Monks in the West III - 8-11 October, 2012


The third "Monks in the West" was held in California at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, about an hour north of San Francisco, from the 8th to the 11th of October, 2012.

Monks in the West III participants

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Seven Catholic monks from the Benedictine, Camaldolese and Cistercian traditions, and eight Buddhist monks from the Japanese Soto Zen, Chinese Chan, Thai forest and Vietnamese Zen traditions took part in the dialogue.


They were hosted by the Chan community of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas just outside the town of Ukiah, California, about two hours north of San Fransisco.  To read about the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas,

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The monks meditated together for an hour to begin each day, then spent most of their time in discussion.  The theme for the meeting was "Forming and Being Formed," but the conversation ranged widely over many topics of mutual interest.  The monks also ate meals together, thanks to the excellent staff of the onsite vegetarian restaurant. The discussions continued and were even more lively at meals, thanks to the fine food.


Monks in the West III Abhayagiri forest monastery


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The group was privileged to carry on its dialogue for one afternoon in the beautiful setting of the Thai forest monastery of Abhayagiri, pictured here.  The monastery which consists of a common building and a group of small hermitages, is 20 minutes north of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

Monks in the West is one of a number of initiatives sponsored by MID, or "Monastic Interreligious Dialogue" (in Europe, DIM), a group mandated by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.  In addition, the MID board has overseen two other iterations of MITW, four of Nuns in West, and three Gethsemani Encounters.

For a more comprehensive article on the MITW meeting, by Fr. William Skudlarek, chair of DIM/MID in Rome:


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