Modern Essene Priesthood Program

This Modern Essene Priesthood program emerged through Rabbi Gabriel Cousens MD, Master Essene Teacher in 1992 as the Essene Order of  Light of the School of Melchizadek. The Modern Living Essene Way is a general path that resonates with the historical life and core truths of the ancient Essenes. It connects to the particular spiritual life and core truths of the prophetic, kabbalistic mystics of the desert, known as the Essenes. It is a complete path and lineage of liberation that goes back 5,000 to 6,000 years, most likely to the time of Adam, and more specifically was activated by Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam. The subtle essence of the Essene teachings can be found in the Seven Beatitudes of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

The Modern Essene Way is not a religion. One can live as a Modern Essene no matter what one’s religious preference. The Modern Essene Way is a way of liberation that goes beyond the egocentric or ethnocentric way to a world and cosmic-centric view. If enough people choose to live this way we can create an ever-widening circle of light and love among the cultures and religions of this world that will bring world peace.

Calling oneself a Modern Essene requires spiritual warrior activism and alignment with the core-essence lineage of the Essene Way as it has been lived from the beginning of time; while yet making it appropriate to our twenty-first century lives. The Modern Essene Way revelation is about inspiration and not judgement. It is about inspiring ourselves and others to live in the highest degree of peace and harmony with ourselves and other relations on this planet. Animals, plant life, and planet ecology, are also part of living in Conscious Alignment with the Will of God.

The Modern Essene Way is service to the Divine and the mission is Creating Peace by Being Peace.

As a Modern Essene Priest or Priestess, one must fully embrace the Modern Essene lifestyle.

Priesthood Vows Include:

  1. Attitude of receiving in order to share (service to the Divine) through Physical, Planetary and Cosmic Healing
  2. Living as a Spiritual Warrior through the Six Foundations and Sevenfold Peace.
  3. Eating a Plant-Source Only, 90% Live Food Diet.
  4. Participate in weekly Shabbat as an Integral Part of Modern Essene Life Purification (Mikvah).

Distance Learning Requirements:

The distance learning portion of this program includes intensive study and comprehensive reading and writing. Priesthood students are also required to do extensive study on the Living Torah (the Five Books of Moses also known as the first five books of the Old Testament), which includes reading and studying the weekly Parshahs. Through this extensive process, students begin to build a foundational understanding of the depth and inner essence of the Modern Essene Living Way from a liberation perspective.

Please note that ideologies presented in the readings are not the foundation of this training program or of the Essene Order of Light. Students are required to read these books so that they can gain an understanding of the different interpretations present in the Modern Essene movement. The understandings of the esoteric principles of the Modern Living Essene Way taught by Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, M.D. are the foundation for the Modern Essene Priesthood Program and are experienced in the required workshops held on-site at the Tree of Life Center US in Patagonia, Arizona, USA.

Awaken to modern day applications of the ancient Essene teachings through Creating Peace by Being Peace. During our on-campus workshops, Priesthood students experience the living and historical teachings of the Essenes, including:

  • Essene Kabbalistic Shabbat Ceremony
  • S’mecha M’Shefa (the descent of Grace) —also known as shaktipat initiation
  • Mikvah Purification
  • Ophanim (the energetic postures of Hebrew letters)
  • Essene History
  • The Role of the Modern Essenes
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Psychic Self-Defense
  • Torah as a Guide to Enlightenment
  • Essene Liberation Teachings
  • Essene Healing

Required Workshops for the Modern Essene Priesthood Program

  • 21-day Transformation Program
  • Modern Essene Gathering

Live a Life of Service to the Divine

Apply Today

Program Details

Tuition and Fees


  • includes $50 application fee
  • includes online access and distance learning
  • includes room and board for on-site residency training
  • includes personal counselor support first two years in program
  • includes ordination night room and board (one night stay at Tree Of Life)

Additional Fees:

  • Books (estimated $300)
  • Travel expenses to and from on-site residency training

Program Dates

You can begin the online studies in this two-year program at any time.

      Onsite programs:
  • 21-Day Transformation Program  2016: Jan 30 – Feb 20, May 7 – May 28, July 9 – July 30, September 3 – September 14.
  • Modern Essene Gathering. June 10 Jun 14, 2016. Must be attended twice before ordination