Sit in Your Cell: Desert Reflections for Lent

For Lent, I invite you to cultivate presence to your own inner world. Allow yourself time for silence each day. In that space, let your breath carry you inward into your own monastic cell. Stay present with yourself as you notice emotions rising and falling.

Do you have an outer monastic cell—a room or space where you can pray without distraction?

How might you practice stability in your own life? What are the emotions that cause you to want to run in the other direction? Grief? Anger? Deep joy?

What are the ways you distract yourself from being fully present? We all have ways of numbing, whether through watching hours of television, surfing the internet, shopping, eating, drinking. Really, anything can serve as a way of numbing ourselves when we engage in them as a way of avoiding what we are experiencing within. Consider fasting from distraction this Lent and becoming more conscious of the ways you avoid staying with yourself.

2/28/2012 5:00:00 AM
  • Progressive Christian
  • Seasons of the Soul
  • Desert Fathers
  • Lent
  • LENT2012
  • Christianity
  • Christine Valters Paintner
    About Christine Valters Paintner
    Christine Valters Paintner, Ph.D., is a Benedictine Oblate and the online Abbess ofAbbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery without walls offering online classes in contemplative practice and creative expression and pilgrimages to Ireland, Germany, and Austria. She is the author of eight books on monasticism and creativity including The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom (Ave Maria Press) and her forthcoming book The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Inner Journey (Spring 2015, Ave Maria Press). Christine lives as a monk in the world in Galway, Ireland with her husband of twenty years.
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