Greeting from Southern California here. I'm a new member to this site and this is my 1st post and question. I hope that this is the correct forum for the thread since it's dealing with modern "wish".
After practicing at few monasteries and meditation centers, I have this idea to build a "reformed" monastery/center where there's no chanting but only meditation and short dharma reflections/talks. The schedule would be 3 formal group meditation sessions per day, 3 hours of work, 1 meal, donation based. Residents don't handle money.
We could buy a small forest land that would cost just below $30-$40K. Get an old trailer to use as a meditation hall, a kitchen and a toilet. Have an open space meditation platform like that at Wat Metta in Escondido area. Sangha's dwelling place would be the tents on wooden platforms. The tents could scattered around the forest. We could try to go alms rounds at the local market/plaza area, like twice a week as a way to get noticed by the neighbors. We would have live-in helper and manager to help with the kitchen and groceries.
The startup money is already in place. However, the fund to run the center could be an obstacle although we projected only around $500-800/month on food, utilities, property tax, land insurance. It would be nice if we have 5-10 supporter who could sponsor us in form of food or help paying the bills.
For the time being, overnight visitors would be encouraged, but not mandatory, to donate food or sponsor full/part of the utilities' bill. Guests could stay as long as they want, be that they must follow the center's guideline and observe the 8 disciplines/precepts. For permanent monastic residents, they would observe the 227 monastic disciplines as closely as possible, and to experiment with the disciplines so that they would be in line with the ancient time yet adaptive to the modern situation.
So the living style is comparable to that of the monastery minus the chantings and rituals. Instead of chanting, we could have reading time. This is to give those serious meditators a chance to live the monastic life without the forms and rituals of the monastery. Head of the sangha would be rotated based on votes or experience.
How does this sound? Would you like to join? Do you think this would be a good starting point for Western Monastic Life without the Asian's form?
This would be my one wish in this life time.
Please share your input.