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Tao Fawu Monastery

Kulshan College is based upon the monastic tradition rather than academia. It is not affiliated with any religion. We are cultivating community based upon our shared commitment to service as a spiritual practice, and traditional practices of qigong, shengong, healthy diet, exercise, and prayer. We are open to all--no restrictions on belief system, age, gender, cultural background, etc. We ask only that members commit to a path of service, to bettering themselves, and follow our rules and protocol. Tao Fawu logo

We seek to find relevance for the monastic tradition in our current lives. We wish to improve our own lives as well as those of others. What is the role of physical labor outdoors in our world of electronic screens and office chairs? What is the significance of growing a garden, learning sustainable methods of managing weeds, supporting local farmers, raising goats and chickens, fermenting our own vegetables, eating meals in community? What dress code makes sense in an American monastery? How do we respectfully treat all races, genders, ethnicities, orientations, religious beliefs and lack thereof as equal in community? What do we choose to study, to learn about ourselves? How do we become more self-sustaining? What role does the monastic culture play in our lives? How much and in what ways do we participate in the world, outside the monastery? These are some questions we ask ourselves as part of this process.

Working together as a community greatly increases the success of our endeavors, as it is difficult or impossible to maintain a spiritual practice in a vaccuum. We benefit when we are of genuine service to others. We focus on virtues of humility, patience, persistence, compassion, justice and honesty, to name a few. We seek to be healthy in the midst of sickness, to be generous in a world of selfishness, and to learn what healing is and how to go about it without damaging other living things or the environment: first do no harm. The monastery framework gives us a way to learn and practice in community. Our monastic farm in Nooksack, Washington State, provides a rural environment and opportunity to practice sustainable life practices and offers a refuge from the world of smartphone zombies and traffic jams. Physical work in the outdoors and with farm animals has a healing effect upon those of us burned out by urban paced, computer based living.

monastic goat photo Photo of monastic goat

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