Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Moment by Moment

I have been thinking about moments a lot lately – those holy doorways where I am lifted out of time and I encounter the sacred in the most ordinary acts – and then a friend emailed me this video.  It has me contemplating what it is I am here to do as an artist and as a monk.

Mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade says the word “moment” comes from the Latin root momentus, which means to move.  We are moved when we touch the eternal and timeless which is available to us in each moment we are fully present. 

There is a sense of spaciousness in moments.  Art and spiritual practice are how we find this moment of eternity. Our days are filled with moments of beauty and poignancy. The task of the artist and the monk is to witness these eternal moments in a steady stream of revelation.  In this way, we are all invited to become artists and monks.  Before you watch the video, pause to breathe deeply, to slow yourself down.  As you watch be present to the feelings moving in you that each image evokes.

Which moments will you discover today?  Which moments will find you?

Text © Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

You might also enjoy

Monk in the World Guest Post: Meg Munro

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Meg Munro’s reflection and paintings on her relationship with the Beloved Mother-Virgin. I had been despairing that my passion for painting was

Read More »

5 Responses

  1. THIS moment found me and I’m so happy that it did. I came over to the Abbey this a.m. to find the link for “Ancestors” workshop and came upon this video. A fabulous little piece, so much love and expertise packed in a short video and so full of life and giving in its completion! I had no idea what I would blog on today and I had to take a moment to visit the loo and Henri J.M. Nouwen “met” me there. I’ve my blog article in mind now, along with the loveliness of seeing this video! Thank you.

  2. The thing that struck me most in this video was the felt sense of how moments are about “movement.” The pacing of images and the music re-enforced this point for me.
    In reality, life is not experienced like the consistent movement of the hands of a clock. We may experience our moments as quicky fleeting instants or as sacred, transcendent and beyond the boundaries of standard measure.
    As depicted in this piece, some moments have a different internal sense of time for us. Seeing a newborn child is a example of a moment where time stands still. Some moments seem to move as split second impressions, nearly too fast to comprehend. It is a reminder to take time to stop – and come mindfully into our moments. These may carry an energy that lifts us emotionally or they may feel heavy and endless My mom has Azheimers. Her journey teaches me daily about the significance and sacredness of our momentary experiences.

    Additionally,working in a Cancer Center, I am mindful of the importance of being in the moment with others as they experience the life changing moments after being told they have cancer or a loved one has died.

    This piece reminded me that In our ordinary day we all experience and are faced with the task of confronting and adapting to our many moments. Our lives contain the full range and depth of physical, emotional and spiritual realities. Like our breath – our moments have the power to help us survive, transform and ultimately give us the gift of life.

  3. This was a welcome break in my day – thanks for sharing. It’s so easy to forget that life is made up of moments and that God is in every single one of them.

  4. oh my, that’s a powerful video. it was like the moments of my life were interwoven on the screen…from me as a child licking an ice cream cone to me as a woman birthing my children…and all of the fabulous moments before, in-between and still to come. we can experience a lifetime in a single moment. thank you for sharing this. xooxoxoxo

  5. Fun moments today here at your Abbey, thanks so much Christine! The image that I remembered most clearly at the end of the video was someone moving a stone figure onto a wooden table. I just stopped typing and lifted my cat into my lap, and just now realize the correlation to the stone figure, that’s so wonderful ((-: