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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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