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" mystery in a luminous word..."
charles frode
Author Writer Teacher Artist Speaker
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Modern Monasticism


Charles Frode was a Trappist monk in a Northern California monastery, and it was there that he discovered three things that would turn out to be crucial in his life.

  1. He learned to meditate
  2. He learned to work on a farm
  3. He met a veteran monk there with whom he discovered an archetypal friendship

The call to a western monastery is a call to the desert where everything loose is stripped away. The monastic life is a life of physical labor; communal prayer and worship; and individual spiritual development through prayer, study, and meditation. Western monasticism is generally open to communication and exchange with other religious and spiritual traditions, particularly with Buddhism and Hinduism. 

Frode can share his anecdotal experiences in the monastery, and the place that monasticism has in today's world of secularism, religion, and spirituality.  He can also discuss his friendship with another monk that mirrors Herman Hesse's classic story of two medieval monks, Narcissus and Goldmund. That 35 year friendship inspired Frode's memoir, I Am Goldmund: My Spiritual Odyssey with Narcissus.


Order your own copies of Frode's 6 books now

  1. A Dream of India & Other Mystic Stories of Radiance and Darkness 14 stories that emerged from mystical intersections of humanity, reality, and magic.

  2. One Times One & Other Numinous Stories of Redemption and Loss  14 sinister, disturbing, gently cynical stories.

  3. Dreaming of Fish & Other Apocalyptic Stories Of Foreboding and Grace  15 haunting stories, the last concentrated benignly pessimistic squeezings from a late harvest, a mystical gumbo of stirred dimensions.

  4.  I Am Goldmund: My Spiritual Odyssey With Narcissus  - my memoir recounting my spiritual odyssey with a modern monk wherein we discovered an identical passion and understanding of archetypical forces embodied in one friendship as Hermann Hesse revealed in his Narcissus and Goldmund.

  5.  The Garden: Perennial Reflections on Beginnings and Ends  metaphorical, spiritual, and human reflections on gardening, reality, and the mysteries and wonder of being human.

  6. The Yearning Lurks: The Collected Poems  a fascination with and seduction by the sound power of words, love poems, love for life, and its complement, mortality, poems of free verse, rhyming, metrical, and narrative.