Order of Awarezen Mitras
The Order of Awarezen Mitras 圆觉禅修善友会 (OAM) is a creative and beloved community of contemplatives with a heart for spiritual awakening and transformation, both personally and collectively. We journey together with wisdom and compassion, emptiness and grace, experiencing the mysteriousness of life and embodying an ethical and meditative way of living for a divinely full present and a mindfully enlightened tomorrow — one that celebrates unity in diversity, plurality, and inclusivity. The word "Mitra" is Sanskrit for spiritual friend, semantically cognate with the heart of loving-kindness (Sanskrit: maitri).
At the heart of our contemplative living and training is the communion and union of Triune love in the person-event of Christ Jesus. Emanating from and gravitating towards Awarezen's heart is the profound richness of the Buddha Dhamma, couched in a gospel-shaped ambience of cruciform and incarnational reality. We are a different kind of Sangha-Ekklesia that transcends the monastic-laity binary. An ordained lay fellowship in practice, we uphold an egalitarian and democratic ethos without religious hierarchies.
As an Order, we belong to a network of mutuality and love transcending human divisions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, politics, and religion. Our central activity is contemplative meditation of the highest, broadest, and purest degree. Inclusive of interspiritual and intercontemplative perspectives, our core practice is the Christ-Awakened Contemplative Process and Practice (CACPP). We also participate in a contemplative liturgical practice uniquely designed for our Order. We meet online from around the world on a regular basis, with face to face fellowship as the Spirit leads and orchestrates.
We are simultaneously a Sangha (a Pali-Sanskrit Buddhist term for spiritual community) and an Ekklesia (a Greek Christian term for called-out or consecrated assembly). We are contemplatives belonging to Jesus from different faith and secular backgrounds. We believe that wisdom and goodness can be found in all authentic spiritual and secular humanistic traditions, where the Spirit blows as He wills and pours Himself out upon all flesh regardless of our dogmas and prejudices. We honour and respect all authentic spiritual teachers and pioneers across lineages and traditions, both Western and Asian. In particular, we revere the Buddha as a teacher of awakening par excellence.
As members of our community, we seek to live out the Twelve Awareness Trainings^ of the Order of Awarezen Mitras. This ethical and meditative framework of our Order evinces a deeply felt commitment to a way of life that fosters a culture of awakening and grace in our world. By our living example and contribution, we aspire towards a radical renewal of the cosmos and society where peace, justice, goodness, mercy, and wisdom may flourish for the benefit and happiness of all.
We invite those who feel called or drawn to this contemplative way of life in open inclusive mindful community to connect with us. A period of mindful reflection and prayerful waiting may be necessary to clearly discern whether you are suitably called for this profound and beautiful dedication to a life of transformative awakening shaped by the gospel of Christ.
^ The Twelve Awareness Trainings are based closely on and bring together the Five Mindfulness Trainings of Plum Village and seven of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing, both pioneered by the late great Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh who is also one of my two primary Zen teachers from whom I have received Dharma transmission and who I celebrate, love, and respect. Anyone desiring to join our Order must be ready to commit to living the Twelve Awareness Trainings for life, and embark on sustained training in and embodiment of the Christ-Awakened Contemplative Process and Practice.