Whatever one’s beliefs or dogma, there comes a point when belief must be expressed in a clear format as a bridge to understanding dharma, or holy work. All of the many things that we spend our days doing threaten to overwhelm us in their complexity without a broader perspective that puts the daily finite into context of the eternal infinite.
People see the Hermitage with its collections, robes and illuminations and assume there is some traditional Christian underlying belief but rarely ask why we are doing all this. One’s beliefs can seem like a mule in a field, stubborn, unchanging, and ready to clash with anyone who would try and move him and so incapable of compromise that they are rarely addressed.
As hermits, belief is the defining factor in our lives, from which all things flow. It is a simple statement, distilled from the crystallization of an entire universe into a few words capable of withstanding the vagaries of life. These words produce harmony and satisfaction within us as we act upon the foundations we have established to guide the mystical, unconscious spirit as it manifests through our daily actions. Understanding our actions as a reflection of our beliefs guides our conscious search to know ourselves and to be true to ourselves.
Our beliefs come from the understanding and expression of our actions. They have come from years of clarifying our unconscious urge to live lives in the spirit. Through that evolution comes the guideposts of our words which reach out to like-minded seekers of unity and harmony.
Our mission at the Hermitage is to be conscious of the need to unite the earth and spirit and to heal the split between them which divides us into apparently separate and distinct things when actually we are all part of the same thing. The earth knows itself through us just as we know ourselves through it; we are bound together and create the unity which binds us. We do this not because we are told to do it by a god or a teacher but by listening to the inner guidance of the spirit within us. At the heart of this knowledge is an inner stillness which allows the true self to emerge. This is the soul, the heart of existence from which creativity and understanding emerge. When we are still and aware of the moment, the urge to create can flow into our actions and we become a tool of the infinite life force itself. Going beyond the confines of our separate, finite existence means opening up to the indefinable core of the unknown within us and letting it flow through us.
Such awareness provides perspective and balance when faced with the often unsettling effects of the outer world which can entangle us in a web of helplessness and destructive emotions. The goal is to let us stand back without being lost amid immediate concerns and losing sight of what is truly important. This is how we can balance inner peace with societal expectations.
Here at the Hermitage, we believe our connection to the earth and the plants and animals around us results in healing, wholeness and harmony. Through ritual and creativity we become aware of the formless, infinite self within us. At best we sense only a fraction of its magnitude while knowing we are part of the whole.