly different.

I wish you all the best on your path towards ordination!


In my mind there is the question of whether one considers the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, as the Three Jewels which will always be there. If you’re ready to accept Refuge and Ordination based on the Compassion of the Three Jewels, knowing what they are, not looking for a quick entrance into Nirvana but instead to be a part of what the Buddha has created for this world in Infinite Space for there always to be a Sangha to help others as the Multitudes of Myriads of Buddhas enter extinction, as new beings enter the world, you are ready for Ordination.

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Thank you both of you for your considerate replies! Yes, refuge is a great pointer. I will consider getting involved with a sangha!

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Dhammadharini has a write-up about the typical steps to becoming a bhikkhuni on our website, here: https://www.dhammadharini.net/entering-monastic-life (make sure to scroll all the way down)