We are very fortunate that the monastic tradition started by the Buddha is still alive today, thanks to the devotion, dedication and efforts of many thousands of monks and nuns in Asia over the last 2500 years. Programs are being developed where lay practitioners considering ordination can gain an understanding and experience of the monastic life in protected retreat environment. Becoming a nun is a difficult process that requires a lot of time and sacrifice. After 49 colourful years working in theatre and academia, Venerable Thubten Chokyi became a Buddhist nun so she could devote the rest of her life to the service of others. Additional vows are taken at this step, the head is shaven and study and practice of the Buddha's teaching are implemented as the essential components of the postulant's days. To send your daughter to be a nun in a foreign religion was bizarre'. Discuss with monks and nuns who have lived with the vows and can offer very practical information on how to maintain one’s commitment. Becoming a Buddhist monastic means that you are joining a community—the Sangha. Lama Thubten Yeshe, the founder of FPMT, established the IMI in 1973 in order to develop a community of nuns and monks where we would not only be cared for, but where we would also take care of each other. Over time, Buddhism has split into several different forms with different followers and rites of passage. Ven. No it is not correct. Living in community also means that we share our resources, our habits, our practice and our personalities. In Buddhism, the goal of the Buddhist path is to reach enlightenment, a state free of mental suffering and characterized by bliss, peace and happiness. Following the renunciation of secular life, there are two additional stages of ordination for women. In the refuge ceremony, the postulant takes vows in the five precepts (or up to 10 if the full precepts are requested), goes through a physical worship practice and is given a Tibetan or Buddhist name if she is not of Eastern descent. She is ordained in the presence of at least five nuns and five monks on the same day. Tags ask a buddhist buddhist form of address buddhist nun spokanefavs ask a buddhist. Now, Ru Xing is a Buddhist nun at the monastery. The last requirement for full ordination is agreement of the sangha, or monastic community, that she is ready. Previous An analysis of Robert Nelson’s “proof” of god. in Thailand) offer part-time ordination programs, usually for men, which allow one the possibility to live as a monastic for a few days, weeks, months, or years. Becoming a Buddhist monk requires daily meditation and a conscious effort to change how the mind works. The most touching doctrine to her is about cause and condition. In order to protect our ordination, the vinaya (code of conduct) for monastic life is very explicit in how we live in community. Women are welcome to visit Dhammasara to find out what is it like. What can they learn by leading a Buddhist monastic life? International Mahayana Institute - Welcome! The initial stage is to reduce attachment towards life. Becoming A Buddhist Nun. When you live in an abbey, much … Pray. Zen Buddhism started in India and has gradually spread to the western world over the years. Some orders have very strict requirements about who can or cannot become a nun. IMI also provides support in dependence on available resources. For two weeks in July of 2003,… In order to become ordained, any person, male or female, who wishes to become an ordained member of the Buddhist tradition must meet certain health standards. This requires followers to commit themselves to what is known as the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the dharma (the Buddha's teachings) and the sangha (the worldwide group of Buddhists). Venerable Amy Miller discuss why she became a Buddhist nun. Being Part of a CommunityBecoming a Buddhist monastic means that you are joining a community—the Sangha. Considering OrdinationIf possible spend some time living in a monastic community receiving advice from the resident monks or nuns on what it is like to be a monastic. But Dharmashila was undeterred. Resources and articles are also available online. Although some monasteries offer part-time ordination, in most schools of Buddhism, the choice to become a Buddhist monk or nun is a lifetime commitment. Buddhist nuns face similar requirements when considering ordination. 3 Prerequisites for Becoming a Buddhist Nun Paula Bronstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images While the requirements to become nuns and monks were the same in the time of the Buddha, there were already differences in expectations. Understand that you are not mandated to accept these teachings. The purpose of the community is to study and practice the Buddha’s teachings, and whenever possible, to share them with others. Though this is not required in the Theraveda tradition, which focuses on each individual reaching an enlightened state, nuns can elect to take these vows regardless of their secular affiliation. On a deeper level, there is nothing to grasp to about being Western, a nun, a Buddhist, or from the Tibetan tradition. How to Become a Monk or Nun The Sangha, the community of Buddhist monks and nuns, is the oldest monastic tradition going back to the time of the Buddha, nearly three thousand years ago. Why do many of them choose to become a Buddhist nun? If you are beginning, check your local area for a center or study group where you can generate an understanding of the teachings, gather the support of other dharma students and have the guidance of a qualified teacher. The requirements state that you must be in good health, physically and mentally. Traditionally a student requesting ordination has completed several years of study and practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher. idk 0 0 Anonymous Yvonne had always wanted to be the "perfect wife," so for her, she says, the hardest part about becoming a Buddhist nun was having to break up with her boyfriend. She has been writing professionally since 2012, with articles spanning topics from French culture to nutrition and brain disorders. Her work was first published in the "Journal of Chemical Ecology" as both a full-length article and the journal's cover. A Lifelong CommitmentThe vows of a Buddhist monk or nun are taken for life, therefore it is important to spend time and take great care in reflecting on the various advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. For