Thich Nhat Hanh on No Self

Meditating upon this for a couple of years now, I was absolutely delighted to come across this little question and answer session with Thay back in 2010.  His thoughts on ancestors, on no self and awareness were exactly the same as my own, and resonate deeply within my soul.

Whoever I am.

Pagan Monasticism Part 1

How I long for a monastic life.  As pagans, we really don’t have that option, however.  Yet I still dream, of a life completely given to the gods; days spent in prayer, in total connection, separated from the outside world in order to go deeper.  I know, many would say that this is possible in every day life, that we are always connected – that the ability to go deeper, to drink awen from the cauldron is always at our fingertips, if we only know how to access it.  But it is in the quiet, in the stillness and relative solitude of like-minded people, who wish to give themselves completely to their religion that I seek.  That is rare, if it happens at all, in today’s society from the pagan perspective.

I dream of joining other priestesses and priests, in daily ritual, devotions, songs and prayers to our chosen deities. Of living as one with the earth – growing all our own food, of being as self-sufficient as possible but still serving the community.  Again, people will say that I can do this now, and yes, I do it as much as I can, but it is part of my life, not my entire life.  I still have to spend parts of my life working other jobs to keep my cash income flowing in the pay bills, to buy the food that I cannot grow.  I could dedicate some of my jobs to this goddess or that, but it just doesn’t feel the same.  I can’t sit at my desk and pray to my gods while I’m answering various client queries and emails.

It’s that urge to dedicate myself 100% to my religion that I crave.  It would mean giving up many things, some which I long to give up, others, like my husband, I would find very, very difficult.  But would I, if I had the choice? I don’t really know – I’ve yet to be offered that choice, and so cannot say for certain.

Does anyone else feel this way, I wonder?

P.S. I have since found this – though they have yet to build a physical building, the points are in place for something quite special.

P.P.S.  There is a lot of interest in this, and ideas are brewing… I will keep you all posted!