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
danielle-laporte-how-you-listen-is-how-you-live-featured-2x

How you listen is how you live. (A poem for being of service.)

You may hear this as an order, an invitation, or as the opportunity of lifetimes.

How you listen is how you live.
Can you hear the women crying?
Can you hear the soil gasping for clean air?
And did you hear that? That’s the sound of a good man asking, How can I serve?

How do you serve?

Danielle-Laporte-Gift-Transaction

So, is this a gift, or a transaction? Because…your entire life is not a business deal.

I’ve been thinking a lot about transactional giving these days. I’ll tweet about you if you tweet about me. They owe me a favour. You listen for five minutes to them so they’ll listen when it’s your turn to talk. Even Stevens. Transactional giving can be a beautiful commerce of support, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that interplay. But if all of our giving is to secure our getting…then, well, it’s gross.

Danielle-Laporte-Love-the-egg-you're in

Love the egg you’re in. (This is not a sermon on patience. But…)

Savour the simplicity of your pre-dreams-come-true time. Love the egg you’re in. Because not too long from now–and right on time, you’ll be spreading your wings and life will never be the same again.

Rock your emptiness

Rock your emptiness

But what if we rocked our emptiness? Felt the perimeter of ourselves. Relished the silence. Made friends with the peace that’s always waiting for us. What if we got off on the discomfort of our emptiness and let it be creative tension?

Whats-Underneath-Wishful-thinking

What’s underneath wishful thinking?

Wishful thinking is tangled up with craving. We want what we want. So we ignore the evidence that we’re very likely not going to get what we want out of a situation. Craving… wishing. Craving… denial. Craving… tolerating. It’s a wishous cycle.

danielle-laporte-manifesto-for-creativity

Don’t worry about being invited back. My Manifesto for Creativity.

Meaningfulness. Reveal myself. Be compassionate. Don’t worry about being invited back. Go there. xo. I jotted this down when I began writing my book. I wanted a manifesto and it had to happen quickly because…I had a book to write.

danielle-laporte-life-is-what-happens-on-the-way-to-the-finish-line-featured-2x-456x456

Life is what happens on the way to the finish line.

If you’re not loving what it feels like between your various life destinations, then get off the ride. Burn the itinerary. Fuck “motivation” and be still long enough to find your inspiration.

Danielle-Laporte-Let-the-Love-in

Let the Love in. Because, “It’s an honour to help you.”

I was in a spiritual tizzy — that’s an esoteric term for 80% emotions-running-wild, and 20% having faith that everything will work out. I can’t remember what it was over (probably divorce papers, or a publishing contract, or buying a house. But it involved documents and beaucoup emotion.)

what-to-do-after-the-breakthrough-danielle-laporte-social-2-2x

What to do after you have a breakthrough. (You’re going to shrink after you expand, so, listen closely.)

Threshold, crossed. You got there. After the grinding, the repetitive strain, the cord-cutting, the screams of release, the bliss of relief — the training paid off. Muscle burn got you across the finish line. Soul fire resurrected you. BREAKTHROUGH.

jerk-final

Why jerks show up in your life.

We attract jerks to burn karma — old agreements to be broken in current time, vows to be rescinded, slates to be wiped clean. We attract jerks for contrast — jerks show us what deception and manipulation feels like. They show us how we DON’T want to feel — which is excellent intel for knowing how we DO want to feel.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This