Category: Contemplative Living


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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This is Not Photography (by Joanna Paterson)

This is not photography. This is flower watching in sweet, soft September sunshine. This is the smell of the lavender filling my senses. This is the sound of the river rushing past, and the buzz of the bees going mad with abundance in the herbs. This is earth time before office time. This is stolen time. This is me time. This is all time falls away and nothing else matters. This is the way the light falls on the petals of the flower on this softest, sweetest September morning. This is silence. This is all love to the flower all

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Lectio Divina as a Life Practice

Lynda Chalmers is offering 40 days of contemplative practices at her blog and invited me to reflect on lectio divina: When I first was introduced to the practice of lectio divina many years ago I felt an opening inside of me, as if I was being met right where I was. I discovered in this ancient way of praying a mirror of my own inner movements and longing for contemplative depth. I felt supported in a way of savoring life and listening deeply for the voice of Spirit moving through sacred texts and the world. Lectio divina has four movements

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What is your holy direction?

Invocation Let us try what it is to be true to gravity, to grace, to the given, faithful to our own voices, to lines making the map of our furrowed tongue. Turned toward the root of a single word, refusing solemnity and slogans, let us honor what hides and does not come easy to speech.  The pebbles we hold in our mouths help us to practice song, and we sing to the sea.  May the things of this world be preserved to us, their beautiful secret vocabularies.  We are dreaming it over and new, the language of our tribe, music

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The Misguided Monk

I am so delighted to run across this video, shared with me by my good friend and fellow monk Tess, who blogs over at Pilgrim’s Moon (a wonderful resource for growing older with wisdom and consciousness). Watch this and see if it doesn’t shift your perspective on distractions in meditation (or at least make you smile).  I love that the dog in this video looks just like our sweet Amma Winter.

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The Holy Pause: Spiritual Practices for a Time-Obsessed Culture

Stop by Patheos for my latest reflection: Time is the measure of things that come to an end, but where time itself ends, eternity begins . . . In the end, there is no end. The ends of time are near the roots of eternity, and the ends of the Earth touch on the other world or the world behind the world. –Michael Meade I was driving to my yoga class this morning but there was some kind of race blocking all of the cross streets I usually travel. I finally found my way around but at that point I

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