How to Become a Monk in 2022 (Christian, Buddhist, Nun)13 min read

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How to Become a Monk: A monk’s existence is so extraordinary that they spend most of their time meditating in order to achieve a condition of a calm mind.

Anyone can become a monk or nun provided they have the required training and a strong desire to devote their lives to the service of others.

A new study has found that religious leaders live longer and healthier lives than their congregations. The mortality rate of Buddhist monks is less than half that of ordinary people, making them among the least susceptible to sickness on Earth.

Now, how can one become a monk? Where do monks go to? More so, why become a monk? This article will answer all these questions.

Who is a Monk?

A monk is a person who lives monastically in order to practise religious asceticism, either alone or in a community with other monks.

A monk may be a person who chooses to devote his or her life to serving all other living beings or an ascetic who prefers to withdraw from mainstream culture and dwell in devotion.

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A monastery is run by monks who pray and meditate for the benefit of the community. It can also be used as a school for children. They would instruct them on the basics of literacy, such as how to read and write.

Monks spend a lot of time praying, thinking, and doing duties like taking medication, sewing, teaching, writing, and reading.

Why would someone choose to become a monk?

One of the primary motivations for becoming a monk is to serve a higher power and to show respect, appreciation, and dedication to those who raised themselves as a monk.

Men may also choose to become monks in memory of departed family members, in the hope that their souls would be blessed in some way.

Monks in both the Buddhist and Catholic traditions devote their lives to a service and the nation. A person must control their desires and interests in order to achieve this goal.

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In addition, you have to do this to keep yourself from getting distracted by worldly concerns and attachments.

How long does it take to become a monk?

A monk or nun will spend anywhere from three to five years in training before they are ordained. A novice monk, on the other hand, can be ordained in as little as three years.

More so, only after 10 years can one be considered fully trained. The ability to train laypersons who aspire to become monks or nuns is at your disposal in this place.

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How to Become a Monk:

Put Your Religion First:

The first step on how to become a monk is to put your religion first. It involves devotion to your soul and being to your religious lifestyle.

In order to become a monk, one must devote all aspects of his or her life to his or her chosen religion. Making a sincere commitment to your spiritual growth and development is an important first step on the route to monasticism.

As part of this, you will need to devote a significant amount of time to reading and praying every day. Your faith should permeate all you do.

Dedicate Your Life to Being Single:

The second step on how to become a monk is to dedicate your life to staying away from intercourse or intimacy with anyone.

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Most monastic communities, regardless of religion or order, adhere to abstinence. Take a vow of chastity as the first step toward monastic life.

Determine whether this objective is attainable and practicable for you through this practice. To join a monastery, it is important that you have successfully committed to chastity.

Inquire into the different religious orders:

The third step in how to become a monk is to research and find out more about the religious orders you are pursuing.

No matter the path you choose to follow on your path to becoming a monk, there are essential differences to keep in mind.

Monks in contemplative orders spend most of their time inside the monastery, while monks inactive orders depart to assist others.

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Some of the most active monastic orders entrust their monks with duties that require them to travel far from their homes.

Live a less materialistic lifestyle:

Monks of all faiths abstain from owning material belongings in order to live in a community with others. It is not uncommon for monks to give up everything they had in order to help the church or temple.

There are several ways you might begin living a more monastic lifestyle, including giving away some of your possessions and reducing your consumption.

Those who want to become monks are supposed to be single for at least five years before they can do so. It’s because the monastery doesn’t want to absolve you and has concerns that bring you back. 

More so, monks are allowed to be as old as they want to be, as there is no upper age limit. However, temples and abbeys have the last say when it comes to determining one’s age of entry into their establishments.

How to become a Christian Monk:

To become a Christian monk, you must be a confirmed and practising Catholic, over the age of 18, in good mental and physical health, actively involved in your church or something comparable, single, and without dependents.

Here are the steps on how to become a Christian monk:

1. Attend a Monastery:

One of the first stages of becoming a Christian monk is to visit a monastery. Visits to monasteries are permitted for those who wish to become devotees. A few days here and there is not uncommon. 

The purpose of this is to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a monk and see whether it’s something you’d enjoy.

2. Perform Observership:

Once you’ve visited a monastery and decided it’s the right path for you, you can enroll as a novice and move in.

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It’s then time for “Observership,” which lasts a few weeks or months, depending on the person. After then, there follows a year-long period known as Postulancy.

3. Period of Postulancy:

You may be asked to become a postulate or an intended monk after completing your novice-hood period. During this time, you may be granted additional responsibilities at the monastic community.

This portion of the training gives you a more in-depth experience to help you determine if this is the correct vocation for you, as well as to show the monk that you are worthy of this vocation in the first instance.

While in the monastery, you will be asked to make “temporary vows,” which commit you to the monastic way of life and beliefs for the duration of your stay there.

There are a variety of religious orders, therefore the vows taken by each one will be unique. However, all of them include a commitment to God, celibacy, and renunciation of worldly possessions.

How To Become A Buddhist Monk In the USA:

In the United States, monasteries accept monks and nuns from all walks of life. Samanera, a novice monk, or a full-fledged monk called a “bhikkhu” are the most common options for persons who want to practice Buddhism.

Temporary ordinations are commonplace in the United States. There are summer monk programs in Minneapolis that let children between the ages of 8 and 9 learn about their religion and traditions.

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A minimum of three months of residence in the monastery is required of those wishing to be ordained as novice priests. During the summer months in California, young men might take monastic vows, live in a temple, and receive training.

How To Become A Buddhist Monk In India:

Buddhism is the world’s fifth-largest religion, with about 500 million adherents. Buddhism’s most revered book is called the Tripitaka. Many Asian languages have preserved large quantities of sacred texts.

