BOOK COVER OF Preparing for Ordination

Preparing for Ordination

Reflections for Westerners Considering Monastic Ordination in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition

Thoughtful preparation before ordaining eases the transition from lay to monastic life and promotes a joyous journey. Venerable Thubten Chodron compiled this collection of articles to support Westerners who have the aspiration to ordain as a Buddhist monastic.


For free distribution (see below for additional use information). Originally published by Life as a Western Buddhist Nun.

About the book

The decision to take monastic ordination is an important one, and to make it wisely, one needs information. In addition, one needs to reflect over a period of time on many diverse aspects of one’s life, habits, aspirations, and expectations. The better prepared one is before ordaining, the easier the transition from lay to monastic life will be, and the more comfortable and joyous one will be as a monastic. This booklet, with articles by Asian and Western monastics, is designed to inform and to spark that reflection in non-Tibetans who are considering monastic ordination in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.



Acknowledgements and permissions

  • Thich Nhat Hanh’s article and materials in this booklet have been edited and reprinted with his kind permission.
  • Gendun Rinpoche’s article first appeared in Karme Gendun, the newsletter of Kundreul Ling, and has been reprinted here with his kind permission.
  • Daria Alma Fand—cover illustration and design.
  • Edwin G.M. Solheim—cover computer graphic assistance.

This booklet as a whole is copyrighted by Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron. For permission to reprint the entire booklet, please contact her. For permission to reprint any of the articles separately, please contact the individual author. Addresses may be found with the biographies of the contributors (listed on the individual articles).