Open-Source Monasticism (part 1 of 2 @ the Transpositions Art & Monasticism Symposium)

Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Otherhood | No Comments
Open-Source Monasticism (part 1 of 2 @ the Transpositions Art & Monasticism Symposium)

[I wrote this originally for the online Art & Monasticism Symposium, April 30 – May 5, through Transpositions, a collaborative effort of students associated with the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. This is part 1, and part 2 is here. It was featured alongside great posts by Christine Valters Paintner, Cole Matson, Preston Yancey, and Sr […]

“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 […]

SHARE San Francisco

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

I’ll be here next weekend (May 7): SHARE San Francisco, Saturday, May 7th, Hub SoMa SHARE San Francisco is convening local leaders on Saturday May 7th for a day of connection, conversation, and action to strengthen the Bay Area as a platform for sharing. Why SHARE SF? Cities promise broad access to the resources citizens […]

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, […]