A few weeks ago I read a fantastic post called ‘The Monk Manifesto’ that gave me new language to the practice of covenant living. For the last several years I have endeavoured to live within the relational practice of a covenant life but, when I’d invite others to join in the practice, most became squeamish or resistant to the idea. For the most part, the word “covenant” felt too ridged or final in expectations. Despite my efforts to emphasis the relational practice of a covenant life, no one really wanted to practice it with me.
The Monk Manifesto gives a different view to the lifestyle & practices of intentional living. While the word “monk” can pertain to monastic imagery, it is not strictly Christian & can then allow for other religious identity’s to join in the manifesto & find a voice in community life. With the beauty of poetic expression, Christine Valters describes, “A monk in the world does not live apart but immersed in the everyday with a single-hearted and undivided presence, always striving for greater wholeness and integrity.” This is a lifestyle that not only finds relational flexibility within the person practicing it, but also in the community they are seeking to reveal greater truths into & create spaces of beauty, health, & newness within.
Like wise, the word “manifesto” is one that reveals with clarity the particular callings within our own personhood or community. They are stated as rhythms to our way of life that as time reveals, can change according to the other spaces, relationships, & conditions around us. It is inevitable that our condition in life will change whether it is in the environment we are living, our health & bodily expectations, or the relationships we construct around ourselves. It is then important for us to be able to visit our manifesto’s from time to time to tweak them, change, &/or cease certain practices that are no longer beneficial.
It is important here to say that a Monk Manifesto is not a new year’s resolution list or a set of rules for inclusion & membership. The rhythms of a manifesto are more of a lifestyle calling that becomes enhanced by the person or individual who takes them up. While one practice of the manifesto might have a specific meaning to one person, it might mean something completely different to another. To express my love for my wife may be part of my daily rhythms, but it will take a completely different expression as my in laws or my friends express their love for her. At least it better!
So what is the Monk Manifesto for The Inception Of Wonder? Perhaps, it might look something like this…
I seek to expand my imagination & how I perceive the world around me through fostering relationships with God as I know him, the diversity of others who are both like & different from myself, & the expressed beauty & needs of the spaces I live in.
I endeavour to practice an art of listening for both the spoken words shared with me in those relationships & intuitively discern the deeper stories being told within my world.
I daily remain attentive to the expansion of my mind, learning new things & sharing them through practical life applications & contemplative meditation.
I desire to incarnate & live out what it means to be human & a holistic being with purpose, significance, & care for the whole of creation.
I practice radical grace, mercy, & hospitality in all my relationships in the hopes of bringing redemption, reconciliation, & justice both in my life & the lives of others.
I work towards the renewal of all things in my life through the pursuit of good health, creative developments, & collaborative endeavours with others.
I seek to inspire others in discovering the inception of wonder in their lives & encourage their gifts, talents, & abilities to grow in relationship with it wholly.
What might this manifesto look like in your life? How do you see it making you a better person & perhaps finding the presence of wonder in greater ways?
With the new year approaching, it is my hope The Inception Of Wonder might find some new expressions of community life & perhaps even find places of gathering to share how this manifesto is impacting us for the better. But I would love to hear your feedback as to what you think of this Monk Manifesto. What questions might you have? Where might this bring challenge in your life? Would you see it expressed differently?
Perhaps most pointedly, would you take this Monk Manifesto up with me as we journey in the new year together?