Christine Valters Paintner is the online Abbess at the Abbey of the Arts, an online global monastery without walls offering retreats, classes, books, and resources to nurture contemplative practice and creative expression. A writer, artist, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and teacher, she earned her PhD in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and her professional status as Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator (REACE) from the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.

Paintner describes herself as rooted in the Catholic mystical tradition with a strongly ecumenical spirit and love for the wisdom of all spiritual traditions. She has been active in interfaith dialogue, demonstrating how the contemplative strands from Christianity, Buddhism, and yoga philosophy nourish and challenge one another. She is a Benedictine Oblate, having made a commitment to live out the monastic way in daily life. She does this in the heart of Galway City on the wild west coast of Ireland, where she leads pilgrimage experiences with her husband John.

Paintner is the author of several books on the connection between spirituality and the arts, including one written in collaboration with dancer Betsey Beckman. She also founded the "Monk Manifesto," a commitment made online to live out the ideals of a contemplative monk in everyday life, including honoring the Sabbath and silence.

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  • Practical ways to combine spirituality and creativity
  • Insight into nourishing wonder, awe, and holy curiosity
  • An interpretation of monasticism that applies to the greater world