Check out my to-do list:I want to lose about 25 pounds. I want to learn to play the bass guitar (and, for that matter, the regular guitar, but first things first). I want to de-clutter the garage (ay yi yi) — and come to think of it, there's plenty of clutter inside the house that needs dealing with as well. I want to complete two new book proposals, and edit one of my out-of-print books for the publication of a new/revised edition. I want to improve my daily fidelity to contemplative p … [Read more...]

On Learning a Musical Instrument as a Metaphor for Contemplative Practice

I'm a beginner with the bass guitar. I bought an inexpensive Ibanez bass the January before last and took about four months of lessons, but then stopped as I got more involved in writing my book on Christian mysticism. Now, over a year later, the book is on my editor's desk and I've resumed working with the bass. Thanks to a rather lucrative freelancing job I had earlier this year, I've upgraded my gear and am now learning with a Rickenbacker bass (I am not worthy to be playing such a wonderful … [Read more...]


I am not a particularly patient person. My house is full of books that I may never get around to reading, but I keep buying new ones, because I'm just a wee bit compulsive about having new books and also because I'm not patient enough to let a book stay at the bookstore (or at Amazon.com) until I need it. Meditation is also a daily struggle with my own impatience at the intransigence of my monkey mind. Wait for a slow unfolding of my deep relaxed self? Well, that would be okay, except for the … [Read more...]

My Holy Week

Early this afternoon I'll be boarding a flight to Newport News, Virginia, where I will be assisting my father tomorrow as he moves to Athens, Georgia, to be closer to me and my oldest brother. We tried to get dad to move down here last year, when my brother and his wife moved down, but dad balked at living with family. Now we've arrangements for him to go into an assisted living facility, and he's looking forward to the move (so are we). The only fly in the ointment is that I'll miss the Atlanta … [Read more...]

Personal Update…

Lots of fun stuff happening in Carl-world...The outline/table of contents of the big mysticism book is mostly complete. I meet again with the world's coolest spiritual director, Fr. Tom Francis OCSO, on Friday to go over the details. This is important because once the skeleton is done I can start hanging the meat on the bones. I probably have some 30,000 words written on the book — not to mention material from this blog that will eventually find its way into the book — but I have to have a wo … [Read more...]