Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Mindful Monday: Monastic Wisdom for the Creative Soul

posted by Beyond Blue

In her new book, “The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul With Monastic Wisdom,” author Christine Valters Paintner offers a twelve-week program to introduce monastic wisdom and practice to anyone wanting to integrate spirituality and creativity. In her spiritual journey, Paintner has discovered that the contemplative path allows her creativity to flourish in ways it never did before she embraced monastic practice.

I must confess that I haven’t done the twelve-week journey. I’m not feeling very monkish lately. Summer (and especially this summer) seems to zap what little holiness I posess, as I work out of my son’s bedroom and am interrupted about every ten minutes by his changing sports attire and gear. I can’t really get mad at him, though, because, after all, I am occupying a sizable chunk of his room. I do pay him rent, which doubles if I don’t pay on time. Business men, these little people are today.

Sorry, I digress. I don’t think monks do that.

I did go through the book and mark some of the beautiful passages she includes. Those alone, I think, will inspire you, as they did me. Apologies, again, for the formatting mess. I have yet to figure out what I’m doing wrong:

The heart of human identity is the capacity and desire for birthing. To be is to become creative and bring forth the beautiful. –John O’Donohue

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
A hundred times.
Come, yet again, come, come.
–Rumi

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves. –Thomas Merton

A new beginning! We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to a voice saying to us: “I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it! Imagine!” –Henri Nouwen

The true monastery was not dependent on the enclosure of walls. It was, rather, a quality of consciousness or a state of heart that involved daily commitment to maintain an inner aloneness—that place where God and soul dwell in intimacy. –Beverly Lanzetta

Silence is never merely the cessation of words….Rather it is the pause that holds together—indeed, it makes sense of—all the words, both spoken and unspoken. Silence is the glue that connects our attitudes and our actions. Silence is the fullness, not emptiness; it is not absence, but the awareness of presence. –John Chryssavgis

I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired. –Martha Graham

Come to the edge, He said. They said: we are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came. He pushed them, and they flew …
–Guillaume Apollinaire

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings.
–Wendell Berry

I love the dark hours of my being
In which my senses drop into the deep.
–Rainer Maria Rilke

Work is love made visible. –Kahlil Gibran

The night will give you a horizon wider than you can see. –David Whyte

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(3)
post a comment
Shelly

posted July 25, 2011 at 10:07 am


Good message…very pertinent to me today. A new beginning! renewal. a desire for rebirthing.
Much needed words as I sit here in a fog after a difficult mood swinging day yesterday. I’m trying to get up the momentum to move, start, and do the next thing.
I appreciate all the quotes that you find. Many times I use one for my FB status.
Thanks again Therese…God Bless.



report abuse
 

Elizabeth

posted July 25, 2011 at 10:17 am


I enjoyed each and every one of those beautiful quotes.



report abuse
 

Diana

posted July 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm


Thanks for your posts recently, Therese. I got a lot out of your book and continue to get a lot out of the authors you review and the topics you cover in your blog. The quotes you’ve excerpted here from Monastic Wisdom are deeply touching. I have a friend who calls my ‘blue’ episodes “moaning” and I noticed you have a reader who came back at you with the same judgment a few posts ago, but those of us made with thin skins and highly sensitive need to speak our truth and be validated and I appreciate you strength with which you do this. Hang in there!



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.