Cave Refectory Road 3: to the cave

 

We continue our second year of spiritual practice in Beloved Life. Working with ideas from Ian’s book Cave Refectory Road: monastic rhythms for contemporary living we are exploring how ancient practices from the Jesus tradition might be a gift in our own times and in our own places, helping to bring about the kind of better world that he described as the ‘kingdom of heaven’ coming near. Whether entered into in the company of others or in solitude, the practice of stillness, study and prayer – what we are referring to as the cave – became firmly established as a central feature of religious life from the very beginning, shaping every monastic movement since. So what might cave-dwelling look like for us now?

 

Cave Refectory Road: to the cave
Cave Refectory Road: to the cave

We cannot summon up the spirit of God. We cannot create a holy moment. We cannot manipulate the divine. What we can do is enter a cave, and help to clear a space for the possibility of encounter. In the Jesus tradition every place is a potential encounter place, every space a sacred space. The journey to the cave is a tough one, but it must not be avoided. And in time, with openness and dedication, we may discover that the dark cave is actually filled with light…

©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.

 

Read More

Morning Bell: Facing Monsters

 

There appear to be many monstrous things happening in the world at this time (but was it not always so) – dehumanising the individual, degrading the earth and bringing destruction to society. We might also reflect that we have our own personal ‘monsters’ to deal with. Morning Bell continues through Epiphany, a season of revelation, by exploring how we might face these monsters. The Desert Fathers and Mothers  – the earliest monastics in the Judaeo-Christian tradition – took very seriously the struggle with monsters (or demons as they referred to them) both in the wider world and within themselves. Jesus himself was known as a teacher who faced up to (and faced down) the demons of his time. One of the greatest challenges for us is how to avoid becoming monstrous in the way we respond to monsters…

 

Morning Bell: Facing Monsters
Morning Bell: Facing Monsters

The ideas for this series are developed further in Ian’s book Running Over Rocks – particularly in the chapters Fight Dragons, With Humility / Choose Courageous / and Face Fear With Love. The images for this series have all been made by Ian this past Autumn and present Winter in Devon hollow-ways and creeks.

Grace and peace to you this Epiphany, may you find all the courage and love you need…
Ian

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

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s latest 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.

 

Read More

Morning Bell: Epiphany

 

Morning Bell returns on 6 January for the season of the Epiphany.  The central theme of this festival is the revelation of Jesus as gift for all the world – a gift for all people, for all places and for all time. And at the heart of the festival is the story found in the gospel of Matthew of the Magi – the mysterious ‘wise men’ from the East who come to seek out the holy child. This series of Morning Bell is a series of meditations on that story. As you ponder the story with us may you discover in and through the holy child all that you need to flourish, and so bring your goodness to the world…

Morning bell - Epiphany
Morning bell – Epiphany

The photos for this series were all taken on the isles of Mull and Iona.

Grace and peace to you this Epiphany
Ian

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

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s latest 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.

 

Read More

Cave Refectory Road 2: ancient paths, emerging patterns

 

We continue our second year of spiritual practice in Beloved Life. Working with ideas from Ian’s book Cave Refectory Road: monastic rhythms for contemporary living we’ll now begin to explore how ancient practices from the Jesus tradition might be a gift in our own times and in our own places. Cave Refectory and Road describe three related but distinct paths in the traditional monastic life. Each of these paths has the potential to bring about change in us for good in an age of dislocation, upheaval and uncertainty. Each may shape a Christianity that is a gift for the twenty-first century, helping to bring about the kind of better world that Jesus described when he spoke of the ‘kingdom of heaven’ coming near…

 

ancient paths, emerging patterns
ancient paths, emerging patterns

The jazz record ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis is a constant companion of mine. It’s a piece of music that seems to have the power to give new colour, shape or possibility to the day. It takes some old ingredients, and does something with them that I can only describe as miraculous. The practice of improvisational jazz may be a really helpful way of thinking about how we engage with a living tradition as ancient as that of monasticism…

©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.

 

Read More