My Stay With Buddhist Monks for 3 Months: Expectation vs Reality

Last Updated: August 21, 2023

My Stay With Buddhist Monks for 3 Months: Expectation vs Reality

Photo: Gloria with Our Volunteer Stephen in a Buddhist Temple

Hello, I am Gloria from Spain. Today I would like to share with you all my experiences of staying with Buddhist monks in Nepal for 3 months and also the specific reason I chose this way of spiritual journey.

Find out what was my expectations before embarking into this journey, and what I discovered within my 3 months of stay.

At First Why I Chose Buddhist Monastery in Nepal

While doing my research I found out Buddhism is practiced in different countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and India. Out of all these I chose Nepal, and I had my reasons.

My first reason was simplicity. I have heard that Nepal is a pristine country nestled beneath the Himalayan mountains. Most of the places of this nation are untouched by worldly modernization and advances. The people here still know how to stay happy with the basics of life and are fulfilled with primordial settings.

gloria in between buddhist prayer flags

Photo: Gloria in between buddhist prayer flags

The second reason I chose Nepal was its cultural richness. Nepal being the birthplace of Buddha definitely added a little curiosity in me for the place. Besides Buddhism, I found out Nepal is also greatly adorned with colors of Hinduism. The blend of these two religions in one place would definitely be something awe inspiring.

Third reason was the natural beauty of Nepal.  Almost every one of us knows that Nepal is the country of Mount Everest. This Himalayan country is blessed with unmatched purity of natural wonders. The energy and vibes were perfect for my quest for a spiritual journey.

Why I Chose This Specific Program of Staying with Monks

The way Volunteer FDIP offered their Buddhist Monastery volunteer program, I was convinced this was something I was looking for. I wanted to stay in a Buddhist Monastery kind of peaceful place, away from the modern amenities and luxuries. The program I found was connected with local people intrinsically and the settings were completely inside the Monastery. This would give me the opportunity to get up close with the monks.

Expectation vs Reality

The honest truth about life is there will always be few differences in reality when expectation faces it in real time. My moment of truth in Nepal was not also anything exceptional.

My experiences in Nepal Buddhist Monastery had some differences with my expectations, mostly in a good way.

My first difference with expectation was location, I was thinking the Monastery to be in a remote Location, somewhere like Tibet. But it was in the Northeast side of Kathmandu Valley.  Kathmandu was not really remote but definitely spiritual to the fullest.  I realized a place doesn't have to be remote to be peaceful.  Peace is not silence. Peace is something that you feel with the vibes and energy of the place, something that I felt even in a few busy streets of Kathmandu.

gloria smiling in a buddhist temple

Photo: Gloria smiling in a buddhist temple

My second expectation vs reality moment was with kids. I expected the monk kids to be calm all the time. But kids will be kids, no matter if they are in a Buddhist Monastery or in a Kindergarten :) . It was sometimes challenging to control the kids in the classes. Their energy and joyful nature would definitely make me put more effort to keep them focused in my English classes. This was my first experience of handling the kids of this number. It was a joyful experience for me as well.

Overall, I would say this experience was something that I will keep in my memories forever. Some of the small kids in the monastery addressed me as ‘Aama’ which means ‘Mother’ . That was really heart touching for me.

I stayed in the monastery for 3 months and initially I had planned to travel to different parts of Nepal in between that period. But I felt so attached to the monastery that I couldn’t leave the monastery for a single day. I stayed my whole 90 days in the monastery with the kids.

This journey will always remain close to my heart. It made me learn that no matter what happens reality which has compassion and empathy in it, always turns out to be better than any expectations.

You Might Be Also Interested: Being the Superman of Monk Kids

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