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Foreigners Ordaining As Buddhist Monks In Thailand

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Monks don't preside at weddings or have anything to do with them in Thailand.

The marrying couple may have some monks over to offer them lunch and receive some so called blessings, but that is about it.


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To follow up on my previous post..............................

Pla Para very kindly got in touch and I obtained a lot of informative advice from him via an exchange of P.M;s / Emails.

Yesterday, my lady and I visited him at the Temple outside Rayong, where we were made most welcome. He is a very affable and straight talking guy. I have a lot to thank him for.


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  • 3 weeks later...

You can become a monk for as long or short a time as you like. You'll get out what you put in. Make sure the monastery ways accord with your own. Some focus on chanting or working, others meditation. I think its a great idea to at least try it. I'm sure some of the others here will give you good advice.

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I am considering experiencing the monk life for 6 months while my girlfriend goes overseas.

Is that amount of time reasonable to get a feel for the life?

Would the temple accept me on that basis?

Would it likely have much value if i dont expect to be a monk in the long term?

thanks for your thoughts.

Based on your questions, I'd consider checking out the two groups of monastics that are most dominant in Thailand. Get a feel of what the 10 precepts are about (read some of the threads or look up 'Sila' on Google), and take time to consider if you will be able to keep them in the long run, how much effort it will take.

Are you Thai? Half-Thai? Can you speak Thai? If you can't speak Thai, then I'd definitely try and get some information about any English-speaking temples you can find. The cultures are very different, and even in 6 months there will be new experiences surfacing most frequently.

If you are a non-native Thai, the spotlight will be on you, and that's a big factor, believe it or not. For that reason I suggest checking out some of the English - speaking temples, as for the most part, they're focused on practice only. Academic achievements are not at the forefront and therefore allow for progression - if you are looking into a period of 6 months, it may be the best option.

Where do you plan on staying? What province? Location plays a big factor in what you will get overall by being in robes, as your options will either be limited or expanded. Other than that, good luck!

Do not be surprised if you undergo a period as an white-robed layperson, novice or both. Many of us had to take it on, mostly to see if what we were undertaking was with true intention, and if adaptation could prove possible.

One last edit - this period is that of the Rains season retreat - most abbots I know, if allowing ordinations to occur, are for extremely short periods of time, or some type of emergency. For that reason it may be suggested to start off as a white robed layperson, but every temple is different, and I don't know what time period you may be looking into.

Edited by hookedondhamma
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  • 7 years later...


Right now I'm at one provincial monastery in Thailand. I'm visiting it since 2006 for short retreats up to 30 days. Recently I've asked the abbot if I can stay for a long unlimited period. He agreed. But the secretary has no experience at all with preparing documents for the religious visa. 

Could someone share with me actual information on this matter? Or refer to someone else? I'm afraid when the secretary will find out everything my tourist visa will expire.

My background: I've studied World religions with specialization on Buddhism and on Psychology of Religion in 2003-2008 at Leiden University in The Netherlands. Also here I've studied Thai language. In 2006 I've studied 'Buddhism in SEA' at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. 

With metta,


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