Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,
During this Jubilee year of sabbatical we are revisiting our Monk Manifesto by moving slowly through the Monk in the World retreat materials together every Sunday. Each week will offer new reflections on the theme and every six weeks will introduce a new principle.
Principle 4: I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy asceticism by discerning my use of energy and things, letting go of what does not help nature to flourish.
Suggestions for Practice: Contemplative Walk
Each time you go for your walk, see if you can begin with a sense that you are stepping into a landscape that is animate and alive. We have separated ourselves from creation by claiming consciousness only for ourselves. Creation is the first scripture and offers wisdom to us with each turn. Claiming our inner monk means remembering that we are the children of the earth, and the earth is in our bodies. Allow the trees and birds to offer you their own wisdom about living a monastic life. The rhythm we discover in the rise and fall of each day is also within. Pause throughout the day to become present to the gifts of a particular moment in time and listen for its invitations.
With great and growing love,
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Photo © Christine Valters Paintner