What is the daily schedule of a Japanese Buddhist Monk?
Do you know the daily activities of a Japanese Buddhist Monk?
The daily schedule of a monk will depend from sect to sect and from temple to temple.
There is a common thread though and here it is:
For example, at Eiheiji, the headquarters of the Soto Zen branch, the schedule is such:
3:30 - Shinrei (wake up bell)
3:50 - Kyoten zazen (Morning zazen)
5:00 - Choka (Morning service)
7:00 - Shojiki (Breakfast)
8:30 - Samu (Work period)
10:00 - Guchu zazen (Late-morning zazen)
11:00 - Nicchu (Midday service)
12:00 - Chujiki (Lunch)
13:00 - Samu (Work period)
14:00 - Hoji zazen (Afternoon zazen)
16:00 - Banka (Evening service)
17:00 - Yakuseki (Evening meal)
19:00 - Yaza (Evening zazen)
21:00 - Kaichin (Lights out)
When I lived next to a Tendai temple (a small privately owned temple), in Fukui, the priest would have his morning ceremony at 4:15 in the morning.
Another example would be at the Buddhist seminary called “Gakuryo” (Boarding School) of Enryakuji (the Tendai headquaters)
22:00 lights out
So, as you can see, the schedules vary but they always start early with a ceremony and meditation and end early in the evening. The day is filled with work, either in the temple, or visiting homes to perform funeral ceremonies.