After tiring of the rat race Joseph Sullivan entered the monastery at the age of 30 in the hopes of finding greater purpose and meaning. Joseph took the name of Brother Peter as a way to mark a new beginning.
Two years after entering the monastery his beloved sister Nina passed away after a 9 year painful battle with Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy.They had a very close friendship. The unbearable loss inspired him to begin drawing out the memories he had of his sister. This is when he uncovered a hidden artistic talent previously unknown. He says, The death of my sister Nina became the master alchemist moment, which transmuted deep anguish into creative energy. I felt the loss of her so deeply I felt I was losing my sanity. I reached a point of utter despair and an inner shift took place within me.
Since 2014, Brother Peter has felt an intense longing to go out into the remote wilderness to work, meditate, pray, write, and create art about our connectedness with all things. He has been studying remote camping and is presently on a 3 year sabbatical from the monastery. This sabbatical began in February of 2018. Brother Peter says he is realizing it is about being grateful for all of it. It is about developing the present moment awareness that all things are a gift. He says, When I find the deep silent stillness of being present in this moment, I realize my oneness with the divine. In that presence of gratitude, I let go of my judging mind and there are no divisions or hierarchical systems. In that non-judging presence, there are no more belief systems. There is simply the eternal infinite loving presence of being one with all of it.
– Brother Peter Sullivan, OSB