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    Monastery in the Home honors in a simple and personal way the 1500-year-old Benedictine tradition, and reflects the monastic impulse within most faith traditions. We believe that “the cloister way” is a call open to many. Read more >>

Monastery in your car

Our automobiles are like a “monasatic cell” in many respects.  Isolation, a place for contemplation, and if you’re driving alone you have no interruptions or distractions, aside from the road itself.  Driving can be a great place for prayer and meditation, and seeking peace within.

Yes, you keep your eyes on the road. Yet you are in this cubicle by yourself, where your heart can pray, do mantra, yell, scream, meditate, find your own space of peace.  Cars are a really wonderful contribution to the spirit of Monastery in the Home.

+ The Chaplain


Perhaps you have noticed that everyone is celibate most of the time.

Although the term originally referred to the state of being unmarried, the common acceptance today infers that a person isn’t taking part in sexual intercourse.

Unless a form of Tantra Yoga is part of your practice, nearly everyone who does a spiritual or religious discipline is not partaking of that natural human activity while doing his or her practice. In simple terms, you’re celibate while honoring your participation as a home monastic.

I do not encourage you to surrender your usual interpersonal affections with your husband, wife, or partner. There’s time for that in your day, as well as time aside for your monastic spiritual practice.

Celibacy (the intentionally unmarried state) goes back to the early days of Christianity, but was not even required of priests until centuries later, when Rome became irritated that bishops and priests had become almost inherited orders. The insistence on celibacy was a way for the central church authorities to assert control and papal authority. Nothing more or less!

Whether or not you are married or intimately partnered, this Chaplain feels that you can practice fully your individual spiritual disciplines in your home, at the time and place you determine. It need not interfere with your other domestic habits or preferences.

It is essential, however, that your mate fully understands and respects your need to take this particular time alone.

+ The Chaplain

Mantric Prayer

Any repeated prayer is “mantric.”  It prays itself through your mind, intention and voice.  Through the very nature of mantric prayer, the mind  clears away more complex thoughts and diversions.

You join with millions through time if you choose a common mantra, such as the Hail Mary, the Lord’s Prayer, Al -Fatiha, or Hare Krishna.  All are simple and pure calls to align your heart and mind with the Divine Presence.

I suggest choosing one that’s familiar and that you’re comfortable with. Say it aloud, alone, for two or three minutes.  Watch your body relax and your mind release.  Again, let this be a gentle discipline.  Nothing forced.

If you’re moved to pray the entire Rosary, or chant Hare Krishna for fifteen minutes, by all means continue.  Again, if you’re just starting out, begin with a few easily disciplined minutes. You may feel right or guided to take it further. You are free to respond to that call and continue the practice until the point of sufficiency. You’ll know.

+ The Chaplain

Simple Buddhist Practice

Monastics of different faith traditions understand one another. They share similar ways of practice and discipline to align with God, the Divine Presence, and nurture their spiritual growth and maturity. Many manifestations: one Source.

We live just down the road from two adjacent Buddhist centers. One is Tibetan and the other is Zen Buddhist, in tradition and orientation. Zen Buddhism focuses on simplicity and silence. There aren’t a lot of extras, and so if you come from a different faith tradition it is surprisingly easy to adopt Zen ways to your own discipline at home.

Walking meditation allows for both stillness and movement. I frequently walk the Buddha at the Upaya Zen Center. Here’s the way I do it: Circumambulate (that means walk in a circle) clockwise. Salute the Buddha with a respectful bow before beginning. Breathe in with one step, breathe out with the next. Walk at a slow and deliberate pace. Let the noise of the mind come through you and go. Notice the natural world around you. Know that the Buddha calls us to stillness, compassion for all living things, and the peace that passes understanding.

I walk at least three slow circles around the Buddha image. I wait for the stillness to come. When complete, I salute the Buddha presence again with a simple bow and then touch his forehead with my hand. That act often brings me in direct touch with His stillness and wisdom, if only for a moment. And for that moment I’m joined with everyone in the world who is meditating in this way. It’s a communion.

+ The Chaplain