Monasteries and Sleep

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Re: Monasteries and Sleep

Post by Uilium » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:26 pm

Christopherxx wrote:Hey guys,

So what is up with the lack of sleep in the Theravada context.

I know many individuals leave many western standpoints behind when embracing buddhism - however I think we can all agree that 4-5 hours of sleep a night on a day to day basis is not recommended for health.

I'd love for people that have experienced the forest monasteries either in the chah lineage, mahasi, or Dhammayutika Nikaya, etc to chim in.

And hate to say it but it's okay to think this custom should be changed. We don't have to think every tradition is inspired just the teachings ;).

The less you meditate the more you sleep. Sleep is useless. More time for meditation. Does it affect the body? I don't think so but body shmody :)

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Re: Monasteries and Sleep

Post by puppha » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:53 pm

Dear All,

I might throw a spanner in the cogwheels...

A lot of posts go along the way of "monks are contemplative and have very little physical exertion, hence they don't have to sleep as much as we do".

I have to disagree in 2 ways:
1 - I spent some time in a monastery, and there was a lot of work to do. Monks and lay residents spend easily 4-5 hours every day working physically (cooking - lay people only, washing up, housekeeping, gardening, repairs, etc.)
2 - I have a brother-in-law in the French army (Legion Etrangere). They have been told that scientific studies show that the human body does not need more that 3 hours of sleep per period of 24h. In practice, they are never allowed more than 5 hours sleep per day, and their days are filled up with physical training.

A few years ago, I bought for myself a method to reduce your sleep time to 5 hours. It worked for many people, but I was just too lazy to actually implement it for myself.

In short: the sleep time required by the human body is probably over-estimated.


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Re: Monasteries and Sleep

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:21 pm

From my experience at Bhavana Society sleeping is 9:30-4:30, a good 7 hours. Of course it IS a forest monastery and everyone is always doin a lot of work( 4 hours of work daily).

Maybe if i was an advanced meditator if do 3 hours of sleep... But until then im sticking with 7.
Bhikkhu Jayasāra - and

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