My First Month at a Monastery

My First Month at a Monastery

What is a modern monastery like? Well, my first month at the Monastic Academy was intense. The residents were friendly, and warm and seemed to be natural in a way I hadn’t experienced from many people. They weren’t afraid to be weird, and they seemed less affected by...
From Academic to Mindful

From Academic to Mindful

Here’s a story about when I flew around the world to Vermont and joined a “modern monastery”. Before getting on the plane from Germany to Vermont, USA, I had spent my time studying for a PhD, doing highbrow and needlessly heady stuff. Ironically, while being in the...
Hair as Practice

Hair as Practice

Hair. We’ve all got it. For most of us, it’s a fashion accessory at best and a nuisance at worst. But with the right outlook, hair can be turned into a powerful opportunity for spiritual development. Both close shaves and lengthy manes have been used by a wide range...
The Choiceless Choice

The Choiceless Choice

For almost two years, I lived at the Center for Mindful Learning, now located in Johnson, Vermont. It is true that, if given the choice, I would have never gone. But sometimes life is so gracious as to offer us this choiceless opportunity, to step into and out of...
You Can Do It

You Can Do It

“You can do it.”  That’s the mantra that Center for Mindful Learning Founder and Director Soryu Forall gave us residents before embarking for one-and-a-half months of retreat at the Sogen-ji temple in Japan. The phrase applies to many aspects of the CML...