A reader on Facebook recently asked me: How do Eastern and Western non dualism differ? So here’s my reply… It’s a great question and I’m not sure anyone can truly answer it. Not only are there profound cultural, philosophical, and theological differences between eastern and western wisdom traditions, but also subtle but real differences in the ways that meditation is taught and practiced. Finally, even if someone tries to master both “eastern” and “western” approaches to contemplation, the person’s personality,… Read more

Recently a reader of this blog posted this question: Just curious Carl — what does your typical schedule look like? How do you put it all together? I think the larger question here is how can anyone — not just me — cultivate a daily contemplative practice. So I’ll answer the question, but then I want to reflect on the question of a regular practice in general. Forgive me for humbly declining to directly answer your question. If I describe my practice, some… Read more

I have a new book coming in April 2018: The Little Book of Christian Mysticism! Click on the title to pre-order your copy today. The Little Book of Christian Mysticism invites you to delve into the writings of the great contemplatives and mystics of the past two thousand years. Featuring over three hundred quotations from great mystics from Biblical times to the present day, The Little Book of Christian Mysticism provides a user-friendly, insightful, and potentially life-changing introduction to the essential teachings… Read more

Spirituality — at least, the kind of spirituality that is anchored in a relationship with God — has two essential movements: God’s initiative, and our response. As the 1st letter of John puts it, “We love because God first loved us.” God’s “first love” is the first movement of the spiritual life, and our responsive love — not only toward God, but toward our fellow human beings — is the second movement of the spiritual life. Learn about an upcoming online… Read more

Why it’s dangerous to say that experience should be the necessary foundation for spiritual growth. Read more

We are all reeling from the horrific events in Las Vegas Sunday night. May God have mercy on us all, and especially on the families whose lives have been shattered, or ended, because of the violence. As can be expected, today people on both sides of the gun control debate are speaking loudly, trying to promote their point of view in the midst of the horror. And in the middle of all that, we hear of a member of congress,… Read more

Today’s post is by a guest contributor: Mark S. Burrows, who along with Jon M. Sweeney, is co-author of Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart: Meditations for a Restless Soul. In one of his characteristically witty remarks, G. K. Chesterton reminded us that each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it the most. This might be a salutary reminder in times like ours, when many among us seem driven to follow some crowd or other, and the ensuring cultural friction… Read more

Friends, I am so pleased to announce that I will be one of the co-hosts of a new podcast — debuting later this fall — called Encountering Silence. I’m collaborating with Cassidy Hall, co-producer of the documentary film In Pursuit of Silence, and Kevin Johnson, Catholic theologian and director of the Inner Room, a contemplative community based in Connecticut. Kevin and I have been friends via social media for a number of years, finding each on Twitter I believe, when we first realized… Read more

You don’t have to be a monk to learn from the monks, and I think we can all begin simply by paying attention to those very qualities that Pope Francis himself affirmed. Read more

A reader of this blog, who is currently the member of a Protestant church but is considering becoming a Catholic, asked me to recommend a few books to him. One of the ones I suggested was Richard Rohr’s Why Be Catholic? Apparently, he decided to check out Richard’s online reputation, because he wrote back to me and asked me this: What’s the Catholic Church’s view on Richard Rohr? When you Google him there’s a lot of controversy. This is a wonderful question,… Read more

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