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Monk Manifesto + Updated Artwork ~ A Love Note From Your Online Abbess

Dearest monk, artists, and pilgrims,

I want to share a brand new video for our Monk Manifesto principles! We originally had our wonderful companion illustrations created about twelve years ago. They were delightful but in recent times, with our own growing awareness, we have realized they could be even more inclusive of a diversity of people than they were. Abbey of the Arts is committed to its own ongoing growth and transformation! See principle #7 of conversion which is all about being on a lifelong journey of discovery.  

So we were delighted to find illustrator Quynh Nguyen and loved her playful, colorful style (she illustrates a lot of children’s books.) We feel that this style really invites everyone into the space to reflect. Quynh created a great new series of images and we have put together a new video to share them with you, just click on the link at the top. Let this be a moment of meditation and an invitation to recommit to the principles that are at the foundation of our community life together. 

Abbey of the Arts Monk Manifesto:

Monk: from the Greek monachos meaning single or solitary, a monk in the world does not live apart but immersed in the everyday with a single-hearted and undivided presence, always striving for greater wholeness and integrity

Manifesto: from the Latin for clear, means a public declaration of principles and intentions.

Monk Manifesto: A public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.

  1. I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.
  2. I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
  3. I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.
  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.
  5. I commit to bringing myself fully present to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, holding a heart of gratitude for the ability to express my gifts in the world in meaningful ways.
  6. I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.
  7. I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.
  8. I commit to being a dancing monk, cultivating creative joy and letting my body and “heart overflow with the inexpressible delights of love.”*

*quote is from the Prologue of the Rule of Benedict

We have several resources to deepen into the Monk Manifesto including our most recent Monk in the World Prayer Cycle, album and DVD. We also offer printable versions of the Monk Manifesto in English, Spanish, German, and Norwegian .

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

PS My surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday morning, March 30th, Central Europe time. To learn more, read my health update from last week.

Video © Christine Valters Paintner | Artwork © Quynh Nguyen

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