women and men, the first step to becoming a Buddhist practitioner, monk or nun is taking refuge. The second stage is the elimination of desire and attachment to this samsara. Why do young women choose to study Buddhism at a Buddhist college? Thubten Chonyi. Also, be sure to check out the "Prerequisites for Becoming a Catholic Sister or Nun" at the bottom of this post. Mahayana Buddhists take vows to follow the path of the Bodhisattva, suggesting that their attainment of enlightenment is for the good of all beings. When Buddhism was first initiated around 500 B.C.E., the Buddha, born Siddhartha Gautama, allowed women to become part of his monastic order of disciples. Sangha Jewel – A Community Of Buddhist Monks And Nuns. Responding to a question posed to the Ask a Buddhist feature at Spokane FAVS, Ven. For both men and women, renouncing secularism involves the relinquishment of all material goods except for eight items that the Buddha found necessary for living: a food bowl, three robes, a belt, a sewing needle, a razor and a water filter. Having a Spiritual GuideIn any venture we undertake, we need someone who can teach and guide us. Tiffany Andras received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Georgia Tech in Biology and Biochemistry. Those seeking to become monks or nuns should discuss their situation with their teacher or senior sangha to ensure their stability once they have taken ordination. But "nun" could work. What obstacles do they face? if you can go to Buddhist countries, the Buddhist communities would support you. Currently, two of the main Buddhist sects, Theraveda and Mahayana, both give women the right to become nuns, but this was not always the case; nuns were missing from the Theraveda tradition for nearly 800 years. Although there is great benefit in becoming ordained, the life of a Buddhist monk or nun also carries a deep responsibility for oneself and for others. Becoming a Buddhist Nun (Bhikkhuni) 1. In some cases, one can also reside within a dharma center under the guidance and protectio… There is also a wide variety of ages, from age 15 to 79, though most of the monastics are in their 20’s and 30’s. Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron details the practicalities and process of becoming a Buddhist monk or nun. It is contrary to the Vinaya (code of conduct) for monks and nuns to work in worldly jobs to support themselves. The vows are taken with the determination to keep them for the rest of one’s life. What is the lifestyle of a Buddhist nun like?. The process itself varies from order to order. How To Become A Zen Buddhist Monk. Proper health is established through a series of 24 questions before any ordination can take place. They are openly curious about what it means to be a Buddhist as well as a nun … Though our monastic Sangha represents many co… Becoming a Buddhist monk or nun is truly a meaningful and worthwhile way to spend your life, and to be of benefit to others. This is her story. Traditionally, one stays in a monastic community for at least 5 years after becoming ordained. See disclaimer. For women and men, the first step to becoming a Buddhist practitioner, monk or nun is taking refuge. After entering the university, she enjoyed studying the sea of Dharma. They … A new IMI cabin in Thakpa Kachoe, Vajrayogini Pure Land in France. Once one understands the value of the Buddha’s teachings and feels they are appropriate for one’s own spiritual development, the next step is to formally establish yourself as a Buddhist by taking “refuge”. Meet the requirements. Becoming a nun can be easy but to get continuing support is a different issue. In the West, Buddhist nuns don't always call themselves "nuns," preferring to call themselves "monastics" or "teachers." Supporting YourselfTraditionally, when one joins a monastic community, the four basic requisites of food, clothing, dwelling and medicine are provided. Many monks and nuns provide service to their local dharma communities in exchange for their basic needs. First of all, you can achieve the same thing by finding a Buddhist teacher and doing the practices daily that you are taught … while you continue to hold down a job, get married, have kids, etc. A woman who wants to become a Catholic nun, for example, must be at least 18 years old, be single, have no dependent children, and have no debts to be considered. The second stage, sikkhamana, prepares the novice for full ordination, which is called upasampada. You need to have a teacher who can give you permission to be ordained, and you need to be following one of the Buddhist traditions (e.g. Thubten Chonyi describes a nuns’ life.. This step away from a householder's path and onto the monastic path is essentially a novice ordination for women. In learning to live in a community one can face many difficulties, particularly as many of us have been raised in cultures of individual expression. Knowing the Buddhist TeachingsBefore making the decision to take ordination, one should have a thorough foundation in the teachings of the Buddha, such as the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim). Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the current Spiritual Director and Abbott of the IMI. How to Become a Nun 1. Thubten Chonyi is a nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Theravada, Tibetan, etc.). Buddhist monastics should be free from family and monetary obligations, such as marriages and debts. At that time, a woman may be fully ordained as a nun by taking the entirety of the 311 vows, which is in contrast to the 277 required of men. to take refuge in the Triple Gem and follow a ceremony during which you take a vow to uphold the Five Precepts (to not kill, not steal, not commit sexual misconduct, refrain from false speech and not take intoxicants that lessen your awareness). However, as monastic communities are still in development in many parts of the world, this is not always possible. The purpose of the community is to study and practice the Buddha’s teachings, and whenever possible, to share them with others. © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. She went away with the Buddhist teachers to Kushinagar in India, where she was ordained. by Ven. However, in the Tibetan tradition, one makes a commitment for life. Some monasteries in Asia (e.g. But that doesn't mean that everybody should . The most important place to begin is to pray (or continue praying) about this call you sense. Additionally, as the