The love of God is so powerful that no one can just sit on it. It is bound to express itself … the God in us is calling us to serve the God in others.
The Better Part
"The Lord has called me into the way of simplicity and humility...He told me I am to be a new kind of fool in this world." ~ Saint Francis of
(Mirror of Perfection) Assisi
The greatest gift one can give is thanksgiving.
In giving gifts, we give what we can spare,
but in giving thanks we give ourselves.
-Br. David Steindl-Rast
“The restoration of the church will surely come from a new kind of monasticism, which will have nothing in common with the old but a life of uncompromising adherence to the Sermon on the Mount in imitation of Christ. I believe the time has come to rally people together for this.”
So, OK now is the very moment to do it! We can begin a whole new urban-rural friary. Not associated with the Roman Catholic church ( yet many of our brothers here are Catholic), but most definitely associated with the cosmic power in all its manifestations piercing the heart through and through with God's indescribable love. Love that heals and builds from exactly where one is at this instant.
Presently, I live here alone ( waiting for a couple of others to join). Friends meet here in my house on several occasions per week.
Some of our members have spent their lives in Christian culture and tradition, and some have also practiced Buddhist teachings for decades. With us much time has passed and experience gained through the seamless blending of these two spiritual paths. As another example of Christian search ( Thomas Merton) has shown, the open dialogue with Zen practice only enhances one's life and therefore experience and devotion to God.
Contemplative prayer, and most especially the unified experience of God dwelling within, comes very close to the wordless non-dual dharma, if not passing through to the other side.
>>>NEWS NEWS NEWS<< MAIN STREET HOUSE OF PRAYER IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 1-2 MORE LIVE-IN BROTHERS Or SISTERS<<PLEASE USE THIS EMAIL ADDRESS :
also NOTE ALL OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS HERE ARE HETEROSEXUAL MEN AND WOMEN living the rule of celibacy
(unless they are a committed heterosexual couple)
“Contemplation is life itself, fully awake, fully active, and fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness, and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent, and infinitely abundant Source."
Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh
From the recent inter-religious dialogues of H.H. the Dalai Lama , Father Thomas Keating , Father Richard Rohr, Brother David Steindl-rast( his book Deeper than Words alone shows how this is possible) ,Sogyal Rinpoche, and Thich Nhat Hanh ( participating in his large retreats world wide are many Catholic monks, priests and nuns) we have come away with the very clear vision that a new dawn is happening in monastic as well as lay circles. The time is ripe for inclusive vision and practice in new spiritual communities.
Father Thomas Keating and The Dalai Lama
before speaking together in Boston in October 2012
You know INCLUSIVE
The Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance.
For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness. The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. . . Indeed we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.
Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance. —Thomas Merton
OUR Contemplative COMMUNITY
Main Street House
Our holy disorder of friends is called:
Le Jongleurs de Dieu
( The Clowns of God
this being the same name
Francis first gave his
little group of friends)
As our community members are both Contemplative Franciscans and engaged Zen Buddhist , we are all very involved with actively practicing compassion.
We work at the local food bank, set up AA meetings ( on site) , counsel local teens , practice Tai Chi for arthritis , teach and assist with conscious dying. and hold weekend retreats on Mindfulness, Centering Prayer , and Conscious Dying.
One member created the warming center in Augusta Maine to help provide a warm space for homeless people off the streets during the Maine winter. He is now looking into a Centering prayer ministry .
If you would like to explore Christian contemplative prayer ( and the Contemplative life) or Buddhism (Shikan Taza) from the American spiritual view of the 12 steps and also, have a grounded practice in contemplative prayer ( we use the Centering Prayer method, the oldest continuously practiced form of prayer in the history of the Christian tradition). We also practice Zazen ( Shikan Taza) and can offer instruction to beginners. Our small community is here and thriving !
We offer both Zen meditation practice ( and instruction) as well as Centering prayer practice ( and instruction) . We are presently reading and discussing , Father Thomas Keating's Divine Therapy and Father Richard Rohr's Breathing Underwater as well as holding regular AA meetings.
There is also guidance and instruction with conscious ( not assisted) dying as taught in Tibetan Buddhist centers such as Dzogchen Beara in Ireland .
This is happening in India
But we are doing it here !!
At this time I would like to dedicate this site and our community efforts to my first spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran
Sri Eswaran taught the first ( for credit) meditation course in the world at UC Berkeley in the 1960s
His inclusive world mystical view was the primary influence in my life's spiritual search
He is also the person that introduced me to:
St Francis through the Prayer of St Francis
Thank you my dear dear friend and teacher
As my dear friend Richard Rohr says it :
We are also exploring in-house business on the Greyston Mandala model. http://www.greyston.org/index.php?mandala
“Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.”
Abraham H. Maslow
Our schedule is roughly as follows :
6:00 am Centering Prayer - daily
11:00 am Daily- Tai Chi
12:00 pm Centering Prayer
5:30 pm EVERY DAY Centering prayer
8:30am-11am Thursday 11th step
Prayer and Meditation group ( Readings, discussions as well as two 20 min. meditations)
Thursday 7-8pm Big Book step study AA Meeting
Go here to see about this : http://cp12stepoutreach.org/
9-11am Saturday -
Back to Basics AA ( listening to guidance)
Sunday evening advanced class 6-8pm
Exploration of Conscious Dying
Below is a short film about what it is like
when one finally "gets it"
Main Street House of Prayer
Meditation tea house
Large Meditation field
please contact :
“Everything that came from Jesus’ lips worked like a magnifying glass to focus human awareness on the two most important facts about life: God’s overwhelming love of humanity, and the need for people to accept that love and let it flow through them in the way water passes without obstruction through a sea anemone… If the infinity of God’s love pierces to the core of a being, only one response is possible- unobstructed gratitude for the wonders of God’s grace.”
Huston Smith –The Soul of Christianity