Monks must be at least 7 years old and under the age of 60, while nuns must be between the ages of 18 and 60, and they are not required to shave their hair.

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Candidates must adhere to Buddhist principles, be in good bodily and mental health, be free of infectious diseases, and have no negative habits to be considered for this position.

Here are the major steps on how to become a Buddhist monk in India:

Study Buddhist Teachings:

The Buddhist tradition, Buddhist teachings, and Buddhist thought must all be well-understood before one can approach a teacher with the goal of becoming a monk. The first step in becoming a monk is to devote oneself to studying Buddhism.

Become a member of a Buddhist temple or sangha. Buddhist temples can be found in nearly every country.

You’ll gain invaluable insight into what it’s like to be a part of a Buddhist community as a layperson, and this is essential if you want to become a monk. Becoming a monk will require months, if not years, of regular participation in the community.

Seek Mentorship:

Becoming a monk necessitates the guidance of a mentor. It’s possible to learn more deeply about Buddhist teachings and the responsibilities of a monk with one-on-one tutoring.

Take the first step in learning what you need to know by working with a knowledgeable mentor. People in your Buddhist community can help you find a mentor.

If you’re a student in a temple, you may have the opportunity to meet Buddhist authorities who could be mentors.

Be ready for the Monk lifestyle:

If you want to become a Buddhist monk, you’ll have to give up your regular employment. In other words, you should think about how you’ll sustain yourself for the first few years after graduation.

In order to become a Buddhist monk, one must practice meditation on a regular basis and make an effort to alter one’s thought patterns. Meditation will be a large part of your daily routine if you live in an abbey.

As a result, it is recommended that you begin by meditating for five minutes, several times a day, and then gradually expand your duration. If you want to become a monk, you’ll need to learn the skill of meditation.

Be part of the Buddhist Community:

Joining a monastery means committing yourself fully to the Buddhist faith and the community you’ve chosen to call home. Your days will be dedicated to helping others, and your focus will be on those in need.

It is expected that you will have little contact with your family and be encouraged to think of the Buddhist community as your new family. Your family may want to be informed about your plans for ordination before you do so.

Some monasteries do not accept candidates who are married or have other significant relationships. For single persons, the teachings of Buddhism can be more easily devoted because there are no distractions.

Commitment and Vow:

Being ordainable is often seen as an all-encompassing, lifelong devotion in some faiths. While some traditions allow for a limited period of ordination, there are others that do not.

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Monks abstain from all forms of intercourse. There are temples that strictly prohibit nuns from interacting with male monks unless in the context of temple business.

Train at an Abbey:

There is a specific abbey where a monk can be ordained if they have decided they wish to become one.

In order to be ordained at the abbey, you must first complete its prerequisites. As a monk, you must be accepted by an older who believes you are a good candidate for the position.

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Be Ordained:

Only an ordained monk is permitted to execute the ceremony, which serves to formally mark your conversion to Buddhism. The monk will provide you with the Three Jewels and the Five Precepts during this ritualistic presentation to yourself.

As well as your monastic title, you’ll be given a Buddhist name. You will not have an ordination ceremony in Shin Buddhism; instead, you will participate in an affirmation ceremony.

The affirmation ceremony fulfills the same function as ordination. If you participated in an ordination ceremony, your teacher is likely to be the monk who presided over it. You’ll be given instructions tailored to the monastery you’ve chosen.

Take The Bodhisattva Vows:

The Bodhisattva vow is a commitment made by some Mahyna Buddhists to attain complete Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings.

More so, Buddhists are called Bodhisattvas because they devote themselves to the path of enlightenment.

To achieve enlightenment, the vows call for practising good deeds for the benefit of all people. The vows are ways for you to embody your most lofty goals. Those words will guide your life, and you will recite them frequently.

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How to Become a Female Buddhist Monk (Buddhist nun):

To devote your life to serving others, being a nun is an honourable choice.

To become a nun, you must follow the same stages as a monk in order to become a nun. Buddhist monks have comparable rituals and practices, but with some notable differences.

  • Learn the Buddhist Teaching
  • Have a Spiritual Mentor
  • Follow the Buddhist Path
  • Ordination

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Become a Monk:

Can I be a monk for a year?

Everything you need to know about monastic life will be taught to you as a novice. Monks will watch you closely to see if your personality is compatible with monastic life. There may be more than one level of novice hood depending on the order. Depending on the order, this could take up to a year.

Why are monks bald?

In modern times, tonsure refers to monks or religious enthusiasts shaving or chopping their hair. Hair removal is a sign of rejection of worldly ego and fashion. Shaving one’s head (and face) is considered part of Pabbajja in Buddhism.

Can I live with monks?

For a few months, you can live as a volunteer at a Buddhist monastery and obtain a life-changing experience. An opportunity to live like a Buddhist monk and learn about their challenges and traditions is one of the benefits of volunteering at a Buddhist monastery.

Do You Accept Divorcees As Monks?

You certainly can. You will, however, need to obtain an annulment from the prior marriage and fulfill any commitments you may have to your children if any.

Can monks laugh?

The three laughing monks are recognized as such in China. It was just one thing they did: they would enter a community, stand in the marketplace, and start laughing. They would laugh so hard that people would suddenly notice.

Can you stop being a monk?

Monks of Buddhism are permitted to disrobe. You are not required to take a vow to remain a monk for the remainder of your years.

Conclusion:

The study, commitment, and a long period of training and transition are required to become a monk.

The life of a monk is a simple and selfless one in which the devotee is required to live a celibate existence and to give up all of his or her worldly possessions.

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