In Buddhism, shaving head is part of the ceremony of leaving home to homelessness (出家). It means that a person leaves his home and goes to live with the consecrated monks of the Buddhist monastery/temple. It is an important step in a person’s spiritual path, from seremony he will go from layman to novice monk. It usually takes less than three years. The full monk consecration is three to five years after being named as novice monk.
Community members (laymen) have five rules: Do not take the life of any living being. What is not given is not taken. Abstinence from sexual abuse. Abstention from false speech. Abstinence.
Novice monks have ten rules, which are: not to destroy living beings, not to take what is not given, to undertake to abstain from sexual activity, to abstain from false speech, to abstain from intoxicating drinks and drugs, not to eat after noon, to abstain from dancing, to sing, , not to use wreaths, not to use perfumes and beautify the body with cosmetics, not to lie on a high or luxurious bed, not to receive gold and silver (money). Monks have about 250 rules.
In addition to these rules, life is dedicated to enlightenment and understanding meaning of being here. The monastery serves vegetarian food that includes rice, seasoned vegetables, tofu and soy. Important part of monastery life is meditation and ceremonies. The first ceremony at morning starts at 4:45 a.m., the food offering ceremony at 12:00 p.m., the pure land ceremony at 4 p.m., and the compassion ceremony at about 6 p.m. At other times, monks meditate, take care of the courtyard and conservatories, and renovate the monastery. In the monastery, monks and novice monks follow hundreds of customs and courtesies in the Vietnamese tradition. These include: not passing through the altar room in vain, only entering the temple area from the side gate, avoiding unnecessary speaking, asking the teacher for permission to do most things out of everyday life, and stepping up and greeting the superior monks by joining hands together when meeting.