I am not at all a religious person but I love to visit houses of worship both in RL and in SL. There is something comforting and peaceful about churches and temples that speaks to me. Religious buildings touch our senses -- visual beauty, soft compelling music, smells of old wood and incense, cool smooth surfaces of carved stone -- combine to give us a feeling of security and predictability.
The Monastery of St. Michael, St. Francis Church in Second Life is one of the most beautiful houses of worship I have seen in the virtual world. When I visited I was surprised to see a steady stream of visitors exploring the pretty grounds or quietly enjoying the virtual cathedral. The music playing over the stream was just lovely and I swear I could smell the familiar scents of mass.
The monastic community located here at Taliesin Shores is an extension of the origional community that was once located on Milarepa, a mainland sim.I. Why are there no doors in the doorways?!Simple. :) One of the basic tenants of medieval monasticism was to offer hospitality and sanctuary to anyone who needed it. In that spirit, there are no doors to close on this sim. Every place is open to anyone to explore, including the monastic cells in the enclosure.II. About the groundsThere are various locations suitable on the grounds for prayer and reflection. These include:-the tree cathedral, located to the east of the church: take the left hand path at the entrance port.-the church-the resting points that appear as small, open eneded huts-the monastic enclosure and cloister-the garden space west of the enclosure, including the greenhouse. I'm hoping to be able to sell some plantpets to supliment the income of the community.The grounds are under development, and I'm hoping to have a labarynth installed in the south west corner at some stage.The sim is open to the public, provided that individuals are respectful of the community and the silence here. From time to time, individuals and groups may book the facility for weddings, etc. Contact Rimpoche Kiama for details.Also, individuals may be engaged in prayer or reflection. Please approach people here respectfully and allow them to address you before speaking. If they seem quiet, respect the peace and move on.III. The Rule of the Monastics of St. MichaelThe rule is simple. Observe prayer and reflection on the grounds, promote and help others to develop the skills of prayer and contemplation. Residents have a maximum of 250 prims and should clear their stay with Rimpoche Kiama first. Additional cells can be added should the need arise.Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.Peace,Rimpoche Kiama,Foster, Monastery of St. Michael, St. Francis Church