Function of the Monastery

Posted by Master Jing Attiig on August 8, 2016 at 4:20 AM

A lay person once asked the Master about coming to live at the Monastery.


The Master responded with a question of his own, "What is your passion in this life? What is the deepest question of your existence, from your own personal point of view?"


The lay person thought for a moment before answering, "I am a huge fan of learning. I love being with people and learning as much as I possibly can. I find it fascinating to learn new skills from other people, there is so much in this world that interests me. I really just want to be the best that I can be".

The Master spoke again, "A Monastery is a place where people come to face death. The highest function of the Monastery is in providing a place for people to murder their own ego. Someone who is in love with life should not come to live here. In fact, it is those who have come to despise their own lives who will have a single hope of coming to know the truth at the Heart of the Monastic Way of Life."

The lay person was puzzled by this answer. He asked, "What does the truth of our existence have to do with death? I thought being a Monk was about serving the world and discovering ones own endless potential".

The Master looked the lay person straight in the eye, "The truth of our existence is something that is impossible to comprehend without having come to witness the face of death itself. Every single love that you have in the world is pulling you further and further away from deaths empty embrace. Monks and sincere seekers of spiritual enlightenment sacrifice their attachments in order to fully know this subtle truth. Serving the world through selflessness is quite simply a way of living in the world without developing further attachments, while for the most part, you are attempting to strangle yourself in your sleep, and regarding ones own endless potenial, this too has nothing to do with the ways of the world, in fact this refers to the endless amount of transformations that occur within the mind. As a seeker of enlightenment, to follow these mental-manifestations would lead you down a road that ended at a home in hell. If you want a place at this Monastery, first you must ask the Universe to murder your dreams and to destroy your attachments to everything that you love. Is that what you really want?"

The lay person didn't even take a second to consider the question before speaking, "Actually I'm pretty happy with the way I am now. Is it still okay if I just come to the Monastery for a chat and to do some meditation?"

The Master smiled and responded, "You can do whatever you want".

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