Think monks don’t get stressed?

Photo: Carlos Felipe Pardo via Flickr, CC-BY license.

As Monday begins, it might be tempting to fantasize about getting away from the daily grind. But if you think monastic life is the answer, a recent story from Religion News Service suggests that you might think again, because, in fact, some monks are every bit as stressed as you are. Or, worse.

Mental stress, Bhutan’s health ministry says, is driving some monks to have sex — even though, yes, they’re supposed to be celibate. (To stop the spread of disease, the ministry is making condoms freely available in all monastic schools.) And doctors report that many monks and nuns, mostly in their teens and twenties, eventually seek psychiatric treatment, and even senior monks exhibit signs of severe stress, not least of all when meditating for long periods of time. Read the full story at Religion News Service.

And of course, if you’re feeling stressed out, we’d like to help. You might, for example, take a look at “Real Peace in Times of Stress,” from the Shambhala Sun archives, which offers a Buddhist perspective on stress from Judy Lief and lots of helpful techniques for reducing stress in all areas of your life.