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Category: Contemplative Living


The Cloud of Unknowing and the Greening Power of Contemplation ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Last spring I received an email from my editor at Broadleaf Books to connect me with Carmen Acevedo Butcher who had a new translation of Brother Lawrence’s writings out. That connection was such a gift as I have been a fan of Carmen’s work for years, having especially loved her work with the women mystics.  We went on to record a conversation about The Practice of the Presence for our book club and found Carmen to be not only a wise teacher of contemplative practice, but a beautiful human being full of kindness and enthusiasm. A friendship

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NEW YouTube Channel!

We have a new YouTube channel! This is another resources we are pleased to offer our dancing monks where you can follow new posts in our Lift Every Voice book club, our Prayer Cycle series, Poetry Videos, and Tea with the Abbess. Subscribe to the channel.

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Blessing on the feast of Francis of Assisi

Blessings on this feast of Francis of Assisi! In 2019, John and I had the joy of traveling to Assisi on pilgrimage to walk in Francis’ landscape. It was such a gift to connect more deeply to this amazing human being and his sister-in-spirit Clare. Francis witnesses to our call to sacred joy, to holy foolishness, and to a love of all creation. Saint Francis Where there is hatred, let me sow love. —prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi A wolf circles the town walls with jaws ready to tear apart. Francis opens the gate, extends a steady hand,

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Christine’s Reflection on Honoring the Body

Christine has a new reflection published at Bearings journal online on Honoring the Body: “My story is not a one-way hero’s journey. I have not overcome or done battle; I don’t want to be anybody’s inspiration. Stories that give the impression that one can achieve victory over the body’s vulnerabilities do a great disservice to the collective imagination by pushing away the discomfort of grief. I want my story to reveal that tenderness and surrender instead of fortitude and domination are signs of strength. I want my story to say that yielding to my body’s needs rather than forcing myself

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Breath Prayer Book Launch Recording Available

I was delighted to be joined by Simon de Voil and Jamie Marich to celebrate the launch of my latest book, Breath Prayer: An Ancient Practice for the Everyday Sacred. We gathered with many of you to share song and movement and breath as a way to deepen into this practice. I invite you to join us for the Advent Breath Prayer Retreat: A Companion to the Book which begins November 29th.

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Give Me a Word 2014: Fifth Annual Abbey Giveaway

Share your Word for 2014 In ancient times, wise men and women fled out into the desert to find a place where they could be fully present to God and to their own inner struggles at work within them. The desert became a place to enter into the refiner’s fire and be stripped down to one’s holy essence. The desert was a threshold place where you emerged different than when you entered. Many people followed these ammas and abbas, seeking their wisdom and guidance for a meaningful life. One tradition was to ask for a word –  this word or

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The River of Grief and the Well of Love (a love note)

To receive this love note from your online Abbess direct to your email in-box each week subscribe here: “So don’t be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don’t know what work they are accomplishing within you?” —Rainer Maria

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