Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

The body of the shortcut

Monastic Education Daily Monastic Life
Daily Monastic Life

Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism


The day of a monk/nun begins at 3 a.m. The pure and resonating sounds of a wooden handbell (moktak) and the four dharma instruments (dharma drum, cloud-shaped gong, wooden fish, and temple bell) wake up all living beings, signaling the beginning of the day. When the sounding of the four dharma instruments is finished, the fourfold sangha (monks and nuns, lay men and women) gathers at the main dharma hall to offer the morning Buddhist ceremony. Then they meditate or study sutras until the morning meal offering at 6 a.m. After the meal, monastics do communal work to clean the temple compound.
Monastics then engage in Seon meditation at Seon centers, or study sutras at monastic colleges. At 10:30 a.m. they return to the main dharma hall for the mid-morning Buddhist ceremony. Their afternoon schedule is not much different from the morning one. They have lunch at 11 a.m., and return to their meditation practice or sutra study. At about 5 p.m., they have their evening meal, followed by the evening Buddhist ceremony. And then after another session of meditation or study, they retire at about 9 p.m. The schedule seems rather simple, but the repetition of sincere and devoted practice is a daily routine for monastics residing at a temple.

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