Someday soon, a friend of mine will become a nun. Meanwhile, in the last year, one monk friend disrobed, another nun friend also disrobed, and a certain nun who I never met not only disrobed but composed and publicized a scathing letter about what she thinks is wrong with the whole system of monasticism and… Continue reading Why do people quit?
It was ten years ago today that I took robes and shaved my head. My relationship with ordination has changed and developed over the years. Back then, I was 21 and just wanted to be ordained and learn Tibetan. I thought I would stay at Namdroling for 2 or 3 years, then head back to… Continue reading Ten years in robes
My fellow Western monastics sometimes mention criticism from their lay fellows, much of which is to the point of, “Monastics are unnecessary in the West.” Or, “Western Buddhism is lay Buddhism.” Now I could write about how the Sangha is four-fold, including monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen, but you’ve probably already heard about that. In… Continue reading The Relevance of Buddhist Monasticism
Now that I am in my eight year of a nine year program pretty much everyone is asking me: “What are you going to do next?” and “Are you going to be a Khenmo?” Let me tackle the second question first. I did mention the qualifications to become a Khenpo or Khenmo in a previous… Continue reading The future and other things which don’t yet exist
People seem to have a vast array of projections about monks and nuns. For Westerners these are largely carry-overs from their image of Christian monastics and other clergy. We also seem to take references from Hollywood’s vision of peaceful Zen monasteries or even the Shaolin monks in our projection of what monasticism means. This is… Continue reading Considering Ordination Part 2
From time to time I receive letters from people who are considering monastic ordination in the Buddhist tradition. At the moment there are two young women in my home town who are looking in that direction. With them in mind I’ll offer some tips and thoughts. Dear Friend, Thank you for your letter. I am… Continue reading Consdering Ordination Part 1