The Dharma of Time

Every day I want to do a number of things. I want to nurture my relationships with my family — and with God (and that means at least part of the Daily Office and contemplative prayer); I want to put in an honest day's work at the store; I want to post to this blog; I want to work on whatever writing project I have going on at the time; I want to do at least some reading (my monastic gadfly doesn't say I shouldn't read at all, just not as much as I tend to), and of course, there are the little b … [Read more...]

My Schedule in Portland

For my friends on the west coast: here is the schedule for my trip to Portland, OR, the weekend of October 28-31, 2010.Thursday, October 28: Still to be determined; either an evening presentation/booksigning at an area bookstore, or a "beer & theology" event a local pub. I'll post details here as soon as it's worked out.Friday, October 29: 7:00 PM: "The Underlying Stream of Mysticism in the Christian Tradition" St David of Wales Episcopal Church, 2800 SE Harrison, Portland, OR … [Read more...]

Lectio Divina and the English Mystics

I've been reading Carmen Butcher's delightful new translation of The Cloud of Unknowing, and today I read chapter 35, which discusses the importance of lectio divina in the contemplative life: The contemplative beginner must, however, engage in certain exercises. These are the lesson, the meditation, and the orison, better known as reading, reflecting, and praying. You can learn about these three activities in another book, where the author explains them better than I can, so I won't go into … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

"You can't know," said the girl. "You can only believe — or not." — C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader … [Read more...]

Believe in = Embrace the Mystery of

I spoke with a friend recently about the concept of belief. We talked about the challenges of believing in the postmodern world. Joni Mitchell sums it up nicely in her song "The Same Situation": Still I sent up my prayer Wondering where it had to go With heaven full of astronauts And the Lord on death row... Much of the contemporary difficulty, I think, comes from the fact that belief has, culturally speaking, come to imply a sort of suppression of rational or cognitive doubt: "I believe in … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The cloud of unknowing is that dark and obscure knowledge and love that fills the mind of the contemplative when, void of images and discursive reasoning, it rests silently in God in mystical sleep. The knowledge now suffusing the mind is only that of a faith which, nakedly divorced from any human consideration whatsoever, finds God's truth in His revelation in Christ; and from this knowledge springs a love that touches the very essence of God, bringing yet a higher wisdom. This darkness of … [Read more...]

The Beard is Dead, Long Live the Beard

Last night I shaved. … [Read more...]