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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

A Benedictine vow ceremony

Posted by on Oct 23, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Some of the Labro artmonks recently visited the relatively new Benedictine monastery at Norcia, where an international group of monks sings the entire chant office in Latin every day. The Benedictines are not a centralized order. Rather, each house enjoys a considerable degree of autonomy, since it is the abbot who interprets the Rule for that […]

Chapter 8 of Augustine’s Rule

Posted by on Oct 9, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Starting on October 2nd, I’ll be doing a Jesuit retreat on the Rule of Augustine (which I’ve written about here: “Up to our necks in Augustine”). Each day, I’ll read 1 of the 8 chapters of the Rule of Augustine: Chapter VIII of Augustine’s Rule Observance of the Rule Starting on October 2nd, I’ll be doing a […]

Chapter 1 of Augustine’s Rule

Posted by on Oct 2, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

[Part of the Daily Lectio series, named after the Benedictine tradition of lectio divina, “divine reading.” For instructions and background on the series, click here. Subscribe to Daily Lectio. Send comments or suggested readings to nathan@artmonastery.org] Starting on October 2nd, I’ll be doing a Jesuit retreat on the Rule of Augustine (which I’ve written about here: “Up to our necks in Augustine”). […]