Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monk Manifesto

I received the following in a daily reflection email written by Rev. Michael Piazza and he passes along something he discovered. It is well worth considering.


Dr. Christine Valters Paintner is the online Abbess of Abbey of the Arts ( ) and the author of seven books on monastic spirituality and creativity. She is seeking to recruit people to a contemporary monastic lifestyle that might enrich us all and our world too. She invites you to commit to the “Monk Manifesto.” It would be a great order for life, but, at the very least, it might be a helpful exercise for the next 90 days, which would bring you to the new year better prepared:

Monk Manifesto : A public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.

1. I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.

2. I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.

3. I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.

4. I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy asceticism by discerning my use of energy and things, letting go of what does not help nature to flourish.

5. I commit to bringing myself fully present to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, holding a heart of gratitude for the ability to express my gifts in the world in meaningful ways.

6. I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.

7. I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.

Imagine for a moment that you are a modern monk and this is how you lived. How would your lifestyle need to change? Well, you've been looking for help being different; perhaps this is one path you could try.

Rev. Michael Piazza
Co-Executive Director, Center for Progressive Renewal


Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor

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