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**The Monastery is open 10am-4pm, Sun-Thu each week, with free entry, parking, café, gift shop & healing garden. All welcome!**

The Monastery Prayer

The Monastery Prayer

The Monastery is built on a beautiful, perennial truth that we all share.  

We invite those who hear and feel our call to come, gather, belong and celebrate with us.

We recognise that the time has come to turn away from egocentricity.  

For each of us to take personal responsibility for the healing of ourselves, one another and the Earth.  

To step forward with confidence, authenticity and love, knowing we are supported and never alone.

We seek the Universal Truths that unite us whilst celebrating our diversity.  

We take pride in our personal traditions and beliefs and yet are humble enough to listen to, and respect the sometimes differing views of others.

Together, we recognise the Earth as a complete living being, which we are all part of and in no way superior to.  

It is in harmony with this great whole in all its mystery, beauty and intelligence that we honour and celebrate, today and every day.

In recognition of the connection that all living beings share, we join forces and pool resources.  

In shared knowledge and compassionate creativity we stand strong in kinship, wisdom, love and hope to celebrate life and humanity once more.

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

Contemplation: From Distraction To Connection | Dr. Jeannine Goh

Many roads up the mountain

Contemplation is an ancient phenomena that traverses all cultures & moments in history. As our modern-day monastery’s prayer so clearly conveys, we are a place for all and everyone, for the atheist, to the devout Christian, for the agnostic to the Hindu, to the follower of the wild wind and for the children of the universe. We know there are many paths that lead up the mountain and we celebrate and are excited by the uniqueness and individuality of everyone’s path through life. 

Whilst we all have our own unique paths, at our modern-day monastery we are fascinated by the commonality within all of our paths. One such commonality which we have found to be central to every path up the mountain and also to living a meaningful and intimate life is one simple concept, and that is connection

Connection is what connects us!

It may come as a surprise to many that the word religion comes from the Latin word religare, which simply means to re-bind, to bond and to connect. Moreover, for many who have found the grand narrative of religion not to resonate, or have feelings of mistrust around organized religion, and have found themselves attracted to the Eastern arts or spiritual practices, it is the same. Central to many practices and the aim of many instruments and tools is connection. For instance, the word yoga, means to yoke which again is to bind or connect. Nature practitioners, ecologists and even end of life experts all talk about the importance of connection. There is an important message here that all the great artists, philosophers, poets, geniuses and spiritual paths all call us to and it is that of connection.  

In contrast, if we live a life where we a disconnected, disillusioned and disenchanted we all know what occurs. A depression sets in. We are amazing social animals with an incredible ability to connect on many different levels and if we do not use this skill, this talent, this ability, we do not thrive and it is as simple as that.  

Connection is what we are searching for

I would bet, that if you bring to mind a time when you were thriving and joyful and you explore it, you would find a connection with depth and meaning. Times when you have perhaps fallen head over heels in love with another person, or the deep connection of unconditional love as a mother, father or sibling. Perhaps, even times when you have heard music so beautiful, that you are so moved, that you forget you are standing in the cold rain, or you dance freely and wild. These moments of connection can be considered mere emotion but they are much more, they connect us on a deeper level, they enliven our spirit and ignite our souls. It is what we are all ultimately searching for.

Contemplation is the instrument of connection

To be deeply connected in this way is not so easy. We all have moments of it but we are always so easily distracted. How many times have you walked somewhere and been so caught up with thinking about the events of yesterday or your dinner later, that you have failed to notice the stunning rose by the path with its sweet perfume that would light your day?  

Often a barrier to connection are the myriad of distractions in our lives. It is so easy to become distracted, to look for distractions yet what we most yearn for is there lying underneath the distractions and our thoughts.

This is what all contemplative practices; meditation, yoga, tai-chi, self reflection, have taught us and it is also why all of these practices are now well-evidenced as being integral to well-being and the ability to thrive in life.

Contemplation is a skill, a capacity, we all have, and for many of us it lies latent. However, if we learn more about it and train our minds it is the key to moving past all the distractions to create much deeper connections in life and ultimately leads us to find the source of all that we seek.

Words | Dr. Jeannine Goh

To find out more about book a session with a Listener from The Narrative Centre or explore the work and study options at The School of Contemplation.