I've been a member here on ATS for about 6 years now and in those 6 years this place has been an awesome exchange of intellectual debates,
underground news, and interesting information.
Some of you who have come to know me, my posts, and replies over the years know that I have been undergoing tons and tons of direct spiritual
experiences ...a sort of seeing behind the veil.
Well I am considering leaving everything behind to enter a monastery or to live in a community of hermits somewhere. It means I will be leaving all
you guys behind, no more TV, internet, etc ...just books, prayer, and meditation.
I still have a few years before I go in, have to finish about 18 more months of work, pay back some school loans, and take care of some unfinished
But honestly it feels like the next logical step. Its like I am dead to the world and no longer find pleasure in things I once did. Now my pleasures
revolve around mediation and spiritual realms.
Through my studies and experiences I have gone from being a regular plain old evangelical Christian, to a Christian mystic, to a Christian Mystic
Yeah yeah yeah I know they're all labels. But still it seems I have uncovered some very intense truths and I wish some of you guys would listen as I
have spent the last decade sometimes 12 hours a day in research, uncovering connections and little known books, and discovering a deep and rich inner
life/unconscious/subconscious/etc...most don't listen though which is fine in a way.
Still I write this to pour out some feelings and my intentions to you guys here ....I feel like I have grown in this ATS community as a member and
have many friends here. I leave you guys with a short video that has been a huge inspiration as I have considered a monastery life over the last few
You must be feeling wonderful re: your proposed plans to enter a closeted society
Hope it provides you with all you're hoping for
I wanted to retreat to something similar when I was young, but my mother gave me a lecture about 'hiding from life' and as she was quite a dominant
person and I was young, I put those ideas away and took her comments to mean I was a coward
The idea of a closeted lifestyle continued to appeal to me and still does, but I have a family now and so it's not an option
You, on the other hand, appear to have lived your life in the real world before considering entering a retreat and I guess that's the secret -- evade
permanent relationships and entanglements in order to remain free to do as you choose and are called
I spent a couple of weeks in a Greek Orthodox monastery in Ohio. It was a great experience, but believe me the brothers worked me to the bone. They
said I'd find God just as well scrubbing sheets as I would in prayer.
I had vacation time I needed to use and always knew of this place. I think there are a lot of monasteries and retreat centers that are open to the
public. I think I'd like to try a zen monastery if I ever get the chance again.
About a year ago I too was planning on doing this. I had enough with this society and all its ills, and planned to let go of all my possessions and
responsibilities and travel to somewhere in India to become a Buddhist monk. Either that or go live with the Hopi Indians,
I sold most of my belongings and I just had to help my mother move out to California, then I was going to leave. While I was in Cali I decided to stop
by a Buddhist monastery and talk with a monk about my idea. He gave me some great advice that you may also enjoy.
He said that giving my life to Spiritual Enlightenment, Buddhism or Christianity was a noble cause, but that I did not need to "run away". He told
me he understood my frustrations with this world and all its suffering, but explained to me that this feeling arises from my perception and state of
mind. He said that I do not have to leave or 'hide' in a monastery in order to transcend this feeling. He also stated that because I was born in the
West, a place full of mental suffering, I have the opportunity to do a very Buddha like thing and give my life to helping others transcend this state
of mind. If I were to 'run away' for my own salvation, he said it would be understandable but a very selfish and non-virtuous or un-Buddha like
thing. He also said I was very lucky to be born with the ability and in a place and time where I have the opportunity to learn Buddha's teachings,
and I did not need to go searching around the world for them as they were right in front of me.
These words helped me out immensely, and changed my life. I started practicing meditation and studying Buddhist teachings, and within a few months I
was a changed man with a new state of mind. I still see suffering every where I look, but it does not depress me as it once did. I have learned to
live with a greater sense of self-discipline and no longer am I attached to materialistic things. My new plan is to go back to school and fill my mind
with knowledge and work for a non-profit organization helping repair urban decay. Both of which I am already doing. If you see suffering and ills in
your environment, do not run from it but rather figure out ways you can change it. Wisdom and compassion, this is the path.
Thanks a lot for this post it was great and I really do appreciate it.
I've also gone through all of that, sold all my belongings 3 years ago, new states of mind, no longer being affected by Mayas' "crap" seeing thru
Yeah part of that is selfish ......to completely melt into Nonduality or...
stay here and teach others, dropping gems where-ever I can just based off the hndreds of glimpses of nonduality that have thus far been showing up
when one least expects or when one is out of the way of 'that'.
All of my growth has been out side of the Monastery ...true. It is not necessarily escapism however. But thanks for the post
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