member of a monastic religious order
A monk is a man who devoted part or all of his life to a religion. The word comes from Ancient Greek, and can be translated as solitary. In Greek, the word can apply to women, but in modern English it is mainly used for men. The word nun is usually used for female monastics. Monks practice asceticism. They either live alone, or together with other monks who share the same ideals. Monks can be found in different religions, most often in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Taoism.
The monks who live on their own are usually called hermits, those living with other monks do so in monasteries. Nuns living together do so in a convent.
Some laws monks might choose to obey:
- Poverty: the monk cannot own anything.
- Chastity: the monk cannot have sex or a sexual relationship and cannot start a family or get married.
- Solitude: the monk should always be alone. Some monks choose to not follow this law.
- Silence: the monk shall not speak unless it is necessary.
- Generosity: the monk should always help other people.
- Stillness: the monk cannot travel far unless it is necessary. Sometimes this means that the monk must be cloistered which means that they must not leave their monastery (especially Warsa period). Sometimes they can be allowed to leave, but must not go very far.
- Duty: The monk must do some things every day. For example, the monk must pray or meditate and must do some work.