We Are All Monks

Since my early youth I have seen myself as a monk, but one without a monastery or at least without walls other than those of the entire planet.   And even these, it seemed to me, had to be transcended—probably by immanence—without a habit, or at least without vestments other than those worn by the human family.  Yet even these vestments had to be discarded, because all cultural cloths are only partial revelations of what they conceal:  the pure nakedness of total transparency only visible to the simple eye of the pure of heart. ~Raimon Panikkar

Raimon Panikkar reminds us that we need—perhaps more than ever—to rediscover the wisdom of monasticism for our time.  While most of us will never live in a monastery or take monastic vows, we can learn to master the spiritual virtues and qualities of being that flourish in solitude and silence.  As we walk through the imaginative doors of the monastery, and figuratively enter its enclosure, we are immediately struck by the absence of superfluous noise.  There arises an intuitive recognition that much unhappiness in life is the result of never experiencing one’s own silence or the freedom of solitude.   In crossing the threshold between worlds, we discover a desire that is deeper and more fundamental than the attractions of material things.  We discover that passion for truth is the force or intention that leads us to practice spiritual disciplines and to uncover ancient structures of consciousness that purify our hearts and deepen our minds. http://www.beverlylanzetta.com/writings/we-are-all-monks

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