Interfaith Dialogue, Interspirituality, and Holy Daring

The Dalai Lama

Recently I spoke at a church located about an hour north of where I live. As I drove to the church, I chatted on the phone with my brother who lives in Florida. We were making plans for me to come visit him on the weekend of our birthdays (his is a day later than mine). I mentioned that while I was there, I wanted to attend a training weekend at the local Shambhala Center.My brother, who is a confirmed agnostic, surprised me with his response. "Are you sure that's wise?" he asked."What … [Read more...]

Keeping Spirituality Grounded

One of the pitfalls of contemplative practice is that we can easily get stuck in our heads. Combing through the Bible or other books for lectio divina, investing time to daily prayer and meditation, and nurturing our faith through study or devotional reading — these are all fine pursuits, but, especially when combined with the kind of white collar work so common in western society, they can result in a spirituality that is abstract, overly mental, and divorced from the messy realities of li … [Read more...]

Mirabai Starr: Giving Julian of Norwich a Lucid Voice

The Showings of Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich's Showings shines with luminous mystical wisdom. If there is one mystic I wish everyone would read, it is Julian. But of course, the question is, "which edition should I read?" Thankfully, Mirabai Starr's lovely and engaging new translation of this medieval masterpiece makes it more accessible than ever.Now, let me put in a bit of a disclaimer here. I'm not a purist, but I understand where purists come from and I can anticipate an objection that some would have to this … [Read more...]

The Kenosis of Clutter

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True confession time: I'm a clutter bug. I always have been, with books, CDs, and other forms of media being my worst offenses when it comes to acquiring stuff that I never use or under-use. Recently I got library privileges at my local seminary, which has helped some, but I still have the addiction."Hi, my name is Carl, and I'm a bookaholic." Everyone in unison now: "Hi, Carl!"What's fascinating about all the books strewn (yes, no other verb will do) all about my house is that they … [Read more...]

The Fullness of Our Destiny

Pollard

I picked up a copy of an old book called The Laughter of God: At Ease With Prayer by Trappistine nun Miriam Pollard from the used book tent at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit's Fall Festival earlier this month. It's an insightful book which seeks to foster a sense of prayer as a means of entering into intimacy with God — the God who laughs and loves, a healthy corrective to the frightening God of judgment and wrath that so often seems to be the stock in trade of old-style religion. Here is a sn … [Read more...]

Deep Listening

The other day when several folks gathered at a church in Atlanta to participate in the Shalem Institute's 40th Anniversary "Circle the World in Prayer" vigil, one participant talked about a wonderful teaching she once received from Jerry May, who was a senior fellow at Shalem and the author of such classic books as Will & Spirit and Addiction & Grace. My friend shared an idea that May spoke of, called "deep listening." As we enter into silence, we consciously choose to let go of the … [Read more...]

Shalem Vigil Now Underway (Please Find Time For Silence Today)

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Last month I wrote about how important the Shalem Institute has been in my ongoing contemplative journey. I mentioned that this year is Shalem's 40th anniversary, and that October 13-15 Shalem would be hosting a 40-hour contemplative prayer vigil.The vigil began last night at 7 PM eastern standard time. It runs all day today and concludes tomorrow at 11 AM eastern standard time.So I hope if you haven't already done so, you will take time to enter into the mystery of silence today or … [Read more...]


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