Lokean in Northern UT, USA

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silencem

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Lokean in Northern UT, USA
« on: May 09, 2019, 01:35:56 PM »
Hi there, I'm Silence. I live in the urban corridor of Northern Utah. I'm a Loki-worshiper with connections to Shakta Tantra going back to my teenage years (specifically Bengali-flavored devotionalism, and I maintain affiliation with a community of practitioners that have an Assamese lineage). I'm a Kali bhakta although you might not know it by my elegantly maintained Radha-Krishna murtis.

To be entirely honest, I don't call myself a monastic of any sort - so I'm happy to stick to the Laity part of the forum. However, the entire course of my self-aware spiritually-colored existence has been thoroughly flavored by monastic elements. Which, of course, does not make one a monastic (but it does rather make me biased in their favor, I suppose). Things like renunciation, simplicity, prayer, celibacy - these are old friends. I see their benefit. I support their presence in the world. But mistaking a fondness for and familiarity with these things for a vocational calling would be wrong even if I sometimes play with the idea a little bit. In so many ways, I don't want what the world wants. But in just as many ways, I don't want what monastics want, either. I know what I want. Everything else is a distraction and I just end up getting mad at it. I am monastic-adjacent, at best. :)

I found this forum through Danica's post on FB. I'm part of one (both?) FB groups though I don't participate very often. I've met a number of monastics and spend a lot of time in groups with monastic elements, so sometimes I have meaningful things to contribute, but not always. Right now I'm kinda focused on cataloging my personal Hindu library and making it available for research inquiries. Otherwise I'm pretty busy with dayjob stuff and art stuff and personal practice stuff and FB catposting stuff.

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Redfaery

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Re: Lokean in Northern UT, USA
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 06:12:00 AM »
Hey! Really glad to see you here!

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silencem

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Re: Lokean in Northern UT, USA
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 08:46:30 AM »
Glad to see you, too!

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Lorna Smithers

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Re: Lokean in Northern UT, USA
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2019, 12:07:11 PM »
Hello Silence,

I follow your blog and it's good to see you here.

Quote
Things like renunciation, simplicity, prayer, celibacy - these are old friends. I see their benefit. I support their presence in the world. But mistaking a fondness for and familiarity with these things for a vocational calling would be wrong even if I sometimes play with the idea a little bit

Unpicking how monastic my primary vocational calling as an awenydd is and how this might gel is something I'm working through at the moment. I regularly worship and pray, my life is centred around devotion and service to my god through my creativity (although like others I have to work a day job to survive), I love the idea of building online and physical monastic communities with shared rites and as centres of learning, but is this enough?

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Danica Swanson

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Re: Lokean in Northern UT, USA
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 10:43:55 AM »
Welcome, Silence, and thanks for joining us.

To be entirely honest, I don't call myself a monastic of any sort - so I'm happy to stick to the Laity part of the forum.

Your choice of course, but I think anyone who's familiar with your excellent work and your long-term contributions to our communities would be inclined to agree that you fall into the third of these categories (quoted from our FAQ): 

Inner Hall discussions are limited to "Votary" members, which (for the purposes of this forum, anyway) we consider to be:

* those who are now - or have previously been - called to monasticism in polytheist/animist traditions
* those who are seriously discerning such a calling, and
* those who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to developing and supporting infrastructure for polytheist-animist monasticism in practical ways.

So if you decide you'd like to participate in the Votary boards also, despite your lack of a monastic calling, you'd be welcome. For the record, we don't have anything there that is super-seekrit only-for-the-initiated stuff. Keeping the Votary boards hidden from the public and maintaining a sign-up fee for access is one way we try to discourage casual "drive-by" memberships. Our goal with that policy is to limit access to people who are seriously interested in supporting and contributing to the development of polytheist monasticism.

Also for the record: we have a benefactor who sponsored a few Votary memberships as a thank you for people who have contributed to supporting monastics elsewhere.

In any case, it's good to see you here!

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Syren Nagakyrie

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Re: Lokean in Northern UT, USA
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 12:22:12 PM »
Hey Silence! Glad you're here. I just wanted to say that your writing and contributions around devotion and Shakta Tantra have really been influential for me. I agree with Danica - while you may not identify as a monastic, your contributions are really important to the development of polytheist monasticism.

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silencem

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Re: Lokean in Northern UT, USA
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 11:12:00 AM »
Unpicking how monastic my primary vocational calling as an awenydd is and how this might gel is something I'm working through at the moment. I regularly worship and pray, my life is centred around devotion and service to my god through my creativity (although like others I have to work a day job to survive), I love the idea of building online and physical monastic communities with shared rites and as centres of learning, but is this enough?

"Is this enough?" well - that's a big question. Sometimes stories about vocation make the calling and decision seem so organic and seamless; other times accounts of discovering vocation are certainly more complicated in their unfolding.

For me, part of my thinking that vocation isn't for me is that I vastly prefer private labor. In all my observations it seems that vocation involves a great deal of labor in the view of others, whether it's a relatively controlled community or larger global sphere. The monasticism I'm most familiar with is very labor- and service-oriented in the sense that there's not much division of duty; everyone works, everyone cooks, everyone cleans, everyone prays. The weight of various types of duty might shift depending on what kind of responsibility or even seniority a person has, but labor is at the heart of these systems. And that's great and good, but the idea of working in view of others just...ugh. Maybe it's my experience in retail and public service jobs, maybe it's personal psychological issues, maybe it's a mixture of things, I don't know.

Having levels of exploration and commitment seems to be a good way of giving people the chance to explore vocational life. Indeed, it might be really good for some people (like myself) to have a clear end point in mind. "I am in this role for this long" is a much more comfortable state of being for me, heh. Perhaps something like that could give you and others with these questions an opportunity to discover whether your thoughts and desires are, indeed, enough.

So if you decide you'd like to participate in the Votary boards also, despite your lack of a monastic calling, you'd be welcome. For the record, we don't have anything there that is super-seekrit only-for-the-initiated stuff. Keeping the Votary boards hidden from the public and maintaining a sign-up fee for access is one way we try to discourage casual "drive-by" memberships. Our goal with that policy is to limit access to people who are seriously interested in supporting and contributing to the development of polytheist monasticism.

Ahhh - I see! Thank you for explaining this.

Hey Silence! Glad you're here. I just wanted to say that your writing and contributions around devotion and Shakta Tantra have really been influential for me. I agree with Danica - while you may not identify as a monastic, your contributions are really important to the development of polytheist monasticism.

Bah - y'all are too kind. But you know I'm always down to gush about Maa for a while. <3 <3 <3