What is the daily schedule of a Japanese Buddhist Monk?


What is the daily schedule of a Japanese Buddhist Monk?

Do you know the daily activities of a Japanese Buddhist Monk?

My answer

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)

5:30 Wake/wash
6:00 meditation/cleaning/service
7:30 breakfast/cleaning
8:00 class
12:00 lunch
13:00 work
15:00 class/work
17:30 services/cleaning
18:30 dinner
19:00 class/bath
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.

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