NaNoWriMo: A Self-Guided Artmonk Retreat

Posted by on Nov 3, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I’m 5,000 words into writing 50,000 words of novel for NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. What appealed to me about NaNoWriMo (enough to clear out my schedule a bit and make the commitment), and what I believe appeals to many of the 172, 000 participants who will make some kind of attempt to complete a 50,000-word novel […]

“Re-monking”: What can secular monastics learn from Christian “New Monasticism”?

Posted by on Aug 18, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

In “Re-Monking the Church: new monasticism“, Dr. Chris Armstrong (author of the book Patron Saints for Postmoderns) asks: Can Western monasticism’s “father,” Benedict, still give us an antidote to cultural compromise? His question is inspired by the words of historian Mark Noll: “For over a millennium, in the centuries between the reign of Constantine and the Protestant Reformation, almost […]

Benedict’s “Conversatio Morum”, Ezra Pound’s “Make it new” & Confucius’s “日日新”

Posted by on Aug 17, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

I discussed the panoply of translations of Benedict’s vow Conversatio Morum. I wonder if the intent of Coversatio Morum, is similar to the Confucian 茍日新,日日新,又日新. “If you renew yourself for one day, you can renew yourself daily, and continue to do so.” 1 Ezra Pound fixated on 日日新 2, which he turned into his famous […]

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well

Posted by on Aug 17, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

Speaking of the inner life of nuns… Most of the scholars I’ve met who study Western monasticism are also hardcore medievalists, and some of them would fit well into All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be a well, the first novel by Tod Wodicka.  The description from GoodReads: […]

The Elements (part 1): Conversatio Morum » “Conversion of Life”

Posted by on Aug 17, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

[This series of posts, “The Elements of Monasticism” asks the question, what exactly is monasticism? The first three Elements are from the Catholic Benedictine tradition: Conversatio Morum, Stabilitas Loci, and Obedientia.] Conversatio Morum (or Convertio Morum) is interpreted variously: from merely “to live the Benedictine form of the cenobitic life” / “fidelity to the monastic life,” to […]

Getting the questions right

Posted by on Aug 16, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

Examples of the secular world learning from the world’s ancient contemplative and spiritual traditions abound.  Neuroscientists, psychologists, doctors, cognitive scientists and cosmologists are learning from inner technologies of meditation and contemplative practice. But what of the outer, visible, measurable technologies of those traditions? How are we learning from those technologies that fit into what is […]