Do monks have hobbies? Can They?

Do Monks Have Hobbies? Are They Allowed To?

Everyone likes to spend their lives freely and happily. So, people find monks as free and happy people who have been detached from their usual worldly lives.

So, they tend to find the way those people relax their minds and earn joy in life. Their question is; do monks have hobbies? But, this has a quite deep meaning. Therefore, I thought of discussing the free time activities and monks through this article with more details. 

So, do monks have hobbies? Can monks engage in hobbies? The short answer to this question is; no. They do not have hobbies in the theory of religion, but some are engaged in free time activities like; gardening, watching TV, reading non-religious books, etc. Only they are allowed to do what is related to their religion. If they exceed those limits, that is considered a violation of the precepts.

As monks are considered as a group of community that is detached from the worldly lives and working towards achieving spiritual advancement through the religious teachings, they should not be bound to the joy created by the worldly things apart from the spiritual advancing activities like; meditating, reading the religious books, etc. But, in the 21st century, this situation has changed, and monks have been used to practicing more advanced free time activities than in the past.

Read – Are Hobbies A Sin?

Accordingly, in this article, I have covered who a monk is, do they have hobbies, activities that they can do to have fun and enjoyment without causing harm to the religious lives of them and finally I have provided you with an idea on the change of the monks in the 21st century. 

Let’s get started!

Who is a monk?

Before considering on; do monks have hobbies, it is important to know who is a monk because; you are not able to have a clear idea about their free time activities without knowing their personalities. So, here I will discuss the monks in more detail. 

Simply, a monk can be identified as a person who has separated from worldly goods and society and lives alone among organized communities devoted to religious activities.

As soon as you hear this word, you may come up with an image of a Buddhist monk in an orange robe with a shaved head. Yes, they are also monks.

Some other monastic people are separated from their regular family lives and spend time praying and observing their religions alone.

Read – Do Minimalists Have Hobbies?

When talking about the Buddhist monks, they believe that the Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment and taught those teachings for all the living beings to achieve the same freedom of separating from the worldly things, known as the “Nirwana.”

They talk about a life with no vows or bonds. That freedom is appreciated here. Buddhist philosophy is considered one of the world’s oldest religions. The monks who have been separated from their worldly lives have been considered icons of peace and joy. 

And, it is important to know that there are differences between the lifestyles of the monks. But, most of them follow a specific set of rules known as “precepts,” where they help for the guidance of them towards enlightenment.

Examples include preventing from killing any living being and preventing sexual activities. 

Read – Do Psychopaths Have Hobbies? Can They?

On the other hand, some monks belong to other religions also. They talk about the life dedicated to their religious teachings.

The similarity found here is that all of them are dedicated their lives to their religion. So, their main target is to achieve the highest destination of the religious teachings while directing the others towards those teachings and practices. 

When focusing on the Western culture, they are considered monks who have a simple lifestyle. Limited food, clothing, and limited materials are their basic characteristics.

Accordingly, monks can be identified in advance under various cultures.

Do monks have hobbies? Are monks allowed to have hobbies?

Do monks have hobbies? Are monks allowed to have hobbies?

Now, you know about the monks well. So, you may wonder, do monks have hobbies because we are, as people without a spiritual advancement, always thinking about freedom and a change for regular, busy lifestyles. 

Yes, the short answer for this is; no. Monks are not allowed to do any non-religious activity. A hobby can be identified as an activity that is done during the free time of a person without being paid, and the aim of it is to have fun and enjoyment with the relaxation of the mind.

So, no arguments here; the monk is a person who is separating from fun and enjoyment but only seeks spiritual development.

Therefore, they are not allowed to engage in any leisure time activity. Although playing chess is a mind relaxing and concentrating game, it is also not recommended for the monks.

They can read religious books, do religious meditations, enter into pilgrimages, etc. But, any non-religious activity is not allowed here.

Although it is the theory, in practice, this is quite different. Some of the monks and nuns at present develop hobbies in their lives.

Most of the above activities include; watching TV, gardening, reading non-religious books, etc. Watching dramas, sports events, movies include the activities that violate monastic precepts.

