Sunday, April 30, 2023

What's it Like to Be a Monk?


I spend lots of time (when I am not in the classroom teaching) thinking.  Thinking and walking.  Thinking and hiking.  Sitting and thinking.  It makes me wonder from time to time whether these habit are similar to the habits of Modern Day Monks.

So I did some research and found some information that I hope you find interesting.  Here are 5 habits of modern day monks:

  • The life of a monk varies depending on the particular order and tradition they belong to. However, in general, monks lead a simple and disciplined life focused on spiritual practice and service to their community.
  • Monks typically live in a monastery or other communal setting, where they follow a daily routine of meditation, prayer, and work. They may also engage in study of religious texts and philosophy.
  • Many monks take vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience, which means they renounce material possessions, romantic relationships, and personal desires in order to focus entirely on their spiritual development and service to others. They may wear plain robes, eat simple meals, and live in austere surroundings.
  • Monks often engage in community service, such as teaching, caring for the sick and elderly, and providing support to those in need. They may also participate in religious ceremonies and rituals, and some may go on retreats or pilgrimages to deepen their spiritual practice.

5.     Overall, the life of a monk is one of simplicity, devotion, and service, focused on spiritual growth and the well-being of others.    

o       How many of these habits do YOU resonate with?

             Here is a link to my online free book studies if you would like to delve into a more contemplative life: CLICK HERE



Saturday, April 29, 2023

4 more meditation practives to end your day


The simple practice of doing something that lets you take a breath, invite more quiet and bring peace - how could we not try it?

  1. Mindful visualization: Visualize a peaceful scene or a happy memory. Focus on the details of the scene and allow yourself to experience the emotions associated with it.
  2. Loving-kindness meditation: Send love and compassion to yourself and others. Start by focusing on yourself, then move on to loved ones, acquaintances, and eventually to all beings.
  3. Reflection meditation: Reflect on your day, noticing any positive or negative experiences. Use this time to reflect on what went well and what you could do differently in the future.
  4. Mantra meditation: Choose a word or phrase that has positive meaning for you, and repeat it silently to yourself with each inhale and exhale. This can help to calm your mind and bring a sense of focus and clarity.
  5. Candle gazing meditation: Light a candle and focus on the flame. Allow yourself to become fully absorbed in the experience, letting go of any distracting thoughts.



Does praying really have to be so complicated? 5 Ways to Approach Prayer

 Does praying really have to be so complicated?

I don't think so. The very thing that we instinctively feel drawn to - the desire to connect with a force bigger than ourselves - and it feels unapproachable!

My hope is as I break the gift down into manageable pieces, you will find opportunities to really experience this thing called prayer in a more intimate and dynamic way.

Here are 5 ways to pray:

  1. Silent prayer: This involves sitting quietly and focusing your mind on your spiritual connection with a higher power, without speaking or reciting words.
  2. Intercessory prayer: This involves praying on behalf of others, asking for help or healing for those in need.
  3. Gratitude prayer: This involves expressing thankfulness and appreciation for the blessings in your life.
  4. Petitionary prayer: This involves making requests or petitions to a higher power, asking for guidance, strength, or assistance.
  5. Contemplative prayer: This involves quiet reflection and meditation on a particular spiritual or religious idea or concept.