“Pray, play, work and rest.”
Given the times we are experiencing, I am wondering – if out there amongst you –there are some of you considering what it might be like to build a mini contemplative/intentional community. I ask because there is room for three to gather where I live, in St. Lazare, QC – a place where I say “urban meets rural.”
I am a 65-year-old gay senior woman living about 50 km NW of Montreal. As a contemplative, I am exploring the idea of a hermitage of sorts. I believe that out there somewhere, there are at least two other mature persons with similar intentions that may be considering taking a break from the world – to be on retreat, for a year or so (or longer)…to explore the depths of one’s spirituality, while living a life that is sustainable and intentional. I have bedrooms that are available with shared office space. A place where three may gather to “pray, play, work and rest.” That’s the mantra and the mission and vision of this community.
There is a lot of land here, land that offers space to think freely, and to reflect and contemplate life. There is a big old house – built in 1926 – with teak ceilings, pastures to grow and garden in, a mountain view, and gorgeous sunsets. We might partially self-sustain with gardening, chickens, and eggs, and we are but four kilometres away from the village for basic needs, and a beach, and a lot of the surprising richness that small villages have to offer. Close to the highway and gas stations, and also beautiful country roads and markets, and fresh air to breathe. It is definitely a slower, but oh-so-rewarding lifestyle. And a spiritual journey, for here, you can hear yourself think, watch yourself reflect, and feel yourself grow in spirit, and to also contemplate your role in the greater scheme of things.
The house is furnished. No need (or room) for a whole lot of belongings, though of course there is space for you to occupy your own room as you wish. But everything else is here, (except yet a TV) including a grand piano. There is space to tromp, and be quiet, and garden, and watch the sunset, and a studio in which to craft in, etc. It is a piece of paradise actually. A place and space to “pray, play, work and rest.”
Of course we would need to establish some protocols suitable for our living environment and to maintain the respect of the household and the community. Just as there is in the monastic way, and quiet time too. And also time to come together, to cook together, tell stories, meditate and/or pray together – if we wish. No expectations but with the hope to build a sacred communal sense of belonging. We will share the experience of being on a retreat – perhaps good occasion to find one’s “inner monk.”
If you are a person looking for something new, looking to shed all of the trappings, and to live with others, and to be quiet in one’s space…not self-isolating, but having made the choice to ‘self-retreat’ for a while – to heal and refresh from the madness of the world for a while. It may serve as a time to explore being alone together, as it offers up the opportunity to give someone time to rethink a new model for living, while enhancing one’s spiritual life and meaning.
I would welcome anyone who is interested to contact me to arrange a conversation, to discuss your ideas, and questions. Together, we have the opportunity to build a unique, intentional community. A place and space where we can embrace connection, expand on our ideas of what it means to be involved spiritually with the world, and to truly experience and engage what it means to belong as we nurture our spirits, and care for the land on which we live.
Feel free to inbox me for more information. And, if you know of anyone who might be interested, please pass it along. With many thanks, peace for your journey,