Explore Monastic Life

Teachings from the annual Exploring Monastic Life program at Sravasti Abbey.

Exploring Monastic Life Program

Venerable Thubten Chodron leads an intensive three-week training program in late July to August every year at Sravasti Abbey. It’s for people thinking about becoming a Buddhist monk or nun, and for newly ordained monastics. Learn more about the Exploring Monastic Life program here.

Subcategories

Exploring Monastic Life 2005 participants and Venerable Chodron in the meditation hall.

Exploring Monastic Life 2005

The Buddha's life story, the history of the sangha, and the value of monastic precepts and community life.

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Exploring Monastic Life 2006 participants and Venerable Chodron cut apples together in the kitchen.

Exploring Monastic Life 2006

The history of the sangha and the precepts, different Buddhist traditions, and the benefits of ordination.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants roll mantras together.

Exploring Monastic Life 2007

The purpose of monastic precepts and how to keep them in modern times, and the six harmonies of a sangha community.

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Early Sravasti Abbey residents stand on the deck of Ananda Hall.

Exploring Monastic Life 2008

Why and how monastics keep precepts, cultivate contentment and concentration, and benefit society.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants sit in a circle for a discussion in the Sravasti Abbey Meditation Hall.

Exploring Monastic Life 2009

Sutras on how monastic life fosters ethical discipline, concentration, harmony, and trust.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants sit in a circle for a discussion in the Sravasti Abbey Meditation Hall.

Exploring Monastic Life 2010

The Buddha's life, what changes after monastic ordination, and monastic community life.

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Sravasti Abbey residents pile their hands in the center in a display of harmony.

Exploring Monastic Life 2011

The Buddha’s life, his advice to laypeople, and how to work with the afflictions.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants pose with an excavator on the Chenrezig Hall construction site.

Exploring Monastic Life 2012

How monastic life helps us to subdue our afflictions.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants take a group photo in front of a painting of the eight Medicine Buddhas.

Exploring Monastic Life 2013

Changes that occur after monastic ordination and commentary on the seven Vinayas of the past buddhas.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants kneel to request for training from the Sravasti Abbey community.

Exploring Monastic Life 2014

The foundation of monastic life, the qualities of a monastic mind, and how to relate to the world as a monastic.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants wave and smile from the lower meadow in front of Gotami House.

Exploring Monastic Life 2015

History of the Dharma and the Vinaya, and commentary on chapter 4 of Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions.

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Abbey trainees have a discussion with nuns from the Tibetan and Chinese traditions.

Exploring Monastic Life 2016

The purposes and benefits of monastic precepts, the conditions for ordination, and commentary on the Ratthapala Sutta.

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Monastics, lay trainees, and lay people sit in meditation at Sravasti Abbey.

Exploring Monastic Life 2017

Commentary on the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya novice ordination ceremony.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants circle up for a discussion in the Meditation Hall.

Exploring Monastic Life 2018

History of monastic lineages and how precepts benefit the individual, monastic community, and society.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants take a group photo in the Meditation Hall.

Exploring Monastic Life 2019

A detailed commentary on the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya sramaneri and shiksamana ordination rites.

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Exploring Monastic Life participants sit with khatas around their necks at the request for training ceremony.

Exploring Monastic Life 2021

How monastic precepts and living in community help to tame the mind, and how to live a happy monastic life.

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Related Books

All Posts in Explore Monastic Life

Bowing while taking precepts.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

Monastic life

Taking ordination is easy, keeping it is hard. It is being intent on virtue.

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Gold calligraphy 'Great Wisdom Sutra Handscroll - Frontspiece detail - the Buddha's First Sermon.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

History of the sangha

The purpose of living in community. The evolution of the sangha and the establishment of…

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Painting of the Buddha's first sermon and five disciples.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

Precepts and their background

Benefits of taking precepts, seeing the teacher as the Buddha, and etiquette between lay practitioners,…

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Thai practitioner kneeling with palms together.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

Importance of precepts

Keeping precepts protects us from negative actions and spurs us to develop wisdom rather than…

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Sangha walking down a country road.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

Historical evolution of the sangha

Dharma practice means being a balanced human being with self acceptance and ease, not being…

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Stone sculpture of monk meditating near Chaityas.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

Development of the sangha

Relating our ways of being in the world to our state of mind and how…

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Ven. Chogkyi listening to Ven. Chodron give a Dharma talk.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

Essentials of monastic life

The heart of ordination is to guide our mind away from negative actions and to…

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Burmese nuns walking in formation.
Exploring Monastic Life 2005

Simplicity

Considering desired long-term results and what actions to perform now to attain them. The qualities…

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