The Spirit of our Templeby John Stasio
From the very beginning of our experiment at Easton Mountain, we described our selves as a spiritual community of men who love men. We started meetings with silence or prayer, marked special days with ritual and gathered in a circle of thanks before each evening meal. In the spring of 2003 it became clear to Harry and I that a community such as ours needed a designated building in which to tend to the spirit of our community. With great hope in our carpentry skills, greater hope in Gods providence and a good bit of naivete we launched a retreat called “Building Your Inner Temple”. Harry made a generous financial investment, we picked up our hammers and, we actually thought that in a ten day retreat we could have time for daily meditation, other spiritual practice and carpentry and would in the end make significant progress on the building of the temple. Wow did we have a lot to learn!
Our temple took a year to build. It was constructed with mostly volunteer labor and stands as a beautiful, humble structure embodying the spirit of the Easton Mountain community. During its construction friendships were forged, team work experienced and lots of love poured into that holy barn like structure on the edge of the pond.
Many of the folks who come to EM do so seeking healing. Many have been hurt by religion, a hurt that ranges from benign neglect to the trauma of spiritual abuse that is still visited upon so many LGBT people by religious zealots around the world. We are committed to helping them to reclaim their spiritual dignity, and out temple exists for that purpose.
We are a community of pilgrims. Some more serious than others. Some are committed to a particular path. Some searching. We are Christians, Pagans, Quakers and Jews. We are Buddhists, Yogis 12-steppers and Spiritualists. Some follow the native ways, some find God in their body, others in nature and some in the temple. We are theists, atheists, and wondering. We share silence, spontaneous prayers, food, community, music, dance and a good bit of out right silliness. We live in an interspiritual age when many of us draw from different traditions and sources of wisdom. We are committed to supporting one another in the search for meaning, truth, love and joy. We are trying to help one another wake up! And we trust, while knowing we can’t do it alone, that each has access to inner wisdom and can choose how to best express their spiritual life. Our community stands firmly on that.