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91
Welcome Gwynne, and thanks for joining us!

I've seen your work on Facebook and I'm quite impressed with your social media skills. It's great that you're able to support your work that way!

A request for you: since our primary purpose here is to help support the building of monastic infrastructure, we ask that members post their physical location in their profile - preferably in the subject line - so other members can easily scan the introductions for people who might be located near them.

Could you edit your intro to add that info? A general area is fine if you prefer not to post your specific town or city publicly. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing more about your blog launch when it's ready.
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Monastic Networking / Re: LANMIPP Group Contemplative Practice
« Last post by Danica Swanson on May 28, 2019, 08:19:24 PM »
It's good to see this come together as a regularly scheduled thing! I know the group discussed it for quite awhile. And it looked like there were 10 or 11 of us participating. Or maybe more. Thank you for hosting it and holding that space for contemplative practice.

I'm really glad I participated, despite my general distaste for Facebook. The experience was more profound than I expected, which took me by surprise. I mean, somehow my mind erroneously assumed it would be a simple thing. I meditate alone regularly anyway, right? So this would just be similar to other days, except there might be a few more of us participating online, and we'd have a chance to comment about it "in the moment." But somehow knowing that there were others doing the same thing at the same time in a group context made all the difference. Even online, and even with the minor technical issues I experienced on my end.

In any case, it's the holding space that matters. Knowing that there were others in contemplation for the whole time, and that we are doing our part individually and collectively to help build a world that offers contemplative monastic ways of life for polytheists, helped me stay the course.

In short, group-supported contemplation time is...supportive!

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Monastic Networking / LANMIPP Group Contemplative Practice
« Last post by Syren Nagakyrie on May 28, 2019, 03:15:32 PM »
LANMIPP - the Loosely Affiliated Network of Monastically Inclined Polytheist Pagans has begun hosting a bimonthly group contemplative time through our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/lanmipp

Held on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month at 10:00 AM Pacific through Facebook Live, a rotating roster of members light a candle and hold space for individual contemplative time. Participants are welcome to meditate, pray, read, or engage in any other personal practice during this time. They may also check in on the Facebook Live event to say hello or share their intentions or insights.

The intention behind this practice is to a) offer supported time for your own practice. Meditating/praying as a group can be very profound. b) build energy and coherence in LANMIPP as we work towards forming a strong network of monastics.

If you would like to participate, you are welcome to join the Facebook group or simply join us in this time on your own.
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Hello there :)

I'm what I have come to call a Contemplative Sorceress practicing an experiential animistic polytheistic faith where I prefer to cultivate my own insights through mystical experience and contemplative practice, later confirming that experience with in-depth study as I'm led by my Guides and my Goddesses.

I have devotional relationships with two Goddesses.  One I call Paradox, and the other Holle.  Holle was a recent addition - I came to devotional relationship with her just last year and we're still in that getting to know each other phase of things.  My relationship with Paradox goes back many, many years, and she is the primary guide in all my spiritual work.

I am mostly a hermit, working on securing my hermitage and using permaculture practices to turn it into a sustainable homestead.  Long-term goals include building a community of hermitages similar to Christian hermit communities, though with a more diverse spiritual community.

I am very active on Facebook and am currently working on the behind-the-scenes of my blog getting ready to launch in a few weeks.

I don't have a job, I work for myself, making all of my income through what I offer to my audience on Facebook, mostly through donations, the occasional fundraiser, and random sessions people book when they feel moved to.
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Laity Discussion / Re: Discernment and Legitimisation
« Last post by WeepingCrow on May 27, 2019, 01:29:01 PM »

Here, I might simply add that it's not only a problem of "lack of formal structures." While this certainly is a challenge, I've also heard of enough cases even in other religions that have formal structures, when individuals are called to do something different than that.  In Christian churches that emphasize hierarchy, this becomes a matter of finding an open-minded bishop who will welcome some hermits into his territory.  Tibetan Buddhism is full of stories of eccentric misfits whom everything thought was "not a real monk," "not doing it right," or what have you, and who nearly (or actually) get kicked out of the established community for that, but who turn out to become fully enlightened precisely through that unique, eccentric, and intense devotional practice.
This is something I very much relate to. Arguably, monastic life seems to develop out of individual hermit-types, who eventually came together out of community need. This is kind of what I feel is happening now, and with projects like this forum: I'm hoping that enough of us will get together to see a "pattern" in the way we practice, and will be able to set down something formalized to be passed onto others. (Even if it's not, say, a monastery.) I'm hoping multiple, differing groups will be able to do that here.

I agree with the general assertion that a lot of it is boiling down to "What have the Gods told me to do?" I admit that I generally have no idea, but am trying to build something from where I seem pushed.
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Member Introductions / Re: Devotee of Brighid in rural East Texas.
« Last post by Danica Swanson on May 27, 2019, 12:26:04 PM »
Welcome to the forum, NiDara. We're all learning from one another here, so you're in good company.

