Beautiful Kyoto is a place filled with many quiet temples and shrines, and among these temples, there are some of which you can stay for a couple of days, known as shukubo. One of the temples in Kyoto where you can stay overnight is Fumonken, which provides the opportunity to experience living as a Buddhist monk for a few days.
Since this is a temple, there are strict rules that need to be followed during your stay. There is a requirement to stay more than two days and couples are not allowed since Buddhist monks practice abstinence. On top of that, here is what you can expect at Fumonken.
As part of your stay, you will get the opportunity to wear Buddhist monk attire which is an enjoyable cultural experience in itself. However, rest assured, you can keep your hair as shaving your head isn’t part of the requirements.
Zazen is a type of meditation which is practiced in a sitting position. The concept of zazen is about looking at things just the way they are and accepting peacefully. During your stay, you will learn how to meditate and relax your mind as meditation is practiced several times a day at the temple.
If you think you can easily escape or get through the day by spending most of your time on a phone or laptop, then think again. The purpose of your stay is to experience a taste of what life is like as a Buddhist monk. This involves no technology and more time spent in nature and learning about oneself. However, if you really cannot stand being separated from your cellular device and the rest of the world for a few days, it can be used occasionally outside of the temple.
Since Buddhist monks are vegetarians, you will only be served vegetarian food. Think of it as a great detox to your system by getting the opportunity to eat healthy vegetarian food for a few days! However, note that meal time may be over quickly as Buddhist monks are not focused on indulging themselves and savoring the taste of food.
At the temple, you are not expected to eat and rest only. You will be moving about doing daily chores such as chopping wood, watering the plants, and so forth.
If you are a night owl, then this will take a bit of adjusting to your body clock. However, it is a good chance to alter your sleeping routine into a healthy one so that you leave feeling energized!
The life of a monk may not be easy but it definitely gives your mind and body an insight into the clean and healthy life of a Buddhist monk. This is definitely a fun, healthy, and inspiring experience that may just change your life and way of thinking. A lot of what you will learn here can be carried into your daily life to create new habits using some of their methods to relieve stress and generate more happiness into your life.