Economies of Merit

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Otherhood | No Comments

In many monastic and religious traditions, ethical and spiritual “merit” gets traded like a commodity.1 Nuns and monks agree to live a certain way, abiding by a certain kind of behavior (which their society has deemed the most virtuous or ethical), and in exchange they don’t have to earn their own money to stay alive, […]

Monastic Separateness & Engagement (part 3): Monasticism in Society

Posted by on Nov 26, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

[This series of posts, “The Elements of Monasticism” asks the question, what exactly is monasticism? “Separateness & Engagement” will unfold in a series of 4 posts (links: 1, 2, 3, 4).] A gem from Father Louis (aka Thomas Merton), in case you missed it a few weeks ago: The monastery is neither a museum nor an asylum. The monk remains in […]

Chapter 7 Augustine’s Rule, on Governance & Obedience

Posted by on Oct 8, 2010 in Blog | No Comments

Starting on October 2nd, I’ll be doing a Jesuit retreat on the Rule of Augustine (which I’ve written about here: “Up to our necks in Augustine”). Each day, I’ll read 1 of the 8 chapters of the Rule of Augustine. Today’s reading is from Chapter VII on “Governance and Obedience” from the Rule of Augustine1, one of the “mother […]

Chapter 6 of Augustine’s Rule

Posted by on Oct 7, 2010 in Blog | No Comments

Starting on October 2nd, I’ll be doing a Jesuit retreat on the Rule of Augustine (which I’ve written about here: “Up to our necks in Augustine”). Each day, I’ll read 1 of the 8 chapters of the Rule of Augustine: Chapter VI Asking Pardon and Forgiving Offenses 1.Your should either avoid quarrels altogether or else put an […]

Chapter 1 of Augustine’s Rule

Posted by on Oct 2, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

[Part of the Daily Lectio series, named after the Benedictine tradition of lectio divina, “divine reading.” For instructions and background on the series, click here. Subscribe to Daily Lectio. Send comments or suggested readings to nathan@artmonastery.org] Starting on October 2nd, I’ll be doing a Jesuit retreat on the Rule of Augustine (which I’ve written about here: “Up to our necks in Augustine”). […]

Up to our necks in Augustine

Posted by on Sep 30, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

On Saturday the Art Monastery, a community of artists from a wide range of spiritual traditions working to apply the tools of monasticism to art-making instead of religion, will embark on a 7-day silent retreat in the Jesuit tradition, in which the primary form of activity (and inactivity) will be to read the Rule of […]

theFWD submission #4

Posted by on Sep 20, 2010 in Otherhood | No Comments

[intended partially as a provocation, partially completely seriously, for the Future We Deserve collaborative book project] 3rd-Party Certification of Spiritual Agents, Teachers & Centers The goal of certification is to protect both spiritual practitioners (agents), teachers, and centers. Monastic tradition, by adhering to openly published rules and vows and being accountable to a central governance […]

“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 […]

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 […]