What is the daily routine of a monk like?


Quick Answer

A monk's daily routine varies depending on his religion. A Catholic monk may spend much of his day praying, studying and working, while a Thai Buddhist monk's routine includes walking around his neighborhood, hoping to be offered food. A Shaolin monk's routine includes daily kung fu practice.

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Full Answer

Catholic monks in Benedictine monasteries typically begin their day at 5:30 a.m. with prayer, before eating breakfast and studying or working. After lunch they return to work until the evening, when they go to Mass. Supper follows Mass, then evening prayer and more study or free time. Benedictine monks remain in silence from 10:30 p.m. until they have finished breakfast the next day.

Buddhist monks in Thailand also rise early, beginning their day with prayer and chanting. Before they eat breakfast, the monks walk around their local neighborhood so that people can offer food to them. After they return to the monastery, they eat and make a blessing for peace. Once a Thai Buddhist monk has eaten lunch, he is not allowed to consume solid food until the next day's sunrise. After lunch, the rest of the monks' day consists of meditation, study and prayer.

Shaolin monks eat breakfast in between sessions of chanting in the morning. As they are vegetarian, the monks' breakfast is typically a bean soup. A two-hour morning kung fu training session follows breakfast. Once the monks have eaten lunch they have another session of chanting that is followed by free time. A further kung fu training session follows in the afternoon, after which the monks eat dinner, chant, and meditate.

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