with Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
A self-study retreat (start any time, move at your own pace, lifetime access)
Would you be nourished by a twelve-week commitment to exploring the place where contemplative practice and creative expression support and nourish each other?
Are you an artist or writer seeking more grounding for your creativity in ancient spiritual traditions?
Do you find yourself drawn to contemplative ways of being including silence, solitude, wonder, and presence?
Do you have a hunger to discover what emerges from being a contemplative artist and a creative monk?
We each contain within us a multiplicity of energies or “selves” which are archetypal in nature, meaning they are found across cultures and time periods. Two of these powerful archetypes are the monk and artist. Our “inner monk” is the part of ourselves that seeks the ground of all being and a mystical connection to the divine source, longing for what is most essential in life and cultivates this through a commitment to spiritual practice. The “inner artist” is the part of ourselves that engages the world through our senses, and is passionate about beauty, seeking to give it outward form and expression through a variety of media (including visual art, poetry, movement, song, gardening, cooking, relationships, etc.). Both the monk and artist are edge-dwellers, ones who commit to living in fertile border-spaces and who call the wider community beyond the status quo to alternative ways of being. Our class will explore where these two paths meet. Drawing on monastic spirituality from the wisdom of desert, Celtic, and Benedictine traditions, we will explore together contemplative practices that support and encourage the flowering of our creative visions.
This online program is for anyone seeking to make more explicit connections between their spiritual practice and their creative expression. You might consider yourself an artist, a poet, or simply someone who experiences joy in the process of creating. You might consider yourself a contemplative or have experienced a longing for more presence to each moment.
Our primary text for this program is Christine's book The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom. You will need to purchase a copy of the book in addition to your registration. It is not included in the program fee.
Overview of Each Week
Monday: Overview of the chapter
Tuesday: An audio guided lectio divina practice and reflection questions
Wednesday: Quotes to inspire plus an audio guided meditation recording (8 of the 12 weeks have a guided meditation included)
Thursday: Audio guidance for the visual art exploration
Friday: Audio guidance for the poetry writing exploration
Saturday: More quotes to inspire plus invitation to reflect on the week
- Retreat materials hosted on our course platform Ruzuku.com
- Posts each day (except for Sabbath) for 12 weeks with brief reflections on the theme with questions to ponder, audio guidance for meditations and creative invitations.
- Audio recordings each week to offer extra guidance for visual art, writing, movement, lectio divina practices, and guided meditation recordings
What You Need before Beginning the Class
- A copy of The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom – please note, this book is not included in the program fee so please order a copy in advance of the class (also available for Kindle).
- Computer with email access, updated web browser, and the ability to download and play mp3 files.
- Registration is at our private website through Ruzuku (once you click the link below it will take you straight to Ruzuku and you will be registered once payment is processed).
Week One: Establishing a Creative, Contemplative Practice
Week Two: Exploring Your Inner Monk and Inner Artist
Week Three: Sacred Tools and Sacred Space
Week Four: Sacred Rhythms for Creative Renewal
Week Five: Obedience, Stability, Conversion: Commitment to the Creative Life
Week Six: Humility: Embracing Your Imperfections and Limitations
Week Seven: Inner Hospitality and Welcoming the Stranger
Week Eight: Creative Community
Week Nine: Nature as Source of Revelation and Inspiration
Week Ten: Simplicity: Creative Asceticism and Learning When to Let Go
Week Eleven: Creative Work as Vocation and Holy Service
Week Twelve: Creating an Artist’s Rule of Life
Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.
- No refunds are provided for online program registrations. Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.
- You will have access to all the program materials for the lifetime of this website.
- The registration fee is per person; we ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.
- All materials presented in our online programs are copyright. Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program.
- Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of session that were recorded in a live community offering of the retreat and may make reference to forums or other modes of sharing. Please disregard these as self-study retreats do not have these available.
- All fees include VAT where applicable.
- If you need a payment plan or a more of a scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us. Small group discounts are also available.
Your Guide for the Journey
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Christine is the director of AbbeyoftheArts.com, a virtual monastery exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, and author of nine books on spirituality and the arts. Her deepest belief is that the earth is the original monastery--a wisdom guide and mentor in living a soulful and vibrant life. Visit the "About Christine" page for more information.