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
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.