More about living in a monastery

About-Monks

Many of you have been wondering about the rules here at the monastery. Most of the our rules are already covered in our personal monk vows, so the monastery needs few rules of its own, most are for the safety and care of the younger monks;

  • Monks have to always sleep at the monastery, unless given permission
  • Fighting, stealing, etc..will get you kicked out of the monastery
  • Monks need to be in the monastery by 7:00 every evening
  • Monks aren’t allowed to ride motorcycles
  • Of course no T.V.s are allowed, but monks do listen to the radio on their cell phones
  • Yes, monks are allowed cell phones and many own expensive ones. Family and sponsors give them as gifts so monks can stay in touch with their families in Tibet 
  • Monks aren’t allowed to play sports (Though most sneak off and do so)
  • Monks aren’t supposed to watch movies, but on occasion even the monastery shows them when on holiday
  • Women (Sisters, mothers, teachers, guests) must leave the monastery by 7:00 every evening
  • Younger monks need permission to go to town, older ones do not
  • The monastery kitchen and restaurants are vegetarian but monks are allowed to cook meat in their rooms
  • And of course no smoking, drinking or drugs…which no one does, anyway

Everyone has a “House teacher” 
House teachers make sure monks do their studies and for young monks, teachers make sure their dressed properly, acting like a proper monk and spending their money wisely

Most days are just study, 
Monks spend most of their time studying but all monks take turns working in the kitchen on a monthly rotation – 2 times a month.

Tuesday is our holiday
Some monks go to town for some yummy South Indian food. Others go vegetable shopping, or just strolling around our local town. Many stay home and catch up on sleep or catch up on their studies.  Still others do laundry or cook some special food in their rooms and talk with friends.

Tuesday evenings
The monastery shows VOC “Voice of America” news videos (in Tibetan) specially made for Tibetans by America. It includes current news about the world and news about Tibet.

For money,
Monks receive a monthly donation from the monastery through sponsors; this amount varies greatly month to month.
The monastery provides food, room, electricity, water etc…monks are responsible to buy their own clothes, medicine, toiletries, and costs of travel.

Most monks are very happy,
No one ever fights or argues, the monks are very devoted and caring to each other, but western commodities are getting more and more appealing to the young monks, many can think of nothing other than to dis-robe, moving to America and becoming rich, like in the movies.

All in all
It’s a very challenging and trying time to be a monk. The monastic world is changing so fast as it confronts the modern world. The next ten to twenty years will be challenging for monastic’s.