Monk prayer is not only about the posture and method of sitting, but also involves a lot more than that. They say that everything begins in mind and ends in mind. So, as you sit in meditation for five to seven minutes each day you begin to work through your life and take stock of the things you want to change, the things you wish to improve and the person you want to become. This can all begin with your daily meditation sessions.
When I began my own monasticism, I was very young and didn’t really know any better, or understand the discipline, or what monk prayer really was. It wasn’t until much later that I decided to really dedicate myself to the art and it changed my life. I would advise anyone to do the same. There are many different ways to approach monk meditation.
You have to decide if you want to meditate just sitting, standing, kneeling or exercising your body? Are you going to be in a position that requires you to bend over, stoop or squat? Are you looking to close your eyes and become a hermit for the duration of the prayer? All of these choices require some degree of discipline. You may be able to do one or two of these, but I recommend that you combine a few of them and plan your routine so that you don’t fall short of time. If you do it right, you can find yourself meditating for hours a day without even realizing it!
Another question that you will need to ask yourself is: What is my purpose in becoming a monk? There are many different answers to this question. Some wish to become a monk for the teaching of Buddhism, others for monasticism, still others for meditation and still others for simple everyday living. However, the most important thing that you have to ask yourself is what makes you feel like you are doing the right thing. Once you find your purpose, you will be able to achieve it.
What does it mean to be a monk? You will spend all day without eating, sleeping or defecating. The only exception to this would be when you are meditating and you have excess energy. In this case, you will want to expend that energy in a way that will not be harmful to you. In other words, you won’t want to overdo things.
You can become a monk for a variety of reasons. Some want to live a life of compassion, helping the unfortunate and sick, and helping others make their way through life. Others wish to serve as a teacher and help others realize their potential. Still others want to pursue a spiritual path and become a true monk.
When you decide that you want to become a monk, you will have to decide how you will do so. You can choose to live in a monastic community, which is similar to a boarding school, and spend your time meditating and learning the discipline. Or, you can select a more conventional setting such as a hotel or even a monastery. While you can live in these settings for the time of your life, you will not be able to do much in terms of devoting your time to prayer unless you plan to spend it doing so.
In most cases, a monk who lives on his own makes his way into a monastic order. He works his way up from being a novice or a teacher and then takes over a community where he can teach others. While the lifestyle might be a bit different than the traditional life of a monk, the important thing to remember is that monk prayer is still being done today. Even though the ways and methods have changed quite a bit, the purpose remains the same: to maintain or improve someone’s life. As such, regardless of what type of order you end up with, you will always be doing monk prayer.