How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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2ndchance
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How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by 2ndchance » Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:35 am

How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Which hours during the day and night do they usually meditate?

Crazywisdom
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:21 pm

Just bc someone is ordained does not mean they meditate. I have known several who never meditate. Meditation isn't everything. Wisdom is...

Simon E.
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:45 pm

2ndchance wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:35 am
How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Which hours during the day and night do they usually meditate?
Depends very much on which monk. There are monks who snooze, eat, smoke a few fags, snooze again. Chant for a while because it’s expected. Plot, gossip, and have another little snooze.
Tai Situ called them “Mr Monk”... :smile:
There are lots of Mr Monks.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Malcolm
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:50 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:45 pm
2ndchance wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:35 am
How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Which hours during the day and night do they usually meditate?
Depends very much on which monk. There are monks who snooze, eat, smoke a few fags, snooze again. Chant for a while because it’s expected. Plot, gossip, and have another little snooze.
Tai Situ called them “Mr Monk”... :smile:
There are lots of Mr Monks.
True, and then there are the business khenpos, carrying brief cases, expensive watches, etc.

Simon E.
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:00 pm

Yup. International playboy khenpos.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:59 pm

Monks generally have a schedule that begins early in the morning. Very tradition has different schedules. Usually there is some quiet sitting meditation, but not always.
The point of shamatha (Zen) is to quiet the mind. But, that’s really just a prerequisite for everything that follows.
It’s like if you are a runner, you spend time properly lacing up and tying your shoes. But, once that’s done, you don’t have to keep doing it. However, if your laces become untied, maybe you didn’t have them laced up as well as you thought, and later you tripped and fell, then you need to go back and work on tying your shoes again.

Likewise, a monk (and many regular practitioners) if they trained, can keep their mind peaceful all day, without getting untied. If not, then they maybe they need more time than others do in meditation.

Still, there is usually some period in the morning and at night for stopping everything and just meditating. Some times there are long sessions, all-day sessions.
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People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.


avatamsaka3
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by avatamsaka3 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:10 am

If you're looking for examples of really long meditation practice, I'd look at the Zen traditions. Sesshins often involve something like 11 hours of meditation. It just blows my mind how people can do that. And that's per day!

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Astus
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:50 am

2ndchance wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:35 am
How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?
Which hours during the day and night do they usually meditate?
Daily pattern of monastic activities:
(A Treatise on Letting Zen Flourish, in Zen Texts, BDK ed, p 170)

The Time of Lighting at twilight, when monks gather at the Buddha hall to offer incense and worship;
The Time of Being in Calmness [9:00–11:00 P.M.], for dhyana practice;
The Third Watch [11:00 P.M.–1:00 A.M.], for sleep;
The Fourth Watch [1:00–3:00 A.M.], for sleep;
The Fifth Watch [3:00–5:00 A.M.], for dhyana practice;
The Time of the Hare [5:00–7:00 A.M.], same as twilight;
Daybreak, for taking gruel;
The Time of the Dragon [7:00–9:00 A.M.], for reading scriptures, studying, and listening to lectures by elder monks;
The Time of Yu (Gu) [9:00–11:00 A.M.], for dhyana practice;
The Time of the Horse [12:00 P.M.], for taking a meal;
The Time of the Sheep [1:00–3:00 P.M.], for bathing and [attending to other personal matters];
The Time of the Monkey [3:00–5:00 P.M.], for dhyana practice;
The Time of the Rooster [5:00–7:00 P.M.], for relaxation, released from work.

Thiền Viện Diệu Nhân daily schedule
(https://dieunhan.weebly.com/english.html)

3:45 AM Wake Up
4:00-6:00 Sitting Meditation
6:30 Exercise
7:15 Breakfast
8:30-10:30 Chores
11:30 Lunch
1:00 PM Afternoon Rest
2:00 Wake Up
2:30-3:40 Dharma Study
4:30 Refreshment
5:45 Chanting
6:30-8:00 Sitting Meditation
9:30 Lights Out

Here is what a typical day in Plum Village might look like
(https://plumvillage.org/retreats/visiti ... -schedule/)

5:00am: Wake Up Bell
6:00am: Sitting Meditation
(followed by Sutra Reading / Touching the Earth / Slow Walking Meditation)
7:30am: Breakfast
9am: Dharma Talk / Class / Presentation / Working Meditation
11:30am: Walking meditation (outdoors)
12:30pm: Lunch
1:30pm: Rest / Optional Guided Relaxation
3pm: Service Meditation
6pm: Light dinner
8pm: Dharma Discussion, Personal study time, Sitting Meditation or other collective practice
9.30pm: Noble Silence begins
10pm: Lights out

Regular Working Days in Antaiji
(https://antaiji.org/en/schedule/)

4am to 6:10am Zazen
6:10am Breakfest
6:40am Cleaning
After cleaning Help in the kitchen
7:30am to noon Samu (work)
12:00 noon Lunch
after lunch Samu (work), shower, help in the kitchen
5:00pm Dinner
5:20pm Dish washing
5:30pm Tea meeting
6pm to 8pm Zazen
After 8pm Free time (be quiet after 9pm)

Zen River Temple - Regular Daily Schedule
(https://www.zenrivertemple.org/programme/)

Saturday–Wednesday:

04:55 Wake up
05:30 Zazen
07:30 Morning Service
08:00 Breakfast (oryoki)
09:30 Samu
12:50 Noon service
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Rest
16:30-17:30 Sat, Sutra Reading Class; Sun, Zazen; Mon, Study period; Tue, Right Speech Class; Wed: Zazen
18:00 Supper
19:30 Zazen
21:15 Four Vows
21:45 Lights out

Sunday: 11:30 Study class / 19:00 Public Service
Monday: 19:30 River of Zen continuation class
Tuesday: 16:30 Right Speech class / 19:30 Introductory class
Wednesday: 19:30 Zazen; Teisho
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

avatamsaka3
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by avatamsaka3 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:29 pm

:good:

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conebeckham
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Re: How many hours of meditation do Monks do per day?

Post by conebeckham » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:12 pm

As others have said, it can vary. In Tibetan monasteries days are structured around group rituals, jobs and work, and study sessions.

In retreat centers, that is where meditation is the focus.
As an example, here is the general daily schedule for retreat center at Bokar Monastery in India.

3-5 am Waking yoga and first individual session
5-6 am Water torma, personal practice time, breakfast
6--7:30 am Group Tara Puja or Vow Purification ceremony
8-11 am second individual session
11--1 pm lunch and personal practice time
1-3 pm third individual session
3-5 pm Tea and Protector pujas
5-6 pm dinner and personal practice time
6- 8 pm fourth individual session
8-9 pm Vajrakilaya and Chod practice

As for "Individual sessions," these vary during the course of a retreat, and can include "meditation" if by that you mean silent sitting, observation of mind, etc. but also various rituals, visualizations, mantra practice, etc. can be part of the individual session. In fact, very few "individual practice" periods would be comprised entirely or almost entirely of silent sitting.

But you should also understand that everything listed in this schedule, including meals, etc., is "meditation."
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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