There were a small group of people in mid missouri
that were friends during the mid seventies. What they had in common was
their study of eastern religions and experimental living arrangements.
One of the group had a degree in community developement, so they decided
to form a new kind of church. The Old Freedom Church was started in 1975.
In America there were no instituitions that provided the time and place to simplify your life and then learn to practice being awake and open. Though there were countless churches and many ashrams, they all had too many rules. And you were supossed to accept their doctrine by faith. So the new community had some basics aggreements.
Probably the foremost aggreement that has lasted till now is that all things are done by AGREEMENT. The second bottom line agreement is to practice "Mind empty, heart open, body dancing". At anytime of day one may prod another monk about their practice. male or female, young or old, sick or well, "what is your practice right now".
Then the agreement of "No Preaching" was begun. No one could could spin their BS about anything and expect followers. "Wash your own rice bowl", followed. That set up an environment that allowed human beings to find their original face. "What did your face look like before you were born". There were about 15 in the community.
Some the community were still active in the early '90's, some had drifted away. Another wave of seekers hit then. The property on which the monastery currently exists, was purchased in the early nineties. It is located about 20 miles from a city. There are 28 acres, and a stream runs its' length. There are a few buildings in various stages of disrepair. We garden extensively and heat with wood burning stoves. It is over 100 in the summer and 0 in the winter ( exteremes).
Each monk has their own room.
Through the practice of meditation, one of the community members found some time ago what we term the practice of stilling the mind. Since then, that practice has become a staple requirement for our community. If one can sit down, and still the mind of discursive mental gossip and learn to dance, then there is a chance of awakening. Granted there are other methods one could adopt to reach the awakened state, as clumsy and haphazard as they may be. We have found the practice of stilling the mind, and skillful means, to be the quickest way to see through our own illusion.
What is stilling the mind? Stop checking out to see how you feel, stop commenting on the situation, open your mind to the environment around you, and just sit. nothing fancy, entertaining, or mystical. the mind is still.... if the mind moves, dont judge it.... just go back to your practice.
Visit the monks.... Franf
If you have questions and/or comments,
E-Mail us at :firstname.lastname@example.org
The computers that this was written on have been provided
by Waller Computer Services of St. Charles, MO.
Many thanks to John for assisting / supporting our various endeavours and experiments.
This page is being
hosted for free by Socket Internet Services. Apparently they
do this for churches(monasteries) and the like.
Dental Care for the monks has been proved for free
to the monks for many
years by Dr. Thomas A. Elliott, DDS of Columbia Missouri. Dr. Elliott is
billed as a painless dentist(almost). How appropriate for a buddhist to
work to end the suffering.
Arthur Lee Roehlke and Dr. Helen J. Roehlke have been
supporters of the
monastery for many years with gifts, low income loans, etc.
None of the above is in any way responsible for the
content of this page.