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Ordaining as a parent

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Ordaining as a parent
Answer
12/15/18 8:56 PM
(Apologies for lack of line breaks later on. The editor appears to be nearly totally unusable on mobile. Also, I tried to google this topic and got nowhere due to all the results being ableout issues of requiring ones own parent's permission to ordain, which is not an issue for me.)

I'm giving very serious thought to the possibility of ordination, or some other similar life style.

However the one issue I can't get past is that this would mean leaving my son (nearly 3) behind. (I am separated from his mother and we live apart but I visit/have him visit usually twice a week.)

The main purpose of this post is to find out if anyone else has been in the same kind of position, and what they did? Are there alternatives? Are there traditions in which it would be OK to say, spend a day a week/fortnight visiting him whilst still observing the precepts? (Obviously this has some impact on practice, but not a fatal one. And there is still the possibility of having intensive retreats in isoalation every so often.) Are there any other possibilities that would allow serious time/space/peace to persue serious dharma practice whilst having some kind of presence in his life?

I'm aware that the Buddha left his (baby?) son behind when he left the palance. I'm generally expecting that the template response to this issue will be simple and dogmatic - the monastic life requires leaving beyind home/family/possessions completely and anything else is attachment, wrong view etc. 
I'd like to note that my main concern here is not my attachment to him, but for his wellbeing and the impact of his father being absent on his development. I can make any choose for myself for my own liberation, but it does not seem fair to harm him in my name.The natural response to this would of course probably be something about noself/the fact of there aren't actually being any beings/other. Debate isn't my focus here, but essentially I'm unconvinced as to the rightness of allowing insight training viewpoints to guide the steps of the morality training path.

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
12/15/18 11:38 PM as a reply to Adrian Smith.
In soto zen one can be ordained, have family, job etc.

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
12/18/18 10:20 AM as a reply to Adrian Smith.
I am a soon to be ordained Soto Zen priest, and have a wife and 2 nearly adult "children". There is plenty to learn, and much to be of service with in the world without running off to a monastery. : )

This is also possible in some branches of Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma/Dzogchen) where householders can be ordained. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngagpa

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
12/17/18 1:26 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Hi Stirling,

Where do you live? Looks like I'll be ordained in soto in a few months.

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
12/18/18 10:22 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Hello Kim,

A dharma brother - that's fantastic! emoticon

I live near the Silicon Valley in California. My teacher is in the Sunryu Suzuki lineage. Where is your teacher from, and where will you be ordained.

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
12/18/18 11:22 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Hi,

Maybe best to continue this chat via email (kimkatamiathotmail.com). I don't know how to send PM on this forum.

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
12/18/18 11:45 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Absolutely. 

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
1/4/19 12:36 AM as a reply to Adrian Smith.
Thanks guys. I have managed to find out there's not really any Zen around at all (some small meditation groups) but there are a number of tibetan monestaries that I need to follow up (with unfortunately, some possibly deal breaking issues for my circumstances.)
I just got back from short residential stay at a monestary which was really useful in a lot of ways. Most importantly, someone pointed out the blindingly obvious - which is that there's absolutely no problem for my son to come visit during the regular dana offerings (and this in fact happened for some of my lay co-residents).
Hard to say exactly why I ruled this out initially, but to me its actually a fairly satisfactory answer to the problem - even if its not ideal in every sense, it certain removes the issue as a core road block.
Speaking with the monks, in Thai forest traditional, going outside [the monestary] at all in the first few years is unlikely or going to be very limited. Although Ajahn Brahm (whom I've sat my recent retreat with and would consider one of the more likely choices) is much more accomidating on case specific issues in general.
However in the experience of the monks I talked to, those facing my issue have either chosen to delay (until their children's teenage years), or ordained, dropped out, and then come back during the teen years (so dipping their toes and delaying anyway). They had not heard of anyone ordaining with small children and staying in, other than those who felt OK leaving them behind entirely - but a very small sample size.

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
1/4/19 5:20 AM as a reply to Adrian Smith.
Maybe you could try rounds of temporary ordinations, and test it out (not all settings allow temporary ordination though). My wife just ordained for a seven day ordination. We have an 8-year old daughter. We can visit her pretty much everyday at certain times.

Benoit

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
1/6/19 6:46 PM as a reply to Adrian Smith.
I’m a mother of 3 children and thoughts of  leaving them to devoted to practice occur quite often especially when life is tough. But I hang it in there for over 20 years. And this is my opinions. 
The training is depend on our attitudes and efforts. Yes it’s tougher in the market and family but they offer mountain of opportunities to excel. As a parent the most important quality that our children teach us is love, patience and kindness. This heart quality is so crucial in the path . It enables our mind to expand and we sit better with no remorse and regrets. Furthermore the more we are trained the more we become a better example of human being. Imagine, if you ordained and teaches later on. Many beings will benefit but your son may slip through the net. 
The key to practicing and a family set up is have s few intense retreats each year. This is very possible with careful organising. 
Best of luck

RE: Ordaining as a parent
Answer
1/7/19 5:46 AM as a reply to Keshin lu.
Keshin lu:
I’m a mother of 3 children and thoughts of  leaving them to devoted to practice occur quite often especially when life is tough. But I hang it in there for over 20 years. And this is my opinions. 
The training is depend on our attitudes and efforts. Yes it’s tougher in the market and family but they offer mountain of opportunities to excel. As a parent the most important quality that our children teach us is love, patience and kindness. This heart quality is so crucial in the path . It enables our mind to expand and we sit better with no remorse and regrets. Furthermore the more we are trained the more we become a better example of human being. Imagine, if you ordained and teaches later on. Many beings will benefit but your son may slip through the net. 
The key to practicing and a family set up is have s few intense retreats each year. This is very possible with careful organising. 
Best of luck
Wonderful to have you here, as there aren't many mothers with kids here, actually you might be the only one. emoticon

I have two kids and I have to say that they, along with my highly challenging work, have been the worst and best for me. I mean that nothing has challenged and hit my triggers like these responsibilities. Real life among people is where one's practice and whatever stage is measured.