Simon E. wrote:I think the analogy is only a very partial one Adi.
I disagree, which is why I posted the example. For the reason Karma Dorje posted, which is "...this thread is talking about a sustainable model for Western monks, not about political power in the Tibetan sangha... it seems to me particularly relevant."
Christian monks have not wielded the kind of political power that the Tibetan Sangha has, since the late middle ages.
A nice historical note but I don't think relevant to the thread, which has become something of a discussion of can we have a contemporary monastic society in the West. Our Catholic friends have demonstrated it is more than possible, which leads me to:
Simon E. wrote:Is the monastic model sustainable in Christianity ?
Yes. The Trappist example given above is one of many kinds of Catholic monastics that are not only sustainable but now largely self-sustaining through sales of things like ale, coffins and bread or through the kinds of endowments such as they have at colleges and universities.
I understand that its numbers are dwindling rapidly.
While those pursuing vocations as general parish priests are indeed dwindling in the US and Europe, there is actually a rise in interest and applications in contemplative orders.
But that the tradition of contemplative prayer that was engendered by a minority of its adherents has now become mainstream in catholic Christianity..so maybe in that sense the analogy could be viable.
I think it's more than viable and so far I don't see anyone providing any evidence it's not a viable comparison, or at least instructive as to how cloistered people following a thousand-year-old tradition thrive in the modern Western world.