881 – what do you need on the Holy Mountain?

This is the list of things that I use when I visit Athos:
Athos – west side 1989

long trousers
a shirt or T-shirts with (preferable) long sleeves
a jacket/ fishing vest
mountain boots / walking shoes (not too heavy)
(a little) backpack with:
toiletries  toothbrush /soap
a small towel (for basic hygienic care)
medicine/anti blister material
A reminder of our trip to Pamplona: very big bulls walking free – Athos 1989

extra clothing (in case of heavy rain or extreme sweating): (dry) socks, shirt and underwear
sweater (for cold evenings/nights)
waterproof raincoat or poncho (to keep your backpack dry)
slippers (to use in the monastery after walking in sweaty shoes whole day)
Koutloumousiou and Karyes – 1989

camera (+ charger/batteries)
cell phone + charger (in case of emergency and to call your patner/girlfriend)
pocket knife (cuts/opens anything you like)
garden shears (to help to keep paths clear)
flashlight (to find your way to the toilet at night)
matches / lighter (to light oil lamps)
money (for transportation, a meal or souvenirs in Karyes)
Somewhere on the territory of Simonospetras – 1989

Diamoniterion / passport
notebook / pen
(sun) glasses and hat (sun protection)
nutritious crackers (if the trip is too long and the archondaris did not give any food)
binoculars( if you like bird watching)
whiskey (to have a good talk with friends/other pilgrims?)
and last but not least: water bottles (= essential, refill in wells!)


Wim Voogd, 20/9
(the dutch version was published in april 2007 64)

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9 Responses to 881 – what do you need on the Holy Mountain?

  1. M says:

    sorry, but he doesnt deserve to be a monk.
    1. he cant fight his addiction and passions 2. he does it in front of a camera which means he doesnt care about the consequences.
    the best he can do is to leave athos and work as a model in tobacco commercials.

  2. herman says:

    What if an Athos monk drinks his greek coffee everyday? Mister M: what is your verdict?

  3. E says:

    what I can see is a man, who is a monk, smoking a cigarette.
    1.whatxb4s an addiction?
    2.May be he doesnxb4t know therexb4s a camera.
    May be Mr M has something to solve and hexb4s searching for answers in the wrong place.

  4. B says:

    Smoking might kill, and that’s why monks are not suppost to smoke (although I know even an abbot who does so). Geronda Sophrony of Essex used to call cigarettes “censers of the devil”, but he meant it as a joke 🙂

  5. G says:

    I spent four years on Mount Athos and came across many monks that smoked. I also smoke myself. Yes it is a passion and yes it is not very attractive, however, Mr. M sould understand that this smoking monk would never had said the same about him. Do not judge Mr. M. We will all answer for our passions, addictions and sins one day.

  6. M says:

    @04/17/2009 at 17:52
    a cup of coffee and water drinking is not a addiction. Drinking a glass of wine is also not.But drinking 2 bottles of wine is different. i hope you can see the difference. a cigarette has not any positive health effect.

    04/17/2009 at 18:33

    1. i guess its easy to find it on google.
    smoking addiction means a person has formed an uncontrollable dependence on cigarettes to the point where stopping smoking would cause severe emotional, mental, or physical reactions….
    2. he knows it very well because there are many photos of him
    I am not searching for any answers. I know very well that smoking is FORBIDDEN on athos ( and in any orthodox monastery ).
    Monks should be a paradigm for others. If they can smoke, drink and have sex then they are not following THEIR rules ( not mine ).

    04/20/2009 at 14:00

    You and I can smoke and do anything we want because you we are not monks. So this monk could not tell me anything because i dont live with the same rules as him. There is a difference between judging, blaming etc. ( ????? -????????? ). If a see a monk who is eating meat, drinks tons of wine, having sex , etc then I can judge if he is a monk or just a charlatan. God gave us a mind to distinguish them and choose the right path.
    Otherwise we have to accept “monks” with iphones, mercedes 4X4, tv, broadband and laptops and cuban cigars. Monks who are living better than most people. Nice monastic life :-). there are real monks and “vatopedi” charlatan monks. its very simple to see the difference. Dont ask me to pretend that i am blind.
    And a question. Why did you leave after 4 years?

  7. G says:

    Ok M, all valid points, and I don’t disagree, however your initial comments were a little harsh.
    I left after completing my tenure at Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy in Karies.

  8. Ronan says:

    To break the holy vow of chastity for a monk is impermissible, but to have an odd smoke? First clean the inside of the cup so that the outside may also be clean. Eating meat anyhow is more damaging than the odd smoke of clean tobacco, but alas it has been integrated as an acceptable custom. Also the tension on monks to be perfect for the society is too much and can itself be a distracting factor from the main reason for monkhood in the firstplace…liberation.



  9. downontheupside says:

    He should take up the pipe. It’s more spiritual and would fit better.

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