Spirituality

Envision the Benedictine value of Prayer through Visio Divina (Divine Seeing)

This is the fist of 6 Visio Divina Meditations, as an alternative to New Years Resolutions. Joseph O'Connell's Sculptures: Prayer, Work and Community The brochure "Vision Through Sculpture," published by The Sisters of Saint Benedict's Monastery, explains that "In 1982, Joseph O'Connell . . . was commissioned by the Emerson Hynes family" to create a sculpture… Continue reading Envision the Benedictine value of Prayer through Visio Divina (Divine Seeing)

Spirituality

Visio Divina (Divine Seeing) as an alternative to New Year Resolutions: envision your new self-story based on Benedictine values and commitments

This is the introduction to 6 Visio Divina Meditations, as an alternative to New Years Resolutions. Visio Divina (Divine Seeing) as an Alternative to New Years Resolutions Benedictine Spirituality is not a self-improvement project, rather, because it is rooted in humility and relies on the gracious love of a divine power greater than ourselves, the… Continue reading Visio Divina (Divine Seeing) as an alternative to New Year Resolutions: envision your new self-story based on Benedictine values and commitments

Spirituality

Exploring Inner Rooms: an online 12 days of Christmas retreat at Cloister Seminars

It's not too late to join a heart-stirring, soul-deepening, online "12 days of Christmas" retreat at Cloister Seminars Retreat leaders, married couple Chuck Huff and Almut Furchert invite you to "take a break from the hustle and bustle, to breathe, and to wonder, guided and sustained by wise women and men." Elaborating on the reflections of… Continue reading Exploring Inner Rooms: an online 12 days of Christmas retreat at Cloister Seminars

Poetry, Spirituality

4 characteristics of vibrant, strong communities from The Rule of Benedict

The poet Emily Dickinson, now recognized alongside Walt Whitman as one of the cofounders of a uniquely American poetic voice, lived in almost complete social isolation.  If a poet wants to write remarkable, enduring poems, is it, therefore, best for her to live an isolationist life? Paul the Hermit lived his long adult life alone… Continue reading 4 characteristics of vibrant, strong communities from The Rule of Benedict

Poetry, Spirituality

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”

Poetry, Spirituality

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

Poetry, Spirituality

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

Poetry, Spirituality

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?
Spirituality

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

Poetry, Spirituality

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