The core teaching of the Monastic Academy is the integration of Awakening and Responsibility.
With love, we see our relationship to all beings; with wisdom, we go beyond all perspectives and points of view.
We train in awakening through formal meditation practice, silent retreats, one-on-one interviews, solitary cabin retreats, silent meals, chanting, and other spiritual practices.
The goal of this training is classical enlightenment.
With power, we hold to and use our own perspective; with love, we see from others’ perspectives.
We train in responsibility through taking on roles within the Monastic Academy, regular formal leadership training, non-profit work, role rotation, peer-coaching, grounds work, cultivating our vow, and the practice of service.
The goal of this training is the capacity for true leadership, powerful action, and living in accordance with one’s deepest sense of purpose.
What’s the Problem?
Our environmental and social ecosystems are in peril. From social inequality to biodiversity loss, from the loneliness epidemic to global warming, it has become increasingly clear that our current way of doing things is unsustainable. We have become that which is destroying the world, and we are falling victim to our own greed. The consequences are vast, and the risks existential.
What’s the Solution?
First, we must be willing to believe there is a way forward. Only then do we become willing to change our lives. There is a way to live that acknowledges our deep interconnectedness and refuses to sacrifice long-term sustainability for short-term gain. This takes courage, determination, and love. It requires us to look at and overcome the seeds of hatred, greed, and ignorance rooted in our minds through diligent and continuous practice.
Community & Ethics
What does this look like?
We do chores together after lunch, and then have a few hours of free time to practice on our own, spend time together, and stay abreast of the world.
In the evening we have another period of either non-profit work or intensive practice, and we come back together for meditation at 7pm each evening, followed by chanting, which ends around 9pm.
“good friends are the whole
of the spiritual life”
In any given week, the Monastic Academy is observing either a work period (a “Responsibility Week”) or a retreat (an “Awakening Week”). During Responsibility Weeks we focus primarily on running the non-profit. During Awakening Weeks we focus primarily on deepening our individual and collective practice.
The schedule below is a general outline of each day. This changes periodically as we find more effective and compassionate ways of living, learning, and growing together, and as we adjust structures to better reach our goals. Certain activities on the schedule, however, such as meals or meditation periods, are highly consistent.