Monastic Practice in the Minnesota Lake Country

The monastic community of monks and nuns, called the Sangha, was founded by the Buddha some 2500 years ago, and is certainly one of the oldest institutions in continuous existence on the planet, living according to the same ancient code established by the Buddha. It serves to uplift the wider community by fulfilling three social functions:

The monks form the core of our community, and are venerated throughout Asia. The Shwedagon pagoda is a consecrated space in which monastic ordinations can occur and we have the capacity for training new monks. There is a tradition in Myanmar for teenage boys of Buddhist families to ordain as novice monks temporarily as a kind of rite of passage and we typically host a group of Burmese boys in the Summer months who live at the vihara and receive Buddhist training. Occasionally non-Asian devotees also ordain as novice or full monks, some as life-long monks.