Category: Creativity


Becoming a Holistic Artist: Embracing Body and Soul in the Creative Process ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dear monks, artists and pilgrims, I was commissioned to write the article Becoming a Holistic Artist: Embracing Body and Soul in the Creative Process by Azusa Pacific University. Read the excerpt below then click the link for the full arcticle. The Monk and Artist Archetypes I have spent most of my professional career exploring the connections between two archetypes – the monk and the artist. Archetypes are universal patterns of energy found across cultures. Each of us has an inner monk and artist and we are invited to cultivate those aspects of ourselves. The monk is the part of ourselves that seeks connection with

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Creativity and Social Transformation

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Last week I shared that 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Abbey of the Arts’ existence as a virtual monastery. I will be reflecting back on some of my reflections from the Archives and tracing the development of the Abbey this year.  From the beginning, my heart has been sparked by the conversation between contemplative practice and creative expression and how it might be a force for transformation in the world. Here is a reflection I wrote in the first month of creating the blog on Creativity and Social Transformation: If in the Judeo-Christian tradition

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Abbey of the Arts celebrates 10 years in 2016 ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I have been savoring some time of reflection over these midwinter days. Now is an especially ripe opportunity for looking back and forward because in 2016 Abbey of the Arts celebrates its 10th anniversary of ministry and service. In many ways the Abbey began years before 2006, as the seeds were planted in my years of teaching high school and working as a campus minister, then going on to pursue my PhD in Christian spirituality, study spiritual direction and expressive arts, and my early years living in Seattle listening for how to bring the things I loved most together. Our existence as a virtual monastery and global community, however, began

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Poems to Savor by Pilgrims on the Wild Edges

August 30-September 7, 2015 we had 13 pilgrims join us for a very special pilgrimage and writing retreat on the wild edges of the world. We stayed on the islands of Inismor and Inisbofin, off the coast of Connemara and let the landscape inspire our creative process. I am grateful to these dancing monks for sharing their inspiration so freely with the community. Pour a cup of tea and then savor these poems: A Pilgrim’s Progress She heard the call of wind and jagged earth, stones and hungry green; the raw bitter hum of want. Held to a moody sky

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Missing My Muse

Before I came to Houston for the SDI Conference I had spent several intense days writing, writing, and more writing and all through it Abbess Petunia was a quiet, faithful presence encouraging me on. Who is the muse in your own life? Make sure to stop by the Poetry Party — the random drawing for a prize is tomorrow! Become a fan of the Abbey on Facebook or follow the Abbey on Twitter (new!) © Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts: Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts Subscribe in a reader

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Cycles of Creativity

“A major obstacle to creativity is wanting to be in the peak season of growth and generation at all times . . . but if we see the soul’s journey as cyclical, like the seasons. . . then we can accept the reality that periods of despair or fallowness are like winter – a resting time that offers us a period of creative hibernation, purification, and regeneration that prepare us for the births of spring.” (7) -Linda Leonard, from Call to Create : Celebrating Acts of Imagination One of the greatest gifts of the seasons to me as a writer

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Creative Rhythms

The moon will be full this Thursday, February 21st. There are no children in our home (by choice, I might add), and so I gather “the sleeping infant of (my)self” to go out into the dark night and drink in the inky beauty of white rock in a sea of blackness.  My sun sign is Cancer whose planet is the moon.  I have always felt an affinity for the moon and her phases and rhythms, appreciating the profound wisdom of her gentle waxing and waning as a mirror of the movement of the seasons from flowering to death and back to blossoming again. 

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