Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, was an Artmonk; Beastie Boys’ “Bodhisattva Vow”

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Otherhood, Vigils | No Comments
Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, was an Artmonk; Beastie Boys’ “Bodhisattva Vow”

[update: good context for this, a Salon post on Yauch, “From brat to activist: Adam Yauch’s transformation from hooligan to human rights figure paralleled a generation’s coming-of-age,” here.] I’ve started to notice recently how the vows we’ve taken this year (of gratitude, fidelity, and resourcefulness), as well as the midnight Vigils Ritual we’re investigating as part of […]

Winner of Otherhood’s “The Artist’s Rule” Comment Contest: Cole Matson

Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments
Winner of Otherhood’s “The Artist’s Rule” Comment Contest: Cole Matson

For his comment on Otherhood Podcast: Episode 1 with Christine Valters Paintner, Cole Matson is hereby awarded a copy of Paintner’s book, “The Artist’s Rule.” The comments were all great, and the decision was a hard one. The passion and devotion Matson offers in his poetry really captured my attention, though. And I’m a sucker […]

“the simple way” » 12 Marks of New Monasticism

Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

Through a google alert pointing me to this article, I just stumbled on The Simple Way, “a community in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world.” I am looking forward to exploring more. But first, I love this clear exposition of their values (how many elements of monasticism can you […]

Monks for life? « Madhushala

Posted by on Apr 30, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

Madhushala asks about the length and permanence of monastic vows in different traditions, and gets some interesting responses: Monks for life? There was a discussion on Twitter recently about the topic of monks disrobing. It is commonly thought that once monastic vows are taken they are for life. I did not think this was so as pretty […]

Economies of Merit at play in Qinghai

Posted by on Mar 17, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

Last year, the Taer Monastery reported ticket sales revenues of 36 million yuan (US$5.48 million). The money was used to pay every monk about 10,000 yuan in living allowances and to maintain the monastery buildings. In 2010, the per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen in Qinghai was 3,863 yuan, according to the National […]

Creating an Art Monastery

Posted by on Mar 6, 2011 in Otherhood | 10 Comments
Creating an Art Monastery

Living in intentional community is not for everyone—the idea triggers an autoimmune response in some people, for whom it might signify the sacrifice of personal autonomy and individuality—but once you develop a taste for the stuff, it doesn’t fade. I unabashedly love it.

Since I began this blog-inquiry into monasticism just six months ago, dissecting Taoism, Vedanta, Eastern and Western Christianity, as well as the various vehicles of Buddhism into what I have called the elements of monasticism, community is an element I haven’t written about directly much at all. Yet it figures in my mind as an important piece of what all monasticisms are aiming at. For those individuals who dwell in abbeys, ashrams, friaries, priories, sketes, lavras, mathas, mandirs, koils, gompas, lamaseries, wats, viharas, community is a powerful spiritual practice.

So we’re making a monastery.Living in intentional community is not for everyone—the idea triggers an autoimmune response in some people, for whom it might signify the sacrifice of personal autonomy and individuality—but once you develop a taste for the stuff, it doesn’t fade. I unabashedly love it.

Since I began this blog-inquiry into monasticism just six months ago, dissecting Taoism, Vedanta, Eastern and Western Christianity, as well as the various vehicles of Buddhism into what I have called the elements of monasticism, community is an element I haven’t written about directly much at all. Yet it figures in my mind as an important piece of what all monasticisms are aiming at. For those individuals who dwell in abbeys, ashrams, friaries, priories, sketes, lavras, mathas, mandirs, koils, gompas, lamaseries, wats, viharas, community is a powerful spiritual practice.

So we’re making a monastery.

Economies of Merit

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

In many monastic and religious traditions, ethical and spiritual “merit” gets traded like a commodity.1 Nuns and monks agree to live a certain way, abiding by a certain kind of behavior (which their society has deemed the most virtuous or ethical), and in exchange they don’t have to earn their own money to stay alive, […]

Jesus Lama

Posted by on Nov 25, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

…the encounter between Catholicism and Buddhism cannot take place at the level of the Magisterium, it can only take place at the level of two contemplatives talking together in private. —Harold Talbott, paraphrasing Dom Aelred Graham, in “Thomas Merton in the Himalayas, An Interview with Harold Talbott” from Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Summer, 1992. If the […]

NaNoWriMo: A Self-Guided Artmonk Retreat

Posted by on Nov 3, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I’m 5,000 words into writing 50,000 words of novel for NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. What appealed to me about NaNoWriMo (enough to clear out my schedule a bit and make the commitment), and what I believe appeals to many of the 172, 000 participants who will make some kind of attempt to complete a 50,000-word novel […]

Khyentse Rinpoche’s advice to teenagers: Discipline & Depression

Posted by on Nov 1, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

On discipline and depression: OK. One last word. Now, I hate to use the word discipline. The trouble is this is the one thing that you dont want to hear, discipline … But even to make a cappuccino, you need a discipline … you need a discipline, of course. Skateboarding, all these things, they all […]