Reflections

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Greta Kopec

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to our Monk in the World Guest Post series from the community. Read on for Greta Kopec’s reflection, “Mary Magic and Miracles.” Once upon a time, I only knew Mary as the mom in the nativity story we heard each Christmas. In the past three years she has become a companion and muse who has taught me many names of the sacred feminine, those names multiplying as I have encountered her in various ways, in different places. She began by inviting me on a journey that would take me to Fatima, Portugal

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Monk in the World Podcast + Harriet Tubman Mysticism ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Silence & Solitude: Day 1 Morning and Evening Prayer Dearest monks and artists, We are thrilled to be able to start releasing the Monk in the World prayer cycle podcast to you weekly from now through Pentecost Sunday. Each week we will post a morning and evening prayer. This first week is focused on the first principle of our Monk Manifesto Silence & Solitude. I am enormously grateful to dear friend, minister, musician, and Abbey Wisdom Council member, Simon de Voil for putting these podcasts together with such a loving and attentive ear. Many of you have sent us notes

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Lift Every Voice: Contemplative Writers of Color – April Video Discussion and Book Group Materials Now Available

Join Abbey of the Arts for a monthly conversation on how increasing our diversity of perspectives on contemplative practice can enrich our understanding and experience of the Christian mystical tradition.  Christine Valters Paintner is joined by author Claudia Love Mair for a series of video conversations. Each month they take up a new book by or about a voice of color. The community is invited to purchase and read the books in advance and participate actively in this journey of deepening, discovery, and transformation.  Click here to view this month’s video discussion along with questions for reflection. Christine and Claudia are joined

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Hildy Tails 12: Is ait an mac an saol ~ by John Valters Paintner

Hello, gentle readers! This series of 12 essays were composed during John & Christine’s Jubilee Year (which began pre-pandemic, but some of which was written during varying degrees of lockdown). They were dictated to John by the Abbey’s mascot, Hildy the Monk-ey. Hildy is a bit of a free spirit who likes to entertain and doesn’t normally feel constrained by conventional story structure . . . or grammar, in general. She lives by the motto that “all stories are true; some actually happened.” We wanted to share them with you, our wider Abbey community, to give you a small monkey-sized

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Easter Blessings + An Elemental Journey ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

A Glimpse of the Underglimmer by Christine Valters Paintner from Abbey of the Arts on Vimeo. “A Glimpse of the Underglimmer” (after Basho) You can see it sometimes in October when the sun’s low angle slides gold over the field, effervescence of light, or you stand in a forest of cedars and March rain pads hundreds of tiny feet across the emerald canopy, or the fireflies of July form new constellations, then vanish into summer’s night leaving only trails of light in your memory, or you stand in a May meadow, a fox crosses quietly, you hold still as possible,

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Hildy Tails 11: Is fada an bóthar nach mbíonn casadh ann – by John Valters Paintner

Hello, gentle readers! This series of 12 essays were composed during John & Christine’s Jubilee Year (which began pre-pandemic, but some of which was written during varying degrees of lockdown). They were dictated to John by the Abbey’s mascot, Hildy the Monk-ey. Hildy is a bit of a free spirit who likes to entertain and doesn’t normally feel constrained by conventional story structure . . . or grammar, in general. She lives by the motto that “all stories are true; some actually happened.” We wanted to share them with you, our wider Abbey community, to give you a small monkey-sized

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Sky, Sun, Sea, and Stone and Creative Inspiration ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, Thomas Merton, the 20th century Trappist monk, knew that the true mentor of the soul was nature itself. The fields, sun, mud, clay, wind, forests, sky, earth, and water are all companions for our own inner journeys. The elements of water, wind, earth, and fire offer us wisdom and guidance. They are the original soul friends. Air is the gift of breath we receive in each moment, the rhythm of life sustaining us. Fire is the gift of life force and energy and we might call to mind St. John of the Cross’ image of God

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Two new dancing monk icons!
Julian of Norwich & Clare of Assisi join the series

When John and I traveled to Assisi in 2019 to participate in a pilgrimage that started our sabbatical year, I went to encounter Francis more deeply. That did happen, but the holy surprise was encountering Clare, who I didn’t know as much about, and falling in love with her contemplative spirit. She was Francis’ treasured companion and she also struggled with poor health and has companioned me through my ongoing fatigue from chronic illness. Then as the pandemic began, like many people I found tremendous wisdom, solace, and inspiration in Julian of Norwich, the patron saint of lockdowns and compassionate

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Hildy Tails 10: Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine – by John Valters Paintner

Hello, gentle readers! This series of 12 essays were composed during John & Christine’s Jubilee Year (which began pre-pandemic, but some of which was written during varying degrees of lockdown). They were dictated to John by the Abbey’s mascot, Hildy the Monk-ey. Hildy is a bit of a free spirit who likes to entertain and doesn’t normally feel constrained by conventional story structure . . . or grammar, in general. She lives by the motto that “all stories are true; some actually happened.” We wanted to share them with you, our wider Abbey community, to give you a small monkey-sized

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