I am seriously considering starting a monastic order using (at least) the guidelines of Bernard and Benedict.
There are websites on the Benedictine rule, the tradition.
The following is important because it is the backdrop behind the rules.
Monastic life is extremely efficient, anything not an emanation of truth, love, forth-rightness and forth-withness deserves no time, no space, no consideration.
Time and space allocation for 'observances', 'work', 'self-reintegration’ (ora et labora et cetera) can therefore be (and is) rigidly outlined. Silence is extremely important, no political talk, no dramatizing, no fascination (if it is at the cost of inclusivity), moodiness is not allowed, no posturing for position, no intrigues.
The contemporary rules will also allow for good and tasty food (no exclusivity), ecstasy, dance, exuberance, eroticism, relish, music in addition to traditional chants any more ideas?
I see 7 layers and 7 energy centers (at least) to the human reality (seen in analysis only e.g. koshas, chakras) each of these layers need to be addressed. We are dealing with integral-ity, the whole human/divine. Transcendence of any of these layers would be un-wholesome and will lead to deviation and aberration.
Financing would be provided by: (1) grants from community at large (2) proceeds from wages earned while active in community at large (3) alms and donations (4) monastic industrial endeavours. (Yes, why not making triple Trappist beer, Triple Sec etc, Cointreau, Ambrosia, Vibuti?
Although I don't smoke and don't advocate smoking, I advise clients of mine who have difficulty quitting to change over to organic tobacco (e.g. American Spirit), roll their own cigarettes by hand and use rice paper (e.g. Rizla).
My own experience with smoking, up to 1977 was a good one. I don't think I ever smoked a hand rolled cigarette without deep pleasure. I used to mix a very good quality pipe tobacco with Virginia, for the taste as well as for the aroma. I remember that at one point Rolling Thunder (a Hopi medicine man) was in Vancouver (1977). I felt compelled to give him my tobacco pouch with a good blend of Dutch Drum tobacco. He appreciated it tremendously. (Of course that means nothing, and is not an endorsement, it is just a dear memory of mine.)
I do know from other experience that nicotine is helpful with mentally ill people, but so seems marihuana. From the readings that I do with my aura sensor I notice though that marihuana hides symptoms of mental stress, the stress increases in the background though... so in the long run the smoker is not better off. With nicotine I do not notice this effect... the stress stays visible but somehow can be handled better. If they cannot quit, I support nicotine users in their habit providing they get to the hand rolling/organic tobacco method. When I do this, the urge to smoke gradually decreases as the self healing increases. With marihuana users, I do support them for the sake of support but not for the sake of the habit. I find that is better for marihuana users to quit the habit ASAP... which in a controlled (the Montessori meaning) and supportive environment appears not too hard. The client wants to see the symptoms I find, once he/she is ready for the healing. The cancer connection to nicotine is of course there... but so is the lifestyle connection of the very same people. It is complex... The second hand smoke is to be stopped... Patches? It is better to quit anyway, of course.
My hope is that I can write as much as possible using current language and use as little old terminology, metaphors and ideology as possible. It is not easy and maybe not as needed as we think but I think we should in this day and age be able to describe the world in our own authentic terms, would be almost like Adam and Eve in Eden who had a chance to do the same. (Their life is a memory of mine.)
My soul work, personal and social and spiritual, is very concrete and hands on, if I may say so. When I write about my reality, it is based on energy work, my point of departure is not mental, philosophical, rational... at least that is what I try... I have had enough 'conceptualization' in my life... No no, I do not implicate that I criticize what you are doing... Just make sure that your philosophical endeavour and digging stays well on the road of truth and wisdom (philosophy) and does not veer of into some conceptual side roads... Check with and against life and energy always, lest the side roads turns into a dead end street... (Verbalism is always around the corner, in my case anyways.)
The biggest problem that people have with communication is that they use it to NOT communicate.
“You mentioned that knowing something doesn't help. That depends...”
Well I'm sure that I mentioned that, "Knowing something doesn't help..." because I tend to say that kind of thing. The context in which I said those words does not really matter, because it is one of those statements that deals with the absolute. That means it must be true in any circumstance, it must have to do with Truth period. Yes, I take some audacity in saying this and that is the point. I don't say this absolute kind of thing so that it can be argued with, otherwise I may as well not have said it. Those things are said to be ‘seriously considered’.
Now, instead of considering this 'truth statement' and communicate the recognition of it in love, happiness, joy and hugs, you counter-acted as so many people would do. Instead of picking up on the irrefutability of the statement (God forbid, that may have enlightened you) you said, "That depends...." and you started arguing, beating around the bush with observations, reasonings and subtle signs of escape and counter manoeuvres. All very well meant, obviously worth a lot to you, I have no right to discount any of it and to argue with you. I've gone through lots of countering strategies myself (I must have exasperated quite a few) and... eventually found that those strategies didn't work.
So the point of communication is, when you encounter ANY statement (verbal, emotional, physical, artistic etc.) it may well have to do with truth, consider it instead of countering it. The hugs will spontaneously follow...
