Cave Refectory Road 6: rhythm of life

 

Rhythm of Life continues 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 Jesus described as the ‘kingdom of heaven’ coming near.

‘The traditional monastic rule of life helps the monk to enter into the flows of minute and hour, of day and night, of dawn and dusk, of day and week, of season and feast day and, ultimately, of life and death. This is life lived to a different measure, with different priorities. We want to suggest that the monastic rule of life can be reinterpreted and embraced as a rhythm of life that will enable us to give attention to what truly matters, and to re-imagine human being…’

 

Cave Refectory Road - rhythm of life
Cave Refectory Road – rhythm of life

‘The monastic rhythm of life cultivates a different approach to time. It redefines the task as not just a means to an end, but as something to do because it is in itself both necessary and good. Its particular and brilliant gift is to carve out space for what is truly important…’

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

Look out for short daily posts around this latest 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 latest 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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Cave Refectory Road 5: on the road

 

On the Road continues 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 Jesus described as the ‘kingdom of heaven’ coming near.

‘There is great value in stability, but the spiritual search has a dynamic quality, so God may be found in movement as much as in stillness. A significant stream of monastic life always begins to flow from the deep pools of the religious enclosure. The stream flows where it will, unafraid to encounter whoever and whatever it finds. This is the way of the friar.

 

Cave Refectory Road - on the road
Cave Refectory Road – on the road

The experience of friar-disciples is that on the road we may learn something about the companionship of the God-man Jesus, our fellow traveller; something about the guiding of the God-Spirit, full of surprise; and something about the constancy of the God-Parent, drawing us on. Learning on the road can happen in all directions to those who are open to it. The disciple learns from the person encountered, the person encountered learns from the disciple…’

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

Look out for short daily posts around this latest 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 latest 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

Cave Refectory Road 4: in the refectory

 

In the Refectory continues 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 Jesus described as the ‘kingdom of heaven’ coming near.

We’re suggesting the refectory – the dining hall or canteen of the monastic settlement – as a symbol of the way of life that an individual or a community seeking to be in the way of the hospitable Jesus might follow. This is the community deciding to offer itself as a source of stability, presence and hospitality to its wider communities. This is the individual seeing their own resources as being a table set for more than one…

 

Cave Refectory road: in the refectory
Cave Refectory road: in the refectory

The monastic tradition almost always sees itself as being expressed in a flow between prayerful engagement with God and activity on behalf of the world – and specifically on behalf of the most needy. This motion invariably begins simply as presence, being alongside and with those who suffer, sharing their situation, and then working to bring relief…

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

Look out for short daily posts around this latest 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

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.

 

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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

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.

 

Read More

morning bell: time to be silent

 

The new series of morning bell explores the possibility of silence. More accurately, the giftedness of the sounds around us and the possibility of our own silence in response. The world is full of sound, and we would soon be disappointed if we tried to resist the sound, and grow a practice of prayer or stillness based on silence. Better to allow the sound to offer its gift.

 

blown away flyer

 

The words are from Ian’s poem ‘Blown Away’ in the book ‘Cave Refectory Road’ and will unfold each day. The images are from a local walk which inspired the poem into being.

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