Monk Manifesto

Want to become a monk with me? I ran across this Monk Manifesto on Krista Tippet’s blog over at OnBeing a few days ago and loved it. The subtitle for the post is: Seven Principles for Living With Deep Intention. If you know me even a little, you probably know that a title and subtitle like that is something that will draw me right in. I write with deep intention, and I like to live that way, too.

Like many of us, I then started thinking of all the people I wanted to email the Monk Manifesto to with a personal message. Something along the lines of: Want to become a monk with me? I wanted to send it to people I love and care about–the kindred spirits I’ve met on my journey as a writer and beyond. Then I thought:

Oh, I have a blog. I have a way to spread cool things to the people I love and care about.  

So here it is, dear ones. See what you think:

The Monk Manifesto: Seven Principles for Living with Deep Intention

Monk: from the Greek monachos meaning single or solitary. A monk in the world does not live apart but immersed in the everyday with a single-hearted and undivided presence, always striving for greater wholeness and integrity.

Manifesto: from the Latin for clear, means a public declaration of principles and intentions.

Monk Manifesto: A public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.

The Monk Manifesto

1.  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.

2.  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.

3.  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.

4.  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.

5.  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.

6.  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.

7.  I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.

The Monk Manifesto was created by Christine Valters Paintner. You can find out more about her at Abbey of the Arts. This is the first part of the post. You can go to her site to read more.

In the meantime, I think we should seriously think about becoming monks together. Are you in? xo


Susan Gabriel is the acclaimed southern author of The Secret Sense of Wildflower (named a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews) and other southern novels, including Temple Secrets, Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories and others. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina and wants to become a female monk.


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