The most common question I got when I told people I was temporarily moving to a monastery was probably “wtf do you do there?”
Do you spend the whole day meditating? Nah. Do you have to stay silent? Nope. Is everyone super serious? Well, people take what they do seriously (which is a good thing!), and there are many rules to follow, but it’s actually a pretty goofy and friendly place. It’s almost certainly not what you’re imagining it to be.
Before I get into the daily schedule, let’s paint a picture of the property itself.
A short tour
This is what the grounds look like in autumn:
Of course, right now it looks a bit more like this:
This past year has been absolutely unreal. Between getting thrown headfirst into a fascinating cryptocurrency startup and all the emotional turmoil that entails, to constant travel between 3 countries (with the occasional extra one thrown in), to trying to heal from heartbreak, to starting a consultancy business with a friend, to moving house, to university courses I decided to take just for the fun of it (not my smartest move), to getting a beautiful new niece, to attempting to maintain some sort of semblance of relationships with my friends back home, 2018 was a story to tell.
But this post isn’t about 2018. It’s only relevant in that it sets the context for this next chapter.
Today I arrived at the Monastic Academy, a Buddhist monastery nestled in the mountains of Lowell, Vermont…