Tuesday, October 3, 2006

How it all started

Years ago when I first became involved with Buddhism and began visiting a Monastery in southern California I realized that these Theravada Monks who followed the forest tradition had no place in the wilderness to wander about. In Southeast Asia until very recently the Monks of this tradition had almost limitless space in which to wander and the locals would feed them. Now that the jungles and forests of that region are fast disappearing and many Monks are coming to the west as well as westerners ordaining here there is a need in this country for support of these individuals.

This started me thinking of setting up a place where they could come and stay long term that would provide the support that's needed and place them in the middle of vast areas of wilderness land over which they could roam. Next I realized that there was a need for such a place for advanced lay practioners. A place where someone could come and spend six months or a year and never see another person or hear another human voice if they so desired.

The Old Gold Mine Hermitage is going to be such a place. It wasn't until I met Brian that I was able to begin fulfilling this dream. He has come to share my dream and together we will bring it about. He lives in the Bay area and I live on the land in Rural Northeast Washington State.

He deals with most of the technical and administrative considerations and I do the day to day work here at the Hermitage. As he is able he will come to visit and help out here with building and other on site issues.

The Hermitage will be open to all faiths, the only requirement is that the applicant have a deep and abiding spiritual practice that can benefit from a completely silent, individual and long term retreat.