“How is it possible to experience devastation at aloneness when there is no emotion there? When I experienced oneness with the Self (or THOUGHT I did, and there's the rub) there was just serenity there. No love, no hate, no judgements or opinions, just serenity.”
I have never understood the talk about divine aloneness. Only found MY aloneness (and that only sometimes) on my way to that serenity (as you say it so clearly).
Also somebody mentioned one time something about suffering in relation to God, I did not find that divine suffering either within the divine unconditioned. Only divine play, some very primal humour that is indescribable. I will of course try to describe it…
“Why is it that people find it so easy to ridicule and belittle sex between men or between women, when heterosex is considered sacred manifestation of the dance of energy between Shiva/Parvathi, Yin/Yang, or whatever other cosmic male/female dualisms you may choose to read it as? Come on, folks; dances of energy have no specific gender, as far as I can tell. And 'spiritual' queer-bashing strikes me as particularly weird, given that the spiritual quest is supposed to teach us about the falseness of commonsense ideas of gender and sexuality...”
Someone else responded:
know, I'm really upset with the way people can bash homoerotic sex with
impunity if they're talking about religion. This really hurts my feelings,
especially since I have experienced some pretty interesting spiritual awakenings from jacking
other guys off and sucking another guy's penises and having mine sucked… Is it
possible to discuss this topic without making homoerotic sex seem like a crime?
I may be over reacting, but I've held my tongue on this topic.”
Excellent, and I like your forthrightness. Glad you did not hold your tongue!!!
I have alluded to some of what you say in some of my previous responses, and mine had to do with heterosexual sexuality as well. The lady who at one point appeared on my doorstep, had a lot to teach me physically about things I only new mentally that they should be all right... and am still learning...
Kundalini is initially foremostly about sexuality... and it gets pretty divine... It is about participation in the great universal creation process...Yes we have to get rid of all morality and conceptuality about that before we can even begin to talk about the dynamics of it. Political correctness, moral correctness and any kind of conditional correctness has to be dissolved till only unconditionality is the source of reality.
“Hope this helps you, you go were your mind goes! The initial period in the border-plane bardo is the closest and they need a lot of prayer whilst in there, it seems to help them move on. In my experience nobody stayed in there for more than a week. However there are lost souls and pretas or ghost that can hang around.”
I love what you write here about the after life contacts. I do actually a lot of work in the realms of what used to be called purgatory or hell. (My past is showing.)
Don't feel like going into that right now, except I would like to say that many more people are involved with this nowadays than ever before, or so it seems, and... sometimes unbeknownst to them. (It has got to do with the Tibetan monks leaving Tibet, so many more Bodhisattvas.) I see the functionality and residue of that work in the human aura, luckily this Aura/Chakra rendering device that I use helps people recognize it and see it easier in themselves.
“…If one happens to get Samadhi, good for him, I must admit that mine transformed my life completely, but it's really nothing to be bragged about... It might well be that "strong" personalities never have any spiritual experiences at all, while "weak" personalities exhibit them as some sort of erroneous functioning.”
I have been thinking about a similar conclusion, about no ultimate need to have distinct spiritual experiences. Except I would not have used the terms 'weak' or 'strong' and definitely not the word 'erroneous'. There is some law of probability at work here, I am sure. The "strong" personalities referring to “whole beings” may be very rare, just on the perimeter of a 3 dimensional bell curve.
“What's a 3 dimensional bell curve?”
A normal bell curve is two dimensional. Has to do with statistical distribution. Something like this:
I wanted to give my observation of the statistical rareness of the “whole being” or "strong" personality a multi dimensional feeling. In fact if I would have had more time, I would have described such a being in more glowing and energetic terms. But I thought, maybe just a hint of something multi dimensional will do the job. I did not want that post to turn lengthy... but then I use these un-intelligible picturizations.
The reason I use strange picturizations in my writing is that I do not see the world as people 'normally' do, I traverse the realms differently... I try, in my writing and otherwise, to help people get unstuck a bit: so that more divine truth shines through the multifaceted crystals of life. That may not work all the time...
zero dimensional ego points who in this
one dimensional appearance of time aim for
three dimensional freedom in a
multi dimensional world.
having a hard time not to live as
two dimensional beings (flat landers)
with undimensional center points
within the constrictions of linear time
So when I wrote "three dimensional bell curve" I had a brass bell in mind (ding dong), but I did not have the time to play with it, like include more of the sensual (sound, feeling, vibration, weight, colour, etc.... Ah, the one dimensional linear time constraints eh?
for time right now. Got to pay some bills, good thing we can now use Internet
banking. Am stuck for money right now too. Wish we could use virtual money...
Come to think of it: energy is virtually everything...”
don't you visualize money? I do it and it works... when in need, call out to
the universe and watch what unfolds!”
You know what, I may just do that.
We have another way of helping ourselves here though, more prosaic and not as direct as what you suggest but we have a lot of fun with it. And it works quite well...
Quite well ? Maybe not... it seems we will have to try your method.
Our method...? When we clean the sink of all dishes, that is, when both sides of the sink are cleaned up of pots and pans and china and cutlery and stuff.... washed and stashed away the phone usually rings that day and I get 1 or more clients. It will pay a bill or two... And if not, at least the sink is cleared.