Category: Monk in the World


Embracing Mystery in the New Year: Ten Essential Practices

Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the plowshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring, and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird; keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guests, an altar for an unknown God. -Henri-Frederic Amiel Who doesn’t love the promise of new beginning the New Year offers? St. Benedict described his Rule as a Rule for beginners, reminding us to always begin again. In Buddhism, an essential practice is

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Give Me a Word 2013: Fourth annual Abbey giveaway

Share your Word for 2013 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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Orchard and Forest (a love note)

Dearest monks and artists, This is proving to be a powerful Advent season for me.  My husband and I have made the discernment to move to the west coast of Ireland at the end of December and so this threshold time left here in Vienna has become a profound opportunity for retreat, turning inward, savoring our experience of these days, and sharing with one another the dreams being birthed within us. We have taken on a shared rhythm of life for Advent that has become deeply nourishing and such a gift.  Part of that rhythm is a time of praying lectio

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December Theme: Kinship with Creation

Forest and field, sun and wind and sky, earth and water, all speak the same silent language, reminding the monk that he is here to develop like the things that grow all around him.  —Thomas Merton For the month of December, we turn our attention to the principle of kinship with creation, as found in the Monk Manifesto: 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. The Abbey will be hosting a monthly Photo Party

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November Theme: Community

To be a monk today or someone seeking to incorporate monastic values into his or her own life presumes being a part of a community of friends, people with whom a person can share the counsels of the heart and speak a language of the heart to one another. -Edward Sellner, Finding the Monk Within For the month of November, we turn our attention to the principle of community, 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

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Welcoming in Zeal:
A CinemaDivina Prayer Offering

The theme for October here at the Abbey is hospitality based on the second principle of the Monk Manifesto: 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. (Please consider stopping by to sign the Monk Manifesto as a statement of your own commitment). Last month I introduced the wonderful work of Marilyn Freeman, a filmmaker in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and fellow lover of the Benedictine way. One

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Practicing Generous Hospitality

Below is the love note from this week’s Abbey newsletter.  If you don’t already get it in your in-box you can subscribe here. Also, there is a beautiful gathering of poems at this week’s Poetry Party on the theme of hospitality.  Stop by and linger for a while, then share your own by Sunday for a chance to win a  a space in my upcoming online retreat – Honoring Saints and Ancestors: Peering through the Veil. I find myself in this humbling, yet rich, place. After arriving in Vienna to begin our new adventure, I was pulled between the tinge of homesickness

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