For 18 of the 23 years that I was in my monastery I was the Guestmaster; the monk tasked with attending to all visitors to the monastery. Some visitors came on a personal and spiritual pilgrimage. Some came because of the German Shepherd dogs that the monks bred and raised. Some came to buy the food products produced by the monks and sold in the Farms store. But the point is that they all came, and I had to deal with them!
Being Guestmaster was absolutely crucial in my coming to see how self-centered I really am! I would be in the midst of artwork up in my studio and a brother would inform me that guests arrived, which meant I had to leave the artwork and go and attend to them and their needs. And in the beginning years I did not like it!
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