Becoming a *Monk in the World* with Roy DeLeon

Roy DeLeon is a fellow oblate with me at St. Placid Priory in Lacey, WA.  Roy is also trained as a yoga teacher and invites people into the physical poses of this practice as an embodied way of praying with the psalms and other scriptures.  Roy will be offering a weekly movement prayer as a part of the Advent 2011–Birthing the Holy: Becoming a Monk in the World online retreat (November 27-December 24, 2011).

Leave a comment below and enter for a chance to win a free signed copy of Roy's wonderful book Praying with the Body: Bringing the Psalms to Life.

A monk in the world

The young monkfish asked elder monkfish: “what is water?” Elder: “It’s all around you and within you. You are swimming in it. It’s what keeps you alive. There’s no you without it.”

At another space and time, a similar conversation between this monk wannabe and a priest: “I’m disappointed I can’t be a monk anymore.” Priest: “The world is your monastery. Wherever you are is your cell.”

At my Benedictine oblation in 2002, I was asked, “What do you seek?” My answer was, and still is, “God.” But how does one seek that which is around you, within you, that which is your ground for being? Thus this world monk's journey began.

With all the worldly duties and temptations, it’s a continuous struggle to stay and live in the Presence of Love. My practice includes embodying Benedict’s Rule, delivering my oblation commitment of obedience, stability, and continuous conversion, regular holistic prayer (deep awareness in body, heart, and spirit, of Love’s Presence), carrying his cross (that of compassionately recognizing the human condition) and following Christ (that of being Love to all). I desperately long to experience the world as the monastery, to find God wherever he is. This is what this monk in the world’s journey looks like. And always I begin again and again. When this worldly pilgrimage reaches its fullness, hopefully my life would have been a living prayer to justify my final exhale with the word “Amen.”

—Roy DeLeon

Roy has a gift for storytelling and guiding others in embodied ways of praying that are spacious, expansive, and help to cultivate a deep compassion for oneself and the world.

Find out more about Roy's work at his website.  Join us for the online Advent retreat and bring your body's prayer to your own Advent journey of becoming a monk in the world!


  1. Travis says

    I've always been fascinated by monasticism and sometimes wishes that I could be a monk. Thank you for this post; I suppose I don't have to join a monastery in order to do so.

  2. says

    Thanks all for the heart-filling comments. 'See' you all in about a month. I know you are all with us in Spirit, but let me share another story:

    Mom was saying goodnight to her little girl: Goodnight, hon. I'll turn off the lights now.' 'No, mom, I'm scared.' 'Don't be. God is here with you.' 'But mom, I want a God with skin.'

    Join us in this holistic advent journey.

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