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Haiku Poetry
and the
Art of Pausing

The Art of Pausing 2.jpg
Embracing the Present Moment

An Online Workshop with

Judith Valente, Ph.D. and Brother Paul Quenon OCSO 

Saturday, April 13

9:00am – 12pm PT

"Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness ... It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question," author Brene Brown says. We are living in an extraordinary time when there is much chaos in the world and many demands on our time as well as personal pressures. It is a struggle to slow down, seek balance, and abide in silence. But there are many ways to practice "the art of pausing" and still be productive. This mini-retreat explores simple, concrete practices we can adopt to bring greater balance into our lives and create enough space to "feel, think, dream and question." 

Cost: $60 per person — Scholarships available

Judith Valente has written several spirituality books including most recently, How to Be: A Monk & A Journalist Reflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer, Forgiveness & Friendship, based on her correspondence with Trappist monk Brother Paul Quenon of the Abbey of Gethsemani. She is an award-winning journalist and poet and a lay associate of the Benedictine monastery Mount St. Scholastica where she learned to incorporate monastic practices into her hectic, professional life.  After a career in journalism that included time with The Wall Street Journal and PBS-TV, Judith currently guides contemplative retreats in both the U.S. and Italy. She is also the co-author with Brother Paul of "The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed" and author of a contemporary guide to the monastic "The Rule of St. Benedict," titled How to Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community. She was selected by poet Mary Oliver for the 2005 national Aldrich Poetry Prize for her collection, Inventing An Alphabet. She has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her work in journalism and in 2022 received an honorary doctorate from St. Peter's University in New Jersey for her contributions to journalism and poetry. She resides in central Illinois and south-central Italy. She was a founding member of St. Columba’s Contemplative Residency program in 2023.


Br. Paul Quenon is one of the monastery’s better-known monks. He entered the abbey in 1958 and was a novice under Thomas Merton. In addition to the usual monastic jobs, Br. Paul is a poet, photographer and published author. His recent book “In Praise of the Useless Life” earned first place in the 2019 Catholic Press Association Book Awards in the memoir category.

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