Benedictine Life, Poetry

3 things nuns, monks and poets know about why you should “keep death daily before your eyes”

For the next year or so, I will be studying Michael Casey's Seventy-four Tools for Good Living: reflections on the fourth chapter of Benedict's Rule with my oblate group at Saint Benedict's monastery. Among those seventy-four tools is this one: "To have death present before one's eyes every day." (RB 4:47) And this is a… Continue reading 3 things nuns, monks and poets know about why you should “keep death daily before your eyes”

Benedictine Life, Poetry

What nuns, monks and poets know about heartfelt listening and how we learn compassion

What is heartfelt listening?Scientifically, the heart is the organ that pumps the blood. Philosophically or spiritually, however, the idea of "heart" is more difficult to put into words. Heartbreak is emotional anguish. Heartland is the center of a country. The heartless are unfeeling; to know something by heart requires intimate familiarity; and a heartwarming moment… Continue reading What nuns, monks and poets know about heartfelt listening and how we learn compassion

Benedictine Life, Poetry

What nuns, monks and poets know about confirmation bias, with 3 practices to help overcome the fear of change

What is confirmation bias? It clouds vision and causes the prejudice that makes people irrational and illogical. It can negatively effect our health and well being. It increases the likelihood we will falsely accuse innocent people and will readily believe malicious, unfounded lies. It leads to miscommunication and conflict in relationships. It is confirmation bias. Psychologists… Continue reading What nuns, monks and poets know about confirmation bias, with 3 practices to help overcome the fear of change

Benedictine Life, Poetry

What monks, nuns and poets know about life balance

Some might think it a bit odd, even kooky, to live as a monk or nun devoted to daily prayer with a monastic community, or to be a poet spending unpaid hours creating odd little bits of writing known as poems. There's no doubt the way monastics and poets spend much of their time is… Continue reading What monks, nuns and poets know about life balance

Have I found something to say?
Benedictine Life

What poets, monks and nuns know about silence

Poets live with silence:  the silence before the poem;  the silence when the poem comes; the silence in between the words, as you drink the words, watch them glide through your mind, feel them slide down your throat toward your heart …. —Michael Shepherd, “Rumi’s Silence” Silence, poetry and prayer have something in common—they connect… Continue reading What poets, monks and nuns know about silence

Benedictine Life, Poetry

8 Things poets and monastics know about the power of words

This is part 3 of the series 8 Things Poets and Monastics Can Teach Us About Happiness; with 8 Poems to Make Life More Meaningful. For part 1 of the series, go here. About words…. We think we know what words are—the spoken sounds and written letters we combine to form sentences to convey what we… Continue reading 8 Things poets and monastics know about the power of words

Benedictine Life, Poetry

8 Things Poets and Monastics Can Teach Us About Happiness; with 8 Poems to Make Life More Meaningful–Part 1 of a series

What poets and monastics have in common When people think about what poets and monastics (monks and nuns who live in monasteries) have in common, the list might look like this: They have their heads in the clouds; They’re hermits;. They dress weird; And they’re dying off.  Like all potent rumors, there’s a smidgeon of… Continue reading 8 Things Poets and Monastics Can Teach Us About Happiness; with 8 Poems to Make Life More Meaningful–Part 1 of a series