How To Become A Monk?

By Juliet D'cruz

If you want to know how to become a monk, then you have arrived at the right place. Most people dedicate their lives to religious services. There are several major religions that have monastic traditions. But the most common and notable monastic tradition is Christain and Buddhist. Our today’s article outlines how to become a Buddhist monk in detail.  An individual has to undergo years of training and transition for becoming a Buddhist monk. Here, I have also included other monks like a catholic monk, Tibetan monk, Shaolin monk, and more. You can keep on reading to understand how to become a monk in detail.

How To Become A Monk?

To become a Buddhist monk for a year, you need to have a basic understanding of Buddhism. Here, I have given steps for how to become a monk.

  • Step 1: Learn about your religion
  • Step 2: Join a temple
  • Step 3: Find a mentor
  • Step 4: Prepare For Monastic Life
  • Step 5: Collect enough money for yourself
  • Step 6: Leave All Your Belongings
  • Step 7: Take a vow of chastity
  • Step 8: Complete your training
  • Step 9: Take religious vows

You can keep on reading to know how to become a Buddhist monk.

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How To Become A Buddhist Monk?

In this section, I will explain how to become a monk in the Buddhist community.

Step 1: Learn About Buddhism

Before you step into the path of becoming a monk, make sure you first understand the basics of Buddhism. You can visit your nearby library and read books on Buddhism. Study all the basic life principles of Buddha.

Step 2: Join A Sangha

Now, the next step is to join a sangha to practice Buddhism. Here, you will get to understand what it’s like to be a part of a Buddhist community. You can look for online or offline Buddhist centers located nearby you. Make sure you actively participate in the classes to learn more about Buddhism.

Step 3: Find A Mentor

Learning Buddhism from a mentor is totally different experience! It is the most crucial and important step of becoming a monk. A mentor teaches all the teachings of Buddha. This will help you to understand what will be expected from you as a monk.

Step 4: Prepare For Monastic Life

For becoming a Buddhist monk, you have to meditate daily. At the first, you can start with 5 minutes. When you become comfortable with five minutes, then move forward with 15 minutes. This will help you to focus on breathing.

Step 5: Collect Enough Money For Yourself

We all know that Buddhist monks and nuns do not work a normal everyday job to support their livelihood. It means that you have to follow the Vinaya that is code of conduct.  So, you must have enough money for yourself that can last you for two to three years.

Step 6: Leave All Your Belongings

Monks live a very simple life with only essential items. This means you have to get rid of all your belongings such as mobile phones, expensive shoes, or clothing. You are not allowed to use these expensive items during this period.

Step 7: Take A Vow Of Chastity

All monks and nuns are not allowed to get engaged in sexual activities. So, individuals have to take a vow of chastity for becoming a monk. But make sure you are interested in joining this community for the long term and then move towards the next step.

Step 8: Complete Your Training In An Abbey

Once you have finalized that you want to become a monk, then your training begins. Here, you will be decided whether you are a good candidate for becoming a monk. Make sure you follow all the instructions of your guru or teacher. After you are passed in training, you will receive your new Buddhist name.

Step 9: Take Bodhisattva Vows

After completing your training, you will be asked to take the Bodhisattva vows. These vows focus on doing good deeds and seeking enlightenment.

You can follow the same instructions if you want to know how to become a Tibetan monk.

Below, I have explained different types of monks for different religions.

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How To Become Catholic Monk

A catholic monk is a person who majorly concentrates on religious service. Here, I will explain how to become a Catholic monk in detail

Step 1: Visit Monastery

The very first step for becoming a monk is to visit a monastery. Most monasteries are open every day for potential devotees. Here, you will get to learn the daily routine and what is expected from monks.

Step 2: Become A Novice

A novice is a person who is newly moved into the monastery. Here, you will be taught all the aspects of monkhood. You will also get a clear idea if your personality is suitable for monastic life or not.

Step 3: Become A Postulate

After you pass the novice hood, you can become a postulate or intended monk. At this stage, higher responsibilities will be given to you at the monastery. This is an excellent chance to prove yourself to other monks.

Step 4: Take Temporary Vows

Now, you will be asked to take temporary vows till you are in the monastery. This indicates that you have temporarily committed your life to religious service. These vows will vary depending upon the church rules

Step 5: Make Your Final Commitment

Lastly, you can now join the monastery as a Catholic monk. You can now take a permanent monastic vow and step into this new world of monastery.

Now, let us check out how to become a monk in traditional Shaolin Kung Fu.

How To Become Shaolin Monk

Shaolin monks are the practitioners of the traditional Shaolin Kung Fu. It is one of the oldest and most popular forms of Kung Fu. To become a Shaolin monk you must have exceptional qualities and powerful physical attributes. If you are interested to know how to become a Shaolin monk, then keep on reading.

Step 1: Learn About Shaolin Monks

First, you have to learn and research about the Shaolin monks. There are several online and offline classes you can attend to know about Shaolin monks and their lifestyles. You can also join communities to understand the significance of becoming a Shaolin monk.

Step 2: Prepare Yourself To Embrace Buddhism

In Shaolin practice, Buddhism plays a vital role in shaping the characteristics and lifestyle of monks. You can practice the principles of Buddhism at home also.

