Thursday, November 17, 2011

The OSW, a new interfaith religious order for the OWS era

Benedictine monks singing Vespers on Holy Satu...
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The Order of the Serene Wisdom (OSW) was conceived during a weekly chaplains' meeting of the #OccupyPortland Interfaith Guild of Chaplains (IGC) in late October, 2011.

In the noises, actions and motions of the bustling Occupation encampment community, we felt a need for a collective, structured spiritual practice in an authentic community.  There were some positive responses to this idea.  Also, we believe that the #Occupy movement is a beginning of the new spiritual awakening as well as of the political, social and economic transformation.  What better time is there to start a new monastic order that reflects the spirit of the #OWS worldwide?

In the ancient and medieval times, monasteries saved the civilizations and provided community, places of learning, and economic opportunities amidst social unrest and collapses of empires.  The OSW -- a thinly-disguised anagram of #OWS -- is a truly interfaith and ecumenical religious order that draws wisdom from both traditional scriptures and mythos from all cultures, as well as from the "Inner Light" that speaks to us in our silence.  The structure of the OSW is mostly based on the Order of St. Benedict, with necessary modifications appropriate for an interfaith context, and a leadership structure modelled after the #Occupy movement's General Assembly.

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