How to join a buddhist monastery

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How to join a buddhist monastery
You need to take on board buddhist ideals before joining a monastery. (Getty Images)

Buddhist monks pass along the teachings of Buddha and his followers. They arrange their life to follow these teachings closely. Their daily routines are made up of meditation, study, work and teaching. The process of joining a monastery is designed to make sure that you and the monastery are right for each other. Follow these simple steps and you can find the monastery that you desire.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Study and practice buddhist teachings. Before you can enter a monastery you must begin living as a buddhist. This includes meditation, study of buddhist writings and beginning to separate yourself from your attachments.

  2. 2

    Find a monastery that you may be interested in joining. They vary in location as well as teachings, devotions and lifestyle.

  3. 3

    Visit the monasteries that you may want to join. Start with short visits. It is a challenge transitioning from daily life to monastic life.

  4. 4

    Inform the monastery of your interest. Talk with monks to get their perspective and advice that they can offer.

  5. 5

    Arrange a long term stay to determine if you and the monastery are an appropriate match. Visit more than once before deciding to join.

  6. 6

    Begin the training program for new monks. This varies among monasteries. Ask yours for the specifics.

Tips and warnings

  • There are three main schools of Buddhism: Theravada, Zen and Tibetan. This is another consideration to make when choosing a monastery.
  • Other religions have monasteries, too, including Catholic and Orthodox Christians and Hindus.

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