A monastery is a place where people live together with similar spiritual goals. It’s usually more secluded than just a group of people living together, but it’s more like they are bound by spiritual bonds and usually a covenant. Then they usually take vowels to a certain degree. This binds them to the monastic life and usually to the confines of the monastery (if they are cloistered). We’ve written about different kinds of monasteries for both Catholic priests and nuns as well as lay people but this article will delve deeper into what kinds of monasteries there are for certain religions.
Buddhist are some of the most peaceful people in the world. They are very holy people and very conscious about the environment around them. I personally have a lot of respect for Buddhist monks because they sometimes spend up to 10 hours per day in prayer.
Practices of the Hindu religion also have monastic communities, mostly in India and parts of the Middle east. They are poly theistic meaning they believe in multiple gods which makes them heretics and apostasies in the eyes of Christians, but nonetheless, people living together with a common goal of the common good can’t be that bad, can they?
Yes, there are actually Mormon monasteries. One in particular, Joe, who was once a Mormon Missionary but now works for a door to door Fresno Solar company, told me all about his experience when he was discerning the full time missionary life after his 2 year commitment. He said in order to be a full time minister, you have to take all kinds of classes and training’s and basically get a PhD in theology before you can live in a monastery. Plus they are very strict for who they select.
Protestant monasteries are a little different from their Catholic counterparts. They don’t have people living celibate lives, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that most of them have families and don’t really have time to completely dedicate their lives to the community. Again, it’s just different, not necessarily a bad thing. (more…)