The podcast of unknowing

I have recently bought some new gadgets, including a Blue Snowball Microphone and an iPhone. There were many reasons why I got the iPhone, but one of the main features I wanted was the ease by which one can create decent MP3 recordings using, well, just the iPhone. As for the Snowball, it is one of the leading podcast mikes.

Yes, I’m thinking about adding audio content to this website. I don’t think I’m talking about a full-fledged podcast; I don’t see myself creating regular regular recordings on a weekly or monthly basis or whatever. No, what I’m more interested in doing is creating a series of contemplative-themed recordings, either focusing on selected topics (introductions to the various great mystics, overviews of specific spiritual practices, etc.) or on conversations with people who are engaged in the practice of contemplative spirituality. Like all podcasts, these recordings would be available through this website for you to download to your own computer or MP3 player.

The biggest issue right now is A) finding the time to make the recordings, and B) figuring out what I’m going to say. So, my dear readers, what would you like to see in a contemplative-themed podcast? Are there particular people you’d like to hear me interview (no promises here, but I could try to set up some interesting conversations)? Particular mystics or writings you’d like to hear my take on? Topics or questions or controversial viewpoints that  you think would be particularly well-suited for audio?

Please let me know. Oh, and if you think that this is a silly idea and you’ll never bother to listen to any MP3s I post here, let me know that, too. After all, no point in throwing the party if no one will come.

P.S. Here is a recording I did for a local radio station a few years back on world mysticism to help promote a class I teach at the Emory Center for Lifelong Learning:

“Speaking of Mysticism”

After the Book Festival (and Looking Forward to a New Contemplative Prayer Gathering)
Bruno Barnhart (1931-2015)
Two Saturday events: in Atlanta and Richmond
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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Burl Hall

    I think the more you vary in presenting the message, the better. I have been contemplating doing a similar venture regarding Sophia’s Web.

  • brazenbird

    I would certainly listen to a podcast. I keep going back to iTunes’ podcast section searching its religion and spirituality subsection and coming away not having found what I wanted to find.

    Perhaps I’ve been looking for a podcast about the role of contemplation and meditation in a person’s faith?

    If I were you, I’d not reinvent the wheel. I’d take the lesson plan from the class I teach and take bits and pieces from that to create the podcast. It’s a suggestion that might not have any legs. No matter what, good luck with it and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for it.

  • George

    Dear Carl,

    This is a great idea. I subscribe to multiple blogs with google reader and a whole host of religious/spiritual podcasts on itunes. There is no shortage of religious (catholic that I tend to focus on) podcasts that are out there. Not sure if you have checked out the SQPN podcasts, some are good, others very entertaining. I have a great interest in anything contemplative and that seems to be somewhat lacking in the podcastosphere :). I have enjoyed Tom Fox’s (NCR) podcasts interviews that sometimes goes to the contemplative side of spirituality. His are exclusively interviews. Simply doing an audio podcast of what you present or simply supplementing what you post on the website would be great. Perhaps some overviews, snippets of what you teach in your classes? Ken Wilber? Mystics? Why be a mystic? What does mysticism have to say to me being the father of two young children? Does that come between basketball and soccer practices?

    Go for it, can’t wait.


  • cynthia capone

    I think it is a great idea to do podcasts.. it adds a dimension of personality to the work you are doing with your blog. I would like to hear contemporary people interviewed.. Richard Rohr for one, Matthew Fox possibly. Thanks for your work..

  • cynthia capone

    When I have read about your class schedule and course content I have thought how great it would be to be nearby to take advantage of attending.. how about giving us some of that in a podcast?!!

  • Ellen Duell

    I’d be very interested in hearing you tell about Hildegard of Bingen, who lived in the (I think) 12th century, was a mystic and a healer, and also a composer.

    I don’t think that I am equipped for audio; I enjoy reading what you write! For those who can listen, ‘twould be great for you to play her music. It has been sung and also played and recorded.

    Thank you.

  • Karen from New Zealand

    Fantastic idea.

    I wonder about some guided meditations, similar contemplative stuff, maybe chanting?…

    Also, – I realise this may be a tough one for you – I’d love to hear about the interface of your spirituality and caring for your daughter and how you encounter God in that situation, with it’s challenges and all.

  • prickliestpear

    Personally, I prefer reading anything that is just as easily written as recorded.

    I’d be much more interested in listening to interviews, especially with some of the monks you sometimes write about.

  • Soltera

    ” wonder about some guided meditations, similar contemplative stuff, maybe chanting?… ”

    That’s what I was thinking, too. And how about interviewing monastics, too?

  • Gary Snead

    I agree, content not amenable to ‘written’ words; Like several said, Music!