In October 2018, David Morris, the University of Westminster's Assistant Interfaith Adviser, began a nine-month residency at Gampo Abbey, a Buddhist monastery on the remote Cape Breton peninsula in Nova Scotia, Canada.
He was ordained as a monk and practiced a daily schedule of meditation and service to the community; living by the vows of a novice monastic and learning from the Buddhist nun, teacher and community founder Pema Chödrön.
Having completed this residency and returned to his role as Assistant Interfaith Adviser at the University of Westminster, he has been asked many times how it feels to be "back in the world". In this talk and discussion, he will share his experience of retreat / return, and other seemingly opposing notions like discipline / freedom and mundane / sacred, exploring how these categories now feel less distinct than he had previously thought them to be.
He will also be sharing wildlife photos, answering questions (with an open invitation to the daring and critical) and dropping numerous quotes from Leonard Cohen, who spent seven years living in a Zen Buddhist monastery, along the way. For now, "back in the world", he can agree with Leonard's reflection on monastic life, that “it is a great luxury not to have to think about what you are doing next”.
The event will take place at the University’s Regent campus in room UG04. All welcome to attend, book your place via Eventbrite.