A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BUDDHIST MONK

 


A Day in the life of a Buddhist Monk


A bhikkhu is a fully ordained Buddhist monk.  The word literally means one who

depends on arms.  Not these kinds of arms, but arms as in gifts of food.  Typical day

will begin at half-past five.   So a bell, big Bell will be rung at half-past five

and then hopefully everybody gets up and then at 6:00 a.m. there is what they  call

morning puja and that is an hour of chanting followed by meditation.  Buddhist

meditation is a combination of Samata and the persona.


samata means calming stilling the mind making it peaceful and most importantly

clear beep asana means insight and this is the goal of Buddhism.  So they  are developing a

concentrated mind that is able to see things clearly and then let go then at

half-past seven they have chores and these go on for an hour.  An important part of

the monastic discipline is  looking after the place in which you lived would

usually find monasteries and very clean and well-kept places.  Then at about

half-past eight,  will have a period of personal time.   Enlightenment is when they

fully understand the Four Noble Truths.



The first noble truth is that this ordinary life of theirs involve suffering.

The second noble truth is that our suffering is caused by our craving and

our desires.

 The third noble truth is that this suffering can be ended by

letting go of craving.

 And the fourth noble truth is the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Buddha's teachings which lead to the ending of suffering.  Then at eleven they

eat their  one meal of the day and they have to eat that before twelve

and that is a ceremony. So the  monks have to formally receive the

food so they  don't just go and help ourselves. It's all given to them.  They  haven't had any money 

during that  time after even a penny.   So that means that they

are completely dependent upon the generosity of others.   As  monks  being

dependent on what people give to them. They will be  grateful for whatever food is offered.


however  they  choose to be  vegetarians.   A central teaching in Buddhism  is

compassion.   Wishing all living beings to be free of suffering.   In the process of

producing meat there is obviously an enormous amount of suffering in the

animal world.   So they  want to help animals by stopping eating meat as a Buddhist monks.  


They  don't have many possessions.   There are eight basic requisites which we are

supposed to have which includes three rows.  There is the arms bowl,  there is a

water filter, and  a razor a belt and the needle and thread. 

Buddhist monks robes are usually yellow or orange brown and in ancient India

yellow was the color of renunciation.  The word renunciation means to leave behind.

So when we wear this this yellow robe is the same color as a leaf that's about to

fall from a tree.   It signifies that they  have left behind the so called ordinary

life.   The rat-race so they  leave behind their

money their wealth family and relationships they also leave behind their 

hair and their  normal clothes.   They  shaved their 

head for the same reason that they wear the robe.  So it's another symbol of

renunciation.   Hair is often closely connected with vanity.   People spend an

awful lot of time on their hair and their appearance by shaving off their  hair.

they are  saying that physical appearance and beauty are not important when it

comes to the pursuit of of real happiness on the day that they  became a

novice monks .  They were  given the name Manabu

Minako is a pali word.   So poly is the language of the ancient Buddhist texts.



It means the likable one so whether their  teacher found them likable or whether it's

something they  need to work on they are  not quite sure during the later afternoon.  They 

have time to themselves and it will be similar to the morning period.   So walking

meditation sitting meditation perhaps in private study reading of Buddhist texts.

Walking meditation is very similar to sitting meditation in that they  focus on

just one thing.   So they   have a number of paths a number of walking paths around

the monastery and they're just straight paths and they  walk back and forth and as

they  walk.   They  focus very carefully on the soles of their  feet touching the ground.

As a bhikkhu one is  not married  don't have a girlfriend or a partner and they  are

not allowed to get married.   So at 8 p.m. they  have evening puja which is more or

less the same as morning puja but the chantings a little bit different after

evening puja.   They  have personal time again and then they  go to bed usually between

11:00 and 12:00 so as a monk one  don't get as much sleep as most people.  They  do get

more than what the Buddha actually recommended.   He recommended 4 hours and

the reason why they  don't need to sleep as much is because meditation practice in

part fulfills the function of sleeping and dreaming because it can be a very

restful activity.


The thing that they  find most rewarding about being a bhikkhus that it gives his  life a

purpose.   One of the most difficult things they have found about life before was the

sense that it had no purpose.   They  realized

that they had been born they were  going to live a bit and then they were going to die.  What's

the point in that but as  monks they are  given their  life a purpose and that purpose is to reach

enlightenment which means to free their 

mind from all greed,  hatred and delusion.


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