Many people have asked us what to do to go to the monastery, 'I can stay a period in the monastery?' 'I want to be a monk, how can I do it?', 'Where can I order?', 'How can I help?'. So we decided to make a short summary to clarify these and other issues.
The monastery in Portugal is located in Pinhal de Frades, near Ericeira in a space that serves as a residence for monks, where they exert their monastic and where anyone can participate in meditations or spend some time practices, not only practicing meditation within the context of Buddhist teaching, as well as helping in the community routine. Eventually they may also occur retreat periods.
For a stay in the monastery it is necessary to send an email with the dates you want, thus reserving its place.
Within this tradition there are numerous monasteries in Thailand (over two hundred), in Europe and elsewhere in the world (see list in www.forestsangha.org). In addition to the Monastery in Portugal, the two monasteries of easier access to the Portuguese and greater willingness to accept guests are Amaravati and Cittaviveka.
For those who want to be ordained as a monk, the first step is to visit one of these places where there is no time costs. Once you become familiar with the routine and the monastic experience, you can then make a more informed decision regarding a possible ordination. Although this is a very large monastic order, only relatively recently (about thirty years) is that it was established the order of nuns, so for now, only two monasteries have female monastic communities, Cittaviveka and Amaravati, both in England.
So, after spending some time in one of those monasteries, one can ask for ordination. The first step will be to aspiring to which it gives the name of Anagarika (literally means 'homeless'), who abandons his more mundane duties to devote himself to spiritual practice, in which the individual follows the eight precepts and participates in the Almost all of monastic practice, with the rest of the community. At this stage it is still possible to have some material goods, like money. This period is normally two years for women and one year for men, although in the East can range from six weeks to six months or even not exist. For these, however, follows other 'intermediate' period of one year, the probation period in which the individual is called Samanera (small Samana - resigning), acquiring the precept of not handling money. Then follows the final ranking (Bhikkhu for men and Siladara for women). In the West, there are not many monks with authority to make ordinances, so the ordination ceremony will take place in a place where they reside or senior monks in monasteries, to which they opportunely moving.
This is not a decision that is taken lightly. There is a whole internal and external resolution process which should be taken into consideration. Outside this is reflected in relation to work, to relationships, to family, belongings, etc. Inside this will interfere with the habits and values, security and emotions. When the individual is ordered, you should be aware of its independence in practice; ie must have 'legs to walk'. You will always have the support of all other monastic, especially the most experienced, so any uncertainty arising as to spiritual practice or path, but is the very person who will have the clarity of mind to make decisions, and follow instructions in order conscious.
This is a path of renunciation and freedom that must be followed by one whose heart longs for liberation.
Sunset at Monastery in Pinhal de Frades The Buddhist Monastery Sumedharama, the Theravada line of the Thai Forest Tradition, was officially recognized in Portugal.
It exists in Pinhal de Frades, a space that serves this purpose, for the monks conduct their monastic practice and also to all those who want to take the opportunity of this space.
The doors of the monastery are open to all those who want to participate in our daily meditation sessions, or who want to come at any time of the day talking to the monks or enjoy the meditation room of silence.
Our daily meditations are at 5.00 (am) and 19:30 (end of day). To participate in them any marking is not necessary, just come to the monastery just before the indicated time and bring appropriate clothing to the practice of meditation (comfortable).
On Fridays evening follows a short talk after meditation.
On Sundays we have a Meditation Workshop from 16h to 18h.
The area where we are still temporary, we hope in the future move to a country area where you can build the Temple and other components of the Monastery, so that everyone can enjoy a wider and natural space.