Monks Average Meditation Routine

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
sgns
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Re: Monks Average Meditation Routine

Post by sgns » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:47 pm

I think it depends very much on the monk or nun, their tradition and community.

You could look at the daily schedule of various monasteries to get a sense. What is the aim of each monastic's meditation? It depends on the individual, and their traditions. Best way to learn -- visit some monasteries, see what life is like there, and ask the monastics your questions.

I could point you in the direction of monasteries in the US, but I know less about Wales. One well known monastery in England is Amratvi, in the Thai Forest tradition. Whereas not all monasteries emphasis formal sitting and walking practice in the same way, it is certainly a big emphasis there.

Part of the model of intensive retreat (which typically range in length from 1 week to 3 months) is that lay practitioners can sit, deepen their practice, and then integrate more fully into householder life. In the US, many of the lay dharma teachers here have spent considerable time (months and years) as monastics, but continue largely as householders, for whatever variety of reasons.

Notable lay teachers include Goenka, U Ba Khin, Dipa Ma, Munindra. From that, we could suspect that the emphasis of both lineages/methods (U Ba Khin and Mahasi) includes practices applicable to lay life. In the US we have many lay teachers trained in these methods; England would have some as well, centered around Gaia House.

But really, if you're considering how to awaken in the world, my 2 cents. As lay people, we are able to engage in the world. Be of service to the world. There is an ethnic cleansing in Burma right now -- figure out ways to support refugees. There are hungry, sick, dying, suffering people in your town. Tend to them. Offer support. Get creative in yours ways to engage. Just don't assume that you are the Wise One who will merely dispense great relief to those poor soul -- learn from these experiences. Respect, listen to and learn from the people you meet. Whatever challenges you meet along the way, take them as a means to learn even more.

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DNS
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Re: Monks Average Meditation Routine

Post by DNS » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:22 pm

sgns wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:47 pm
I think it depends very much on the monk or nun, their tradition and community.
Yes, I think a lot of it has to do with the tradition and the abbot. For example, I know a guy who was a monk at a local temple here and he said the schedule was pretty much:
Wake up, community chanting
Lunch, some chanting before the lunch dana
Evening, community chanting
And all the time in between each monk was on their own, some sleep, most just surf the internet in their rooms. The guy I knew got bored and disrobed.

And then there is another monastery here in town where the abbot is very good and serious. The monks meditate in formal sitting meditation sessions 5 times a day; each one hour long. That is almost like a retreat schedule, but it is all year long.

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Mkoll
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Re: Monks Average Meditation Routine

Post by Mkoll » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:28 am

DNS wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:22 pm
And then there is another monastery here in town where the abbot is very good and serious. The monks meditate in formal sitting meditation sessions 5 times a day; each one hour long. That is almost like a retreat schedule, but it is all year long.
Impressive. Which monastery is that? Any sub-tradition?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

santa100
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Re: Monks Average Meditation Routine

Post by santa100 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:39 am

DNS wrote:And then there is another monastery here in town where the abbot is very good and serious. The monks meditate in formal sitting meditation sessions 5 times a day; each one hour long. That is almost like a retreat schedule, but it is all year long.
That's the way it should be. Even for all of us lay folks, in order to be considered a full-time professional in any field, one'd need to spend at least 8 hours a day every day!

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DNS
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Re: Monks Average Meditation Routine

Post by DNS » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:04 am

Mkoll wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:28 am
DNS wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:22 pm
And then there is another monastery here in town where the abbot is very good and serious. The monks meditate in formal sitting meditation sessions 5 times a day; each one hour long. That is almost like a retreat schedule, but it is all year long.
Impressive. Which monastery is that? Any sub-tradition?
http://www.chaiyacmm.org/about%20CMM.html

Chaiya Meditation Monastery, abbot is Ajahn Chaiya, born in Burma, speaks several languages fluently, including English.

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DNS
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Re: Monks Average Meditation Routine

Post by DNS » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:19 pm

Mod note: I moved the posts about jhanas, jhana-lite, jhana-heavy, etc to the great jhana debate:
viewtopic.php?f=43&t=4597

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