Within the natural environment of Flower Dance Temple in Pitcairn NY is where our “wilderness practice monastery” is situated.
Bear Paw Monastery, a garden of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, is rooted in the teachings and practices of Shakyamuni Buddha with the inspiration of Milarepa and Linji as transmitted through our founder.
Bear Paw Monastery provides a precious environment for concentrated training and practice while upholding a One Vehicle view that distinguishes the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma as a cohesive unity.
The Three Learnings, Three Studies of Precepts, Meditation, and Wisdom in light of the Noble Eightfold Path, the Four Immeasurables, and the Ten Virtuous Actions are foundational in daily life integration in light of our meditative and contemplative studies, practices, and service.
Life at Bear Paw Monastery can be challenging because of the minimalistic standard of living in light of the monastic way of life as forest mountain practitioners. Our monastery is communal (cenobite) as well as solitary (eremite). There is a reciprocal flow between communal and solitary practitioners as an interdependent Sangha of monastics and oblates (lay disciples).
A well-defined ethical discipline while manifesting loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity within our community offers stability and pliancy as we endeavor to live harmoniously.
Additionally, we endeavor to live ethically and compassionately in light of protecting and caring for all sentient beings which include humans, animals, and fish, as well as plants, trees, air, earth, and water as we integrate the principles of permaculture within our daily practice.
Bear Paw Monastery monastics support the purposes of Flower Dance Temple through freely offering Buddha Dharma teachings and spiritual guidance to the sangha community of Flower Dance Temple, as well as assisting with the caretaking and protecting of the wilderness milieu of the forest sanctuary.
To ensure that the Buddha’s teachings endure for future generations, Flower Dance Temple and Bear Paw Monastery @ Flower Dance Temple are creating a favorable and stable milieu designed for the sustained training and practice of a four-fold sangha community dedicated to the Ten Dharma Activities for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The unfolding story of Bear Paw Monastery:
One day in 2001, while practicing in a forest hermitage in W PA, Venerable Kong Hu Shi (who later became fully ordained known as Venerable Ani Drubgyudma) felt an inward desire to do something to benefit all sentient beings. A strong impulse with an inner realization arose – she became convinced that she was to establish a forest mountain sanctuary in the USA. The nameless seed of what eventually manifested as Flower Dance Temple was planted in her heart.
As time unfolded and having overcome many obstacles, she along with her sangha community, established Bear Paw Monastery, a garden of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, in 2011.
Bear Paw Monastery webpage – http://chojung.org/BearPawMonastery.html – offers a few more photos.
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