Why On Earth a MONASTERY HERE IN 2017?

The metaphor is probably the most fertile power possessed by man.”                                                                                                        —-Ortega E. Gassett

Although throughout history the monastery has been identified by an enclosed, physically defined plot of land, administered by a particular sect within a particular spiritual tradition, the contemporary monastery — or at least Heart Mountain Monastery– has no walls. Our monastery is a mental and emotional and spiritual perception of the universe, available to anyone, anywhere, regardless of faith, religion or spiritual maturity.  Nevertheless, at least a modicum of spiritual maturity generally accompanies those drawn to the monastic path, or discipline which is a discipline of joy, of peace and happiness. We find the monastic metaphor quite useful in first articulating and then living a lifestyle of  peace, joy and good humor, here in 2016.

We view the contemporary , un-walled monastic consciousness as the “flowering” on earth of the seeds planted over a four thousand year period by holy men and women in every spiritual and religious discipline. We also recognize such a consciousnes as well as the next necessary evolutionary stage emerging out of the obvious limitations of scientific materialism.

Those of us who practice the monastic discipline– recognizing the spirit of happiness and the happiness of spirit in ourselves and others, and recognizing all the ground we walk upon as holy ground, (monastic grounds) and understanding all the actions we engage as simply means to enjoy the Divine Presence in this moment– those of us who practice such a happy discipline recognize that this discipline bestows the highest form of power and authority available to any human on earth– the power to be fully human, fully present, fully awake to the needs of the moment. Just as importantly, at leat to a degree, by practcing such joy we are also gifted the grace by which to exercise such great power and authority in service to others.

Although the expressions of divine peace and happiness which monks and nuns offer might have uncountable variations around the world, the spirit of peace and happiness is the same, and it is recognizable, one to another, immediately and without fail. Although peace and happiness (two words for the same Presence) is absolute– complete, and infinitely, eternally, dynamically still, unformed yet tull, gently blissful (how can one describe peace and happiness?) — the expressions of peace and happiness are artful, with beginnings, middles and ends, progressive, unfolding, paradoxical. The experience of peace and happiness is the experience of life’s essence.  Words can point, but cannot contain.

So at Heart Mountain Monastery we recognize that we are all monks and nuns, all brothers and sisters, here in the sacred institution of modernity. The nations are simply rooms within the same house. The different faiths are lamps which light the rooms. That we have brothers and sisters in all the rooms, seeing by different lamps, does not diminish the fact that we are one house, one family, and the house is the Lord’s— Krishna’s, Allah’s, Jehovah’s, Shiva’s the Buddha Mind– and we are all His (Her) children, companions and fellow artisans. This is so simple, so obvious, yet to live our lives this way is a revolutionary commitment.

The revolution is at hand. The spiritual awakening across the globe is reflected in the spontaneously growing commitment to the wider view, the higher life, the joyful presence which the monastic discipline incorporates. Without a conscious connection to Heart Mountain Monastery, and yet with a conscious commitment to the heart’s great ascension, millions of people the world around have joined in the power and authority which only love can grant. We see these others as brothers and sisters, just as they recognize us, near and far, openly or not.

Peace and joy, love and wisdom are awakening on the earth, and we all and each are the vessels for such awakening to occur. Heart Mountain Monastery is just one of the many “gathering places” for this awakening to express itself.

Help yourself to what you find here.  The monastic metaphor, and lifestyle, is, however, potluck.

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2 Responses to Why On Earth a MONASTERY HERE IN 2017?

  1. Uncle Owl says:

    Glad I happened upon your site. While writing a check a few days ago I realized that I have never given any thought to the year 2016. I have thought about what year I might retire, or change work, or even die, but 2016 has never come up. So, I wrote this poem.

    I did not think.
    Therefore I am not.
    Unlimited possibilities await.

    Brother Al

  2. Bear Gebhardt says:

    Very nice, Brother Al. We’re starting this site back up again. Glad you’re here, on the earth, with so many unlimited possibilities!

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