Author's details

Name: cloakedmonk
Date registered: May 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Begin Again: To infinity and beyond! — October 19, 2014
  2. Begin Again: Sabbath Descends — October 17, 2014
  3. Begin Again: TGIF: Practicing Gratitude — October 17, 2014
  4. Begin Again: Community of the Spirit — October 15, 2014
  5. Begin Again: Cloaked Monk's Blog: Sunny Sunday: It’s All Downhill! — October 6, 2013

Most commented posts

  1. Cloaked Monk's Blog: Post-Modernism is Dead…Wait, What? — 1 comment
  2. Cloaked Monk's Blog: Age Statistics Comparison of #gc2012 Delegates — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Oct 19 2014

Begin Again: To infinity and beyond!

Original post at

Hi all! There has been a lot going on at lately and I want to share it with you! We are joining forces with to come together as a team to provide what we have been, spiritual practices within a daily context. But! And this is the exciting part, in addition to our daily practices, we will be publishing a monthly/semi-monthly (we haven’t fully decided) that will focus on core disciples like simplicity, abundance, the earth…things like that! And in a creative way. Creative like photography, poetry, essay, stuff like that! Cool! So look for more writers to come over and for me to update things like the contributors pages and such. Can I get an Amen? 

Second, we have several offerings planned as online classes that will coincide with closed discussion groups to facilitate conversation.

sabbath class flyerAs you know, Sabbath is a core practice at We will be offering “Entering Into Holy Time: Preparing Ourselves for Life” from November 22 to January 3. This roughly corresponds with the Christian season of Advent and with the first half of the winter season (winter solstice December 21). This a traditional time of preparation for many faith traditions and we will be walking through it with a unique curriculum developed by Rev. Katie Ladd of The Well. This curriculum is not available anywhere else. It is from a Christian perspective, but you need not be Christian to participate. In fact, we’d be honored to have other voices chime in regarding their practices. The class will be available as a pay-as-you-can fee schedule and a link to sign up will be here on November 1. See the graphic for more information! We will be synchronizing our online study with an on-the-ground study at Lake Washington UMC in Kirkland. The video curriculum features scholars Walter Brueggeman, Norman Wirzba, Ellen Davis, Dorothy Bass, Robin Jensen, Lauren Winner, Amy-Jill Levine, Jack Sasson, Ched Myers, Brian McLaren, and Bill McKibben.

During Advent, we will be offering special reflections from the community focused on “preparation.” I would invite you to send me an email if you are interested in joining in the shared community! The more the merrier. I just need a bunch of folks that want to offer their own interpretation of preparation–in whatever way they want! Via video, poem, essay, photo…it is open season. Please send a note to . Deadline is November 15. This, of course, is part of our “regular” content.

Starting January 1, we will offer a 52 week series titled “Spiritual Practices.” This will introduce one new practice per week for you to contemplate and use (or discard). The practices will be co-taught by Colin Stewart, pagan, and Terri Stewart, Christian. But the focus is on the practice, not your particular religion. The cost of this series is $20 per month for a weekly notification about what Spiritual Practice and a monitored/facilitated discussion group. After 52 weeks, we will start over again at the beginning.

Also in January, James Cowles, will be offering a class on Religion and the Constitution. Look for more to come about his well-researched and thoughtful class from our lovable, curmudgeonly skeptic!

And one more thing…Robert Stewart will be offering a discussion group on favorite and troublesome Christian scripture. His particular p.o.v. is that of an interrogator of the text. Asking questions that make us uncomfortable! That might be irritating in a partner, but it is a good thing in a facilitator!

I lied, there is another thing! We will be doing the 40 day journey, “Are You Willing” developed by Deborah Globus ( and Terri Stewart ( roughly corresponding with the Christian season of Lent (February 18-April 2). The 40 days excludes feast days, of course! (i.e. Sundays off). This is not a Christian journey, but it is designed to take us deeper into our willingness to love and serve the world.

Thank you so much for riding along with us on this journey. It is my honor to travel with you.

sabbath class flyer

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Oct 17 2014

Begin Again: Sabbath Descends

Original post at

To remind us to honor Sabbath this week, I chose this beautiful poem by the Israeli poet, Zelda. However, I am publishing this Friday at dusk as this is a Jewish poem and in honor of Shabbat, or as some of us say, Sabbath, I am posting at the beginning of the evening on Friday night to honor Zelda’s tradition. If you’d like to learn more about Shabbat and the Jewish tradition, I’d encourage you to visit the resources at the end of this post.

2014 10 17 sabbath

Light a candle.
Drink wine.
Softly the Shabbat has plucked
The sinking sun.
Slowly the Shabbat descends,
The rose of heaven in her hand.

How can the Shabbat
Plant a huge and shining flower
In a blind and narrow heart?
How can the Shabbat plant the bud of angels
In a heart of raving flesh?
Can the rose of immortality grow
In an age enslaved to destruction,
An age enslaved
To death?
Light a candle!

Drink wine!
Slowly the Shabbat descends
And in her hand
The flower, and in her hand the sinking sun…
– Zelda, Israeli poet



Original photo by Alesa Dam, CC (BY-NC)

Poem by Zelda found at Temple Isaiah’s Website

Resources on Shabbat

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Oct 17 2014

Begin Again: TGIF: Practicing Gratitude

Original post at

The other day, I ran across the below quote on a different photo. One that had clearly been lifted from a movie. It was so cute! I wanted to share it but in a legal way. So I recreated it with a photo from the Creative Commons pool at Creative Commons is a way of sharing your work and controlling the amount of sharing. You can designate your items as “share alike” which is wide open to controlling things like commercial use, derivative use (making something new from the item, like below), creator attribution, things like that.

I think it is right and proper to follow the creator’s wishes and where no wishes are stated, admire their work and let it go! I am very grateful to Creative Commons for creating a way for people to share their work. I am inspired every time I go browsing around in that pool of talent at flickr. And this sharing is highly counter cultural! It is not taking without asking. It is not paying a third party for access. It is an open giving. Someone offers the gift of their work without ever knowing if it will be accepted. That is grace!

I am grateful for creative commons for making my work possible. 

What are you grateful for today?

Extreme Piglet

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Oct 15 2014

Begin Again: Community of the Spirit

Original post at

A beautiful writing from Rumi reflected with an inspiring photo from LiquidNight. Where are you finding delight today?

 There is a community
of the spirit. Join it,
and feel the delight of
walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.
Drink all your passion,
and be a disgrace.
Close both eyes
to see with the other eye.


by LiquidNight Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

“Delight” by LiquidNight
Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

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Oct 06 2013

Begin Again: Cloaked Monk's Blog: Sunny Sunday: It’s All Downhill!

Original post at

Where is your light today? What is inspiring you? Transforming you? What is allowing you to be love to the world? “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” ― Gautama Buddha … rolling downhill exuberant joy bubbling authenticity laid in unity with joy foundation – loving kindness … […]

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Oct 05 2013

Begin Again: Cloaked Monk's Blog: Sabbath Saturday – Solitude

Original post at

What are you planning that will bring you rest? It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson […]

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