time management with the monks

One mile south of Georgia O’Keefe’s beloved Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, thirteen miles down a cliff-hugging dirt road in the heart of Chama Canyon, you will find Christ In The Desert. The Benedictine Monastery is cloister to about twenty monks.

I’d fantasized about retreating to the remote monastery for about fifteen years. And when I finally made the white-knuckling drive to the end of the long road and saw that adobe-anchored cross kissing the sky, I felt … Home.

The peace. The humility. The sheer devotion. Getting to Christ In The Desert was a pilgrimage that my cells thirsted for. It’s worth mentioning here that I considered being a nun when I was about six years old. Then I learned what celibacy was and heard that there was a lot of cleaning involved in convent life, and I asked Jesus for his forgiveness because I just knew I wasn’t going to make the cut. I decided I wanted my own variety show, like Cher. Religion, cabaret…it’s all a kind of intense theater of passion.

I arrived just in time for prayer. The monks sing their prayers.

Glorious Gregorian chants echoed against the baked clay walls. My heart swelled. Tho’ the heavy sin-trip of the Psalm wasn’t lost on me, I was swept away by the beauty of it all. And I so needed to be swept away.

When the chants concluded and the monks filed out behind the tabernacle, I was able to be alone in the chapel for a long, sweet time. I thought about hope – which I have a very cantankerous relationship with. And I thought about priorities of the most divine kind. My priorities have been bumping against each other for a while now – clanking around and grinding down my heart. The focus of my trip was to put my so called priorities on the altar. Smash few. Polish some. Reorganize them to sync with my soul.

Above all, prayer holds the first place in the monk’s day and nothing must be preferred to this activity. Prayer involves coming into contact with divine life, in openness to the mystery of love which is written in our hearts.” The monks are encouraged to stop their chores if they feel inspired to pray. The passion to pray comes before work and all other tasks. The Brothers pray seven times in day in collective chanting and in solitude. Seven times a day.

So many mornings I have chosen email over meditation. I let deadlines rank over a stretch or a cuddle or a glass of water swallowed slowly and appreciated. I override the call to feel myself – the call to pray, or meditate, or be fully awake. Prayer comes in all forms and each one spoken brings grace to the day.

Thank you. Yes. Have mercy. Keep them safe. How lovely. Courage, please. I love you.

Our hearts are the altars. Our days, when lived awake, are another chance to know the joys of what matters most.

Attend first to the divine and the work at hand becomes art.

Tune in tomorrow for Part II of my monastery adventures…

related posts
How to hone your truth detector-Danielle-LaPorte

How to hone your truth detector.

There’s so much faking it to make it and deception happening in every sector of life — from politics to self-improvement. So how can we hone our truth detectors?

Women, boundaries, and spirituality. The perfect storm.

Women, boundaries, and spirituality. The perfect storm.

In my experience, boundary obliviousness is part of the initiation into wholeness. I don’t think you have to warrior your whole life for it, but it’s a passage to self-agency that most women seem to have to go through. Boundaries help us expand our consciousness.

What becomes possible when you say No?

What becomes possible when you say No?

What becomes possible when you say No? What would open up? Shift. Lighten. Crumble. Dissolve. Melt.

Danielle-LaPorte-List-of-things-to-give-up

What’s on your List of Things to Give Up? Here’s a peek at mine.

It’s always a good time to let go of whatever is holding you back. [Astrologically speaking, it’s PRIME TIME to give it all UP.] For your inspiration…

Did you get interrupted on the way to “ideal”-Danielle-LaPorte

Did you get interrupted on the way to “ideal”?

Every “image” I had of my “ideal” life has been interrupted, derailed, splattered on the road to this sometimes way too fucking complicated, patience-of-Job, deeply deep and BEAUTIFUL life that I find myself in. CORRECTION: I didn’t “find” myself here. I made choices to be here –– right where I am. One choice at a time. Every time you choose to go for a “feeling” instead of an “image”, you’re making a courageous choice.

The first step to take when you’re in hell-Danielle-LaPorte-2017

The first step to take when you’re in hell.

It feels interminable. Like you’ll never get out. Like it’s never…going…to…end. That’s the nature of hell. It’s not the pain that drives you insane, it’s the fear that the pain could go on and on.

Danielle-LaPorte-Whats-the-motive

But what’s the MOTIVE? (And BTW, pure motives RULE).

But what’s the MOTIVE? (And BTW, pure motives RULE). Same gesture. Same joke. Same service. Same policy. How can you spot the selfish intention when the branding is so glorious? Or how can you sense the true wisdom when the delivery is so 2000-and tacky? How can you really hear someone when your judgement is clouded by…judgement?

Danielle-LaPorte-its-not-always-self-sabotage

It’s not always self-sabotage. It’s just…what it takes.

Lightwork can be a fight. If you think being on the “spiritual” side of progress guarantees you harmony, then either you haven’t been at it long enough or you’ve been playing it safe. Harmonizing, healing, serving, shining…it’s messy work. Beautiful. Worth it. But messy.

Are-you-tired

Are you tired? Or just really (justifiably) angry?

Of course there are times — perhaps entire years, when we are bone-baked exhausted. But being fed up is not the same as being fatigued. In the seasons when we are vivacious and brimming with life, we can’t let ourselves slip into the reflex of heaviness.

A question for your growth

A question for your growth (that has nothing to do with quick, easy or “proven.”)

Here’s the most powerful question (that we too often forget) to ask ourselves when we’re on the hunt for solutions: “But… what suits me?”

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This