What the monastery provides in the world is a reminder that everything is okay, that we can live with whatever is happening, that we can ride the wave.
For those who live outside the monastic sphere, our effort is to provide an alternative to the drivenness of the world. Even though you might be driving the car to work, holding down a job, looking after your aging parents, feeding your kids, or being with a loved one who is dying, it doesn’t have to be frantic. It doesn’t have to be obsessive. It doesn’t have to be burdensome.
There is a manor in which we can relate to even the most impactful and potent, emotionally charged issues of life whereby they are held, they are understood, they are fully experienced and they are not confusing.
So real life then has to do with a mind full of life, an acceptance and appreciation of life, and the monastery is endeavouring to give us a sense of this real life.
This reflection by Luang Por Pasanno is from the book, The Dhamma and the Real World, (pdf) pp. 14.