candidate for ordination is normally presented by her parents, you must have your parents' permission and not be bound to any government service. The International Mahayana Institute (IMI) is a community of Buddhist monks and nuns of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). This requires followers to commit themselves to what is known as the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the dharma (the Buddha's teachings) and the sangha (the worldwide group of Buddhists). Traditionally, one stays in a monastic community for at least 5 years after becoming ordained. For a woman to become a bhikkhuni, she must meet several basic requirements. The English word "nun" comes from the Old English nunne, which could refer to a priestess or any woman living under religious vows. I learned that some students had troublesome struggles between the time they decided to become a student at this Buddhist college and before their entrance date, either personally or with their parents. At that time, requirements for becoming a nun, or bhikkhuni, were the same as those for becoming a monk, or bhikkhu: simply dedicating oneself to the Buddhist path and taking vows in the five precepts of not to kill, steal, lie, consume intoxicants or participate in sexual misconduct. Preparing to Become a Buddhist Monk or Nun According to Buddhist practice, there are three stages or steps. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images, BBC: Religions: Buddhism: History: The Buddha, Buddhanet: Women in Buddhism Questions and Answers: What are the Requirements for Bhikkhuni Ordination. According to Buddhist practice, there are three stages or steps. How To Become A Buddhist Monk In UK. This is her story. Archive for November 2006 INTRODUCTION. Shortcut to becoming a Buddhist monk or nun Ci’en temple in Zhejiang province offers three-month course and part-time vows Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 01:00 It is also important to strengthen one’s practice by taking “lay vows” preparing one for living with vows; many students will also practice celibacy for a period prior to taking ordination. NOTE: Here is a downloadable and printable version of this post: How to Become a Catholic Nun PDF. Copyright ©2020 International Mahayana Institute, Preparing to Become a Buddhist Monk or Nun. Ordaining as a Buddhist nun is a big commitment and requires aspirants to pass through stages which require greater degrees of commitment and higher standards of monastic discipline (Vinaya). Believe it or not, I had to look up “lifestyle” to think about how to answer your question. The second stage is the elimination of desire and attachment to this samsara. Answers to these questions can be found in this compilation. To become a Buddhist, there is a need to know the foundation on which Buddhism is built. However, as monastic communities are still in development in many parts of the world, this is not always possible. With the proper preparation and sense of commitment, anyone can take the vows of a Buddhist monk or nun and enter the walls of monastic life. Our teacher can help provide the foundation for the monastic life, and will understand when we are ready to take on the commitment required for the monastic vows of ordination. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Before becoming one, she liked to question about souls and life. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers. By becoming a monk or a nun, one abandons the ways and appearance of a lay person and adopts the appearance and ways of an ordained person by keeping a number of vows. Then in the third stage, self-cherishing is eliminated. In some cases, one can also reside within a dharma center under the guidance and protection of one’s teachers. The word zen means meditation. The initial stage is to reduce attachment towards life. Ask A Buddhist: Becoming a Buddhist - February 4, 2019; View All Posts. For those considering ordination, it is important to consider what resources are available for support once one has taken ordination. Becoming a Buddha monk or a nun in the UK follows the same steps described above on how to become a monk. Know yourself and know whether you will feel comfortable being a monk or nun. Most of my teenage students know I am a nun, and their reactions fascinate me. While men only have two levels of ordination, Buddhist women have three; however, the first step for both is the same -- relinquishing of secular life. One should investigate the possibilities that are available to join monastic communities prior to ordination. Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Members of the monastic community are happy that you are interested in following the monastic path and want to support you in your ordination. Entering the Buddhist PathTake the time you need in developing your spiritual practice. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. However, as Buddhism is relatively new to many parts of the world, resources to support the monastic communities are limited. You must be free from contagious, chronic and venereal diseases as well as any mental disorders; this is probably because of the close quarters and interactions with other monks and nuns that occur with this lifestyle. A small difference between the vows of Mahayana and Theraveda Buddhists occurs at this step in the path of ordination for women. You should at first study the life of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), know the principles of the Four Noble Truth, Karma, Reincarnation, the Eightfold Path, and the Five Precepts. A woman in the Theraveda tradition must remain as a sikkhamana, or trainee, for a period of two years while she observes, learns and practices with and in the same way as fully ordained nuns and monks. In the Plum Village monastic communities there are monks and nuns from many different countries including France, England, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Canada, Sweden, Portugal, USA, and Australia. After 49 colourful years working in theatre and academia, Venerable Thubten Chokyi became a Buddhist nun so she could devote the rest of her life to the service of others. And although there are cases of people who take vows and later give them back and return to lay life, this is not recommended. This is especially true in our spiritual journey where a qualified teacher can provide the guidance we need to be successful in our practice. 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