The Order of Consciousness
The second monastic order of The Little Creek Monastery
The Monastery has the following Orders:
- The Monastic Congregation — open to everyone. No vows required.
- The Order of Nothingness — the monastery’s first monastic Order. Required to take The Six Vows of the Order of Nothingness.
- The Order of Consciousness — the monastery’s second monastic Order. Required to have taken the preceding Order’s vows, and The Nine Vows of the Order of Consciousness.
- The Order of Principles — the monastery’s third and highest monastic Order (future). Required to have taken the preceding Order’s vows, and the (future) Vows of this Order.
The reason we offer vows is to help us focus on the importance of the paths that our Orders represent. We consider the monastery’s Orders to represent deeply honorable pursuits, and we believe that saying vows is an acknowledgment of the sacredness of that. Vows are a daily practice, a way to empower our meditations and our lives to become more practical, productive and focused.
The Purpose of the Order
The Order of Consciousness has been formed to:
- Find ways to put into words a practical and universally effective how-to guide for deeper conscious awareness and experiences. Something so universal, and so plainly laid out, that anyone could read it, comprehend it and do it. Something more scalable and readily repeatable than our current methodologies.
- Discover and/or develop ways to utilize technology to preserve, educate and disseminate the written work of the Order, including various related teachings, organizations, churches and institutions that the monastery supports.
- To promote work in the field of consciousness, including work that originates from religious and spiritual sources, mysticism, philosophy and science.
Taking of vows
For anyone wishing to join The Order of Consciousness, an initiate is required to take self-initiated vows. There are no formal ceremonies. Rather, the person joining the Order simply attests that they have taken the Order’s vows. Vows are considered to be a lifetime commitment. Please consider them carefully. They are simple, but they can be impactful.
THE ORDER OF CONSCIOUSNESS
THE NINE VOWS OF THE ORDER
These vows are entirely voluntary. You can do them all at once, or over a period of time. Monastic Vows are considered a lifelong commitment.
By joining the order, I (state your name) declare I will daily do my best as I take these vows.
- I vow to live more simply.
- I vow to share what’s good.
- I vow to be kind and gentle.
- I vow to try to live each day a little more aware than my yesterdays.
- I vow to try to live each day being more conscious of consciousness.
- I vow to do my best to live my life in a way that makes me an example of modesty and practical responsibility.
- I vow to stand up, in my own ways, for social justice and fairness.
- I vow to do my best to always be open to a higher perspective, and to a deeper and more fundamental reality. I humbly acknowledge that there is far more unknown than known, and I will do my best to always respect that.
- I vow to uphold and support the three-fold Purpose of the Order.
Prior of the Order: (vacant, currently held by the abbot)
Model: Swordsman — facing life and death the swordsman cuts away all that is unnecessary, seeing only that which remains true.
Required Reading: The Unfettered Mind, Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman — Takuan Soho
Saying: “When a person does not think, ‘Where should I put it?’ the mind will extend throughout the entire body and move about to any place at all.” — Takuan Sōhō
The Order of the Orders
You can join one or more Orders. Because there are meditative qualities, commitments and focus points unique to each order, if you wish to join more than one Order we strongly recommend you work your way through each Order, one Order at a time. Average time in each of the first two Orders will typically range from one to three years, particularly if you are seeking certification. Keep in mind that the vows increase through the Orders, as indicated above. Vows are considered a lifelong commitment.
If you want written certification, you must submit an essay for the Order in which you are requesting certification. Once your essay has been successfully reviewed, you will receive a signed and sealed Certificate suitable for display, indicating you are a fully certified member of the Order for which you’ve requested certification.
Certified or not, you can call yourself a member of the Order, once you’ve taken your vows and indicated that to us here.
For additional information about certification, please contact the abbot.