Today’s stop is for an interview at Always We Begin Again, a wonderful organization founded by Judy Smoot to support those with chronic illness. Judy is also a Benedictine oblate, and she and her fellow board member Michael Landon both attended Awakening the Creative Spirit a couple of years ago:
Some of our readers may not be familiar with your work as an author, spiritual director, retreat leader and online Abbess of Abbey of the Arts; could you share a little about yourself and the many aspects of your ministry?
Abbey of the Arts is a virtual monastery dedicated to integrating contemplative practice and creative expression. It has become a global community of monks and artists. My work includes offering both live and online retreats, writing books and articles, as well as regular love notes through my newsletter to the community, and through these various avenues I offer spiritual guidance for those who come to be nourished.
What led you to first begin offering online retreats using photography which has culminated in your most recent book, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice?
I had been writing for my blog for several years already, exploring the creative and contemplative paths through reflections and photography, in addition to offering live retreats in various locations. The internet was becoming, more and more, a place for connecting with others across space and the availability of educational resources was growing. I offered my first course as an experiment and was blown away by the response. The class filled quickly and I had to add a second and then a third session. It was so exciting to both make the class more affordable for people in this format, and accessible to people all over the world, so that we had participants from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand gathering together.
Previous Virtual Book Tour Stops:
- “Quieting the Mind through Contemplative Photography” Guest post by Christine at A Photographic Sage
- Book Review at GodSpace by Christine Sine
- Book Review at A Photographic Sage by Patricia Turner
- Book Review at Sense of the Faithful by Peg Conway
- “Contemplative Photography in a Time-Obsessed Culture” Guest post by Christine at Expressive Prayer
- “Planning a Personal Retreat” Guest post by Christine at A Sacred Journey
- Audio Interview at A Congruent Life
- “Bless the World with Your Eyes” Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day
- Interview at Catherine Anderson Studio
- “Learning to Trust What Shimmers” Guest post by Christine at Holy Ordinary
- “Seeing Ourselves with Eyes of the Heart” Guest post by Christine at Ronna Detrick
- Interview with Louise Gallagher at A Year of Rejoicing
- Interview with Tara Owens of Anam Cara
- Book Review at Holy Ordinary with Brent Bill
- Webinar on Cultivating Contemplation in Your Parish through Photography through Ave Maria Press
- Book Review at Melanged Magic with Evelyn Jackson
- “Practicing Resurrection through the Eyes of the Heart” Guest post by Christine at Anam Cara