Going to a Buddhist Monastery
  • Has anyone ever visited or gone regularly to a Buddhist monastery? There is a Vietnamese monastery in my city and I would like to visit there in the future. I am interested in meditation, but perhaps learning scriptures and texts. I would like to hear of any interesting stories or personal experiences from the family.....
  • I have some of your same questions :).. I've also wanted to visit a monastery for awhile, hopefully someone here has some cool info.
  • i sometimes go to the zen center near my house. its not really a monastery, just a bunch of white people sitting really still, and being really quiet. and then a lady gives a little talk. but i like sitting really still and being really quiet.
    i like tibetan stuff a lot too, and occasionally go to the tibetan place in my city, but for some reason, i don't really feel like i get what i need from then. which is weird, cause i resonate with the tibetan teachings more than the zen teachings. but hey, quiet sitting is quiet sitting.
    some of the monasteries i've gone to in the past have been heavy on liturgy, and some have been big on teachings, and some have been big on meditations.
    so, my suggestion is to decide what it is you are looking for and then see if the place you are going to actually offers that. sometimes if you don't see it, you can ask for it. like if you go on sunday morning, it might just look like church, but buddhist, you can ask someone if there is a book study or a meditation session. if they don't have what you want, go somewhere else. dont just stick around doing something you dont like. seems obvious, but it happens.
    Mr. Takahashi would like to see you all in his office now

  • I'm gonna be the resident snarky asshole in this thread. So I apologize in advance.

    If you go to a Vietnamese Buddhist temple, some of you might be in for a rude awakening.

    Those people are real Buddhists. As in, they take Buddhism seriously. As in, they do everything that Buddhists are supposed to. As in, they don't just cherry pick bits and pieces that interest them and make them feel good. As in, they accept the unpleasant, boring, repressive and old-fashioned aspects of Buddhism too.

    If you're serious about becoming Buddhist, I'm sure they would love to have you and welcome you with open arms.

    However, if you want to just go there and a Western cherry picker they're probably not going to appreciate that.

    That's just my guess.
  • they are real buddhists, but they are a particular school of buddhists. they don't, like, have the market cornered on buddhism. it would be like saying baptists are the real christians. there are plenty of options for people who want to be christian and not baptist. so, if what is going on there doesn't work for you, you can be honest about that and still be a good person. don't give into shame and self loathing, that you are a 'western cherry picker' if you don't want to do everything that any organization wants you to do. that is the same kind of vampiric language that just about every institution uses to control and manipulate people. You do what feels right, brother. remember that you are a pope.

    and yes, i am not a 'real buddhist'. I am a 'real meditator'. I care only moderately about religion and dogma. I care mostly about working intimately with my mind and heart in a practical way. I answered your question in the manner i did, because what i thought i heard was you expressing an interest in meditation, not religion.
    Mr. Takahashi would like to see you all in his office now

  • @sammyz I get the point you are trying to make. Its all about being respectful and genuine. Like you said, I'm sure serious prospective Buddhists would be received with open arms.

    @sitar I like your stance on religion vs working with one's own mind. I want to learn more about various 'religions' but primarily so I can get more control over my own mind. Thanks for posting!

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