Portland Man takes 'Social Distancing' to a Very Different Level
“So many people are living in fear today, and that's why we need positive examples to amplify the
good that is emerging during this difficult time. Nothing is going back to how it was before, but if
we take advantage of the shifts we're experiencing today we can initiate a new way of being that
is more centered and more honoring of others.” This is what New York Times bestselling author
and musician James Twyman shares regarding his decision to become the world’s only
modern-day anchorite, a medieval tradition that has not been followed for hundreds of years.
Becoming an anchorite was a religious tradition during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and,
similar to being a hermit, anchorites (female: anchoress) have been extinct since the nineteenth
Taking social distancing, pandemic-related isolation and quarantine to an extraordinary level,
Twyman is reinventing the ancient tradition. He leaves his worldly creature-comforts behind for an
entire year, beginning Friday, August 14, as he closes himself into a tiny, stone enclosure in Ajijic,
Mexico in hopes to bring more light and healing to the world. Just prior to entering the small
enclosure, which consists of two tiny rooms (200 square feet in total) and a small window to greet
anyone seeking spiritual direction, James will hold a celebration and blessing of his anchorite
experience attended by people from the local community.
Twyman will still conduct business via zoom for about an hour a day, though his community will
bring him food, clean clothes and help with any necessities. “I hope to inspire others to find ways
they can go deeper into their own spiritual experience, and embrace a simplified life
unencumbered by the addictions of the common world. I hope the strangeness of my decision
provokes others to look for ways to live more contemplative/prayerful lives, especially while many
of us are being forced to isolate at home.”
Twyman realizes that most people have a hard time understanding the value of such a dramatic
lifestyle. “The life of a contemplative is centered on praying for all of humanity. In that sense, each
day I'll be spending many hours focused on extending those prayers. A few things others can gain
from my year-long anchorite experience, are:
● In my case I'll pray the monastic office four times a day - morning, midday, evening and night
prayer - with set times for meditation, exercise, meeting with others, etc. I recommend that
people set aside a particular time every day to pray or do yoga - whatever helps them connect
with their spirit.
● The key is to be consistent. Most people have a hard time keeping practice unless they set
aside the same time every day.
● Make it a priority. If we prioritize our meditation time we’ll be more likely to follow through.
● Include highest intentions or prayers for yourself, your loved ones, the world.
● Include small practices like lighting a candle, incense, playing meditative music.
● Remember that you are renewing your spirit, even as you send any prayers or good thoughts”
“In most religions we find what's sometimes called the "Holy Fool" - a man or woman who goes
against the current of the world/society and chooses a radical path that most people believe to be
crazy. I am choosing a similar path, yet I know very few are going to choose the life of such
radical contemplative, but we can all use more silence in our lives. If my decision inspires that in
other people, I’ll feel like my year of solitude was a success.”
Twyman will continue to teach and guide during live ZOOM sessions six days a week at 10:30 AM
EST for his Namaste Community worldwide. There will also be special events and concerts
streamed live. Visit https://www.JamesFTwyman.com and join the email list to get the links. You may
mail any letters or communication to James Twyman, c/o Angel Flores #5, Ajijic, Jalisco Mexico
James Twyman is the NY Times bestselling author of 16 books including The Moses Code and Emissary of
Light. He has also recorded more than 18 music albums including the Billboard chart bestseller, I AM Wishes
Fulfilled along with Dr. Wayne Dyer; as well as produced or directed seven feature films. With a home base still
in Portland, OR, James resides in Namaste Lake Chapala in Ajijic, Mexico. Here, he teaches daily and and has begun a tiny house portion of his beautiful, sprawling grounds where people visit, live and even enjoy retirement.
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