Center for Spiritual Imagination

Ways of Belonging

© Joe Pellicone

There are three ways of belonging to our community: the “exploring” way, the “participating” way, and the “vowed” way.

The exploring way is an entry point where people are introduced to our practices and way of life. Those who have engaged in the exploring way are invited to discern whether they are called to move deeper into this contemplative path by entering the participating way, a more committed way of belonging during which one commits to a daily practice of contemplation. The third way, that of a “vowed” way of belonging, is for those who aspire to make a new monastic commitment and continue their formation in order to become a teacher of “engaged contemplative spirituality”. 

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© Fred Greco

In the exploring way, you are welcome to join any of our public programs and pray and study with us through our public offerings and liturgies.

This is a great way to experiment with the prayer practices we teach in order to see what speaks to your sense of spirituality and how you experience God in your life. At this level of belonging, you are simply engaging with our community and its teachings on your own terms. You can view our public offerings on our events page.


© Fred Greco

In the participant way of belonging, you can begin to more seriously engage with our rule and rhythm of life and meet with one of our members for spiritual direction. We can help you adopt practices that suit your individual needs.

This level of belonging requires a commitment to daily prayer, mutual accountability, and a desire to grow spiritually by adopting our Rule of Life.


© Joe Pellicone

Those who feel especially attracted to a vowed new monastic life are invited to explore the possibility of joining our community.

Members go through a comprehensive process of discernment, integral spiritual formation, monastic immersion and in-depth study before being invited to take seasonal vows and commit to “ongoing conversion of life,” which eventually may result in permanent vows. Our formation emphasizes deep practice, a solid theological foundation, and an overall understanding of spiritual journey, especially the dry seasons of prayer life, the need for one-on-one mentoring, and the importance of an honest and heartful community of accountability and mutual support. We also emphasize the integration of contemplation with action and justice making, and a cultivation of aliveness, celebration, and joy as promises of spiritual life.

For more information on timeline and deadlines for entering the vowed way, please read our detailed Vowed Way of Belonging page. There you will also find a link to apply for the Candidacy Program.

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