Reflections

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Celtic Wisdom for Troubled Times ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Love Note:  Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, We are thrilled to be offering a virtual Celtic pilgrimage starting January 31st which is the feast of St. Brigid. Journey with us over nine days as we deepen into Celtic wisdom and hear the stories of Brigid, Ciaran, and Gobnait. Each day’s live session (via Zoom) also includes film footage from Brigit’s Garden and two of the Aran Islands as well as our wonderful guides Dara Molloy, Jenny Beale, Deirdre Ni Chinneide, and Pius Murray. (All sessions will be recorded if you can’t join us live). Simon de Voil will be joining me to hold

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Wil Hernandez

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Wil Hernandez’s reflection “Stability and Presence.” About two years ago, as the Covid-19 pandemic was beginning to spread, I found myself stranded in an unlikely place: a Benedictine Abbey in the southern part of the Philippines. As it turned out it was to become my home for the next two and a half months. Originally, as part of the monastery’s Lenten Recollection during the Holy Week, I was to give a three-part series on the topic of

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Abbess love notes

Cultivating a Wild Heart of Connection ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I first met Lindsay Sudeikis at a Spiritual Directors International conference in Seattle in 2019. She was co-leading a workshop on ancestral lineage healing. It was a beautiful program and at the end I went up to introduce myself and thank her for the experience.  We discovered we had much in common. She was immersed in Catholic mystical practices and traditions (and had been a nun in a contemplative order for a period of her life). Her ancestors were from Lithuania (Baltic like my Latvian ones) and from Ireland where she travels regularly to spend

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Monk in the World Guest Post Series

Monk in World Guest Post: Kirsten Keppel

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Kirsten Keppel’s reflection on living the Liturgy of the Hours. I find that living the Liturgy of the Hours through short yet consistent practices of paring and pruning, offering hospitality, and praying briefly can transform a day from an endurance ride to a chance to live and create in God’s garden. One day can hold such power to touch a life.  I learned to do this through a friend’s parting gift to me in spring 2015.  It

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Abbess love notes

Give Me a Word – Drawing Winners: A Love Note From Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Thanks to everyone who shared their word with our community! The practice of listening for a word to guide you into the next season of your life is an ancient one.  This is an excerpt from my book Desert Fathers and Mothers: A brother questioned Abba Hierax saying, “Give me a word.  How can I be saved?” The old man said to him, “Sit in your cell, and if you are hungry, eat, if you are thirsty, drink; only do not speak evil of anyone, and you will be saved. (Hierax 1) A key phrase, repeated often in the Sayings of

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Abbess love notes

Health Update from Christine

Dear monks, artists, and pilgrims, I continue to feel deeply grateful for your loving prayers and circle of care. I truly feel held and lifted during this time of illness with COVID-19. Thankfully I am starting to turn a corner on symptoms. My congestion and coughing are quite a bit better now although I am still very fatigued and sleeping a lot during the day. If you enrolled in one of our upcoming programs you will have seen that we are cancelling some things and postponing others, all to give myself the most spaciousness for recovery possible. It has been

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Pat Butler

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Pat Butler’s reflection “Microbursts.” Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice.—Philippians 4:4  Until I sat with my sister on a couch for five minutes, I thought of celebration as a rowdy birthday party, an extravagant wedding, or a solemn liturgy. Weddings, holidays, a newborn, or a new job—all are causes for celebration, but occasional. As a monk in the world, I needed to rejoice more frequently—always, Scripture says. How could I inject celebration into my daily

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Monk in the World: Moving with Mystery ~ Dancing Retreat with Betsey Beckman

February 5, 2022 9am-12pm Pacific with Betsey Beckman, hosted by St. Placid Priory $45, Partial scholarships available. Please contact the Priory for more information. What would it be like to be a Dancing Monk?  How might a practice of Moving with Mystery help us navigate these trying times?  Come spend a morning dancing your way through the Monk Manifesto*, a set of 8 principles for contemplative, creative, and compassionate living.  At Abbey of the Arts, we have created dances for each of the 8 Monk practices, and you will have a chance to learn and embody some of our favorite dances

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Abbess love notes

Slowing Down to See: Epiphany Blessings

Illuminated I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened —Ephesians 1:18 The window fills with sky one half pewter, laden with drops that splash the cold concrete the other half brilliant blue sunlight pours sidewalk glimmers in that midday dazzle you feel like it could be the first day of creation or the last and you know this moment will not persist you know you will forget later in the drudgery of evening, but for now you remember how rain and sun conspire to show you everything you need to carry on to the end of day. -Christine

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Laurie Klein

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Laurie Klein’s reflection titled “Alphabet of Presence.” I keep sensing, maybe as an amateur mystic, that the whole world is every moment saying the name of God. —Li Young Lee After my father died, ragged bereavement steamrolled my days. Journaling, therapy, and medication helped. I also took up calligraphy. A focused return to the ABCs might reawaken curiosity, make me feel less numb, more present.  Cautiously hopeful, I tackled Uncial, an uppercase medieval script historically used by monks. Ancient

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