Dearest monks and artists,
With our Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist online retreat starting tomorrow, I offer you these lovely and wise words from Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, who so generously wrote the preface to my book The Artist’s Rule:
“When Benedict of Nursia abandoned his studies in Rome, he found his way to a cave in the hills of Subiaco. This cave would become his sacro speco (sacred space), for it was there that Benedict devoted three years of his life to search for God. Out of his deep listening in the cave of solitude was born one of the most loved rules of all ages—The Rule of St. Benedict.
The Artist’s Rule has the potential of becoming your own sacro speco. Just as Benedict spent three years of solitude in a cave, this inspiring work invites you to spend twelve weeks in the cave of your heart, nurturing your creative soul and sitting at the feet of your inner monk.
The monk, a universal archetype of the search for the divine, represents everything in you that leans toward the sacred, all that reaches for what is eternal. The monk represents everything within you that is drawn to seek with unwavering love, to wait for the Holy One with reverential awe, to praise, bow and adore.
The artist speaks to that part of you which yearns for beauty and creativity. Your inner artist invites you to participate in the great work of healing the world by lifting out of your senses creative images, words and actions that inspire others to live lives of wonder and surprise.
Christine Paintner’s joyous spirit and love for the monastic way shines through her teaching as she describes the various ways the tools of the monk can become tools for the artist. The Benedictine vows of stability, conversion, and obedience can become a staff of support, leading you to a greater faithfulness to your creative soul.
Both the monk and the artist have fundamental voices that are needed for the transformation of our world.
Although many writers have tried to help us open the door to our creativity, The Artist’s Rule seems unique in revealing to us a special kinship between the monk and the artist. The threads of monastic wisdom woven through these pages can serve as an 'endowment fund.' Dip into this sacred reservoir when you need the discipline to align your heart’s desires with your actions.
Having had the good fortune of being a participant in Christine’s online course, 'Way of the Monk; Path of the Artist,' I know experientially that the artist and monk cannot be hurried. An artist who hurries has lost his original integrity. A monk who hurries has lost a little of her soul. Both monk and artist are teachers of the contemplative way.
This jewel of a book will help you tap the eternal in your deep soul. Let the monk and the artist, who have always been your silent companions, lead you to your inner monastery and to your inner art studio. Christine will be your trustworthy guide.”
With great and growing love,
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Photo © Christine Valters Paintner