Our main monastery site has moved to Medium


Welcome to the monastery. We are based in California, and have members throughout the United States, as well as international followers. Our Order is small, and founded on the notion that you can be a monk or nun in everyday life, devoted to those things you hold sacred. The monastery is open to everyone, and is a unique representation of the emerging monastic model called The New Monasticism.
The Monastery
The monastery was founded in 2012, as the Monastery of Nothingness. In late 2017 we changed our name to The Little Creek Monastery. While the monastery’s name has changed, the names of our Orders remain intact. We currently have two Orders: The Monastic Congregation and The Order of Nothingness.

The Little Creek name
We like to think of ourselves as everyday life vagabonds, wanderers, seekers and philosophers. The kind of people who just might find themselves a quiet creek somewhere, plop down and soak some bare feet. In addition, our lineage descends from Great River Jiu Jitsu, so we perceive our monastery as a quiet tributary off the main river, an entirely suitable retreat for everyday monks and nuns.

  • Diato-ryu, founded 780–1200, reformed c. 1888
  • Hakka-ryu, founded 1941
  • American Kobe, founded 1975
  • Chokken Shin-ryu, (unknown)
  • Great River, founded 1991
  • Little Creek Monastery, founded 2012
The main emphasis of the monastery is our writing. To keep up with our writings, please follow us at Jiu Jitsu in Everyday Life and Leisure, where most of our essays are published.
  • Our writings focus on practical philosophical and experiential essays, including supporting insights from the martial arts, consciousness research and similar studies.
  • Our meditative practices focus on deepening our individual and collective consciousness and awareness.
  • Our daily practices focus on developing mindful, intentional balance in our daily life, in the life around us, in our situations and encounters, and in the environments in which we find ourselves.
Publications and Sites

The Little Creek Monastery - our main site.
Since our main mission is carried out through our writings, we have an extensive sub-collection of sites on Medium.
  1. The Little Creek Monastery — our home site on Medium.
  2. Jiu Jitsu in Everyday Life and Leisure — the main place we publish.
  3. The Dude-Jitsu School of Self Defense — Dudeism is the world’s slowest growing religion. Dude-Jitsu is about slowing things down to the speed of relax.
  4. River Mushin — poems, koans and fables written or collected by our sandal-wearing monks.
  5. The Library of Little Creek — many of our writing collections end up here.
  6. The Archives of Little Creek — somewhere a little deeper in the catacombs for our scribes to file things.
  7. The Center for Eternal Awareness — introduction to the teachings of Great River Institute. For more advanced or deeper studies

The monastery’s main focus
Over the centuries, monasteries have often served as scribes, people who would copy and preserve important documents and sacred texts, as well as serve as guardians of esoteric truths. In addition, many monasteries have traditionally served as a quiet, isolated place for prayer, meditation and deeper studies in consciousness.
Monasteries view themselves as serving humanity
Our monastery is both about preserving and about creating work that contributes, in our own modest ways, to discussions in consciousness, awareness, and the path of the student or initiate.

Our focus is also related to the manner in which we use the term ‘monastery.’ We are fond of saying that “the monastery is in each of us.” In that sense, we hope that the monastery is able to contribute, in some small way, to the opening of individual and collective monasteries all over the world.

NOTE: The Little Creek Monastery is quite possibly Jiu Jitsu’s first monastery ever devoted to the art and, more specifically, to its everyday life cross-applications. If it is not the first, it’s likely the only one currently in existence. We also believe it is the first monastery serving the religion of Dudeism.

From time to time we have hosted master teachings. Scott Walter, Sensei, is the founder of Great River Institute, located in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwest Virginia. He is a Shihan in the martial arts of Jiu Jitsu. His representative work is used here with permission. The monastery founded The Center for Eternal Awareness in 2009, to share a sampling of his teachings.

The monastery figuratively models itself on the Komusō monk.

These zen monks were poor, itinerant beggars. They wore basket-like hats over their heads, implying the losing of the ego and the obscureness of that which is hidden.

They were also known for playing solo pieces on the shakuhachi (a type of Japanese bamboo flute). These pieces, called honkyoku (“original pieces”), were played during a meditative practice called suizen, for alms, as a method of attaining enlightenment, and as a healing modality. — Wikipedia

Life as a contemporary Komusō
We see ourselves as the invisible, behind-the-scenes monks and nuns of everyday life, characteristically with little to no recognition. We fit in, so to speak. And, similar to the traditional poor beggar monks, it should not be surprising if we find ourselves living the kinds of lives which tend to be obscure and ignored. This is the nature of the Komusō way of life.

Komusō monks and nuns strive to improve the world in quiet but effective ways that lie within their modest abilities.

The root derivations of the word Komusō is highly appropriate to one of our Orders:

虚無僧 (komusō) means “priest of nothingness” or “monk of emptiness”
虚無 (kyomu or komu) means “nothingness, emptiness”
虚 (kyo or ko) means “nothing, empty, false”
無 (mu) means “nothing, without”
僧 (sō) means “priest, monk”

Relaxing and taking it a bit slower
Nothingness is not about being lazy, although it’s always important to save yourself some time to relax and hang out. It’s more like this: whenever you are doing something in your life, anything really, make sure you have some Nothingness sprinkled in — you know, to kind of offset all the I’m-really-Somethingness going on in the world.