sleeping in forest monasteries

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby konchokzopa » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:39 am

hi, i am wondering that what are your experiences especially on forest monasteries or in normal monasteries where you sleep from 4-6 hours a night.

currently i sleep 8-11 hours per night even though i dont do any hard physical labor and spend quite a lot of time sitting, though i eat more than one or two meals a day.

how do you get used to sleeping so much less. do you get exhausted or does your body tune and adjust itself to the changes?
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby purple planet » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:21 am

Its very very easy - i went to a retreat and slept 6 hours - got used to it after 1 day -

as long as its in a retreat - its easy not to sleep - you will even feel much less sleepy - but that might be because of the not eating after lunch rule (which is also much easier to follow then it seems) which really prevents you from becoming tiered - probobly because you save energy on digestion
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby Anagarika » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:37 pm

Other than the alms round in the morning, and some light work duties like sweeping the temple grounds there's not much physical activity involved. Much of the day is spent in contemplation, meditation, study. So, the body does not need as much sleep as in lay city life with a job and relationships, etc. It's also true that when you're part of a group or sangha, everyone is "in the same boat," so there is a sense of emotional support when all of you are waking at 430 am by the gong for morning chanting.
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby reflection » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:40 pm

I think this is all too generalized. Often there can be building / repair work, gardening also especially for lay people. And don't forget kitchen work can be quite tiring as well, cooking all morning, washing up, cleaning the kitchen etc. But on the other side also the little hours of sleep is not a general thing. You just need to sleep enough for your own body. On retreat I always slept about as much as back home, perhaps a bit less.
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby kmath » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:19 pm

A lot of people nap in the afternoon

:zzz:
Last edited by kmath on Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby konchokzopa » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:20 pm

have any of you been to Pa Auk in myanmar, as to how to relate all this to that monastery.
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby purple planet » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:21 pm

I think this is all too generalized. Often there can be building / repair work, gardening also especially for lay people. And don't forget kitchen work can be quite tiring as well, cooking all morning, washing up, cleaning the kitchen etc.


good point - i might exaggerated a bit - lol - it might be hard but not something to fear from - most chances are that you will find it easy (not very very easy)thats not guaranteed but probably will be the case
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby reflection » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:16 am

Well, it is something you can worry about or it is something you just try. Not really much use wondering about it I'd say. And since Buddhism is also about worrying less, that attitude is also a great practice. :tongue:
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby Sekha » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:21 pm

konchokzopa wrote:have any of you been to Pa Auk in myanmar, as to how to relate all this to that monastery.

I went to Pa Auk Maymyo, the new center near Mandalay, but there is nothing special with Pa Auk on this issue. It's the same as anywhere else. You meditate more, you need less sleep. Between us, not all monks sleep 4 hours a night. Many sleep 6 hours or more.

Many people think of Pa Auk as some kind of lofty place full of exceptional beings. There are a lot of "normal" people as well, and that exceptional-ity doesn't justify all the fantasies people have about that place.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org
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Re: sleeping in forest monasteries

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:26 am

reflection wrote:I think this is all too generalized. Often there can be building / repair work, gardening also especially for lay people. And don't forget kitchen work can be quite tiring as well, cooking all morning, washing up, cleaning the kitchen etc. But on the other side also the little hours of sleep is not a general thing. You just need to sleep enough for your own body. On retreat I always slept about as much as back home, perhaps a bit less.


at my 8ish times at Bhavana Society(both retreat and non) i've done much heavy work like chopping and lugging around logs and other outdoor type stuff. I agree that a forest monastery can definitely have a lot of tiring work. of course it helps that I actually enjoy and often request the work, so I don't feel too drudgery about it.

at Bhavana, whether its a retreat or not, I'm usually in bed by 9 and up by 4am(most people actually wake up later, 4:30-5), thats 7 hours and is usually more then enough.
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