In this interesting article, Venerble Thuben Chodron outlines the differences in living conditions for monastics in an asian setting and monastics in a western setting, and the particular set of challenges that western monastics face. She mentions:

Tibetans grow up with Buddhism and monastics. They know what the life of a monastic entails and when they ordain, they are welcomed into a monastery where they live with monastic relatives and others who are from the same area of Tibet as they are. While Tibetan monastics in general are not rich, the senior monastics take care of the juniors, providing them with room, board, and teachings, and together they share the experience of living in community.

The situation for Western monastics is considerably different. There are very few monasteries where they can stay in the West. They may live in a Dharma center, in which case they often spend long hours doing volunteer work building the center or planning activities for the lay people. They usually do not receive special training as monastics because the Dharma centers are designed principally for lay people. Tibetan monastics are sponsored at Dharma centers and receive offerings and stipends, most of which they send to support their disciples in India and Tibet. However, many Western monastics have to work at jobs in the city in order to support themselves as some Dharma centers ask the monastics to pay in addition to volunteering their services. They do not have time to study and practice the Dharma, which inhibits their ability to serve the lay people by teaching and setting a good example. Keeping their vows is very difficult for those who must work in the city, and many do not survive as monastics.

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