Dearest monks and artists,
I am delighted to share an article of mine published in the most recent issue of Network Ireland Magazine on Writing as a Spiritual Practice. Read on for more insight into how I approach this work:
I am deeply inspired by monastic tradition, one of the great contemplative and mystical strands of Christian heritage, and also present in other religions. Monks were the keepers of wisdom through their commitment to spiritual practice and to the art of writing. Manuscripts were illuminated, bringing word and image together, to shine a light on the poetry, stories, and other wise words that shape our western cultural imagination. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. At age 8 I penned short stories about 008, the woman spy who had to step in where James Bond failed, marking my simultaneous early journey into feminism as well.
As an adult, I write mostly non-fiction and poetry. My journal is an intimate companion to my days. Writing is often a doorway of discovery to what I didn’t know before. When I write with openness to the unfolding journey, surprises await me on the page. When I fell in love with monasticism in graduate school fifteen years ago, I discovered a set of practices that resonated with the part of me that loves spaciousness and slowness. I slowly came to realize that the contemplative way can also be a gift for our creativity as well, nurturing it in powerful ways.
With great and growing love,
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Photo: © Christine Valters Paintner on Flaggy Shore in Co Clare