The Making of a Monk: The Monastic Habitus and the Re-emergence of Monasticism in Tibet


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


East Asian Languages & Cultures


After ordination, monks begin a five- to ten-year apprenticeship (niśrāya), during which they live with and study under a monastic mentor. I will examine, through a critical reading of Tibetan language commentarial works, the way this apprenticeship inculcates a monastic habitus, which contributes to the formation of monastic identity and the transmission of monastic culture. I will also consider the emergence of a distinctive monasticism in Tibet and reflect on apprenticeship as a pedagogical modality in Buddhist monasticism by comparing the Tibetan presentation of niśrāya with Indian antecedents and its treatment in Vinayas extant in Pali and Chinese.