The question that Rev. Mugo and I have been most frequently asked since we launched this project is ‘Where will it be?’ The short answer is we don’t know. Somewhere in the North of England probably, maybe a little further south.
What we are imagining will happen is that all of you out there will be keeping your antennae open, as will we, for some acres of land, with or without existing buildings but with the potential for getting planning permission to build what we need, quiet and secluded, preferably with some woodland on or near the property, and not too terribly awkward to get to.
Mugo: Is there anybody out there with experience/knowledge of planning permission for the kinds of structures we are thinking about? Please get in touch if you are that person, or you know somebody who is?
People can be a bit surprised that we don’t have more of a plan. I have come across this in the past at Throssel. People have asked ‘What are your plans for Throssel in five year’s time?’ and ‘What will you do if the community doubles in size?’. We answer that we have no five year plan, and if lots of people ask to become monks, well, we will work with that if and when it happens.
Mugo: I have noticed that five year plans and the like do tend to fall by the wayside in the face of changed circumstances or inaccurate predictions. Just a thought.
Obviously we plan when we need to. We need to plan the practicalities of living. But beyond that it is much more a case, as I mentioned in our last post, of pointing ourselves in a direction that seems good to go in and taking the next step. It is a way of moving forward along with the whole universe, without fixing a pre-conceived outcome and grasping for it. Yes, I do really look forward to living and working in the kind of place we have in mind and I feel strongly that it will be of benefit to beings. And at the same time I need to hold that lightly and know that I am willing for any outcome. And, to be very clear, I am not talking about letting oneself just be blown about by the prevailing wind, I have made a commitment to this project and I take that very seriously. I guess what I am exploring is the nature of commitment – the subject of a future post perhaps.
Mugo: I have to confess the sense of ‘reality’ comes and goes in terms of our proposed project. And perhaps that’s the way it is in life generally. After all the future is just in our imagination, although the future can be predicted to a certain extent. There is the expression ‘to build sandcastles in the air’. You could say we are ‘building a temple in the air’! When I envision the temple, when it comes to mind in its potential physical form, I know it for what it is. A vision. And I don’t feel that to be a problem, that’s to have visions like that. It’s not an ‘impossible dream’ because there is a REAL possibility that the funds will accumulate, suitable land will be found and people will want to come and stay. After all without vision how can some ‘thing’ be made manifest in the future. You’d not know what it would look like! The tension or challenge, and Rev. Alicia talks about holding the project ‘lightly’, is to hold the vision assuming as one proceeds that the project will manifest. While at the same time not slip into the mindset of ‘dreaming the impossible dream’ which for me is to slide off the side of commitment to what one is doing right now. So what’s the difference between a dream and envisioning? Hum. It looks like the Reverend Alicia and I are thinking along similar lines. More thoughts on the nature of commitment to follow I guess. We may not always do these dual posts however I have to say I’m enjoying the conversation.
On another note, I can see that there may be more FAQ’s in the pipeline, and we may compile them into a permanent page. So if you have a question you’d like to ask us please either leave it here as a comment or send it to us via the contact form. We’d love to hear from you.
Mugo: Yes, send us your questions. Some will fall into the usual FAQ’s slot and some might not. If you have a question please ask and one of us will do our best to respond.