How poetic and monastic practices empower a vibrant, sacred way of life

In search of a vibrant, sacred way of life

Do you want to explore the mysterious, wild regions of living a vibrant, sacred way of life?

Maybe you feel called to be an artist—potter, painter, dancer, musician, poet, crafter, or doodler. Perhaps you want to associate with people who will help you grow in wisdom, because you’re seeking courage to devote yourself to the service of Love. 

If the words authenticity, connection, consciousness, peace, and gratitude speak to the mystical core of silence and solitude within you, I invite you to ask, “How?”

Ask not what can I do? Ask how can I be?

The question, How? is a much more challenging one than the obvious, and frequently only, question people in search of a beautiful, meaningful life ask:

What can I do?”  

What focuses on programs, strategies, and measurable outcomes. How, the way I’m asking it, is concerned with presence, with becoming people whose way of life and way of interacting with each other embodies our values. What is oriented toward product and productivity. How opens the heart, mind, body, and energy/spirit to relationships, to creating meaningful, authentic connection, to learning to be trustworthy and trusting.

on the inner contemplative mystic: poetic and monastic practices

Welcome to my blog. In the spirit of Benedictine hospitality, I honor the essential dignity and rare beauty of you. I invite you to explore, with me, how to become more vibrantly, wholly, hope-fully alive.

In this place, I write about how the communities and practices of poets and monastics empower a vibrant, sacred way of life. I’m Tracy Rittmueller, a poet/writer who works in community & organizational development to promote peace and justice through the arts. I’m also a Benedictine Oblate, which means I am associated with and committed to the Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery (in St. Joseph, Minnesota), but I live outside the monastery, at home with my husband. I am a mother (two sons), a grandmother (two granddaughters) and spousal caregiver, accompanying the love of my life on his journey with non Alzheimer, dementia-related cognitive impairment. 

Theologian and contemplative scholar Beverly Lanzetta writes that all humans have, deep in their beings, a spark of “the monk within,” an archetypal inner contemplative mystic in search of a sacred way of life. My awakening to a contemplative orientation to daily life manifests in the practices of poetry and monasticism. Whenever I feel most ecstatically at home — surrounded by the loving acceptance of like-minded, kind-hearted people—I find myself among people who are, or who value, poets and/or monastics. 

By following that nudge to explore, and deepen, a sacred way of life, I have learned that the serenity of peace can be the bass notes to the soundtrack of my life’s challenging and beautiful days. In this place—this blog called The Poetry of Transformation—I share my thoughts about how the overlapping practices of poetry and monasticism empower a vibrant, sacred way of life. 

on hospitality and the flow of electromagnetic love

In one of my lifelong favorite poems, “The Signature of All Things,” Kenneth Rexroth wrote, “The saints saw the world as streaming / in the electrolysis of love.” As I approach my 60th year, I am learning to embrace the duties of a spousal caregiver by surrendering to the streaming flow love, in the playful spirit of improvisation. That means I don’t have a regular schedule of posting on this blog. I might add something new once or twice a month, possibly less frequently.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to get make some time for yourself to surrender to the streaming flow of love, I’ll send you a free copy of my e-book Songs of Earth and Sky: a 3-day writing retreat to integrate body, mind & spirit

This guided retreat developed spontaneously in the summer of 2020, when a young friend of mine, living alone in Korea during COVID-19 restrictions, asked whether I had any ideas for a writing retreat. The book provides some helpful practices for getting to know your own inner poet/monk/contemplative mystic, and gives you a sample of how a vibrant, sacred way of life can feel.

Click on the book’s cover image below, to read a little bit more about the book and download your copy. And may you en-joy the journey!

Songs of Earth and Sky
Click here to download Songs of Earth And Sky