Day 18: Staff

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For the last few months I’ve been working on a sort of daily Advent devotional for my DoxaSoma folks. I wrote one a few years ago and uploaded that, “The Daily Practice of Prayer” ran just for 30 days and was meant to help people integrate some mindfulness in their fitness practice. Prayer and Practice for people who don’t usually associate those two.

Now, as an Orthodox christian I get prayer and movement all the time. The Orthodox liturgy isn’t a static one. It feels fluid to me, constant and moving. For most christians, though, prayer does feel static and perhaps detached from any physicality. In reality, we’re integrated beings- body, soul and spirit working together, God’s good design shining through. He does nice work.

So for today I though I’d share a DoxaSoma position, actually it’s a pair of positions called “Rod and Staff.” They always work together.


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Advent devotions…

If Advent is your gig…this is a good way to keep your focus right.


It’s that time of year again…we are in a state of preparation. As Christians this is a good time, this season of waiting and hope, to get our focus right. It can be hard to get and keep that focus of the coming of Christ! There are so many things to distract us.

You can help to set and keep the focus by downloading our new eBook, DoxaSoma: Daily Practice of Advent. Follow along with us each day, breathing and finding that focus.

You can get your copy by clicking below and begin your practice at any time!

Daily Practice of Advent

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Day 13: Gratitude & Day 14: Less is more

You know that pile of Thanksgiving and Gratitude posts people had up yesterday? Here’s another one 🙂

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Most of the morning yesterday I was roasting vegetables- broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers and carrots. I tossed in a handful of asparagus that was languishing in the fridge all week and an onion close to sprouting, mushrooms left lonely in that vented green box on the top shelf next to the sour cream. Orphan vegetables.

I don’t cook so well. It’s not a lack of practice or know how. I believe it has something to do with intention and focus. I get so easily distracted and maybe a little bored. That’s my confession today. I don’t give cooking the attention it deserves.

But I spent the day roasting the vegetables to bring for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the only dish I needed to prepare, thankfully, having the rest filled out by friends and family at the gathering we’d attend. It’s nice to be invited, to have a place to go and be…

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Day 12: The Spiritual Necessity of Tithing and Alms Giving

Thoughts on spare change…

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I gave money to the man who appears every day on the expressway off-ramp at Armitage and I-90east. I see him there walking slowly, shuffling really. He smiles a weak and nearly toothless smile, his face brown and rugged like the sign he carries, “Need help. Please.”

Generally I don’t give money to homeless people directly. I was broken of that habit years ago by a man who had no legs but that’s another story. Today, the story is about some shift that happened in me as I sat at the longest red light on the planet. The man on the off ramp is there consistently with his ragged cardboard sign. It’s a simple ask, each and every day. This is his ritual I imagine. Get up, feel the air on the skin, make adjustments as able for the weather, shuffle to the intersection with the longest red light on…

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Day 10: Building a Fire

On building fires…

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And now a word from our sponsors…

My husband and I make a business of building little fires with our work. We manage to cobble together a living with small projects and medium-sized projects and corporate gigs here and there. For the last three years while I’ve been working on my book, Nearly Orthodox, my husband Dave has been working on a book of his own.

The Hunting Accident is a graphic novel based on a true story. Dave first got wind of this a number of years ago when a friend told him the story of his father’s life journey one day over lunch. His friend’s father was blind and he had been telling everyone that he was blinded in a Hunting Accident. In reality, he was blinded in a liquor store robbery, in an attempt to get “made” by the mob in the 30’s. He was sent…

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Day 9: Salt

speaking of salt…

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I could not help but think of Lot’s wife when I heard that our topic for today is “salt.” And then I could not help but think of a poem by an Orthodox poet I like a whole lot. So rather than ramble on about the other things that come to mind- salt and high blood pressure and whether the pink himalayan sea salt I just bought really is some kind of wonder working miracle- I thought I’d just offer up these words for your perusal.

They’re pretty good words, in my humble opinion.

The Turning of Lot’s Wife
Scott Cairns
Genesis 19. 23-26

First of all, she had a name, and she had a history.
She was Marah, and long before the breath of
death’s angel turned her to bitter dust, she had
slipped from her mother’s womb with remarkable
ease, had moved in due time from infancy…

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Day 5: Bread

Thinking of my grandmother today…

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Cast your bread upon the waters,
    for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
    for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
    they empty themselves on the earth,
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-3

When my grandmother was 90 and some change she went to live in a nursing home. She did not want to move into a nursing home and she insisted that she was fine on her own but there were signs that told my aunts and uncles that perhaps it was for the best. She was an adventurous woman in my opinion, though I don’t think she would admit that. She lived a humble life with…

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The elephant in the room…

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It’s been a busy a good way, that is.

First, I get an essay published about being a monk in the world, then I have something show up on Elephant Journal about my hatred of kombucha. #truestory

If you get a chance go and check it out! If you share it liberally there’s a chance I’ll buy you a donut next time I see you. Be warned, though, that most likely I’ll make you do 20 sit ups first.


Monk in the world…

I’m pleased to have a piece up on Abbey of the Arts this week for their “Monk in the World” guest series. I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out and to browse the rest of the site. It’s a sweet group of folks and there’s a whole catalogue of wisdom there!

Monk in the World

30 (or 40) days of blogging…again

30 or 40 posts all in a row…coming soon from my Nearly Orthodox blog 🙂

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2014-BADGESo, last year I threw in with some other Orthodox writer types and wrote every day for 30 (or 40) days during what we call the Nativity Fast in the Orthodox tradition. It was fun, so fun, I’m doing it again this year.

Last year I was scattered and wigged out. This year…well, okay this year I’m scattered and wigged out too. Let’s just admit that “scattered and wigged out” is my standard operating procedure. The minute I make it to “calm and collected” on a regular basis I’ll let you know, or maybe you’ll be the one to let me know. I might be so used to “scattered and wigged out” that the “calm and collected” would throw me into a panic, thus undoing all the hard work of years past.

This is why we need community. Remind me I said this.

That being said, I’ll start writing these…

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