The lazy, hazy days of summer have arrived. Hazy, Foggy… but rarely lazy. Mainers seem to ratchet up our activity when the blue summer skies finally arrive. You can hear the level of intensity in the way many of us talk about what we plan to do that day/week. “I’ve got to mow this lawn while the grass is dry.” “I’ve got to weed the garden/pick the peas before it rains.” I’ve got to … before my friends arrive/my family arrives.” You get the idea.
Haven’t we been talking about taking care of ourselves and making time for rest and renewal? Imagine for a moment that you’re a modern monk. Dr. Christine Valters Paintner invites us to commitment ourselves to the Monk Manifesto.
A public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.
- I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.
- I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
- I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.
- I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy asceticism by discerning my use of energy and things, letting go of what does not help nature to flourish.
- I commit to bringing myself fully present to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, holding a heart of gratitude for the ability to express my gifts in the world in meaningful ways.
- I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.
- I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.
How would your lifestyle need to change? What if we tried to follow this from July 1st through September 21st (Fall Equinox)? Would we find ourselves changed?
Looks like a nice, hot summer day out there. I think I’ll enjoy some “Passive Solar Meditation” near a local spring. (aka – swimming and relaxing near the pool)