How to Become a Legally Ordained Zen Buddhist Minister

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You may find it hard to shave your head, but in a religion that ordains both men and women as ministers, it is a mandatory step as far as Zen Buddhism priesthood is concerned, besides training and ordination. According to the website Buddhist Channel, shaving your head proves your readiness to forgo material belonging and to start a journey towards fulfilling the teachings of the Dharma.

1 Join the Zen Buddhism sect

Join the Zen Buddhism sect and start practicing Buddhism. You will have an opportunity to learn about Buddha and his teachings. This is the period you will decide whether you truly want to be a Zen Buddhist minister; though it is necessary that you consult with your Buddhist teacher about your decision to become a priest.

2 Register

Register for novice ordination with the help of your priest or minister. According to the website Treeleaf Sangha, the training normally takes many years before you move to the next step. You should continue to learn about Zen Buddhism traditions and texts in order to deepen your practice and knowledge about the teachings of the Buddha.

3 Continue with the training and dedication

Continue with the training and dedication to the teachings of Zen Buddhism. Your priest will decide whether you have attained the necessary qualities of a Zen Buddhist priest. It is important to note that the process of becoming an ordained Zen Buddhist minister is dependent on you, your teacher and your practice. The website Buddhadharma suggests that you should visit other Zen Buddhist centers, attend Zen Buddhist rituals and retreats and continue with the study of Buddhist texts in order to enhance your knowledge about the religion’s practices.

4 To mark the end

Undergo ordination to mark the end of your studies. You and your teacher will decide on this final step which will depend on your years of study and how well you understand the Zen Buddhist traditions and texts. Your head will be shaved a day before the ceremony and you will be given a new Buddhist name upon ordination. The Upaya Institute and Zen Center states that the ordination process involves transmission of the Dharma, which means being charged with the responsibility of teaching new Zen Buddhist students.

David Shoo has professionally been writing since 2005. His articles have been featured in the UNICEF (Sierra Leone) and BBC online publications. David holds a Master of Arts in international journalism from the University of Westminster, UK.