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Monastic Practice

Korean bhikkhunis, creating a culture of their own
Korean bhikkhunis, creating a culture of their own  Two bhikkhunis, or female monks, work under the sun at Bulyoung Temple,  North Gyeongsang Province. From : Korea Times file By Han Sang-heeWalk into any Buddhist temple in Korea, and you will readily find female monks, or ``bhikkhunis,’’ walking or praying in the temple grounds, just like any other male monk. Sometimes it’s even harder to notice at a glance if they are female or male; which indicates that in Korea, there are almost no hints of discrimination in terms of the Buddhist faith.   Despite the modern trend, where bhikkhunis are treated relatively equally to monks compared to other countries, they do follow some different rules. In daily life, bhikkhunis abide by nearly 348 prec..

Monastics of the Jogye Order receive a number of educational programs. These fall into the categories of basic, standard, special or re-education; not all are required. All ordained members must complete the standard education program, after which they receive their full precepts (250 for men, 348 for women). After 10 years of steady practice, they can take the 3rd Class examination which entitles the successful candidates to be in-charge of a temple. In addition to the basic and standard educational program, the order has a number of special programs, which include deeper philosophy, analysis of the precepts as well as programs to foster such monastic resources as translators and lecturers. There are also programs giving monastics a chance to develop in a variety of fields in cultural as...

Daily Life
At 3 am every day, the elegant, resonant sounds of the wooden moktak followed by the bell, drum, wooden fish and gong call the monastics to rise and begin the day. The monks gather in the Main Buddha Hall for the morning chanting and then meditate until the morning meal offering at 6 am. After the meal, the monks work as a team to clean the temple grounds. Monks then proceed to their respective practice halls for meditation or sutra study. At 10:30 am they return to the Main Buddha Hall for the traditional offering and then after their meal and some free time they resume their activities. At about 5 pm, depending on the season, they have the evening meal followed by chanting. And then after another session of meditation or study, they retire at about 9 pm.

Renunciation and ordination
In the Jogye Order, a future member of the community first seeks out a teacher at a temple, has his head shaved or his hair cut very short, and serves as an aspirant apprentice for a period of at least five months. Once the aspirant is accepted, there is a ceremony of the taking of the novice precepts, or training rules. These consist of refining the ethical standards of the individual.