The ‘monastery’ is a metaphor, a reminder to carry the values of calmness and stillness into our everyday lives. The monastery is in all of us.
“If you have too many thoughts, you can’t think.”
A state of mind
This state of mind has many names. In the martial arts it is called ‘mushin’. Another perspective of it is ‘zanshin’, “a state of awareness, a relaxed state of alertness.” Artists and poets sometimes call it the ‘inner muse’; musicians refer to it as ‘being in the groove.’
Its many terms are sometimes interchanged, when at times there are some subtle differences. It’s like a car is not the same as a truck or a bus, but they are all vehicles. So it is when we discuss various states of mind.
We value practical practices. And along with practice comes the confluence that such learning can be both contemplative and non-contemplative. As non-contemplatives, we’ve discovered there are times when we think too much, when it’s better to just relax, let go and abide. So, in a sense we learn how to focus on simplicity.
Mushin (無心; Japanese mushin; English translation “no mind”) is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists are said to enter during combat.They also practice this mental state during everyday activities. The term is shortened from mushin no shin (無心の心), a Zen expression meaning the mind without mind and is also referred to as the state of “no-mindness”. That is, a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything. It is somewhat analogous to flow experienced by artists deeply in a creative process.
Nothingness is actually something
Nothingness is known by many names: mushin or empty mind, the Tao, Zen, the void, no mind, abiding, being in-the-moment, in the groove, bathing in the essence, channeling the everything, the Inward Teacher, the still small voice, conducting the universal flow, or what some people call a deeper inner connection to the Higher Self.
“The happiness which comes from long practice, which leads to the end of suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar — this kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one’s own mind.” Bhagavad Gita
We understand that this inner connection improves our relationship to ourselves and the people in our lives, and also improves our relationship to our personal goals and objectives, and the situations we find ourselves in.
The Monastery’s Basic Philosophy
Nothingness, emptiness and relaxing is not about being lazy, although it’s always important to save yourself some time to slow down and hang out. It’s more like this: whenever you are doing something in your life, anything really, make sure you have some Nothingness sprinkled in — you know, to kind of offset all the I’m-really-Somethingness going on in the world.
The Monastery’s Main Project
Our primary project has a single-minded objective: to find a way 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.
And yeah, we know. That’s what the Bible, Koran, Tao and so many other books and tomes are doing. Read it, meditate, pray and repeat… that’s the drill. And to that I say, respectfully, then show me the throngs of people who are having the deeper experiences and realizations. Show me a planet that’s improving. Instead we see life-threatening global warming, and a further rise of concentration of wealth, power and glorification of greed and selfishness.
Not to disrespect all the hard work, sweat, persistence and realizations which are occurring. But we need something more scalable and readily repeatable.
We believe that the way to overcome the tyranny of greed and divisiveness is to help all of us — including ourselves — develop higher perspectives, as we become more deeply aware and conscious of the more fundamental nature of life, and more engaged in the attributes of consideration, compassion and responsibility. — Mark Walter
The monastery welcomes anyone, regardless of age, gender, social status, national origin, past lives, religious/non-religious or political persuasions.
Our logo symbolism:
- three waves representing the little creek and the Divine trinity of Father/Son/Spirit
- the movement of the waves, representing the ability to be flexible, to move and adapt
- the color red, representing the blood of life and the life force itself, including the living of the sacrificial life, and the acknowledgement that we are brothers and sisters
- the color white, representing the purest of light, the brilliance of greater illumination
- white mountain peaks, representing that to which we aspire and also representing our ability to change perspectives
- twin peaks, representing that we are never alone
- the peaks pointing upward, representing our inner ‘true north’ compass of discernment and wisdom
- the lower and upper worlds of physical and the spirit
- balancing between heaven and earth, in everyday life
- the color black, representing the vast unknown
- a silhouette of light, indicating that a bright light is being blocked by our own inability to see and by our world’s misplaced priorities; a world — or perhaps even a life — being lived in eclipse
- a small thread or ring of light, ever-present, illuminating a way