Madre Grande Monastery

A Sacred  site for healing, teaching, ceremony, and celebration

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    In order to become a monk at Madre Grande Monastery one needs to go through an individually tailored process that usually takes several years.  On a general note, a person needs to familiarize oneself with the content of our website, then plan a day visit to meet the monks and get to know the monastery. Other opportunities to experience the monastic life are available, for example register for a weekend retreat during a solstice or equinox gathering or participate in Madre Grande 101.

   After the introductory visit, a person may apply for an extended stay for up to one month by filling a Registration Form  . During this period the monastery community will get to understand your motivation to live at Madre Grande. Based on your capacity to live in harmony with the community and your dedication and commitment to the practice the monastery community will make the final decision on how long your period of stay will be.

  As a candidate to become a monk you should stay at Madre Grande monastery for at least six months. In this way, you can have direct experience of monastic and community life, and the monks can observe whether or not you have a strong monastic volition. If you are not sure about entering monastic life, you are free to take your time and practice as a layperson on private retreats depending on availability. Long-term stays must be approved of by the monastery, and other regulations do apply.

   After a stay of six months you are welcome to write an aspiration letter to express your wish to pursue monastic life. As soon as the community has received your letter and has shared it, you become a postulant, which means that you are requesting initiation in the Minor Orders of The Paracelsian Order and the community is aware of it. During the time of postulancy you are asked to participate in all activities and practices like a monastic member, though certain activities are strictly reserved for the ordained members of the community. The period of postulancy may vary from three to five years. At the end of this period the monastic community will meet to look deeply at your practice and your aspiration. On the basis of this, the community will decide whether you are fit to be ordained as a novice, or whether it is more suitable for you to continue your practice as a lay member of the community.

    Once ordained as a novice a period of one year starts in which you will deepen the practice of concentration, loving kindnnes, and mindfulness and the required preparation for the Major Orders of the Paracelsian Order. You should always keep in mind that monastic training is fundamentally different from academic pursuit. Rather than just acquiring knowledge and developing our expertise, as monks we are reminded to come back to the basic practices of mindful breathing, walking, eating, and being a permanent observer (watcher) of our actions and their consequences. After one year you may be qualified for simple ordination as a Simple Professed Monk of Madre Grande monastery.

   Full ordination may take place after one year of serving in the simple profession the ordinant becoming now a full fledged member of the monastic community as a fully professed monk.


Becoming A Monk