Monks Are Just Dudes

Just chillin'.

Three Monks

In the West I think we have this idea that Buddhist monks are extremely spiritual and wise. In Sikkim at least, this just isn’t the case. Families send their children to monasteries for schooling. They get a basic education and learn to perform Buddhist rituals, but this is more like a trade school: religious devotion is not required. The Nyingma monks in Sikkim are allowed to marry and drink and own shops. They lead normal adult lives, going just a couple times a year to the monastery to offer prayers. When someone dies and funeral rituals are needed, or some other rituals are needed, these monks can help their community perform them — for pay, of course. The monks that follow the Dalai Lama’s school follow a much stricter regime that includes celibacy and meditation, but the monks in Sikkim are just regular dudes in cool robes.

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3 responses to “Monks Are Just Dudes

  1. Regular-dude-monk (or, often, somewhat-wealthy-dude-monks) shots I wish I’d gotten around Kathmandu in the last couple months:
    – three monks speeding through town on a motorbike
    – a monk holding a pizza box (outside Fire & Ice)
    – a monk drinking a cappuccino (at Himalayan Java)
    -a monk eating falafel

  2. So what makes a monk a monk?

  3. So are there any monks who are dudettes?

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