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Category: Mystics and Saints


Abbey of the Arts CD and DVD Buy One Get One Free Sale

In partnership with Wisdom Council Member and Abbey teaching partner Betsey Beckman of The Dancing Word, Abbey of the Arts has produced a series of CD & DVD collections as another resource for contemplation, creativity, and movement. From now through January 30th by one CD or DVD and get a second CD or DVD of your choice for free. This sale applies to CDs and DVDs only, not digital albums. After you purchase your item, please contact us using the link in your order form or by emailing and let us know which CD or DVD you’d like as your free gift.  View our

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This Here Flesh ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Next Saturday, October 22nd I will be leading a retreat for Spirituality & Practice on The Wisdom of the Body: Contemplative Practices for Deep Listening. Buddhist teacher Reginald Ray describes the body as “the last unexplored wilderness.” For the desert monks of the Christian tradition, the wilderness is the place where we can have a radical and intimate encounter with the divine. What does it mean to take the incarnation seriously? To live as if our flesh is holy? St. Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century Benedictine Abbess believed there was a greening life force, very similar to

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Teresa of Avila and Deepening Intimacy with the Divine ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, We began our Mystical Heart 10-month series of retreats on Love as a Creative Force in September with St. Hildegard of Bingen on her feast. This month we are delighted to be hosting the wonderful Claudia Love Mair (who is my Lift Every Voice book club conversation partner and a gifted writer) next Saturday, the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila, for an online mini-retreat on Teresa’s wisdom.  Claudia wrote a delightful book about Teresa (when her name was Claudia Mair Burney) – God Alone is Enough: A Spirited Journey with Teresa of Avila. Here is an excerpt from the

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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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Join Us for Writing with the Ancestors + New Dancing Monk Icon ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Some of you who have been following my work for many years know that honoring my ancestors and engaging in healing has been a central part of my spiritual practice. I recently completed the manuscript for a book that will be published Fall 2023 by Ave Maria Press tentatively titled The Love of Thousands: Honoring Angels, Saints, and Ancestors. I offered some of this material for our Lent retreat online this past spring and have since doubled the materials written.  Most religious traditions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and most indigenous traditions all have

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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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