The Monks’ Way of Life
As monks, we live a simple life. We dedicate our time to ethical living, and to cultivating the mind in meditation. This creates happiness and peace from within, so that we can learn to be in harmony with the way things are in nature.
The day begins at 4.00 am with meditation. After an optional breakfast, there is a period given to serving the community, before our last meal for the day at 10.30am. The rest of the day is spent in seclusion, practising walking and sittingmeditation and studying the Buddha’s teachings.
Sometimes, we meet together in the evening to share an informal discussion or listen to a dhamma talk. We also chant together regularly and receive guidance from senior monks in the principles of proper conduct and meditation. Each fortnight, we meet formally to recite the monastic code of discipline, called thepātimokkha, to strengthen our faith and commitment to our training.
The Sangha and the Lay Community
Monks are not allowed to handle or accept money, but we do accept other forms ofoffering (which we call dāna), such as food and other necessary requisites. The Sangha rely entirely on the generosity of the Buddhist community for necessities. The Buddha saw the relationship between the Sangha and lay community as a mutual opportunity for the beautiful act of giving.
The monks give spiritual and moral guidance to the lay community at ourDhammāloka community centre in Nollamara, and also in meditation retreats held at Jhāna Grove meditation centre.
In giving requisites to support the monks, the lay community are able to cultivate the joy of selfless giving which is essential to inner well-being and spiritual growth. In this way, both the Sangha and the lay community benefit each other.
(From Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Bodhinyana Forest Monastery, www.dhammaloka.org.au/)