why monasticism?

during visit to sherablingWhen this page is completed, this is where you will find a sustained exploration of the place of monasticism in the West.

As monastics, we clearly see the monastic path as offering the most powerful conditions for transforming our own minds.

On this page we will try to explain why, and address the skepticism that some Westerners have  regarding the viability of monasticism  for those of us who were shaped by the cultural matrix of North America and Europe.

In the meantime, we invite you to read and respond to a workshop we are proposing to consider how the models of men’s communities that have dominated Buddhism to date might be adapted to draw on the particular strengths and needs of women.

We plan to organize a workshop that addresses this question, during the 12th Sakyadhita Conference in Singapore, in June 2011. This workshop will focus discussion on the following possibliity: If it is true that women tend to communicate with each other differently than men do, if women tend to respond differently to hierarchical authority, and if women tend to form different sorts of friendships than men do, then in order for communities comprised entirely of women to flourish, they may need different organizational structures and different communication practices than have historically been found productive for Buddhist male communities.  Continue to read more about this workshop.

“May the sweet scent of our ethics in keeping our vows
form fragrant clouds filling the skies of this world,
as pure offerings to the buddhas, the Dharma and Sangha.
May this offering bring boundless joy to our guru's mind.

Then, may the billowing clouds of our virtue
return to the earth to fulfill its purpose,
as gentle rain that delights beings' hearts.
May goodness increase in all ways.”