The Monastery

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The Monastery

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Jul 25, 2007, 5:07am

Not sure if anyone saw a BBC programme called "The Monastery" that was aired in 2006. It followed the trials and tribulations of five 'ordinary' people who attempted to follow the Benedictine way of life for six weeks in Worth Abbey in Sussex. (Apparently there was a later, similar US programme filmed in a monastery in New Mexico.)

The abbot of Worth Abbey Christopher Jamison later published a book Finding Sanctuary, subtitled "Monastic Steps for Everyday Life". In a sense it's a kind of self-help book, but the abbot does have some interesting and insightful things to say about living in the modern world.

Aug 17, 2007, 10:36am

I saw it and really enjoyed it -- both seeing something of the spiritual life of the monastery and the paths taken by the participants. Did you know that they've also done a series in a convent and, I think earlier this year, did a series at an Islamic retreat in Spain? I missed most of the Convent series but what I saw of the Islamic series was fascinating.

I didn't know about the abbot of Worth's book but will look out for it now, thanks -- I've also meant ever since the series to read the Rule of Benedict, it seemed so relevant.

Mar 24, 2008, 9:11pm

I have a whole list of monastic books on my site if you want to follow the link there under monastic. I've been visiting monasteries and convents and studying them from both the medieval/Anglo-Saxon angle and the modern one. I like both E. de Waal's and Thomas Keating's books. And I have a spiritual director who is an Episcopal, Gregorian Friar -- live alone, non-cloistered.

Mar 24, 2008, 9:13pm

I would love to see the BBC program. I've been following the monastic day as much as possible for several years but have been told that it is actually much easier in community than trying to do it alone.