To discuss holding your wedding or any event at The Monastery, contact Kate or Fran to arrange a personal welcome tour.

Call 0161 223 3211 or email Kate or Fran now.

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Keep up to date with the amazing array of events we hold all year around.

**The Monastery is open 10am-4pm, Sun-Thu each week with onsite café, courtyard garden, private parking and free entry. All welcome!**

What Is A ‘Modern-Day Monastery’? | Dr. Jeannine Goh

Here at Manchester’s modern-day Monastery, we are only too aware of the global environmental crisis, the escalating rise in mental distress, the rising gap between the wealthy and those in poverty, the gulf between science and spirituality (that has lead to deep rooted confusion) and now the collective trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic. These are uncertain and frightening times for many and monumental points in the history of humanity.

A beacon of light

Here at The Monastery we remain positive. Human beings are incredibly creative, and throughout history there is a pattern of humans joining together to solve problems and find new ways to light the path ahead. This could be described as a type of evolution. We are in a process of evolution right now.

In the present difficult times, we are stepping forward positively as a beacon of light. 

For those who fear the darkness, we will provide light, hope and optimism. For those, like us, who see the incredible opportunity for regeneration, human renewal and for collective growth we call you in. It is through uniting we will create new ways of living, being and understanding. 

Our modern-day monastery | a world-first 

As a modern-day monastery, we realise we are a world-first and we have an incredibly important task in front of us. 

There is no other modern-day monastery in the world that we know of.   

Steeped in heritage, the building itself invokes deep questions around where we have been, where we are going and where we are now. The thick walls provide a sanctuary of peace and healing and also hold the tears, the joy, the songs, the hopes, aspirations, fears and the prayers of all who have gone before. Some also say that The Monastery has an energy of its own, just as many buildings considered to be sacred are thought to have. It is certainly an extraordinary place.

A gathering of good people

Everything is here in place, and in this pivotal moment in history we have an in-flux of good-hearted people from all over the world and from every corner of Manchester coming forward. People who feel and know that there is more to life and can feel that we are the place to champion the Platonic Idea of Good and, like them, are not fooled by the illusions and desires of consumerism and materialism.  

People who feel and hear the injustices of the world and are compassionate towards the suffering of our fellow human beings. Change-makers, conscious creatives and people with big hearts are finding their way to us and together we are building a Sanctuary of Peace and Healing for all and everyone within these walls.

Universal truths

As well as promoting good values at our Modern-Day Monastery we are proud of our religious and spiritual foundations.  We recognise the commonality between different faiths and it is our vow to dig beneath the symbols, the language and the labels to find a perennial wisdom and peace that lies under all religions and of all of life. We are a place for those of all faiths, no faiths, the atheists, the-believe-in-something-but-not-sure-whats, to gather together, to seek the universal truths and to celebrate the preciousness, brilliance and fragility of life.

We are a unitive bridge to up-hold a vision for the future. The times of blame and judgement and superiority must end. It is time to remove our armour and defensive parts and, particularly in these challenging times, vow to love and look after ourselves, each other and the planet we share.

Words | Dr. Jeannine Goh

Alan Watts | The Tao of Philosophy – Essential Lectures Collection (audio)

Who am I? Why am I here? What is the nature of the world around me?

These are the questions posed by Alan Watts (1915 – 1973)—noted professor, graduate-school dean, Harvard University research fellow, and Episcopal priest. Watts, in his witty, humorous signature style, examines these eternal philosophical questions from the perspective of Taoism.

In order to discuss such lofty issues, Alan Watts takes the listener of this brilliant lecture series on a tour of eastern and western perspectives, discussing the nature of God, the self, reality and the relationship between them all. The great intermediaries between them being, according to Watts – nature, simplicity and silence.

Entertaining, fascinating and irreverent, this audio version of the book is an absolute delight for anyone interested in the fundamental mysteries of one’s own existence.

The original, written collection of these eight unique, philosophical essays along with an early piece written in 1953 has a brief introduction by Alan’s son, Mark Watts, which gives the background of these pieces and their place in his father’s life and work. That introduction is not included in the audio version below, but you can buy the book in various formats by clicking here.

Whilst the book is of course a brilliant read, the audio version allows you to listen to Alan Watts himself deliver the lectures – a wonderful treat, enjoy!

Significant Quotes

On accepting yourself as you are:

When you look at the clouds they are not symmetrical. They do not form fours and they do not come along in cubes, but you know at once that they are not a mess. […] They are wiggly but in a way, orderly, although it is difficult for us to describe that kind of order. Now, take a look at yourselves. You are all wiggly. […] We are just like clouds, rocks and stars. Look at the way the stars are arranged. Do you criticize the way the stars are arranged?”

On relinquishing control & letting life happen:

“Your hair grows by itself, your heart beats by itself, and your breath happens pretty much by itself. Your glands secrete the essences by themselves and you do not have voluntary control over these things, and so we say they happen spontaneously. So, when you go to bed and try to go to sleep you interfere with the spontaneous process of going to sleep. If you try to breathe real hard you will find you get balled-up in your breathing. So if you are to be human, you just have to trust yourself to go to sleep, to digest your food, and to have bowel movements.

Of course if something goes seriously wrong and you need a surgeon that is another matter, but by and large the healthy human being does not from the start of life need surgical interference. One lets it happen by itself, and so with the whole picture that is fundamental to it. You have to let go and let it happen, because if you don’t then you are constantly going to be trying to do what happens easily only if you do not try.

When you think a bit about what people really want to do with their time, and you ask what they do when they are not being pushed around or somebody is telling them what to do, you find they like to make rhythms. They listen to music and they dance or they sing, or perhaps they do something of a rhythmic nature like playing cards, bowling, or raising their elbows. Given the chance, everybody wants to spend their time swinging.”

Alan W. Watts, The Tao of Philosophy