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Ordination Procedure

Training notes

more pictures of Ordination


.. Khemacitto ..


One of the ways in which to deepen one’s practice of Buddhism is through the observance of precepts. Many lay Buddhists observe the five precepts of ethical behavior, in an attempt to ensure that they can live their lives in a way that does not harm themselves or others.  The precepts can be seen like a fence lining the side of the road that leads to results in our practice. By keeping us on the proper path, precepts ensure that we do not lose our way and become confused in our study of the Buddha‘s teachings. Moral discipline ensures a clear and peaceful mind, free from regret, which is essential for deep experience in meditation.


For those who wanted to simplify their lives even further, the monastic community, founded by the Buddha shortly after his enlightenment, offers the chance to live a life dedicated to Dhamma practice. In Thailand, ordination as a fully ordained monk with 227 precepts is open through tradition to any qualified male over the age of 20 who is able to memorize the important Pali passages of the ordination ceremony.


While many monks choose to stay for a lifetime, others stay in the robes for a short period of more intensive practice. Watpah Kanjanabhisek is able to arrange ordination as a monk for those who wish to spend an extended period practicing meditation in a monastic setting. Most of the students who choose to ordain have a good foundation in Buddhist practice and wish to experience life in a traditional Buddhist culture.


Practice as a monk in Thailand brings many benefits. Due to Thailand’s long history of Buddhism, monks are well supported and activities such as the traditional alms round and walking pilgrimages (Dhutanga) are still possible. There are huge number of monasteries where one can stay and practice, in addition to a number of meditation training programs. Although language can sometimes be a barrier, there is a growing number of Thai monks studying the English language. Fortunately at Watpah Kanjanabhisek, the abbot; Luangpoh Sudhiro is able to teach and answer questions in both English and Thai. The wat receives many international visitors so there are often other Western sangha or lay practitioners in residence.


The monasteries of the forest tradition, to which Watpah Kanjanabhisek belongs, place more emphasis on meditation practice, in contrast to the study-centred approach of the city temples. Forest practice for monks centres around simplicity and careful observance of even the more minor precepts. By avoiding activities such as touching money,  one reduces the amount of attachment and worry in the mind, which facilitates a better focus on practice. Monks give up the enjoyments of the lay life to cultivate a mind of renunciation, and turn away from the momentary joys of this world to find the lasting joy that comes from dhamma practice.


The first week or two as a monk bring many challenges, especially for those unfamiliar with the Thai culture and language. However, after some time one becomes comfortable with the robes and duties of a monk and the benefits of the lifestyle become evident. Due to outer distractions being minimized attention turns within, and the mind becomes transformed through the mindfulness the discipline entails.