Monasteries of the Heart

Monks in Our Midst: Bede Griffiths on a Monastic Order in the World

“The monk is a layperson… An order of monastics is essentially a lay order. Some monks may live in monasteries, but increasingly the majority will live in their own homes or form small communities--a monastic order in the world. [This would be] one in which communities and individuals live spiritual lives independent of religious organizations or institutions, independent of celibacy and overarching rules and dogmas--free to follow their own conscience and guidance in living a sacred life, yet united in the common cause of building a sacred world.” 
Bede Griffiths

Bede Griffiths, (1906– 1993), an English Benedictine monk, settled in India in 1955 and became a great mystical teacher, establishing a Christian community following the customs of a Hindu ashram. 


Reflect: What does the phrase “monastic order in the world” mean to you? How do you see yourself as participating in this monastic archetype today?



To view or make comments you must be logged in to Monasteries of the Heart. If you are not yet a member, you can create a free membership account at now. A real person authenticates each new member account to avoid spam accounts so you will not have immediate access. As soon as your account is verified you will receive an email with further instructions.