- Fellowship for Intentional Community
Mission: Enlightenment and Service
Ashram West was founded in 1997 and incorporated in California as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2001 to inspire and guide gay-identified persons to enlightenment and to offer service to the community. There are both monks, i.e., dedicated member-practitioners, who may be residents or non-residents, and lay members.
The teachings of Ashram West are based on Vedanta philosophy and traditional Hindu Tantra in the lineage of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, that encourages the integration of all aspects of life with spirituality, including sexuality. Vedanta teaches that our fundamental nature is pure, perfect, and divine, and one specialty of Tantra is a whole body of spiritual technologies for developing greater awareness of the our true divine Self. We offer meditation instruction, spiritual coaching, and counseling for individuals, couples, or groups free of charge with donations gratefully accepted. All persons are welcome to enjoy the benefits of our community services and activities.
Although most ashram members are gay men, and residence is for men only, we also have non-gay women students who form part of our extended world-wide family, united by email and occasional personal visits. We invite men of any sexual-affectional orientation to apply for membership as monks. Celibacy is neither required nor preferred, but resident monks must conduct committed relationships, if any, in service of the community and its goals. Non-resident monks live according the Rule of the Order of Ashram West but are free to conduct relationships as they like. All resident monks contribute to the material support and physical maintenance of the community, and they may hold outside jobs as necessary to make this possible.
Currently the ashram exists in a large one-bedroom apartment in Silver Lake with two permanent residents, including Brother William, the Founder and Spiritual Director. We are seeking a larger residence that will permit more monks and visitors to live in community and provide space for rituals, classes, and our kirtan group that meets weekly for joyous group singing and spiritual chats. If you already occupy or own a property suitable for us, or if you have the resources to help us purchase a property, we can consider accelerating the process of your becoming a monk.
- Physical Address
- Los Angeles, California
- United States
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