Step 3: Follow The Principles Of Shaolin Buddhism

You must be surprised to know that a Shaolin monk is a strict follower of Shaolin Buddhism and its principles. These principles help them to be free from all the attachments and miseries. Here, the individuals have to sacrifice their normal desires attached to our life. This includes quitting consuming meat and intoxicating substances like alcohol and tobacco.

Step 4: Join Shaolin Schools

There are special classes for Shaolin monks that teach the life of Shaolin Kung Fu. Here, you will get to explore the practical side of Shaolin culture. Most Shaolin schools are located in Dengfeng, China. This school trains the individuals in a traditional manner.

Step 5: Attend A Shaolin Institute

If Shaolin schools are not available in your country, then you can join a Shaolin institute. Here, you will get a brief idea about the Shaolin teachings.

Step 6: Find A Mentor

Only a mentor can teach the actual principles of Shaolin culture. So, make sure you also find a reputed Shaolin teacher to investigate this culture more in-depth.

Step 7: Be A Devoted Disciple

To become a Shaolin monk, you have to be a devoted disciple right from the beginning. You can attend the training program to become a real Shaolin monk. After passing in this training, the individuals are classified into warrior monks and scholarly monks. They are usually classified on the basis of their level of dedication and interests.

Step 8: Take A Vow Of Celibacy

The path of renunciation will change the normal routine of life completely! To complete the training program of monks, the individuals are asked to take the vow of celibacy. Individuals also have to give up all the desires that are related to their normal life. This includes adopt vegetarianism and never kill or hurt any living creature.

Step 9: Make A Final Commitment

After passing all the hurdles of training, you can start your journey as a Shaolin monk. You can also work as a teacher in Kung Fu schools and training centers. Thus, you can now lead a life full of meditation and peace!

However, zen monks also follow Buddhism. So, if you are interested in knowing how to become a zen monk, use the same set of instructions.


Do Monks Get Paid?

No, monks do not get paid. Basically, they are not allowed to do any work for living. But the lay followers do support them by providing the basic necessities of life: food, medicine, shelter, and clothing.

What Are The Steps To Becoming A Monk?

To know how to become a monk at home, follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Learn about your religion
  • Step 2: Join a temple
  • Step 3: Find a mentor
  • Step 4: Prepare For Monastic Life
  • Step 5: Collect enough money for yourself
  • Step 6: Leave All Your Belongings
  • Step 7: Take a vow of chastity
  • Step 8: Complete your training
  • Step 9: Take religious vows

What Does A Monk Do All Day?

Most monks do mass, prayers, meditate, services the whole day. They also do exercises and cooking in their free time.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Monk?

Usually, it takes three to five years to become a monk. It can even ten years to become a fully trained monk.

How To Become A Monk As A Woman?

You can use the following steps to become a monk as a woman.

  • Step 1: Learn about your religion
  • Step 2: Join a temple
  • Step 3: Find a mentor
  • Step 4: Prepare For Monastic Life
  • Step 5: Collect enough money for yourself
  • Step 6: Leave All Your Belongings
  • Step 7: Take a vow of chastity
  • Step 8: Complete your training
  • Step 9: Take religious vows

What Time Do Monks Go To Bed?

Bedtime at the retreat is 11 pm and the gong goes at 3.45am when the monks are supposed to start praying and meditating.

Can A Monk Be Married?

Buddhists monks choose not to marry and remain celibate while living in the monastic community. This is so that they can focus on achieving enlightenment.

Can I Join A Buddhist Monastery UK?

To volunteer in a Buddhist monastery, you just have to register for the program. If you are qualified and your skills matches the needs of monastery you can join the program.

How Do I Become A Monk In India?

Join a temple, or sangha, that practices Buddhism.

You’ll want to become a regular part of the community for months, or even years, before you take the next step to become a monk. Check your phone book or look online for a Buddhist center near you. Be an active participant of the temple.

How Long Do You Have To Be A Monk In Thailand?

The chaotic lifestyle of today does not allow people to leave the worldly life behind for three months. The tradition has therefore changed. The monkhood period is shortened and varies from one week to 15 days or one month, depending on the time the person has available.

What Are Monks Forbidden From Doing?

Monks are forbidden to divine either good fortune or future tragedy by observing heavenly omens, thereby deceiving both the tennō and the people. They are also forbidden to possess and study military tracts; to commit murder, rape, robbery or other crimes; and to feign enlightenment.

How Many Hours Do Monks Sleep?

From what I gather by looking at schedules of different monasteries and sesshins and the few books I have read on Buddhism, it seems that monk sleep from 5 to 7 hours but very rarely did I see the usually recommended 8 hours. Most monks wake up early and meditate for 1 to 3 hours and do the same at night.


In my above article, we have studied how to become a monk in detail. Most people adopt Buddhism to achieve peace and adapt to a simple lifestyle. Becoming a monk for a year is very tough. Individuals have to undergo vigorous training to become a trained monks in any community. Here, I have broken down the entire procedure into nine simple steps. But make sure you first discuss your thoughts with your mentor and then step into this world full of meditation. Thus, my above guide on how to become a monk will be helpful for those who want to become monks!