佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - Expound the monastic life.
Expound the monastic life.

 

Most monastics practice by undergoing hardships. The Buddha taught

the sangha to rein in body and mind and engage in pure practice.

Monastics rise at 4 a.m. each morning, wash up, and then do the

morning liturgy. They are all given duties: the incense-and-lamp monk

in charge of the main shrine, the wei-na, duty-distributor, leading the

sangha in singing in praise of the Buddha, and the others taking care

of implements used in worship or preparing breakfast as the morning

liturgy continues in the hall.

Around 6 a.m. after breakfast, everyone proceeds with own task as

dedicated like reciting the sutras, repeating the Buddha' s name, holding

to the dharani, sitting meditation, or studying the teaching of the sutras

in the chamber of the Canon. There are naturally those given the chores

of cleansing the premises and sweeping the grounds, or laboring in the

fields around the temple, irrigating, weeding, opening up areas for

planting, and doing timely sowing and fertilizing. In the meantime,

the kitchen is busy readying for lunch.

At 11 a.m., offering is conducted at the shrine, which is followed by

lunch. Everyone resumes own work through the afternoon in sitting

meditation or attending to the senior bhiksu, who opens the treasury

of truth and teaches.

With the evening comes assembly again in the main shrine for the

evening liturgy. Those not practicing no eating past noon may proceed

with dinner.

Around 9 p.m. before bed is expressly the limited time allowed for

personal chores. They would make time to look after own belongings

and shower, or they would copy the sutras, even practice calligraphy.

During festivals and Dharma occasions for chanting and repentance,

though, added efforts are called for.

It is advisable that an aspirant for leaving home first partakes the

eight-gate precepts and fasting and thus gets to personally engage

in monastic life, or, with permission from the temple, lives there for a

couple of years and learns more about patience with hardships and

life in quietude, or simply tries volunteering there.