Author's details

Name: cloakedmonk
Date registered: May 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Beguine Again: Attentiveness to Life on Sabbath — November 1, 2014
  2. Beguine Again: Sabbath: Entering into Holy Time — October 29, 2014
  3. Begin Again: Joy in Remembering — October 29, 2014
  4. Begin Again: Submission Guidelines for Beguine Again: Advent — October 28, 2014
  5. Begin Again: Invitation to Ritual and Honoring Your Ancestors — October 26, 2014

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

Nov 01 2014

Beguine Again: Attentiveness to Life on Sabbath

Original post at


Permanent link to this article:

Oct 29 2014

Beguine Again: Sabbath: Entering into Holy Time

Original post at

A recent note went out titled “Class Enrollment and Schedule” or some close approximation thereof. It was not supposed to go! Aaah, the human element of technology. Please replace it with this one. :)  And please go to the blog page to enroll. Shalom!

Sabbath, the call to Holy Time, is a practice that goes back to the Ten Commandments of the Ancient Israelites: “Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy.” Even further, it stretches back to our story of creation in Genesis, “And God rested on the seventh day.”

Starts: November 22, 2014

Ends:  January 9, 2015

Cost:  Right fit payment

This is a seven-week look at Sabbath from a Christian perspective. We will explore Sabbath as a rhythm of life that fosters care for creation, rebalancing our relationship with work, grounding Sabbath in biblical teaching and tradition, connecting Sabbath to justice, Sabbath’s roots in community, infusing Sabbath with joy, placing Sabbath at the heart of loving God and neighbor, and tying Sabbath to the Lord’s Day. Although it is from a Christian perspective, we would greatly encourage others to participate and to share how Holy Time informs your own spiritual path. We honor diversity, ecumenism, and inter-faith dialogue (or non-faith).

The class is a video format. Each video is about 20 minutes long and will be available online. A link will be sent to participants. There will be an online discussion group in Facebook. A “Secret” group that will allow for conversation to develop without the whole world listening in. This allows opportunities to participate as you feel able, where you are able, as you are able.

We will receive wisdom from renowned scholars and sociologists as we delve into the practice of creating Holy Time with this exclusive curriculum developed by Katie Ladd at The Well.

The curriculum features Walter Brueggemann, Norman Wirzba, Ellen Davis, Dorothy Bass, Robin Jensen, Lauren Winner, Amy-Jill Levine, Jack Sasson, Ched Myers, Brian McLaren, and Bill McKibben. Each session is accompanied by a downloadable handout that defines terms, contains a bio of each participant, provides relevant biblical information, and suggests questions for conversation.

Click through on the Sabbath category for payment options ranging from $0 to $60 for right fit payment:


Permanent link to this article:

Oct 29 2014

Begin Again: Joy in Remembering

Original post at

I am both inspired by LaPadre’s recent ritual post for Samhain and with the idea of All Saint’s Day or a time of Remembering our Ancestors.

Jane Louise Rankin Kimble

Jane Louise Rankin Kimble

As I ponder All Saint’s Day, knowing that October holds the anniversary of my mother’s death so many years ago, I am suddenly moved to tears. There were so many conversations that I never had with her…

…Wow, toddlers are crazy! How did you do it?

…What was life like for you as a young mother in the 1960s?

…What was it like, dealing with a body that betrays you?

…What were your greatest gifts? achievements? disappointments?

…Who are you?

My mom died when I was pregnant with my oldest son, 21 years ago. In my 20’s and in the throes of rebellion, then marriage, then pregnancy, I was pretty focused on my own internality and neglected my relationships with other people. And I lived in TX while my parents were in NC. I think it is totally natural to be in that head-space in your 20’s. It is a building time, not a reflecting time. I think, though, we are moving into a time where reflection is coming at an earlier age. As a Gen X, I would be characterized as the first latchkey kid (and I was) that would be in charge of my own life. Autonomy and self-reliance.

*raises hand*

Guilty as charged!

So in my 20’s, I was building a self-reliant life, neglecting my ancestors. And certainly not ever believing that a parent would not be around when I was in my 30s.

