Conditions have been coming together around Clear Mountain’s aspiration, and we have good tidings to share for December’s season!
Clear Mountain Monastery & Friends of Clear Mountain Receive Official 501(c)3 Status!
First, after a year of work, waiting, and enough legalese for a lifetime, Clear Mountain Monastery and its steward organization, Friends of Clear Mountain, have both received official 501(c)3 nonprofit status from the IRS! Modeled after other forest monasteries, such as Abhayagiri in California and Jetavana in New Hampshire, Clear Mountain’s dual structure includes a monastic organization, “Clear Mountain Monastery”, which may own land and buildings but not deal with finances, and a counterpart steward organization, “Friends of Clear Mountain”, composed of laity who may receive donations and make purchases on behalf of the monastery while remaining ultimately accountable to the monastics.
The structure, modeled after the relationship between monastics and lay stewards in the Buddhist monastic code, allows the monks to keep their vow of not dealing directly with money, while also bringing in a wide field of expertise from the lay community.
This autumn, both organizations gained 501(c)3 nonprofit status, a key moment of recognition and change in the organization. We rejoice in the goodness of all those who worked to establish a stable legal structure on which Clear Mountain can grow. May it stand for generations!
This development also means that Clear Mountain’s search for land can begin. You can find out more in the recent essay, An Architecture of Faith: Clear Mountain’s Search for a Home, or by visiting Friends of Clear Mountain’s Land and Buildings Fund page. Additionally, you’re welcome to participate in our Jan. 8th Community Land Search Visioning Meeting and gathering of 10 million Recitations of Refuge to support the vision.
From Dec. 10th – Dec. 23rd, over thirty members of Clear Mountain’s community will travel to Thailand and India on pilgrimage. First visiting renowned monks such as Ajahn Jayasaro, Ajahn Anan, Ajahn Dtun, Ajahn Ganha, and Ajahn Suchart, pilgrims will then travel to Bodh Gaya for several days, where they will meditate under the Bodhi Tree. The trip will allow the community to set the intention for Clear Mountain and its aspiration from the feet of the masters and the roots of the Buddha’s enlightenment, and to understand the source of the tradition it springs from.
While the trip is full, the pilgrimage plans to include the wider community as much as possible. Custom beads made from local Montana agate, brought and blessed under the hands of the masters we visit and the Bodhi Tree’s branches, will be made into unique malas and brought back home to all those who could not come. You can learn more here.
This coming month, we’ll have a visiting monk, Ajahn Sādaro, arriving to stay with us! An Australian monk of sixteen years, he’s trained with some of the most renowned meditation masters in Thailand, and is currently staying at a small vihara in Australia run by the Buddhist Society of Victoria while researching the link between ethics and meditation at the Monash Institute of Cognition and Philosophy. Yes – it’s interesting! You can learn more here.
Clear Mountain’s community has begun meditating together on the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, and reciting the traditional Pali mantra of refuge, aspiring to “gather” 10 million recitations. Join our global family of those with faith in crystallizing intention towards the creation of Clear Mountain Monastery, a refuge for all beings. You may also request a Clear Mountain mala, blessed on pilgrimage to Thailand and India, to assist with the recitations, or to simply use in your own practice. You can learn more here.
Sat. Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve All-Night Meditation Vigil (Online & In-Person)
Beginning at 7 pm on New Year’s Eve, Clear Mountain will host an all-night meditation vigil to celebrate the past year and set our aspiration together for the future.The evening, held in-person at Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, and online via Zoom and YouTube livestream, will feature meditation, monastic teachings, and traditional chanting of 108 Itipi So homages. Though the gathering will continue through the night, participants may leave at any point. You may learn more here.
Sun. Jan. 8th – Land Search Community Visioning Meeting (Zoom)
Clear Mountain has begun searching for a home, looking for a large piece of forested land to the north, south, or east of Seattle where a monastery might grow. While a Land Search committee has been formed, we feel it’s essential those in the wider community have a voice in the decision. Tri-annual “Visioning Meetings” should encourage this, letting monastics speak about the search’s progress and allowing people to ask questions and share perspectives. We hope you’ll join us in helping craft this budding refuge of Dhamma! You may read more about the monastery’s vision here and find information about the meeting here.
The Clear Mountain Upāsakā Group for Dedicated Practitioners has changed its regular study sessions to focus on suttas—direct teachings from the Buddha and his disciples. The group reads through a sutta together before discussing it at length, leading to a beautiful evening of contemplation.
On the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 6-7:30 pm, those in the group who want may participate on Zoom, the link to which may be found below and on the community Discord server. You can learn more here
A photo album of recent visits, teachers, and events!