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Community Life

During your time at the Monastic Academy, you’ll experience what it feels like to be held by a community.

We’ll all get up early with you, inspire you to meditate longer than you ever thought possible, laugh with you, listen to you, teach you, and hold your hand when you cry.

We’ll push you because we believe in your potential for growth—and we’ll support you the entire way.

The Location

The physical heart of the Monastic Academy sits in the Green Mountains of Lowell, Vermont. Surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest, the natural beauty outside reflects the natural beauty that residents discover within.

The surrounding area is filled with amazing hikes and journeys into the natural world. The property of the Monastic Academy abuts the famous Vermont Long Trail. Residents often take their breaks to walk portions of this beautiful trail which begins in the northern tip of Massachusetts and travels all the way up to Canada.

Residents are given ample time to spend in the natural world surrounding the center. Key to the teachings at the Monastic Academy is appreciation and love for the Earth, and the natural abundance that surrounds our center serves as a constant reminder of the singular beauty of this precious planet.

The monastery itself is a repurposed artists residency from the 1960s. High ceilings, beautiful stonework, and subtle artistic touches make the monastery a unique space to make home.

Residents sleep in shared living quarters separated by gender. Accommodations are simple and comfortable with custom made ‘Monk Beds’ that double as sleeping and storage space.

The inside of the center is made up of two large rooms, the zendo and the main office and dining room.

The zendo is made of red stonework, large enough for all the residents to sit in a circle and to accommodate up to sixty meditators during our one day public retreats.

The main room functions as both the dining room and the office space. The far side of the main office is covered by floor to ceiling windows looking out over the mountains of Vermont. It is a breathtaking view.

Your proximity to the natural world and your embeddedness in a community of practice is a rich and precious opportunity that will transform your world from the inside out.

Meals

Meals are a special event at the Monastic Academy. They are an opportunity to give thanks for sustenance, for community, and for the bounty of the earth.

Each meal begins with a chanting of the Metta Sutta, the discourse on loving kindness. It is a daily reminder to bring kindness and love into everything we do.

In the morning, the meal is taken in silence, occasionally with a guided meditation.

Lunch is often accompanied by a conversation topic of some sort. Topics can vary from issues in the community, discussing practice, or watching a TED talk and discussing it.

The meal ends with the chanting of the four vows. The four vows serve as a reminder of the shared intention that brings the community together.

 

Practicing Together

During your stay at CML, you’ll have regular meetings with Soryu Forall. These meetings are an opportunity for Forall to support you in your practice. You can ask him anything—“beginner” questions like, “How do I sit cross legged?” Practical questions, such as: “What are thought process meditations?” or “How do I combat sleepiness?” Or, his favorite, the juicy questions, such as: “How do I take advantage of being in existential crisis?” or “How do I deal with overwhelming bursts of euphoric energy flowing through my body?”

One-on-one attention from a meditation teacher is extremely valuable, allowing you to overcome hurdles and take advantage of opportunities to move forward more quickly. This training is none other than world-class.

Living Together

The Monastic Academy is a true community.

Residents work together, live together, eat together, and practice together. This is an opportunity to forge lifelong bonds of deep and true spiritual friendship. Residents are encouraged to help each other find their edge and move past it.

You will be lovingly pushed to grow into your best self.

At the same time you will learn the multifaceted skill of showing up in community. From dealing with conflict to allowing yourself to be deeply seen, there is no substitute for the depth of relationship found in a real contemplative community.

The world desperately needs awakened leaders.

Will you answer the call?

Have a question?

Send us an email and we will respond as soon as monastically possible. We would love to hear from you.