Myanmar–The Life of a Buddhist Monk or Nun

Every time you think about dropping all this modern-life mumbo jumbo, shaving your head, trading your fancy schmancy clothes for a uni-colored robe and adopting the meditatively peaceful life of Burmese acetic you may want to first take a look at this lovingly created account of the daily life of three twelve year old Burmese nuns. You may say to yourself, “being a monk or nun would be groovy in theory, but in practice it’s not for me,” then remember to appreciate your life where you are and get on with it. If you look at their daily life and sigh, “that would be wonderful,” maybe you should book your flight to Yangon.

What is the daily life of a Burmese monk or nun? Here are some highlights:

1) you wake up at 4 or 5 a.m. in complete darkness
2) you pray
3) you receive “alms,” which are gifts to monks or nuns from the lay population
4) LISTEN FOR THE GONG! At 7 a.m. the gong says it’s breakfast time
5) you care for the temple compound, ideally with a repetitive task, like sweeping, you can do while meditating
6) At 11:30 a.m. eat leftovers from breakfast, which will compose your second and last meal of the day. [some monks only eat once a day]
7) Study or meditate from 1pm to 6pm
8) 7pm: pray
9) 8pm, listen to sermons
10) go to sleep. Dream monkly or nunly dreams.

Sound good? Good. Even if it doesn’t, in class we’re going to try it out by living a full day of a monk or nun’s life in about three minutes while listening to the Metta Sunna (found through If you can’t make it for a whole day, let alone a whole lifetime, we should at least try to enjoy the simpler life.

More information:
A Buddhist monk FAQ | About Theravada Buddhist meditation: “In the Theravada tradition, practitioners sleep only six to seven hours and meditate all day long…”

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