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.
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.