To Be Or Not To Be, In A Monastery

There is no need to join a monastery or school when you have understood that being in a school is to allow you to live in a certain state of mind.

The point of a school is to keep your mind focused on your awakening and so being in a school merely serves to remove many of life’s normal distractions.

Every second of the day, you are already in a school, or not, if you are doing the practices of awakening.

Simply be fully present in the moment, aware at all times of both your breathing and sensations of your body, while simultaneously being aware of all the sounds, smells and events around you. And not off thinking about the past or future, but only being right here now.

If you can keep your mind strong and focused enough at all times, then the monastery or school is where you are, since it is all in your own mind.  If you are working on being present, then you are doing the work that you would do in a school, thus you are in school anywhere you are being present.

Even in the monastery, we clean our body and clean the building, cook food and go to the toilet, work on the land and attend to daily chores, and of course, have to work with other people on these tasks.

This does not mean you do not need a teacher and guide. You will be walking in circles thinking you are moving forward without one who is standing ahead of you on the road to guide you, having walked it already.

It just means your growth is not limited if you do not find or join or live in a school, although it  definitely helps.

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