Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why a rule of life can be so valuable

The Society of St. John the Evangelist is an Episcopal monastic order for men. This particular monastery is in Cambridge, Massachusetts.



  1. This is interesting Sr. Ellie.For those of us who do not come out of a monastic tradition, I wonder if you would kindly elaborate on exactly what is meant by "rule of life".

    annie c

  2. thank you for this beautiful little excerpt. saying "yes" to your life is a powerful idea, it seems to me to mean trusting on a very deep level that can be hard. i'd love to hear more about how to do it, especially outside of the monastic life. btw, i have sat silently in their cambridge church. it is very beautiful, and is inhabited by a palpable sense of the spirit. if you are ever in cambridge, i would recommend a visit.

  3. Hi, Patty. I'm so glad to hear from you. Yes, I have been in that chapel many times, actually. It is very beautiful and I know exactly what you mean about the sense of spirit.

    Well, Annie, a "rule of life" is a commitment to oneself about those practices that will support an overall spiritual outlook on life. It can involve prayer and meditation time, attending church services or other gatherings, giving donations to specific causes as a spiritual practice, being faithful to spiritual reading, that sort of thing. I've given a number of workshops over the years about having a rule of life and I'm fond of saying that your rule is what you can count on yourself to do without having a debate with yourself about it.

  4. Thank you Sister,

    I like your emphasis on doing "what you can count on yourself to do without having a debate with yourself about it".

    I am thinking of connecting with a sitting meditation tradition that invites you to make a "commitment to practice" and actually offers a schedule for one to sign and discuss with a teacher. It seems like a good idea, don't you agree?

    annie c


New policy: Anonymous posts must be signed or they will be deleted. Pick a name, any name (it could be Paperclip or Doorknob), but identify yourself in some way. Thank you.