Na Mo Fundamental Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha!
I am 18 years old. I may be young but I feel that I have a clear idea of what to do with my life. My family has been Buddhist for many generations. When I was young, my father set up an altar at home for Guan Yin: it is lovingly decorated and made me so happy. My father would often offer flowers, lamps, water, fruits, and candles to the Triple Jewel. Visitors would often compliment the altar, saying how adorned it is. As a result, I have had a very positive impression of Buddhism and became personally interested.
When I was 17 years old I took refuge with the Triple Jewel. Now, I wish to leave the home life, not for the sake of ending birth and death and getting out of the Wheel. I only wish to become a left-home person: bald-headed and in particular, having the honor of wearing the yellow robe of liberation. This is because every time I went to recite sutras at the temple, and I saw the monks and nuns with their yellow robes and sashes in the Buddha Hall, it filled me with the utmost respect and admiration. And I often wished that someday I too would be able to don the yellow robe!
Ven. Master, I asked my mother for permission to leave the home life a couple of times. She said that that kind of lifestyle is full of hardship: getting up at 3 or 4am for the morning ceremony and then working at chores until late at night. However, I am undaunted and I feel that I can handle it!
My fear is that I have a tattoo of a flower on my wrist about the size of a joint of my finger, and I worry that because of it, a temple might refuse me as a prospective left-home disciple! Ven. Master, please tell us more about your reasons for leaving the home life and instruct me on what to do? If my family is against it, may I go to a temple at a faraway place and leave the home life under a master?
To be born into a family of many generations of Buddhists is indeed to be very blessed.
Allow me to defer talking about my personal reasons for leaving the home life to another time and place.
Your mother is right: you should perhaps get a better idea about the home life before you jump in head-first. Ask for permission to come and stay at the temple where you wish to live to get a feel of the environment.
Your small tattoo should not be a problem at all. If any monk or nun objects to it, then he or she probably is not the one for you to follow anyway.
Your family is very blessed. You should use them as a proving ground of your sincerity. It is better to leave the home life on good terms with your family. Unless your enlightened Master approves otherwise, it is always better to obtain your parents’ permission.