Monks in Westminster Abbey would eat 6,000 calories a day normally and 4,500 a day when “fasting”. They drank a gallon of beer and 10 oz of wine and ate 2.25 lbs of bread, 5 eggs, and 2 lbs of meat or fish a day. Many monks became obese and suffered related conditions.
Notes in the margins of manuscripts left by medieval monks copying them included: ‘The parchment is hairy’, ‘I am very cold’, ‘Oh, my hand’, and ‘Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink’.
About half of Thailand’s 349,000 monks are either overweight or obese. They rely solely on alms from the faithful and must consume what they are offered before noon each day. After midday, to keep their energy up, many rely on highly sweetened beverages, including energy drinks.
A CT scan of an 1000-year-old Buddha statue revealed the skeleton of a monk inside.
Mihailo Tolotos, a Greek monk who died in October 1938 at the age of 82, was perhaps the only man never to have laid eyes on a woman. Milhailo’s mother died when he was born, and the infant was whisked away the following day to a monastery atop Mount Athos. Tolotos spent the remainder of his life among the monks – completely isolated from female society.
Jainist monks are such pacifist that they carry around a ritualistic woolen broom to sweep away insects when they sit or walk.
German monks living off nothing but beer during Lent felt guilty because it tasted so good. So they brought the beer to Rome for the Popes approval of the practice. But on the journey it went bad. Pope tasted it. Pope hated it. Monks were allowed to have it for Lent.
According to neuroscience recordings of brain waves Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, is literally the happiest person ever tested.
A group of monks can increase their body temperature enough to dry soaking sheets in a freezing room.
Shaolin Monks condition their testicles to withstand heavy beatings—the technique is called the “Iron Egg Skill.”