In the catholic tradition I was raised in, to be a monk meant a man living with other men, praying every day and living rent free in a monastery. Maybe it’s the same now, I’ve not done much research in that department but I’m listening to a podcast about mystics and many male christian mystics were monks.
And… I 100% resonate. (Adding here, I know nuns are traditionally women but I always felt more monk like than nun. Why? Don’t ask me!)
This whole modern monk thing came as a shock to me. How the fudge am I resonating so deeply with these teachings? I don’t see myself as a highly religious person, I certainly don’t align with the whole one role for man, another for woman. But, I’m most happy when I learning about spiritual practices or diving into ancient spiritual philosophies. And there’s a lot to learn, but when I feel a little burnt out by all the information hoarding, I tend to lean into the words of christian mystics for respite.
I am totally adoring and LOVIN’ Jesus. He’s a dude, he’s the dude! I never feel he’s not with me. Ive never felt weird talking to him or acknowledging he’s by my right side, all the freaking time. I don’t tell people, I’ve kept pretty quiet about my depth of love for Jesus but, for sure, it’s gotten stronger over the last 18 months. And it’s never felt like a thing I needed to shout from the roof tops, it’s always felt a part of life, like eating or pooping. Is what it is and kinda necessary.
I didn’t choose it either, this deep love for Jesus. In fact I didn’t want it, for over a decade.
I guess we’re chosen by what will essentially deeply move us, as if we chose it ourselves, maybe it wouldn’t move us so deeply. It would be ‘ego’ driven, and as satisfying as that can be, our ego wants more of it and then more after that and more after that. I never wanted more of Jesus, in fact the less I wanted, the closer I came to resting in christian teachings. The less I wanted to know, the deeper I felt called to meditate and low and behold, there was Jesus, just hanging out, like a serendipity meeting in the subconscious.
It’s not always easy to explain but I never felt called to have a family. I knew, from a very young age there was some spiritual depth that was for exploration, not children or general life happenings that may include a house or marriage or both.
I remember being sat in the back of my dads car when I was younger, we drove past the local church and I heard ‘I’m married to God’. Those words struck me hard. WTF. Nope, how can you marry something that doesn’t physically exist?
But I’m getting it, very very slowly getting it. I can’t explain it, but that’s what mysticism is, isn’t it. The mysterious, the unexplainable. And monk life, I get it, with added luxuries obviously. I think I’m kinda morphing into some modern, punkass monk, but without the monastery and the robe and the penis.
And some days I feel like every single second I’m in prayer, nodding to God. Others I feel like a hot, steaming earthy puddle… and I used to believe these were different states, but they’re totally not. God meets us EVERY WHICH WAY. The more I recognise that, the more contemplative life becomes.
So, accidentally I’m very much living this quiet, prayerful, messy life… like a monk, kinda?! And I hated it at first, and now I’m between hate and love but I’m met by God, wherever I am.