I cannot do this alone. Will you help?

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On July 15th, I turned 39 and gave myself a most unusual gift - I took monastic vows. I mean serious, year-long vows. Before God and 5 supportive council members, I took Christian vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and I took refuge in Buddhism's Triple Gem. I'm officially a monk. Hooray! Now, what on earth does that mean?
In short, it means, I give up. "Here's the white flag, God; I surrender!" Prayer is now the axis upon which my days turn. Listening and loving trump all. I've heard the call, but instead of heading out, I'm staying put. My home here in the Berkeley hills is now my monastery and my room, my cell. Each day will follow a rhythm carried by 5 sessions of prayer and meditation. Each week holds a day of complete silence and each season, an entire week of the same. All the choices I make in my 40th year will be shaped by my intention to be quiet, to slow down, to listen for God. 
All year I will be writing about my experience as an active monastic in the wider world. Urban love monk explores this hard-to-come-by mix of spiritual practice and life on modern ground, the fruits of which will be handed to you, dear readers. The blog is an invitation for you to join me in the journey - I welcome your comments, questions and feedback. And the book is an offering, steeped in the hope that its words will help you to find spaces of calm and quiet inside your own lives.
For many years I've actively developed a religious vocation--studying and working at Harvard Divinity School, then supporting the dying and bereaved for Odyssey Hospice. I've spent countless hours exploring the faces of the Sacred or holding space for others. But I've never had the time to just be with God. Until now.
Will you support this endeavor? Can I include on you on my daily prayer list and acknowledge you in the book? Any amount will be met with gratitude and will help keep a roof over my head and food in my belly. With gratitude and blessings...
Here are the foreseeable challenges:
- Sitting my heiney down on the cushion five times a day. So far it's been great, but I know there will be resistance - days when I don't want to pray five times, I don't want to rest in God again, or do bows or chant. That's when I have to turn to the vows, to the commitment that I've made to myself, to all of you and to God. 
-   Staying clear and aligned with the intention of the project: to get quiet, to let many things in my life fall away, to truly slow down. Urban love monk practice happens in an in-between place; it's not this and it's not that. Liminal spaces can be hard to sustain. And my vows are not tied to a particular lineage or Order, so it's crucial that I remain accountable to my Council and to nurture ties with other practitioners and monastics around the Bay. 
- Walking the talk. Life does not present ideal circumstances. Much energy is spent fighting against what is - I'm the first in line to do it. So how do I work with what is actually given? How do I fully receive it, no matter what it is...even when it stinks? What does it mean to sincerely surrender my wants and will to a greater, Divine will? This is the heart of my practice, folks. 
- My biggest challenge will be to write. I mean, write my butt off. I've been a wordsmith all my life, but this project takes the craft to a whole new level, my creative muscle to its outer limit. As with prayer, I've gotta just keep showing up. The thing is, in order to write you have to actually write. Right? Right. If the gods are good, my words will somehow be of service and will bring a little beauty into the world.


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