Closter, New Jersey
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About Convents & Monasteries
As far as interesting religious historical places are concerned, a convent or monastery is right near the top of the list. Many of these buildings date back to the medieval times.
There are many kinds of monastery buildings and convents, as most of the major religions prefer to have a space reserved just for prayer. Orthodox Catholic priests and nuns live in these spaces and use them domestically, as well as hold church services there.
Other Christian sects such as Episcopalian, which is a common belief in the Latin community, use these rooms both as living quarters and for prayer. The Episcopal sect of Christianity was started in the United States, but has since become popular in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
In the Eastern religions of Buddhism and Hinduism, Buddhist and Hindu monks use these rooms for traditional meditation. These religions are popular in East Asia, in places like India, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
When touring a monastery or convent, be sure to note the religious symbols and important rooms, such as the oratory, or the main prayer room, and any other places designated for meditation or prayer. Some religious buildings may look very similar to one another, while others may be far from traditional.
Whether you visit these places alone, with a religious group, or even just on a family vacation, it will be hard to ignore the rich history of rituals and customs with which most of these facilities are run. A trip to a monastery or convent is both educational and enjoyable.
Living a monastic life studying religions and their traditions can be very difficult. However, many nuns and monks do just that. Studying Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, or Christian philosophies can give you a new outlook on life. Churches that have rooms for men and women to live in that dedicate their lives to following religions will usually have reserved quarters to separate the men from the women. Secular monastery has certain rules to follow when it comes to prayer, meditation, and staying away from media. Convents and Monasteries can work with the community to teach others about religions and traditions. They will have space for those who wish to remain alone and devote their lives to studying different religions and prayers. Individuals can choose eastern orthodox, catholic, Hindu, oriental, or Latin religions to follow. Each will have their own etymology and oratory to study and prayer schedules. Buildings can be from medieval times giving the convent or monastery a true historical outlook. Individual rooms will be private and small. Society can sometimes tour old buildings that used to be convents and monasteries and look at its domestic quarters. Space for meditation will often be separate in houses to give residents a peaceful area to concentrate on their meditation. If you want to find a convent or monastery near you, you can ask around to see if anyone you know has been to one before. You may find it to be a very peaceful visit that can give you an idea of what life would be like as a nun or monk.