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Category: Dancing Monks Icon Series


Please Help Us Sustain this Work ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, One of my heart’s great joys is the global nature of this community. To know that there are monks and artists spread all over the world who commit to this way of life brings me tremendous comfort and encouragement.  I feel grateful daily for this vibrant and meaningful work and the amazing people I get to collaborate with to help create our programs and offerings. I am thankful every day for you and for the many notes of encouragement I receive about what our work means to you.  We will be adding a fourth week to

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Join Us For The Mystical Heart and Hildegard ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

St. Hildegard Strolls Through the Garden Luminous morning, Hildegard gazes at the array of blooms, holding in her heart the young boy with a mysterious rash, the woman reaching menopause, the newly minted widower, and the black Abbey cat with digestive issues who wandered in one night and stayed. New complaints arrive each day. She gathers bunches of dandelions, their yellow profusion a welcome sight in the monastery garden, red clover, nettle, fennel, sprigs of parsley to boil later in wine. She glances to make sure none of her sisters are peering around pillars, slips off her worn leather shoes

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The Sacred Art of Doll Making + New Dancing Monk Icon ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, This Saturday, September 10th, Wisdom Council Member Polly Paton-Brown is leading a retreat on Praying with Poppets: Rediscovering the Sacred Art of Doll Making. Polly worked for many years as a psychotherapist and trainer in the field of trauma. More recently, her focus has been on helping people explore their spirituality and prayer using creativity and connection with nature. Polly has a particular passion for creating healing dolls as a portal to transformation. Read on for Polly’s reflection on the art of doll making. Creativity, nature and spirituality have always been interwoven for me. As a child I loved the

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Hildy Tails: Jesus Curses the Fig Tree + New Dancing Monk Icon ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess & Prior

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, This week we are featuring one of our Hildy Tails. This series of essays were composed last year for our Sustainers Circle. They were dictated to John by the Abbey’s mascot, Hildy the Monk-ey. Hildy is a bit of a free spirit who likes to entertain and doesn’t normally feel constrained by conventional story structure . . . or grammar, in general. She lives by the motto that “all stories are true; some actually happened.” We wanted to share them with you, our wider Abbey community, to give you a small monkey-sized, humorous perspective on

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Healing the Wounds of Spiritual Abuse + New Dancing Monk Icon ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, This Saturday, August 20th, Wisdom Council member and friend Dr. Jamie Marich is leading a retreat on Healing the Wounds of Spiritual Abuse. Jamie is the founder of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness, the practice of Dancing Mindfulness, and has presented this creative movement in many of our programs. For this retreat Jamie combines faith and scholarship with her expertise in trauma therapy and creative mindfulness as a modality for healing. Read on for Jamie’s reflection on healing the wounds of spiritual abuse. *** On the very week in 2015 when marriage equality for LGBTQ+ individuals became the

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Order Dancing Monk Icon Prints by December 15th

Did you know that you can order high-quality print reproductions of all the dancing monks in our icon series by artist Marcy Hall? The prints are 5×10 inches mounted on an 11×14 matte ready for framing. Imagine inviting St. Hildegard, St. Benedict, St. Brigid, St. Francis, Mary, or one of the 20 other monks and mystics we have images for into your sacred space or as a wonderful gift for a loved one. Plus we’d like to introduce the newest addition to the dancing monk series, St. Melangell from Powys in Wales, the patron saint of hares. I have recently

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Feast of Saint Francis ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

St. Francis at the Corner Pub Approaching the door, you can already hear his generous laughter. He stands on the bar upside down for a moment to get a new perspective on things, a flash of polka-dotted boxers as his brown robe cascades over his head, sandaled toes wiggling in the air in time with a fiddle playing in the corner. Rain falls heavily in the deepening darkness and he orders a round of drinks despite his vow of poverty and the single silver coin in his pocket, multiplied by the last Guinness poured. Nothing like a good glass of

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