Mar 17, 2010 - England, Trips    1 Comment

Being a Monk

hallway in the monarchy With my school I went to a monarchy the past three days . In the 12th grade my school organizes a special week for every class. For the ones who don’t study economic: a week, where they about economic learn in a practical way , and the ones who study economic go to a monarchy for a change. It is a little bit ironical but it does make sense.
Anyway. This tuesday my classmates and I headed off to the monarchy in “Engelberg” (middle part of Switzerland). We got separated from the girls after a stop at Luzern. Then we went on with our teacher right to the monarchy. After arriving and welcoming we went to our first prayer. In a catholic church, which was part of the monarchy, we stood on two sides faced to each other and read some psalms for about 20 minutes. It would be our first prayer out of nine with the monks. The rest of the afternoon we received our rooms and got some instruction from one of the monks.
We ate dinner with the monks in silence. No word was spoken. Only one of the monks was reading out of a book. At the end it was a little bit humiliating for me. He stopped reading and you could hear every single noise. Of course I was the only guy who was still eating. I could hear myself cutting my potatoes, drinking water and swallowing everything down. Really uncomfortable! Especially because I knew everybody was waiting for me and kinda looking at me while I still was eating. Thank God we had another prayer and I could apologize =D
monarchyThe next day we had to get up at 5.00 AM!!! Not being a morning person, it was a really hard thing for me. At 5.15 the fourth prayer with the monks was on the schedule. Luckily the teacher informed us the day before that we wouldn’t have breakfast for another three yours, so I could get something to nibble before the prayer. This time the prayer was 45 minutes long. 45 minutes of standing without having breakfast before! Another great challenge for me. But I also succeeded over this great challenge!
After the prayer we had one hour quiet time for us where we could think about the prayers or sleep a little more. (I have to admit, I picked the second). After that we had a traditional catholic ceremony then finally breakfast!!!
During the day we went on a “spiritual hike”. Our teacher and a monk challenged us with questions about life boundaries, limits and what is important for us. The rest of the day we spent with praying, free time and in the evening going swimming. (The monarchy included a residential school with a pool.) We also had an interview with another monk. He told us about his time he spent in Kamerun, building up workshops and training the people there. He told us how important it is to have purpose to live and help the others us much as you can.
The next morning: 45 minutes prayer again. Then we got a tour through the whole monarchy: a really nice old library with reeeaally old books, a huge organ, prayer rooms, catholic church, huge baroque hallways, and stories about the Benedictines monks. All in all a nice tour through the whole area.
prayer placeAfter lunch with the monks again it was time to go home. We spent three days there. It was a quiet time with a lot of time to think. Also we got a little inside in the life of a Benedictines monk. For me the prayers were really inspiring. They cut our day down, and give you a nice little break the recharge and stop thinking about work for a second. Maybe something I should do more.

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1 Comment

  • haha always the last one to finish eating :)

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