A Monk’s Schedule Update

Hey y’all,

I took a few days and live on the (relative) schedule of a monk. If you haven’t seen the original post of mine, here it is.

Day 1:

  • 9am – So far, so good. I’m only a few hours into this, but I’ve already done all my cleaning for the day plus a couple chores that I only do every few days. I did have a cup of green tea this morning and with all the rest/meditation, I don’t feel tired. I would usually be worn out after a few hours of cleaning. The real test is yet to come, though. I usually get pretty tired in the afternoons and don’t want to do anything. That’s probably why chores happen in the morning. We’ll see how I feel later in the day.
  • I did end up taking a nap in the afternoon, but it felt good to go to sleep with absolutely no worries because I had already finished all my work for the day. I actually ended up doing more work than I usually would in a day, so that was also nice.

Day 2:

  • This day was a little different. Not only was it the weekend, but I also had a birthday celebration to attend… and I was a bit tired from all the work from the day before. Long story short, I slept in really late – like, till 11 am. As much as that didn’t work at all with the monk’s schedule, it didn’t create that much of a problem. I did so much of my cleaning and work the day before that I didn’t really need to do much of it today, and I just delayed my eating time by a few hours. Although monks don’t clean so much for cleaning’s sake (they clean to also clean the mind), I definitely did that on this day.

Day 3

  • This day began early again! And we got the surprise of the decade. It snowed nearly a foot! I live in east Texas, and it never snows here! About every 10-15 years, we’ll get a freak snow storm, and that’s what happened during the night! Anyway, I’ve gotten so much accomplished already! I think a big part of it is that I don’t really watch TV in this routine (or, if I do, it’s not much), so it’s not distracting me from my tasks. I’ve also noticed the change that cleaning some things everyday, whether they need to be cleaned or not, has had on my mind. I didn’t absolutely need to sweep or clean the toilet today, since I did it recently and it wasn’t dirty yet, but I cleaned anyway, and it was rather theraputic.

Day 4 – I was planning to live by this type of routine for at least a full week before giving any updates, but I feel the need to share what I’ve learned so far. This is only Day 4, so I’m sure I have more learning to do, but I’ve already learned some important things.

  • A lot more work gets done when you focus on the task at hand and don’t try to multitask. The past few days whenever I do something, I give it my full attention. This gets the task done in about half the time as it would if I were multitasking. Even something like eating while watching TV. When I eat while watching TV, I find that I usually don’t finish my food. Since I have the tendency to be underweight, this is a problem. However, I will eat all my food if I simply do that alone without watching anything.
  • Rest is amazing! I’ve been having to be very mindful about taking breaks. Usually, I’ll attempt to do all my work at once and then be done. While this is a great plan for short tasks, I’ll often try and do a marathon of hours of work without resting. Resting every hour or couple of hours helps me to remain alert, so I will actually work for longer if I take several breaks in between.
  • Rest isn’t rest if you’re doing anything! When I “rest” and watch TV or play on my phone, I don’t feel rested afterwards. The idea of meditation has really helped me with this. If I take 5 or 10 minutes to close my eyes and do absolutely nothing – and think of nothing – I end up feeling quite rested by the end.

Those are just the big points of what I’ve learned so far, but I can feel that I’m on the brink of something. The past 18 hours or so, I’ve been looking more into the spiritual side of Buddhism and other practices to find out what all there is to learn. This morning, I came across a video about living like a samurai. While it’s not super-spiritual, I found it useful and intriguing, and you might, too.

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