Developing a Rule for a Clann Bhride monastic practice does seem like a good place to start. I have some ideas myself, but I'm trying to discern between what impulses are for CB as a whole, and which are meant for me personally. It's an interesting dance between getting my ego out of the way, but also nudging my ego back to where it needs to be to claim responsibility.

Thanks for this, Sage. I went through a similar discernment process while WeepingCrow and I were deciding upon the monastic Rule for Black Stone Abbey. The Rule we agreed upon first showed up in dreams, meditations, and contacted writing sessions. I didn't really understand it. Yet it kept showing up in my life in various ways as if it were "pointing" at other concepts or ideas that would eventually be incorporated into the Rule somehow, so I took notes.

At first I interpreted it as something that would eventually appear in a book project of my own, or maybe a collaborative writing project between the two of us. I meditated on it for months, because it's important to keep my ego out of the way as much as possible while also keeping open to what might be trying to be born through this work I do for the Abbey.

Eventually I felt a nudge to share it with WeepingCrow, and he agreed that it's for the Abbey, and for us. I still don't think either of us actually understands it. Yet we agreed that it's right.

For whatever that's worth, anyway.


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Member Introductions / Re: Devotee of New Gods Western Germany
« Last post by Sage Ambue on May 27, 2019, 11:17:07 AM »
Hello and welcome, Aine. :) I'd been wondering what contemplative and/or monastic practice might look like for the Otherfaith, how it might manifest differently for devotees of different gods and spirits. What ideas do you have so far?

I'm glad Germany suits you! I (might?) be headed to Europe next summer, so I'll start brushing up on my abominable Deutsche from high school.
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Member Introductions / Devotee of New Gods Western Germany
« Last post by Aine Llewellyn on May 27, 2019, 10:55:27 AM »
Hello everyone. I'm Aine, posting my introduction a bit late. I grew up in the desert Southwest but currently live in Germany with my spouse. I miss my hometown but otherwise prefer the greenery and cooler temps here in Europe.

I've been Pagan-identified since 2004-ish, on top of being raised in a pagan-ish household (celebrated the Sabbats, believed in fairies and spirits, that sort of thing). I've always been very interested in religion and religious communities and, when I was younger, often dreamt of joining a Pagan monastery. My paternal grandmother was a Catholic nun for a short time before she left the church and became a Buddhist and encouraged my interest in religion quite a bit.

I practice the Otherfaith, a polytheist tradition I began building back in 2010-2011. The religion focuses on a group of new gods so I spend most of my time writing myths and stories for them and their related spirits. I have wanted to build a stronger contemplative practice around my gods for a while but have finally felt the ability and freedom to do so recently. I look forward to learning from you all and deepening my understanding of monasticism.
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Member Introductions / Re: Devotee of Brighid in rural East Texas.
« Last post by Sage Ambue on May 27, 2019, 09:32:50 AM »
Hello, NiDara! Glad to see you around. :)

Developing a Rule for a Clann Bhride monastic practice does seem like a good place to start. I have some ideas myself, but I'm trying to discern between what impulses are for CB as a whole, and which are meant for me personally. It's an interesting dance between getting my ego out of the way, but also nudging my ego back to where it needs to be to claim responsibility.
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Laity Discussion / Re: Discernment and Legitimisation
« Last post by Sage Ambue on May 27, 2019, 08:58:57 AM »
In discussions like this, I keep coming back to the question of "What have my gods asked of me?" I have not been asked to wear distinctive clothing or cover my head. I have not been asked to engage in ascetic practices. While I would certainly snap to attention if my gods told me something which required obediance, that has not been asked of me. Instead, because of my past history, I have been explicitly encouraged to develop my personal sovereignty. I bow to my gods, but They (currently) do not give me orders to obey.

Janet, I appreciate that you've shared this because I see myself in it. Because of my own history, there are things I cannot accept from relationships, divine or otherwise. I expect past trauma is the reason my relationship with Brighid has developed the way it has. I would be unable to take up fasting. I would be unwilling to diminish the relationship I have with my spouse. There are even certain ritual practices or spaces I would be unable to engage with, such as a women's-only space, or initiatory rites of almost any kind. (That last personal caveat makes participating in religion very, very difficult.)

In addition to trauma, there are also certain practices I cannot cultivate due to neurodivergence (some mixture of autism, sensory processing issues, and perhaps ADHD?) and physical disability. Some of this bothers me because, for  example, I would very much like to be able to kneel for periods of prayer and contemplation, but doing so is very painful for me.

I have not been told by Brighid in so many words that I need to develop my personal sovereignty... but it certainly seems in keeping with the Lessons I need to learn from Her.
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