morning bell: the Prologue

 

The Prologue is a new series of Morning Bell for the start of Advent and for the beginning of a new Church year. In this series we are simply offering text from the wonderful Prologue to John’s Gospel. John probably wrote his Gospel in old age, many years after his experience as a young man of being one of the disciples of Jesus. The Prologue represents a beautiful summary of what John seems to have concluded about Jesus and the nature of his place in – and gift to – the world. It’s a passage of scripture that is often read in Advent – and we invite you to imagine and reflect with us on what John is saying.

Morning Bell - the Prologue
Morning Bell – the Prologue

The photos for this series were all taken in October in Southsea and Portsmouth when I spent a week with religious community the Sisters of Bethany. Their devotion to the Christ now echoes John’s devotion to the Christ two thousand years ago. May we all be inspired again by John’s insight, and by his love…

Grace and peace to you this Advent
Ian

There are various additional ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

 

 

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Cave Refectory Road 1: reshaping the world

 

INTRODUCTION: This week at the start of Advent 2014 marks the beginning of our second year of spiritual practice in Beloved Life. For the first few months of this new year we’ll be working with ideas from Ian’s book Cave Refectory Road: monastic rhythms for contemporary living

What does it take
to mark the canvas
to write the line
to play the chord
to plough the field
to cross the river
to change the world?

Perhaps
the courage
to let become
what is waiting to become

– Ian Adams ‘What does is take?’

REFLECTION: ‘Modern life is rubbish’ was the succinct conclusion of the band Blur in 1993 and anecdotal evidence is that, for many, things have not got much better in the years since. In the face of so much that seems to suggest that (post)modern life is rubbish, Cave Refectory Road imagines how the traditional monastic life may help to bring about something truly hopeful for the world – a new flowering of personal and community life in the twenty-first century…’

 

practices of Cave Refectory Road
practices of Cave Refectory Road

 

PRACTICE: ‘We’ll ask if it might be possible to take monastic practice, wisdom and spirituality into everyday life, and we’ll try to imagine what that might that look like in both personal and community settings. We’ll wonder how a renewed exploration of the monastic way in the context of daily life might contribute to a reshaping of the wider world for the good of all, replacing our widespread sense of disillusionment with hope…’

©Ian Adams ‘Cave Refectory Road: monastic rhythms for contemporary living’ (Canterbury Press and Liturgical Press USA)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including  Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

 

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morning bell: Unfurlings

 

A new series of Morning Bell called Unfurlings marks the closing of Autumn and the ending of the Church year with the festival of Christ the King. The Unfurlings are a collection of haiku poems from the poetry collection Unfurling. Each haiku is an opportunity to reflect on our direction at this time – and on the wonder of our earth home.

 

morning bell: unfurlings
morning bell: unfurlings

The photos for this series have all been taken this late Autumn in South Devon. This time of season’s turning is challenging but also full of possibility. In the sights, sounds and senses of late Autumn may you know the presence of the Christ.

Grace and peace to you
Ian

There are various additional ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

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beloved life practices 52: give everything to find everything

 

WISDOM: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

REFLECTION: ‘One of the greatest (and shortest) of short stories ever told is Jesus’s parable of treasure in the field. The treasure is worth everything. It seems to me that our potential involvement in the bringing of good to the world is truly worth all that we have. That we really need to be ready to Give Everything to Find Everything. And the word give is vital here. Many of these practices rooted in the life and wisdom of Jesus involve a giving away, a letting go, an opening of hands and heart, a dropping away of what we instinctively want to hold close, usually because of fear…’

beloved life: give everything to find everything
beloved life: give everything to find everything

PRACTICE: ‘The practice of Give Everything to Find Everything is about establishing a ritual by which you remind yourself each day of your desire to give everything to find everything, to become the truly human being you are meant to be and to bring good to the world. Only you can decide what your ritual will look like. But I would encourage you to make it physical in some way, perhaps through a gesture or movement, accompanied by words. Make it simple and portable so that you can do it wherever you are…’

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including  Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 51: embrace intimacy

 

REFLECTION: ‘I love you. One simple phrase that is being uttered many times all over the planet as you read this. I love you awakens old dreams, and brings new worlds into being. So much of our possibility as human beings is connected to our desire for intimacy – for the love of another, for connection and belonging, for unity and at-oneness, without defence or fear, without shame or anxiety. Intimacy is vital for our well-being. But intimacy can be demanding. The gifts of intimacy can also be its uncomfortable challenges. Are we up for vulnerability, for letting go of control, for letting the other be the other? The practice of Embrace Intimacy is about (re)discovering the vitality of intimacy for ourselves – intimacy with another human being, intimacy with the earth, and intimacy with God – and allowing that intimacy to enable us to bring good to the world…’

 

beloved life: embrace intimacy
beloved life: embrace intimacy

 

PRACTICE: ‘Begin this practice by reflecting on your own recent experiences of intimacy. To what extent have these been characterized by attention, vulnerability, honesty and tenderness? If you are without a partner your yearning for intimacy must not be ignored. And if you do have a partner true intimacy needs to a reciprocal thing, being nurtured within a wider environment of commitment and devotion. There is currently a great openness, both I think for better and for worse, around sex and sexuality. Within that culture of openness we need, for a better world, to see a renewed emphasis on the nurturing of true intimacy and tenderness. It starts of course, with each one of us. So Embrace Intimacy!

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems by Ian Adams 2014
Unfurling: poems by Ian Adams 2014

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including  Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 50: face fear with love

 

REFLECTION: ‘Fear is, for most of us, a really strong driver. And it can easily come to dominate us. Earlier in this year of spiritual practice we explored the idea of fighting our dragons with humility. We’ve also noted that occasionally the only thing that will enable us to hold on in tough times is to choose to be courageous and to do the right thing. In this practice, one of the final three practices in Running Over Rocks, each exploring the possibility of love, I want to suggest that the most freeing way to live with our fears is to face them with love – the only spirit that truly enables us live as free people. For this reason we might say that the true opposite of fear is not calmness, confidence or even hope, but love…’

 

beloved life: face fear with love
beloved life: face fear with love

 

PRACTICE: ‘A first and necessary step in the practice of Face Fear with Love is to recognize our fears. We can then begin to respond to them with intention, rather than just with instinct (please note that there is still a place for the instinctive response of flight in certain situations – may you know when!) At the end of today ask yourself this (and your answer to this question may come as shock but the insight may be worth the effort and indignity): To what extent have my actions and inactions today been shaped by fear? A next step is to convert the energy of fear (and fear carries a lot of energy) into something more positive. So, try to take the energy that comes from your fear of a certain situation happening and convert it into love for something or someone else…’

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems by Ian Adams 2014
Unfurling: poems by Ian Adams 2014

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including  Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 49: blessing (become blessing)

 

REFLECTION: ‘The final act of Jesus, the Gospel writer Luke tells us, was to bless his followers. And this rag-tag group went on to change the world. The final act was thus just a beginning. And the blessing may not be incidental to that outcome. In the ancient and unfolding Jesus tradition there is an undeniable sense that in the act of blessing something shifts around us. A blessing is more than the words that are voiced, greater than any gesture made. Possibilities are being opened up in an ever-moving cosmos…’

beloved life: blessing (become blessing)
beloved life: blessing (become blessing)

PRACTICE: ‘The practice of Blessing (Become Blessing) is about about nurturing the act of blessing in our daily lives. And it’s about letting the act of blessing change both the giver and receiver so that we become blessing in our very being. Look for an opportunity each day to offer a simple action or phrase to someone that will be a blessing to them…’

©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press,  also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

Read More