But today, I cast my memory back to joyful times. I remember that she is part of my cloud of witnesses, and that she was a complicated woman! Full of self-doubt, but oh so smart! Part of a hierarchical family, but rebelling against it by her achievements and success. And recognition. Teaching her children to be strong in the face of adversity. And to never give up.

And I believe that it is possible to have those conversations that I desire. She is here to experience that. We can talk, dance, laugh, play. It is possible! And in remembering, I can create a new paradigm for our relationship. We are no longer mother/child, although that is still there. But we are woman/woman. Mother/mother. Employee/employee. So much more complicated and complex that we once were.

A simple meditation technique for meeting your ancestor is this:

1. Find something tangible that you can hold or touch that reminds you of your ancestor. For my mom, I would hold some earrings. We had a common love of really big, goofy earrings. I still have some of her earrings around.

2. Have some water around and a cloth. Thirst and tears may come.

3. Sit comfortably, loosely. If it is helpful, set up a candle that you can lightly rest your gaze on. If you don’t have a candle, and you want to gaze on something, use a photo or drawing of your loved one, or even a picture of a candle on your computer.


4. Let your inner gaze rise upwards, call to mind the face of your loved one. As you continue to recall your ancestor, issue an internal invitation for their presence. When you see the face, what is their body language? Are they fearful? Joyous? Anxious? How do you want to great them? Do you want to rush forward and hug them? Or hold a hand out for a shake? Or what about a twirl?

5. Be with your loved one. Set a virtual table for two in your imagination. Sit across from one another and be in the presence of love. Now speak your truth.

…I miss you!

…I love you!

…I remember when…!

…What would you tell me now…?

6.  When it is time. Let go. Hold your hands together with your ancestor. Bow towards each other and offer respect and love. You could say, “Namaste” or “The Christ in me sees the Christ in you,” “Shalom,” or “Salaam.”

Let go.

7. Hold yourself still and open for a little while longer. Feel love. Feel love. Feel love.

8. Come back to here. Drink your glass of water. Dry your tears. Feel the joy that comes with being loved and remembering.

Shalom and Amen.


Permanent link to this article:

Oct 28 2014

Begin Again: Submission Guidelines for Beguine Again: Advent

Original post at

Soon we will be moving into Advent and I would love to have you all participate! The theme is preparation and the beauty comes from so many voices that chime in with different understandings of what it means. What does preparation mean? To prepare? Is it a lifelong stance? Or is it as straight forward as preparing for the next thing…and the next thing. Is it preparing the earth? Or preparing your soul? What does this time mean to you?

Theme: Preparation

Items: Photo, poem, essay, collage, story, any creative endeavor! A song? Youtube? Slam poetry!

Due date: November 20, 2014

Publication information: Daily during Advent at and in a monthly e-zine at the end of Advent

Length: An essay should be no longer than about 500 words or so. I’m not a word counting Nazi! But this is a readable length for an online, meditative format.

Copyright Information: Will be covered under Creative Commons (AT-NC-ND). Meaning, full attribution, non-commercial, and no derivatives. But sharable. Please let me know if you need something else.

Background: We do an Advent focus every year. Advent is the season in Christianity that leads to Christmas and includes the four preceding Sundays. During Advent, other holy days of note include Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, and Yule. You can see last year’s entries at

RSVP: Send a note indicating your interest in participating to . We really want your support and participation!

by Julie Adams

by Julie Adams

Artwork: Julie Adams from Advent 2013: Crystallize Meaning

Permanent link to this article:

Oct 26 2014

Begin Again: Invitation to Ritual and Honoring Your Ancestors

Original post at

We always keep the monthly ritual up on the “Invitation to Ritual” tab for quick and easy access. Thank you to LaPadre, Deborah Globus, for continuing to share her gifts with us!