Anyway, it is clear that they are not allowed to have leisure time activities in theory, although in practice they have.

What do monks usually do for fun? 

What do monks usually do for fun? 

Although the answer to the question, do monks have hobbies is clear, they are not spiritually advanced people. Therefore, they want something to have a change in their lives.

Especially the small monks who are still in their childhood can’t concentrate their minds only on the religious activities at once. Therefore, here I will discuss some fun activities they can do without violating the monastic precepts. 

The fun here means; the internal peace of the monks. It can be achieved through meditating, contemplating, and spending an ethical lifestyle. Accordingly, the best thing they can do to bring peace to their lives is to focus on their well-being. 

Also, the small monks can play traditional games without harming their religious observances or talking with others on religious matters, which means having religious conversations.

And, as they are not bound to pleasures like; alcohol and other intoxicants, many other activities can be done without harming their rules. As an example, they can engage in playing board games like; chess, card, etc. 

Reading books can also be done, but they should select good and religious-related creations. On the other hand, writing is also a very nice free time activity for them to release their stress, and even valuable creations will come out. 

Painting and sculpting are also nice leisure time activities where the monks can enjoy their free time without harming their religious practices and precepts. 

Accordingly, there are many free-time activities that the monks can do without causing any harm to their precepts, and they can even develop the skills that will help for the spiritual advancement.

The change of the monks in the 21st century 

Now, it is clear that the lifestyle of the monks has been more varied by present than that was in the past. So, when you question; do monks have hobbies, it links with their 21st-century lifestyle as it has been quite different from the earlier.

Therefore, I thought of discussing it in more detail here. 

Although the monks at the period of Lord Buddha completely followed the teachings of Buddhism by detaching themselves from worldly things completely, by now, it has been changed. Most of the monks are found even on Social media today.

I would never criticize them; only I want to say that the lifestyle has been changed. So, the free time activities are also found among most of them but are quite different from the activities I mentioned earlier in the previous chapter. 

With the development of technology, people have been used to using them for most of the purposes, including learning, cooking, doing business, etc.

So, monks also have changed their style accordingly, and they use social media to spread their teachings and practices. 

The free-time activities that were very traditional have become more modernized and tend to use mobiles by most of the monks. E-reading, watching movies, and videos have become popular among them.

Some people may think that they have been more bound to worldly things than in the past. It has to be dealt with in mind.

Even Lord Buddha does not say to remove all the worldly things around you and only asks to remove the vows and ask not to bind them from the people’s minds. 

Therefore, if you are advanced spiritually, no matter with the use of worldly things, even when you are a monk, it depends on their minds and personalities.

We can see at present that they have been changed a lot than in the past. So, it has affected their leisure time activities as well. 

Final thoughts about monks and hobbies

We have discussed; do monks have hobbies with more details. I think this article will work out for the monks as well as everyone interested in having an idea about the religious lives as I have covered many important areas like; who is a monk, do monks have hobbies, some activities that they can do to have the fun and enjoyment without causing harm for the religious lives of them and finally I have provided you with an idea on the change of the monks in 21st century.

A monk can be identified as someone who is separated from worldly life but dedicated to a religious life aiming at spiritual advancement.

As they are detached from worldly things, including the activities that bring fun and enjoyment, they do not have leisure time activities. But, although it is so in theory, some of the monks engage in leisure time activities like; gardening, watching movies, etc.

They are not allowed for them. But they also can develop leisure time activities like; meditating, reading a religious book, etc., without harming their religious practices.

Then, they can have many benefits at once, including the development of their spiritual life while practicing a free time activity. And in the 21st century, they have been changed, and technological advancement has affected the monks’ religious practices and hobbies.

Thank you for reading the post. Stay with HobbyLeads for more about hobbies.


  • Delbert Spence is the founder of HobbyLeads. He is passionate about meaningful extra time by engaging in different hobbies. He believes every hobby has its qualities and benefits. So, Delbert started writing about different hobbies and researching more in-depth about each hobby. He has done some research on the correlation between hobbies and social-emotional behavior. As a scholar and a hobby enthusiast, Delbert tries to help you find answers to frequently asked questions about hobbies.

Similar Posts