When Silence Rings

By Frmir (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 A reader named Nick writes: I am interested in the subject of meditation and Christian meditation in general, but I have a minor concern. I would like to engage in practices like centering prayer, but in the instructions for these meditations, I often hear an emphasis on finding a silent place to engage in these activities. I don't have problems finding a silent place, but silence is not something that I carry with me. I have a condition called Tinnitus that causes me to perceive a rin … [Read more...]

Following the Path

I think a lot about the trend toward more and more people identifying themselves as "spiritual but not religious." I know this polarizes a lot of people — some churchgoers, even liberal ones like UCC Minister Lillian Daniel, dismiss this kind of spirituality as symptomatic of our culture of narcissism; while other folks, like Rabbi Rami Shapiro, see it as a positive sign: a sign of being (in Rabbi Rami's words) "spiritually independent." Here's another way to look at it: some folks blame the S … [Read more...]

How to Grow a Mandala

My wife pointed me to this video. Well worth watching — and trying out.  … [Read more...]

Dr. Charles Raison on Compassion & Meditation

Here's a video well worth watching. Dr. Charles Raison was, up until recently, an assistant professor in the Mind-Body Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine. He also served as a mental health expert for CNN. I first learned about Dr. Raison because of his involvement with the contemplative studies initiative at Emory, which seeks to explore and document the health benefits of meditation. … [Read more...]

“Eleven years of Catholic education had told me nothing about Christian meditation.”

Here's an interesting article published the other day in the Utah Statesman by a fellow named Michael Sowder: Finding Home in India. The author tells the story of his spiritual journey, and it's a story I've heard again and again. Basically, it runs like this: born into a Christian family, Sowder (and countless others like him) finds himself befuddled by the sterile Christian education he received as a child. Eventually he  goes on to find meaning and insight in contemplative spirituality … [Read more...]

A Chat with a Methodist Minister

The other day at the Abbey Store I struck up a conversation with a Methodist minister who was making a short retreat at the Monastery. We chatted up books and authors and it became apparent that we had a similar interest in contemplative spirituality."So tell me," I asked him, "What is it like to advocate for contemplative spirituality in your congregation?"He smiled ruefully. "It's not easy," he said."Are people afraid of it?" I wondered, mindful of the small but vocal presence of … [Read more...]

A Few Thoughts on Psalm 46:10 (Cedar Hill Blog)

Hello friends. I've recently written a post for the Cedar Hill Blog. Cedar Hill is a wonderful retreat center located in Gainesville, GA; I will be leading a day of reflection and renewal centered on contemplation and interfaith spirituality on Saturday, April 2. If you live within shouting distance (or, better yet, driving distance), I hope I'll see you there.Here's the link to the blog post: The Essential and Necessary Link Between Contemplation and Peacemaking.And here's a bit more about … [Read more...]


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