”Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days?”
-Ps 34:12, Rule of St Benedict
Currently shared goals of the Integral Monastery:
1. Spirituality & Wisdom. The finding and celebration of God / Ultimate Reality.
2. Great Integration or Great Compassion. In the finding and celebration of God / Ultimate Reality, the world is not shunned, but integrated and participated in. The great integration of wisdom and compassion.
3. Stages of Consciousness. Participation in the evolution of consciousness. Integrating stage gems and discarding stage pathologies, regardless of cultural platform. Skillfully interacting with lower stages. Aspiring towards higher stages.
4. Morality. Skillfully using integral techniques to end needless suffering for all sentient beings, without exception. Respecting everything living.
5. Integral Embrace. The integration of, and participation in, the worldly currents of ascending-freedom and descending-communion.
6. Water Dynamism. To responsibly adapt to and embrace all forms of change and progress with radical openness.
(As indicated in point 6: these common goals are not absolute or final and – if proven wise – will be subject to revision and update. Revisions and updates must strive to align with point 4.)
What does it mean to become an Integral Monk?
"One thing you lack, he said. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
- Mark, 10:21
- Mark, 10:21
Traditionally, a monk is someone who instead of seeking peace and happiness in the world has made a vow to seek peace and happiness in God only.
An Integral Monk is someone who in the same way has vowed to seek peace and happiness in God only, but who does not shun the world. For the Integral Monk, God expresses itself harmoniously and without interference in all things, worldly and transcendental. And therefore, participating fully in the world is participating fully in God. And participating fully in God is participating fully in the world. Yet, the world is not God, and God is not the world. Such is the profound way of the Integral Monk.
Integral Monk's Vows
The first vow, the Monk’s vow, consists of acknowledging that the world is impermanent and that no ultimate happiness or peace is found therein; the monk leaves his old life behind by giving all her personal mental possessions away. Thereby worldly success or failure is let go and no longer carries any intrinsic meaning; the monk empties himself of self, turns her gaze away from past, present and future and sets it directly on God. For only God will bring ultimate happiness and peace.
The second vow, the Altruistic vow, consists of affirming that any happiness or peace that one may gain in one’s life as a monk will be given away freely to others, keeping none for oneself. For such is the source of true happiness and peace. All of one’s achievements one thereby vows to ascribe to God, and not to oneself.
The third vow, the Integral vow, consists in honouring whatever common goals are currently upheld by the Integral Monastery. And aspiring, after critical examination, to accept whatever updates of those goals that might occur in the future.
These vows and the monk’s clothing symbolize the significant shift in mental attitude so characteristic of a monk, namely that of selflessness:
From self, to God.
From self, to others.