Śrāmaṇera / Śrāmaṇerī - Novitiates
The Śrāmaṇera/Śrāmaṇeri, novitiate, is the preliminary stage one must pass through before becoming a fully ordained monk (bhikṣu/bhikṣuṇī). The novitiate must demonstrate the acumen and the right commitment for a lifelong dedication to Zen practice, then, with the approval of his or her Guiding Teacher, the novitiate receives ten precepts at a formal precepts ceremony. Novitiates work under the guidance of a teacher for a period of two years wherein the novitiates continue their practice and formation. At the end of the two year period the novitiate will either proceed to higher ordination as a bhiksu/bhikṣuṇī, renew his or her precepts in a formal ceremony for continued novitiate training, or revert to lay status and precepts. Lotus Heart Zen novitiates wear a spring green bangasa over long ceremonial grey robes.