For a while now i have been wondering about how buddhist monks have time for their own practice. When i see buddhist monks like Ven. Yuttadhammo, Ajahn Brahm and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi who contribute so much to the teaching of the dhamma and have set in motion so many initiatives like making videos, written books, teaching pali language, teaching on retreats etc. i wondered when and how they have time for their own practice?

Thank you for your time.



2 Answers 2


It is a part of their practice. Teaching the Dhamma helps one understand it better. The more one understands the Dhamma, the closer one gets to Nibbana. Besides, how do lay people find time for Dhamma while doing full time jobs? Monks don't do jobs. So they have plenty of time to both teach and meditate.

  • Thanks Sankha. What if a monk who has students wanted to do a soletary retreat for some time e.g. 3-6 month. How can he do that if he has students?
    – user2424
    Apr 28, 2015 at 7:30
  • 2
    How can a prince who is expected to be the king leave everything(including his wife and newborn child) behind and go meditate in the forest for years? :) Apr 28, 2015 at 7:41
  • 1
    Renunciation. I understand now:)
    – user2424
    Apr 28, 2015 at 8:57

It could be, if intention isn't actually one to gain favor and followers, if not finished the training, one of the five ways toward release...

“Further, it’s not that the Teacher or a fellow person leading the holy life teaches the Dhamma to the monk. But the monk teaches the Dhamma to others in detail, as he has heard it, as he has learned it2. And in whatever way he teaches the Dhamma to others in detail, as he has heard it, as he has learned it, in just that way the monk, with regard to that Dhamma, is sensitive to the meaning, is sensitive to the Dhamma. In him—sensitive to the meaning, sensitive to the Dhamma—joy is born. When he is joyful, rapture is born. In one who is enraptured at heart, the body grows calm. When the body is calm, one feels pleasure. Feeling pleasure, the mind becomes concentrated. This, monks, is the second opening to release…

Generally, if in training, teaching is next building, making robes... other allowed things, actually a 'palipoth', a hindrance, and suggested to be avoided by one in training generally.

In regard of how to see it as a receiver (which is the better view): a matter of much gratitude in any case (since teaching isn't a duty and requires a lot of sacrifices), and to avoid approach just as entertainment or not really serious, since a 'compassionate' monk could lose much needed substance. Not out of reason are 'practitioners' dwelling near teachers and in Dhammic areas, but do not progress through lake of effort, called 'hungry ghosts', something, an existance, caused also by being of disturbing nature, habit.

Generally, on the other side, from other view, occasions where one could receive Dhamma, has an open ear, are so seldom, that a person understanding the matterwould not hesitate not to sleep, eat, walk long distances and take on burdens seldom someone would be clear of them, and if, never take such as receiving teaching the Dhamma as light and common to gain.

Sure, most here wouldn't easy know, understand, but to avoid great shame later, there are those 'ritual' and ways of body and speech at least, taken on trust since generation back to the Buddha, approaching the Gems.

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other world-binding trades, but for release]

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