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The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.

HH Dalai Lama

For those considering ordination, there are several books and articles referenced below that might be useful. It is considered to be inauspicious to study the Vinaya prior to receiving vows and can actually create obstacles to taking ordination. There are opportunities to participate in the activities of monastic communities and specific programs are offered for those considering ordination in many parts of the world.



Advice for Monks and Nuns, Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archives (

Buddhist Ethics, Hammalawa Saddhatissa, Wisdom Publications (

Buddhist Ethics, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye, Snow Lion Publications (

Perfect Conduct – Ascertaining the Three Vows, Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyi Gyalpo, Snow Lion Publications (

Preparing for Ordination: Reflections for Westerners Considering Monastic Ordination in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, Ven. Thubten Chodron, Sravasti Abbey (


Renunciation and the Ordained Life

A Monastic Mind, Ven. Thubten Chodron
Letting the Buddha Relax, HH Dalai Lama
Ordination—Caught Between Two Cultures, Ven. Losang Monlam
Plum Village—An International Monastic Community, Ven. Thubten Kundrol
Preparing for Ordination, Ven. Thubten Dundrup
Sexual Energy and Intimacy in the Context of Celibate Life, Ven. Thubten Saldon
Shasta Abbey—A Western Zen Monastic Community, Ven. Chantal Dekyi
Shifting the Attitude—Embracing Community, Ven. Losang Monlam

Monastic Communities, Ven. Lhundup Chodron