Becoming a Monastic
Please Note: Birken Forest Monastery ('Sitavana') is no longer ordaining any new monastics or anagarikas. Those interested in ordination may wish to contact other monasteries.
The following are some of the monasteries we would recommend as suitable places for becoming a monastic, and for acquiring a good basic training in the Theravada Vinaya (i.e., the rules of discipline for monastics). Other such monasteries exist in Britain and Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand. This list offers our choice of those that can be found in the USA and Canada:
- Abhayagiri Forest Monastery (CA, USA)
- Arrow River Hermitage (ON, Canada)
- Bhavana Society Forest Monastery and Retreat Centre (WV, USA)
- Dhammananda Vihara (CA, USA)
- Dhammadharini (CA, USA)
- Metta Forest Monastery (CA, USA)
- Sati Saraniya Hermitage (ON, Canada)
- Tisarana Forest Monastery (ON, Canada)
We also suggest that you initially visit some of these places and find out all you can about the teachers, accommodation and facilities, schedules, monastery guidelines, etc.
Requirements for ordination vary. However it is to be expected that in most monasteries the applicant will have to undergo a period of preliminary training as an Anagarika (8-precept practitioner), followed by a period as a Samanera/Samaneri (10-precept novice) before the full Bhikkhu/Bhikkhuni ordination is granted.
After having visited some monasteries you will have a better idea of where to spend your life as a monastic. We suggest that you consult the teachers (and the resident monastics) in these monasteries about your plan to become a monk/nun. Take your time in making such an important decision.