I have ceased my formal monastic training with the Five Mountain Zen Order. I have decided against becoming ordained.
I hold Lay Ordination Vows in a Rinzai Zen lineage and Bodhisattva Vows in the Vajrayana path. That will be enough for now.
This wasn’t too difficult of a decision for me given that my favorite historical Zen teachers are rebellious figures like Pang-yun and Ikkyu Sojun, who refused to be ordained as monks. There is a proud and great history of lay teachers and writers in Zen.
Buddhism is not and should not be limited to monks. Enlightenment is available to everyone because we are all enlightened already anyway.
I’m not a fan of structure and hierarchy anyway.