Vigils: Intimacy with the Void

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in News, Otherhood, Vigils | No Comments

The title of poet Paul Celan’s 1967 collection, Atemwende (in English: Breathturn), suggests that mysterious moment at the end of the out-breath and the beginning of the in-breath. What happens in that gap is… a gap. It permits no concepts (not even “emptiness”) and yet, ineffably, is a part of the fullness of human experience. The breathturn has its […]

The Monastic Cycle

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in News, Otherhood, Projects, Vigils | No Comments

More than just a structure in space, a monastery is a structure in time. With a regularity that can intimidate those outside the cloister walls, monks and nuns gather every few hours, every single day, for a cycle of rituals that involve chant, prayer, and meditation. Far from the kind of mind-numbing routines we sometimes […]

Thomas Merton: “Contemplation cannot construct a new world by itself”

Posted by on Oct 3, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments
Thomas Merton: “Contemplation cannot construct a new world by itself”

Thomas Merton, in the introduction to the Spanish language edition to his complete works: Contemplation cannot construct a new world by itself. Contemplation does not feed the hungry; it does not clothe the naked… and it does not return the sinner to peace, truth, and union with God. But without contemplation we cannot see what […]

Winner of Otherhood’s “The Artist’s Rule” Comment Contest: Cole Matson

Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments
Winner of Otherhood’s “The Artist’s Rule” Comment Contest: Cole Matson

For his comment on Otherhood Podcast: Episode 1 with Christine Valters Paintner, Cole Matson is hereby awarded a copy of Paintner’s book, “The Artist’s Rule.” The comments were all great, and the decision was a hard one. The passion and devotion Matson offers in his poetry really captured my attention, though. And I’m a sucker […]

Laura Riding was an artmonk

Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments
Laura Riding was an artmonk

  “The mercy of truth – it is to be truth.” In reading Paul Auster’s fantastic collection of essays, The Art of Hunger, I came across Truth, Beauty, Silence, a stunning look at Laura Riding’s life and work. As the poets she influenced (Auden, Ashbery, etc.) are among my favorites, I have read a little […]

Shi Yongxin, “CEO Monk” and abbot of the Shaolin Temple

Posted by on Sep 10, 2011 in Otherhood | One Comment
Shi Yongxin, “CEO Monk” and abbot of the Shaolin Temple

  Buddhism is the dominant religion in China, with as many as 300 million believers across the country. Like other forms of Buddhism, Zen emphasizes letting go of worldly cares and working toward enlightenment through meditation and practice of the Buddha’s teachings, which include a ban on harming any sentient beings. As its home, and […]

“the simple way” » 12 Marks of New Monasticism

Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

Through a google alert pointing me to this article, I just stumbled on The Simple Way, “a community in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world.” I am looking forward to exploring more. But first, I love this clear exposition of their values (how many elements of monasticism can you […]

Otherhood, the Podcast: Episode 1, Christine Valters Paintner and “The Artist’s Rule”

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Otherhood | 24 Comments
Otherhood, the Podcast: Episode 1, Christine Valters Paintner and “The Artist’s Rule”

Meet Otherhood, the Podcast. In this, the first episode, I interview Christine Valters Paintner about her new book (the Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul With Monastic Wisdom), the oblate life, and what it means to be both an artist and a monk. BTW, we’re giving away a free copy of the Artist’s Rule to […]

Tolle on Collective Egos vs. Enlightened Collectives

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments
Tolle on Collective Egos vs. Enlightened Collectives

How have the various monastic traditions embodied the two possibilities that Tolle writes about below? “How hard is it to live with yourself? One of the ways in which the ego attempts to escape the unsatisfactoriness of personal self hood is to enlarge and strengthen its sense of self by identifying with a group—a nation, […]

The First Robot Was a Monk*

Posted by on Jun 19, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

Check out Radiolab’s fascinating piece on the miraculous sixteenth-century creation of a clockwork automaton of a Franciscan. *Actually, this monk robot is but an “early and very rare example of a self-acting automaton.” Please excuse the hyperbole.