[Living Buddhism] Day 2 - Morning Report

This morning I'm feeling like the monastic schedule is really only sustainable if you're living in a monastery. Not only am I noticing the effect that this choice is going to have on those around me (and feeling like a nuisance or burden), I'm also noticing how vastly different this lifestyle is from the Canadian norm. The biggest thing is the fact that most people eat in the evening and if I'm not eating, I'm potentially either making someone else uncomfortable or simply wouldn't be asked to be part of the evening activities if eating will be involved. Of course, I don't really want either of those things to happen. Perhaps that's just the way it's going to be though.

I didn't manage to wake up at 3:30 this morning. My alarm went off and I was too tired to get up. I got up at five and am still feeling pretty tired. I'm wondering if I'm not being too ambitious. I am not able to spend most of my day in meditation, therefore making 4.5 hours of sleep inappropriate for me. On the other hand, maybe it's just a matter of getting used to a new schedule.

So I've been looking up information on eating and sleeping rules for monastics. So far I've discovered that I've pretty well got the food thing figured out (as far as proper times for eating goes) and I just found a site outlining the daily routine at a Thai temple:

Two hours before the sun appears on the eastern horizon the pealing of the temple bell signals the time, 4 a.m. In the kuti the monks, having spent the night on a thin mattress under a plain cotton blanket, open their eyes and rise from sleep to start the day. The Buddha said that four hours sleep should be enough for a monk, but nowadays monks generally sleep at least six hours, and when the bell wakes them, there is no hesitation about rising.

The question I now have to ask myself is whether or not I want to follow what Buddha intended for monks or what monks are actually following today, knowing full well that I am not a monk no matter how you slice it. I'm wondering if maybe I should talk to the tutor from class since he's a monk to find out what he would suggest (he's also one of the buddhist chaplains).
  • Current Mood: tired tired
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I think that asking the Buddhist Chaplain you've mentioned would be a very wise course of action. He should be able to guide you into what is an appropriate way of getting more involved in Buddhism at this stage of your life.

Personally I'd feel that moving your way into the 3am target is the way to go. Cold turkey may be too fast for your system.
I think that's what I'm noticing. I think that I'm going to make the switch to a 5:00 am start as of tomorrow morning.