Here is a picture of a temporary novice monk (Samanera) from Scotland at our roadside Bodhi Tree. Pa-Auk is one of the few places in the world that follows the vinaya (code of rules) that will ordain foreigners for a short period of time without any commitment. It is part of the Myanmar Monastic Culture. When local people come for a retreat, quite often, they ordain as full monks (Bhikkhus) for that time. Sometimes, meditation goes well or something else becomes desirable for them to stay in robes…and they do. One monk named U Dhammapala made it 13 years from from his initial 45 day retreat. He later went to teach The Pa-Auk Method in Vietnam and then eventually disrobed last year. Currently, there are more than 80 Vietnamese residents at Pa-Auk which may be a result of this effort. Another friend of mind also did a 45 day retreat. He was a doctor before and now he appears to be training to become a meditation teacher. He is now on his third year. Once a full monk (Bhikkhu), he can stay in robes for as long as he wishes and nobody can force him to disrobe as long as he does not defeat himself.