posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:18 PM
Any serious postulant needs to ask her/himself, "What to I expect to leave behind? What do I expect to find"
Speaking from the Christian tradition, unless you join an anchorite (solitary/hermit) institution, you will NOT be leaving behind the drama / soap
opera of living with "neighbors" in a community. A monastery is like being on a submarine. One that won't surface again this year. You will know
each person by the smell of their breath. Think about that for a while.
What do you expect to find? Solitude? If you are missing stillness, and that's what preventing your inward journey, I have to caution you that you
might not find much solitude or stillness in a monastery. In the Christian tradition, very few orders actually sit around and "pray all day." That
seems to hold true for my quite limited knowledge of monasteries of Eastern Religions as well. There is a lot of manual work to do. Often, a lot of
visitors. While there is definitely a lot of structured introspective time, it is with a group of other monks, not alone in a cave.
Same for stillness. Human society, even monastic society, has claims upon your spare time. And every society, monastic included, doesn't think
it's "too much to ask" for one more interview with a poor family, one more tour you give to visiting dignitaries, one more photo op for the donors,
one more calf to be delivered at 4 in the morning.
Maybe none of this will be relevant for your walk. But many postulants, especially young men, are actually seeking solitude rather than a "community
of heart", and so don't stick with it long.
Many traditions have a program where you can "ease into" the monastic life. Many Christian monasteries in the Benedictine traditions will let you
schedule a weekend where you do volunteer/intern work, and maybe sleep offsite but eat with the brothers. After a year or so, your visits become more
frequent and longer, until you finally take up the rule of the order formally. I don't know whether your tradition has that program, but I bet they
have one like it, since their goal is to help you succeed.
There are some monastic setting where its basically like a very quiet hotel. But in those, you are a paying guest.
All the best.