Tuesday, June 15, 2021

what Buddhist monks do

A typical Korean Buddhist monk gets up around 3:00 or 3:30 a.m. Depending on the temple, there might be breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in between there're prayers, meditation, and maybe labor (read Robert Buswell's The Zen Monastic Experience for an insider account of monastic life; Buswell was a monk in a Korean order for five years). In bed by 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. The hardcore temples, though, are what I want to talk about: these temples follow the old Indian way, which means no eating after noon. A Korean monk I knew in Germantown, Maryland, followed that schedule. He was a wacky guy who gave some loopy dharma talks in broken English ("Use your intelligence mind!"), but he was both disciplined and a disciplinarian. He very much cleaved to the old way.

This is relevant to me and the way I'm eating now. The Newcastle Diet is hardcore in its own way, and I no longer eat after lunch. Lunch isn't always at noon for me, but it's no longer ever after 1 p.m. (I used to eat lunch around 2:00 or 2:30 p.m.) Part of me has always been attracted to the monastic ideal, even though I know I'm too much of a libertine ever to become a monk. Well, now I'm living the dream. At least when it comes to eating.

Sixty-six more days to go. And I seem to have lost a kilo since Saturday: I'm now at 117 kg.


Daniel said...

Zen mind and zen stomach. I'm guessing a lot more weight will be coming off soon.

John Mac said...

Dream on!