Brother Charlie Rose? Brother Kevin Spacey? Brother Lewis CK? Next Step: Join the Monastery?

An invitation to become a monk to Charlie Rose, Lewis CK, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Donald Trump and the more than 30 other jerks who have recently been exposed as sexual predators, and/or grown men with junior high sensitivities.

So, what are you guys going to do now, what with your various careers (rightfully) flapping in the wind in shreds? And the people who loved and admired you now having serious doubts about their estimations of you? What now, huh?
After this, what are you going to do for the next five or ten or thirty years before you die, so that when at last you are on your death bed you might smile, and say “yes, I learned my earth lessons, this was a life well-lived?”
What will you do so that on your death beds you may be at peace, no matter what your various obituaries might dredge up?
Although I personally would prefer to stand back, let each of you wrestle with your differing destinies on your own turfs, in your own ways, the Abbot asked me, as Senior Librarian of Heart Mountain Monastery, to extend this simple invitation to you guys to consider adopting the monk’s way of life. He says adopting such a lifestyle might be the only way out of the messes you’ve made for yourselves.
For what it’s worth, in his earlier days the revered Buddhist monk, yogi and wise man Milarepa was, like many of you, a practitioner of the black arts. In his youth he, like you, not only caused much suffering and hardship among his family, friends and neighbors, he actually was responsible for many of their deaths. (Did any of you kill the careers of the ladies and men you knew?)
Also, Milarepa, like many of you, was considered one of the “royalty” of his time. But, again as with you, he experienced his own public comeuppance, and was led by the wise men of his day to give up everything to seek just one (mono, monk-o)) quality: wisdom, a clear understanding of what our lives are all about. (“Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7)
Toward the end of Milarepa’s life, having attained an enduring wisdom, he told a close friend, “In my youth I committed black deeds. In maturity I practiced innocence. Now, released from both good and evil, I have destroyed the root of karmic action and shall have no reason for action in the future. To say more than this would only cause weeping and laughter. What good would it do to tell you? I am an old man. Leave me in peace.”
All of you could do worse than strive from here on out to attain Milarepa’s non-dual understanding of himself and this world.
When we suggest you take up the monk’s lifestyle, the monk’s mindset, the Abbot and I are not suggesting you come here to the physical grounds of Heart Mountain Monastery. First, we don’t have room, for you or the reporters following you. Second, ours is primarily a “monastery without walls.” Most of our monks—and nuns– don’t actually live here. The majority of the folks who take up the monastic lifestyle do so right where they are, be it a big city or small town or somewhere in between. The monk’s and nun’s lifestyle can be practiced anywhere. The Monastic lifestyle is fundamentally a state of mind, an insight into how best to live, rather than a physical place or brown tunic.
The Abbot pointed out that you guys are now in that perfect seasons of your lives to take up the monk’s vocation, the monk’s state of mind. To start, as monks, you agree to walk away from your day jobs. For most of you, this is easy, because the day job has walked away from you.
But more fundamentally, you are invited to walk away from grasping onto the prestige, the worldly rewards, the trinkets and trophies which such day jobs have provided. To be monks, you learn (however slowly, a day at a time) to relinquish your thirst for personal power, prestige and professional renown, to a point where you maybe even change your names.
Your goal now, if you should choose to become monks, is simply to learn to be easy, loving, peaceable people here on earth, wherever you are, wherever you go.

More bluntly, the Abbot felt you deserved an opportunity now to learn to be more honest, more open, more regular, like most of the rest of us men have had to learn. You guys are invited to leave your long season of being “extraordinary” and learn again the beauty and power and dignity of being ordinary, down home, upright fellows.
Clearly, where you’ve been, who you’ve been, has been extraordinary. But many of your personal relationships, acts and behaviors were obviously not expressions of peace, joy and good will toward men—or women. On the contrary, you have repeatedly expressed violence, disrespect, unhappiness and un-peace toward yourselves and others. This way of living, although it may be somewhat standard among men in previous millennia, is what, as monks, you will un-learn.
As a monk, you learn to be a simple presence in the room—not a presence that commands attention, adulation and wonder– but rather a genuine presence that is easy, at peace, maybe funny and inspiring. But most of all just ordinary, every day loving and natural. You need to learn to be a milk man, or a plumber, or a candlestick maker. Your quest is to become natural and easy, where you don’t have power over other people and their careers and their economic well-being.
As a monk, — a lowly householder monk, of course— you will need to learn the attitudes, world views and daily routines of those who have quietly, even secretly dedicated their daily minutes and hours to helping bring more light to earth, more peace, more joy. As a monk you’re expected to mow your own damned lawn, mend the fence, pick up dog poop. You learn to give up your worldly ambitions, worldly prestige, fame, all of which, as you may now recognize, do not in the end bring lasting peace, satisfaction or happiness. .
Of course, you’ve each earned bad-press reputations here lately. So part of your new monk discipline is to learn to accept people’s negative reactions to you without resistance. You can learn to transmute these reactions, channel this energy into higher consciousness. As scripture suggests, “ bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. “ (Luke 6;28)
As monks, your work now is simply to be peace on earth, without lust for the earthly reputation of being peace on earth. Your reward will be the inner calm that comes about, finally—the calm that you were looking for all along. Be
peace on earth. Be nobody special, like the rest of us. .
So, that’s the invitation, the suggestion: join the monastery, right where you are. Make the only thing you do the practice of peace on earth, right where you are. There’s lots of help in learning to do this. Long, revered traditions of learning to do this.
This first invitation is part of that help, that tradition.
And if this invitation doesn’t interest you, then let me suggest, as an interim method: keep your damned hands in your pockets!

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One Response to Brother Charlie Rose? Brother Kevin Spacey? Brother Lewis CK? Next Step: Join the Monastery?

  1. Pingback: Should Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey and Donald Trump Join a Monastery? | Bear Jack Gebhardt

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