Salvation and Wellness, Holiness and Therapy

Last week when I wrote about the distinction between mindfulness meditation and contemplative prayer, one reader left this comment:I would also like to hear your comments on salvation vs therapy.I feel a bit of trepidation taking this on, for the simple reason that I am not a professional counselor, therapist, psychologist, social worker — I have none of those little sets of letters like "LPC" or "MSW" that tag along after a person's name to indicate that he or she is qualified to therapize. … [Read more...]

After the Book Festival (and Looking Forward to a New Contemplative Prayer Gathering)

Happy Labor Day, everyone. This post is chock-full of Atlanta (really, Decatur) news. So if you live outside of Atlanta, please bear with me. Then again, what I have to say about Contemplative Prayer Groups might be of interest to you no matter where you live; even if you are a long way away from Decatur, GA, perhaps this will be an inspiration for you to start your own contemplative practice gathering.I'm still a little buzzed from the wonderful time I had Saturday at the AJC Decatur Book … [Read more...]

Shine On You Immortal Diamond

Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr just keeps releasing wonderful books. Immortal Diamond: The Search For Our True Self picks up the language of Cistercian authors like Thomas Merton and M. Basil Pennington, who have written about the "true self" and the "false self" as ways of understanding the spirituality of being human. These terms point to a distinction between the "false" self-protective dynamics of the various egoic masks that people wear to simply function in the world (or to bolster feeling … [Read more...]

Six Minutes of Gratitude

This video has been on Youtube for almost two years now, so you may already be familiar with it. But if, like me up until Sunday, you've never seen it, then give yourself the treat of watching. It's only about six minutes long, features gorgeous cinematography, a precocious little girl at the beginning who is too cute for words, a great message about gratitude and living in the present, and narration by the Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast. A film by LouieSchwartzberg. Enjoy... … [Read more...]

The Spirituality of Howard Thurman

Check out the following video... it features a friend of mine (Lerita Coleman Brown) and author Kirk Byron Jones discussing the spirituality of the great American mystic Howard Thurman, his influence on Martin Luther King, Jr., and how a balanced spirituality of contemplation and action was so inspirational for the American Civil Rights movement. Well worth watching.SDI Learns from Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD and the Rev. Kirk Byron Jones, PhD … [Read more...]

Two More Wonderful Videos: Tilden Edwards and Richard Rohr

The treasures from Shalem, in honor of its 40th anniversary, just keep coming! Last week I posted a wonderful video featuring Shalem's founder, Tilden Edwards, in conversation with a former Shalem director Carole Crumley and the Franciscan contemplative Richard Rohr. That video looked at how our  understanding of contemplation has changed over the past four decades. Here are two more videos, apparently from the same conversation. The first explores the question "What drew you to the … [Read more...]

A Modest Proposal (and a question for folks who live near Decatur, Georgia)

If you have known me for a while, you know that for almost two years I was involved in a "Christian Mysticism Meetup" group that met every Wednesday night at a church in the Atlanta suburbs. At first we had lots of energy: 20 - 25 people attending each night; but eventually the group withered down to maybe 5 people or so showing up at a time. As I began to have conflicts on the night when the group met (Wednesdays) I let the group go, and that was the end of it. But I told the last few loyal … [Read more...]


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