Wanting to Ordain

I am thinking of ordaining here in the US. I grew up listening to Ajahn Brahm and the community online from BSWA. I know of a Monastery here in California from the same lineage of Ajahn Chah.

Is there any problem with being open about being a disciple of a different community such as the BSWA, while ordaining in my home country of USA?

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Is it Abhayagiri?

On the whole, I don’t think it’d be a problem, even if they’re likely not to see eye to eye on some issues (particularly bhikkhuni ordination, for example. I admit I don’t know Abhayagiri’s specific stance on it, I’m guessing they’re more in line with orthodox thai thought).

Ordination is a lengthy process, first you’d be informally be a guest, then a formal (unordained) student, then a bhikkhu. During your first visit & likewise in your tutelage, all these issues should come up, basic tenets, patimokkha rules, general doctrine, etc. etc., and both you and the sangha can decide for yourselves if you’re a good fit or not.

In short: it doesn’t hurt to just contact them and see what’s up. :slight_smile:


Okay. Yes it is Abhayagiri. Thank you Dogen.

I thought there may have been some reconciliation around the Bhikkuni ordination, and I was first introduced to Buddhism from Ajahn Brahm’s great talks, so I was thinking it might not be a problem. Sometimes I hear monastics reference other monastics from within the same lineage, but at different locations around the world, in a really nice way, so I thought: well, if I do take the plunge into monkhood, I will feel obliged to pay enormous respect to those teachers who first introduced me to Buddhism, while maintaining the same respect for the monastery that’s willing to ordain a bumbling fool like me!
I will reach out to them directly, like you suggested. Thank you :pray:


Greetings from Australia!
Just go and visit and check them out. You can ask question of the different monastics to allay your concerms.
Best wishes for your aspiration.


You’d probably be guessing wrong. Ajahn Pasanno attended a Bhikkhuni ordination in the US not long after the one in Perth. While not actively supporting bhikkhuni ordination publicly, many are supportive in other ways. One can debate the politics of that, but it’s not easy or wise to make assumptions.

Any way, to the OP’s question, you will probably find many monks in the “official” Ajahn Chah monasteries who are “into” Ajahn Brahm to some degree or another. And it’s certainly not out of the ordinary for candidates to be strongly influenced by various teachers before they enter the monastery they ordain at.

At the same time, you may still find pockets where certain senior monks still hold Ajahn Brahm in something less than high regard.

All that said, it’s ideal if candidates are inspired by the monks (esp. senior monks) at the monastery where they ordain. Or at the very least are inspired by the same monks that the monks at that monastery are mainly inspired by. For example being a devotee of Ajahn Chah is probably a more important factor when choosing any of those monasteries.


Thank you Venerable Pasanna… greetings to you too, from a lay follower of the BSWA here in the US.

Thank you Snowbird. I’m glad to hear of Venerable Passano attending the Bhikkuni ordination here, I didn’t know about that. What a beautiful thing.