Spiritual Practices From the Inside Out: Understanding Our Anger

Posted on Feb 18, 2017 in Blog, Spiritual Practices | 7 Comments
Spiritual Practices From the Inside Out: Understanding Our Anger

We know we are not supposed to get angry, or at least not show our anger to anyone else. Anger is not nice, not polite, and we are supposed to be nice and polite to other people. We are taught that when we respect other people, they are more likely to respect us. People tell […]

Monastic Habits

Posted on Feb 16, 2017 in Blog, Monastic Strategies | No Comments
Monastic Habits

A friend of mine, when she was a little girl, was faced with a difficult decision. Her class in school was having Career Day. Even though she was quite young, she needed to choose between two possible career paths. For her, it was a choice between becoming a ballerina or becoming a saint. My friend thought carefully about her dilemma, […]

What is So Spiritual About All This?

Posted on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, Spiritual Practices | No Comments
What is So Spiritual About All This?

Things were much easier when I was a child. When I was growing up, the boundary between spiritual life and everything else was clearer. The spiritual stuff happened one day a week, when we worshipped and read scriptures. We did things a certain way, and spiritual life fit neatly into our schedule. The rest of the week […]

Monastic Extroverts

Posted on Feb 8, 2017 in Blog, Monastic Strategies | No Comments
Monastic Extroverts

It may be hard for us to believe there are any monastic extroverts. We think of monks as people hiding from the world of human contact behind stone walls. We assume monks want to escape the anxieties and responsibilities we face every day. It is a challenge for us to imagine monks laughing or even […]

Embodying Spiritual Life

Posted on Feb 4, 2017 in Blog, Spiritual Practices | No Comments
Embodying Spiritual Life

Some people are convinced spiritual life is about what we think. They believe it is more deeply spiritual to hold certain opinions and ideas. For them, spiritual life is essentially analytical and intellectual. They see growing spiritually as learning and finding answers to questions. It is important for them to be able to explain spiritual life […]

Monastic Life in the World

Posted on Feb 1, 2017 in Blog, Monastic Strategies | No Comments
Monastic Life in the World

  People tend to be curious when they meet me for the first time. Some people are surprised to learn I live in Los Angeles and am married. Some people are confused by my spiritual journey and my background. I tend not to meet their expectations about who a monk will be. Some people are […]

Practicing Hospitality

Posted on Jan 28, 2017 in Blog, Spiritual Practices | No Comments
Practicing Hospitality

Hospitality has been woven into our story, my story, almost since the beginning. I am the most recent in a long line of wanderers, people looking for a new home. Our stories tell us we are refugees, strangers, and immigrants. No matter which countries and spiritual traditions we claim, they are stronger because of people from somewhere else. Our […]

Monastic Reflection

Posted on Jan 25, 2017 in Blog, Monastic Strategies | No Comments
Monastic Reflection

What is so important about reflecting? What good does it really do us to be reflective? Isn’t reflection boring? We are accustomed to being instantly analytical. Given a problem, we figure out an answer. We may be comfortable being emotional. Situations or relationships bring our strong feelings to the surface immediately. Why do we need to reflect? Reflection allows […]

Practicing Comfort and Affliction

Posted on Jan 21, 2017 in Blog, Spiritual Practices | No Comments
Practicing Comfort and Affliction

Some people are convinced spiritual life is supposed to be reassuring. They believe spiritual life sustains them in times of trouble or doubt. When they face challenges, they rely on spiritual life to see them through. I understand spiritual life as more than helping us feel better in difficult times. One explanation is that spiritual life comforts […]

Moving Forward by Standing Still

Posted on Jan 18, 2017 in Blog, Monastic Strategies | No Comments
Moving Forward by Standing Still

We drive ourselves to move forward. Our economy, our culture are based in growing, making progress, moving forward. We believe, especially now at the beginning of a year, in setting goals and making things happen. We push ourselves, working hard to transform what we want into reality. We are convinced our efforts earn us progress toward […]