Light of the Spirit Monastery
We would like to tell you something about ourselves.
Light of the Spirit Monastery is a monastic community for those men who wish to follow the paths of Original Yoga and Original Christianity in their search for God. This is done each day through mediation (three hours) and Christian sacramental worship.
The monastery’s basic approach is one of emphasis on the interior spiritual reality of “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) as revealed by the illumined mystics of East and West.
Since the text of the four Gospels and the teachings of Jesus have been progressively altered for two thousand years and because there is historical proof that Jesus spent over half of his life in India studying yoga and philosophy, our beliefs are based on the wisdom found in the upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. We approach the Bible and the writings of Christian thinkers and mystics in this context: if they are in harmony with those two sources they are worthy of acceptation (or interpretation); if not, they can be ignored or discarded. In our opinion the true teachings of Jesus can be found in the writings of Paramhansa Yogananda, and especially The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi Dowling.
Furthermore, since Jesus was a member of the order of Nath Yogis founded by Yogi Guru Gorakhnath (as was the sage Patanjali), our fundamental spiritual practice is So’ham Yoga meditation, the distinctive yoga of the Nath Yogis.
Generically, we are Saint Thomas Christians, deriving our Apostolic Succession from the Saint Thomas Christian Church of India, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church or Malankara Orthodox Church (Syrian Jacobite Church of South India). We are all that remains of a mission established in the United States by the Indian Orthodox Church at the end of the nineteenth century.
Always esoteric in its approach, the mission early on adopted the liturgical and sacramental forms of Bishops James I. Wedgwood and Charles W. Leadbeater which they had formulated for use in the theosophically-based Liberal Catholic Church, and we continue to use these sacramental rites as an essential part of our life.
Our monastic life
Our monastic tradition is a synthesis of the monastic practices of the classical Swami Order of Shankara (Giri branch) and the Christian Augustinian, Benedictine and Carmelite orders.
The monastery exists solely for the spiritual practice of its members. Therefore it has no outside activities or programs within the monastery for non-residents.
The monastery’s service to others is the ocoy.org website through which it makes available to all seekers those spiritual writings and instruction which we have found to be of personal spiritual value and relevance.
The monastery life is totally communal, all engaging in the same schedule with common meals and a common dormitory. Each member engages in several hours of assigned work daily.
We are vegan, never eating animal protein or anything derived from it to any degree. We also abstain absolutely from nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and mind-altering drugs.
The monastery is located in Cedar Crest, New Mexico, near Albuquerque, in the forest of the Sandia Mountains bordering the Cibola National Forest. Its uninterrupted quiet is conducive to the life of contemplative stillness.
The monastery has limited facilities for male visitors. There is no charge for staying here, but visitors are expected to meditate and work along with us, keeping the same schedule. Visitors have their own sleeping quarters.
Those who are seriously interested in becoming members of the monastery may contact us and express their interest, giving us some information about themselves–personal history, spiritual practice, present philosophical outlook, aspirations for the future, and what they consider their mission in life.
Yours in the Light of Christ,
LIGHT OF THE SPIRIT MONASTERY