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The Monk Within

"... [T]he new monk finds his or her inner monastery by cultivating contemplative depth. Stabilized in the center of being - in what the Upanishads calls "the cave of the heart" - the new monk garners the fortitude and wisdom to maintain a steady focus on the Divine in the course of everyday life. The ability to be solitary and seek silence requires exceptional intention and is not a suitable path for every person. But, for those who recognize the value of, and desire to live the new monastic vocation, Spirit already has called them, and guides their way." (p.45)

"The mystical path of the feminine involves not only the loss of one's concept of self, but also the loss of corporate spiritual identity ... A basic orientation of via feminina is the spirituality of benevolence, which focuses on love of creation and the flourishing of life." (p.113 + 119)

"The contemplative journey of the new monk is radical, if for no other reason than it requires that we get to the root of the meanings that constitute daily life ... It is radical as well because contemplation demands a certain kind of honesty and a certain pure intention ... it subverts our understanding of reality, our time-honoured structures of meaning, our economic and social constructions, and leads us to the doorway of freedom and authenticity. But, far from being a denial of the world, contemplation leads to a refinement and distillation of our whole being until we are able to realize the beauty and simplicity of everyday life. It is not a reality ever fully achieved; it cannot be captured by the intellect. This is enlightenment; if not an ultimate or final one, then the sweet process of being awake, of knowing and experiencing a liberatory state of consciousness." (p.55) Dr. Beverly Lanzetta


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