The winter is approaching all too soon for me. My quilt construction studio is packed into storage and going into the other studio has to be tempered against the weather and my health. To help me maintain perspective, it is a great time for me to get cozy with myself and make another leap in my emotional, artistic, intellectual, spiritual journey. I selected this book after stumbling over it at Amazon. I look upon this aspect of my journey as going back in to excavate with a more open heart and mind.
The seed of the book begins with the author sharing her infatuation with “Hildegard of Bingen, the twelfth-century Benedictine abbess who was an artist, visionary, musician, theologian, preacher, spiritual director, and healer.” Valters Paintner has a background in the expressive arts. It was this passage in the first chapter that comforted me: “The inner monastery is a quality of consciousness you bring to everything you do, including creating. It is the crucible for your transformation, and everything you need to be whole is right there within you already.” This has been a long held belief for me, but the reality of living it out is many times a unconscious disconnect when I allow daily disappointments, hurdles, struggles, etc. become too far reaching into defining who and how I exist.
I started week one today which involved sacred reading (lectio divina) and mediation. She offers the possibility of incorporating a movement response such as walking and being open to the environment.
The book is a 12 week practice of reading, meditation, response, and reflection. The responses are written and visual ones.