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 June/July 2005 Hermitage Update

An Invitation for Subscriptions

To Support Meetingbrook Harbour Retreat
Dedicated to Interreligious & Interdependent Dialogue—
Unveiling and Practicing Peace Between Ways.

Dear Community and Ever-present Friends of Meetingbrook

We begin our 10th year. We love being here. Our goal is to stay at the harbour.  We are asking the larger Meetingbrook community for additional support in order to keep Meetingbrook’s Harbour Retreat on Bayview Street open.  We’re beginning a Laura Subscription to Meetingbrook.  

A “Laura” is a footpath or trails that individuals, (historically, hermits or solitaries), walk to connect with others. Meetingbrook’s Laura embraces any individual interested in the convergence of their inner and outer life. We see the Harbour Retreat as a central connecting place, a Laura Common, for individuals to come to for refreshment and sustenance on their particular spiritual, meditative, active, contemplative, or intellectual life of prayer and learning.  Our koan with us since 1996 is: Embodying the dwelling place of the Alone; Stepping aside to make room for Another!

Ostensibly a bookshop and bakery, the real purpose of Meetingbrook Harbour Retreat is to be a center for conversation, contemplation, and community in the heart of Camden. It is a place where anyone can drop in for conversations that range from the serious to the silly, from spiritual inquiry to practical exchange of skills and knowledge.  Primarily, it is hospitality.                                                           

Our time, and the time of the people who staff and support the harbour shop, is all given voluntarily. We are only secondarily a place that offers books, music, baked goods, and assorted items for sale.  Hence our request for support.  For the first nine years of the shop we supported the harbour location (happily) with our other employment -- workers comp audits and teaching. We now need to share the costs of rent, oil, wood, and utilities with those interested in preserving the space at the harbour. The donations will be used to cover the $18,500 yearly cost to run the harbour site. 

Both visitors and locals genuinely enjoy the shop and its location.  These friends from near and far grace our doors.  As the public face of Meetingbrook Hermitage,  we emphasize community, learning, and sharing.  Living a contemplative and meditative life in the open is our practice and invitation.  Here is an opportunity to cultivate such a space.

He who truly attains awakening knows that deliverance is to be found right where he is. There is no need to retire to the mountain cave. If he is a fisherman he becomes a real fisherman. If he is a butcher he becomes a real butcher. The farmer becomes a real farmer and the merchant a real merchant. He lives his daily life in awakened awareness. His every act from morning to night is his religion.  (Sokei-an)


Subscriptions: When you make a donation to Meetingbrook, this is what we have to offer you:

  1. A place on the harbour to gather daily for conversation, coffee, tea, and the practice of community – all on the house. All events at Meetingbrook are free, open, and informal.
  2. Use of the Harbour Room.  Free borrowing of any used/or Laura Library books, tapes.
  3. Sails with Saskia in summer.  Use of rowboat at shop.
  4. Use of patio anytime, of gas barbeque grill, of food offered in hospitality.
  5. A forum for structured conversations and a place for personal expression of growth.
  6. A loosely-knit association and membership in a community that is open, interested, and engaged in active practice of hospitality and compassion with one another.
  7. A place of intellectual and spiritual practice of deep listening and loving speech.
  8. A chance to be yourself. To be heard. And to listen.
  9. The opportunity to be part of a Laura Common -- an unusual expression of an evolving consciousness rooted in everyday individual solitude  and shared community life.
  10. Computor and wireless internet access for all to use at the harbour location.
  11. Note – Any and all donations are welcome. We’ll show our appreciation by giving
  • A 10% yearlong discount on books and music for donations of $50.00 or more.
  • For donations of $500.00 or more -- a 20% yearlong discount, as well as two overnights in the Harbour Room based on availability.

We will ask for donations each year. If there is an interest and a willingness to give to the continuation of Meetingbrook at the harbour, we will gratefully continue to cultivate the practice of presence. If we do not near the amount needed to pay the expenses of the place, we will quietly return the donations made and resume the life of Meetingbrook at Ragged Mountain. Let’s see how it goes.

Thank you for the opportunity to deepen the practice of community with you.  We would like to receive any donation, or pledge of one, by the first week of September, 2005.

Sincerely, in the Way and the Dharma,

, Sando , Cesco , Mu-ge ,
and all who grace Meetingbrook,
Summer Solstice, 21June2005

Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage is a Schola Gratiae et Contemplationis, i.e., a School of Gratefulness and Contemplation. Bookshop and Bakery opened 29 June1996. Hermitage was formed as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in 1998 for the purpose of serving as a place of collation and recollection for the side-by-side practice and study of Buddhist Zen Meditation, Christian Contemplative Prayer, and the Engaged Service flowing from each. Central to Meetingbrook is its Laura Common – dedicated to a forum for individuals sharing practice with others, and its Schola -- dedicated to Interreligious & Interdependent Dialogue —Unveiling and Practicing Peace Between Ways. Donations are always gratefully accepted for the continuance and deepening of Meetingbrook.               Visit www.meetingbrook.org     207-236-6808                                                                                    Please send your donations to Meetingbrook, 50 Bayview St., Camden, Maine 04843

Email (mono@meetingbrook.org) or mail to
Meetingbrook, 50 Bayview St. Camden, Maine 04843.



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Meetingbrook Hermitage
64 Barnstown Rd.,
Camden, Maine USA 04843
Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery
50 Bayview St. (Cape on the harbor)
Camden, Maine USA 04843
e-mail: mono@meetingbrook.org

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