Nurturing the Inner Monk - A Contemplative Boot Camp for Spiritual Companions
4-part Webinar Series
(Watch the video recordings at your convenience)
Too busy caring for others to care for yourself?
This webinar series is an invitation to refresh and awaken.
Develop your own contemplative life.
Support the people you serve with greater depth and patience.
Designed for all people who offer spiritual care.
This webinar series is all about welcome - the boundless welcome that comes from contemplation.
It's about the freedom such welcome provides, freedom to connect deeply and authentically with God, or however you name the ground of all being.
We welcome all people - from any tradition or none - to join us in this educational adventure.
Through four experiential learning sessions, Father Michael Fish will guide participants on a contemplative journey of affirmation and exploration. Those who offer spiritual care will be invited to nurture their own inner experience so they can better support the people they serve. The goal of the webinar series is simple - to unite the personal and universal, to engage in tender inquiry and truthful acceptance, to embrace our humanness and our spirituality as one.
This is an open invitation to go within and beyond - to be thoroughly refreshed and freshly awakened.
Please join us.
We've found the ideal person to guide you on this contemplative journey. Fr. Michael Fish, OSB Cam is a spiritual director, Camaldolese monk and masterful storyteller. He has inspired many groups, leading retreats internationally. His honesty, his vulnerability, his humor and his heart-opening questions invite others to follow a path of self-discovery. Watch the video below to get a sense of his approach. (Scroll down please for his bio.)
In Fr. Michael's own words:
"During our four sessions I hope to share with you a few basic themes for the spiritual life based on tradition and my own experience. I see our time together as an opportunity to revisit your own spiritual journey and perhaps consider new ways of engaging this adventure which, in turn, will benefit your ministry as spiritual directors and companions. The sheep only venture where the shepherd goes."
"I am convinced we need to develop a spirituality for today, one which can thrive in the midst of the chaotic business of our world so another way of approaching our time together would be to see these sessions as a kind of spiritual “boot camp”, a novitiate for the formation of the 'inner monk' or contemplative."
"I’ll be using story and poetry for I believe story and symbol are vital companions for the journey. I look forward to walking with you and pray that this time together may make our hearts burn and our eyes open."
Please remember, you can enjoy the webinar any time you like. Each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.
Affirm your heart - and its limitless capacity to love.
Give yourself permission to connect beyond ego.
Open the gate to mystery.
Explore your connection to the infinite.
All sessions led by Fr. Michael Fish
Session 1 - Learning a New Language - No matter what our religious tradition, the issue today is to find a new language to express the ancient truths, a contemporary way of speaking about mystery. This session is an overture for the following talks, touching themes and concepts we’ll hopefully develop later. The “true self” from Thomas Merton, the importance of the body in spiritual practice and revisiting the notion of the “inner child.” We’ll also look at the various ways life cracks us open so we can embark on the inner quest.
Session 2 - Life as Journey - Drawing on my experience of walking the Camino de Santiago, I hope to unpack the theme of Pilgrimage and the ancient call in most of the major faith traditions to step out of our comfort and journey into the unknown. Using poetry and scripture we’ll explore obstacles and challenges along the way and address the ever-present invitation to let go and travel light - emotionally and spiritually as well as in our daily life.
Session 3 - Stalking the Gap - “Stalking the gap” comes from Annie Dillard’s writing. It expresses what I believe to be a central issue in the spiritual quest which unless addressed and recognized keeps returning us to the same place. What is this existential ache or emptiness we so often feel and how can we use it to encounter the deep presence within us? Learning to embrace ‘the Gap’ is vital for ourselves and for working with others.
Session 4 - The Inner Monk - Beginning with the ancient monastic tradition of India and working through to the present, we’ll examine Raimundo Panikkar’s fascinating concept of the “Monastic Archetype” or the “inner monk” and explore what this means for us today. We’ll address the monastic mandate to become who we really are as well as the constant challenge of "self-emptying" kenosis - letting go so as to become leaven in the dough of our world.
This webinar series is an invitation
to lean in
by letting go.
Father Michael Fish, OSB Cam, came to the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California in 1997, transferring from the Redemptorists in his native South Africa. Not long after his arrival, he was asked to act as spiritual director to the community’s lay associates, called oblates. This appointment coincided with a renewed interest in monastic spirituality in the United States. Membership of oblates connected with most American monasteries increased dramatically, including at the Hermitage. Numbers at the Hermitage grew quickly, from a small local group, to over 600 men and women the world over, who chose to live by a modified Camaldolese rule. It was while ministering to the oblates that Michael was motivated to make monasticism and Christian spirituality more available to men and women living and working in the world. He began searching for a new language to explain ancient truths and mysteries, making them more accessible to modern seekers. In more than 40 years of Religious/Monastic life, one of the most formative periods for Father Michael was the ten years he spent in a Zulu village in South Africa which shaped his call to contemplative life as it exposed him to the wisdom, beauty and simplicity of rural people and their life, an experience that still fuels his approach to life and contemplation today. Though living alone, Father Michael remains involved with his monastic community, the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur.
Each session will run 75 minutes. We understand that the timing of the seminar will not be convenient in every time zone on the planet. For those who have trouble making this time, a recorded copy of each session will be made available to all those who sign up. CEU credits are available for all those who participate. (See below)
The main goal of this webinar series is to support spiritual companions - and all those who offer spiritual care - with practical wisdom that will help them nurture their own contemplative development. It also seeks to offer them insights and encouragement them as they support others in their spiritual lives.
Who may join the webinar?
Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars.
Are CEUs available?
SDI will provide a certificate of completion for self-reporting to agencies. More information can be found here: continuing education units (CEUs).
Tuition (4-part webinar package):
SDI Member Rate USD$59.00
Non-Member Rate USD$79.00
Tuition for webinar participation is non-refundable. All registered participants will receive access to the online recording of the SDI Webinar following the event.
A limited number of scholarships are available for those facing financial hardship. Please apply here.