Society of Contemplative Life

The Eremitas Familia Minima is a society of the contemplative life. We are also a community of disperse individuals oriented or drawn toward life as hermits who are given to a deeper living of a solitary existence.

We began with the vision of a youth who grew up in eastern Canada, and who early in life dedicated himself to the solitary path of a rather open-minded view of a Franciscan and Earth Based spirituality.

His vision began with the traditional western spiritual life vows that were quite serendipitously redefined to make sense in today’s world. These vows centred around a deep abiding Listening-as-Obedience to the spirit of our times that was founded in a responsive self able to awaken to the needs of the moment. This one vow led to an ever expanding awakening growth over many years.

Another vow included a sense of simplicity if lifestyle and values based in the spirit of poverty manifested in the detachment and ungrasping self-effacing practice and emerging nature of Jesus of Nazareth, Francis of Assisi, Siddhartha Gautama, and other great contemplatives.

The third vow was to practice a form of openheartedness and sensitivity to loving kindness based in the ethics of care and compassion, forgiveness and growth in the embrace of all of creation. Traditionally, in the west, this vow was based in a sense of ‘chastity’ defined as celibacy. However, the youth in our narrative redefined this vow as not pertaining to celibacy per se, but more so to the practice of honesty, transparency, and high ethical standards in relationships, in partnership, and in family life.

Over time, the youth become young man added two vows to this mix of spiritual values. After travels around the world, and through learning from many contemplative traditions and while facing the challenges of life in modern western society, the fourth vow became expressed in the need for stability of lifestyle that was expressed in keeping a home, hermitage or place of solitude and centring, and a place of work that is oriented toward the spiritual life in some manner.

The fifth vow that forms the Sacred Star of Contemplative Life became expressed as Atonement or Being in Oneness, in the Franciscan sense this can be expressed as penitential atonement which is a practice of humility, peace-making, and self-effacing service to others and to creation.

“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world.”

—Siddhartha Gautama

Looking actively for opportunities to lift others up along the way. Having the proper mindset, moving outside your comfort zone, developing and maintaining healthy relationships, and staying focused have been key drivers of successful social and spiritual growth for thousands of years.

The Minim is a person who values these principles, and who develops their own personal Way of Life or Viam Vitae. This process of developing your own Rule of Life or Regula Vitae is about coming to terms with your core values, and then putting these into a manifest form like a Living Document as a Touchstone you can revisit from time to time.

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