To those who renounce, please

To those who renounce, please take care with the tender hearts of others. Please recognise that your boundaries can be incomplete and that your intentions can be mixed.

Please recognise that in being human, your human tendencies and changeability can be experienced by others

And please be honest in relation to your renunciation and admit that it is often still a work-in-progress.

Please take care with the tender hearts of others who still deeply value the many gifts of human connection.


In case it was me, any advice for me? The more specific the better.


Hope everything is ok, sounds like a yucky experience with someone in particular maybe? Feel free to DM if you need to talk.

Whilst I appreciate your posts intention and think it’s good advice (for anyone, not just monastics), I wonder if you’ve tried resolving it with the monastic involved?

I get approached by people from time to time saying they had a unpleasant experience with such and such a monastic. When I ask if they’ve raised it with the individual concerned they say no. I truly think it’s more useful and purposeful to tell monastics about their bad behaviour, rather than, for example, only have a conversation with me about it (although I’m happy to listen).

Although it can be challenging to confront someone who upsets us because of things like a perceived power imbalance, community dynamics, etc there are some ways to raise it, either through writing to them, or arranging a meeting with a mediator or intermediary, or formal grievance procedures through their temple or monastery.

That way the monastic is informed that their behaviour was harmful, and they can understand that their behaviour needs to change. Hopefully this gives them the chance to change their ways.

It also will help the people impacted feel like they are empowered and that they stand up for themselves when boundaries are crossed. Which is important! We don’t have to put up with bad behaviour.

Forgiveness and moving forward is possible when we have a difficult conversation. But if a monastic responds with a lot of anger and ego when admonished or given feedback that’s not a good sign.

Remember too they are human just like everyone and trying their best. People whether lay or ordained aren’t always that their best all the time. But we are trying and if it is pointed out that we need to improve then we should regard it as a treasure.

Hope this helps.