Honoring Your Ancestors

Samhain FB cover 3

Dad and me circa 1979

Dad and me circa 1979

My dad was in the army around the time of the Korean war.  He tells a story of meeting with his commanding officer who suggested he’s be great for a particular position: bomb technician.  He’d have to take a test, of course.  The commanding officer introduced Dad to the bomb technician who would be administering said test.  My dad noticed that when the guy reached out to shake his hand several parts of the man’s fingers were missing at various knuckle points.  The punch line of the story is my Dad saying “That’s the only test I’ve ever failed on purpose!”

I love that story and as I tell it I can see my Dad telling it to me, hiding parts of his fingers as he demonstrates the handshake.  Makes me smile every time.

What exactly does that have to do with Halloween?

Several traditions and religions share the belief that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is thinnest at this time.  From the Celtic celebration of Samhain (pronounced Sah-wen) to the Mexican Dio de Meurtos, cultures around the world take time to remember our beloved dead at this time of year.

But what does that look like to us in the Western culture.  In a society where self-sufficiency and independence is valued, what does it mean to honor their ancestors?

The simplest answer is story.  After the trick-or-treating and the pumpkin carving, honoring the ancestors means lighting a candle and telling the stories of the people who came before us.  My kids know my Dad from nights like these, and my grandma, too.  Another family that joins us for circle loves this holiday because their Irish grandmother, a talented storyteller in her own right, is remembered and all the stories she made up are told.

This Halloween try carving out some time, maybe even while carving out the pumpkins, light a candle and share a story of a loved one long gone.  The veil between the worlds is thin…they may even come to listen and share in the love.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Samhain,


Permanent link to this article:

Oct 25 2014

Begin Again: Inspired by Cathedral

Original post at

There is an old song called Cathedral by Crosby, Stills and Nash. This song has a haunting piano part lovingly played by Graham Nash. I’ve seen them perform this live twice and have listened to it untold times. It seemed so perfectly to tell my story and relationship with Christianity when I first heard this song…

Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here
Too many people have lied in the name of Christ
For anyone to heed the call
So many people have died in the name of Christ
That I can’t believe it all

Sometimes, I still feel this way. That so many people have lied in the name of Christ how are we to discern what is right and true? I feel this way when I hear preachers preaching hate or pastoral leaders indicted with sex crimes or embezzling money or building monetary empires that finance gold faucets and heated dog houses.

Oh yeah, I grew up in the Bible belt and was in the same city as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker when they were enjoying the pinnacle of their success. That led to creating Heritage USA which was a monstrosity of a theme park. Then Jim Bakker was in hot water over sex and money. We learned of the gold fawcetts in their mansion home.  That was never my image of what a pastor should be.

Of course, this is after my high school church literally ran the pastor out of town because he was too liberal for them. He failed to force his wife to be submissive and demure enough. And he refused to back down. There were no pastoral shenanigans, but there were certainly people lying in the name of Christ.

We are really good at doing horrible things in the name of our religions.
(I will only address my own religion, Christianity, but overall, this holds true, yes?)

Cathedral, by CSN, held the key to my young adult relationship with the church. I was a little standoffish. OK, a lot standoffish.

I’m flying in Winchester cathedral
It’s hard enough to drink the wine
The air inside just hangs in delusion
But given time
I’ll be fine

Yeah, drinking the wine can be hard. And sometimes the church is covered in delusion. But so is it all. We are expert at “drinking the cool-aid” or going along with the crowd. We are expert at joining in the delusion of being the holders of the truth. The only truth.

But that is all it is. Cool-aid and delusion. In Christianity, Jesus teaches us to challenge authority, think outside the box, and to serve humanity where it is hurting. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and visit the imprisoned. We are also taught to eschew riches and to challenge the status quo with what I call downward mobility. Giving up our riches.

What would the world be like if we chose what was fulfilling instead of what was richest? If we chose what was loving rather than what was self-serving? If we truly loved our neighbors and ourselves?

I think it would be an amazing world. And it already is. The kingdom is now but not yet.

Want to join in some kingdom building? Then go out and serve the world! Bring peace, compassion, and love to the fore and leave behind the lies and delusions of self grandeur.


Cathedral by Terri Stewart CC (AT-NC)

Abandoned Cathedral
by Terri Stewart



Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «