Daily life of the monks
The day of a Buddhist Monk starts early, usually with morning prayers and mediation at around 5:30am!! This is then followed by a regular routine of prayers, study and debating classes.
A part of following the Buddhist path is renouncing worldly attachments in order to create space for spiritual activity, and the monks at Gaden are trying to live this path. As such, the monks have few material possessions, mainly consisting of clothes, study equipment, perhaps a small altar in their room, and treasured photographs of their family and teachers.
A typical day in the life of an adult monk is:
5.00 am: Puja (gathering prayers for offering). This takes two hours, and in this time, breakfast if offered. It consists of butter tea and bread.
7.00 am: Memorization (the monks memorize the Buddhist texts)
8.00 am: Debate Class (debating is how the monks learn Buddhist Philosophy and Analytical Meditation)
11.00 am: Gathering, prayers, and lunch
12.00 noon: Monks then have an opportunity to go and see their individual teachers for more Buddhist philosophical studies
5.00 pm: Gathering, prayers and dinner
6.00 pm: Debating Class
9.00 pm: Memorization and recitation (whatever prayers and texts they have memorized they then recite to enable them to keep it in their mind). This is sometimes done in the street by l\the only available lights…..pale street lamps. They continue this until 10 or 11 o’clock…then bed!!! For some monks though, in higher grades, they continue until midnight or 1am!!!!!
This is a typical day, but it depends on the time of the year, and also excludes Mondays, which is a holiday.