Seven Books I Hope to Read in 2014

Mystagogy

Are you looking for a book or two to read, on the topics of contemplation or mysticism? I thought I'd offer a twist on the typical blog post where books get reviewed. Here is a list of seven books I hope to read, ideally sometime this year. Some of these books are brand new, others a few years old, others older still. They all touch on contemplative prayer, the Christian mystery, and/or interspirituality, in some form or fashion. A disclaimer: copies of three of these seven books were … [Read more...]

Our Words, Our Breath, Our Bodies, Our Spirit

Once again, Alison Leigh Lilly wows me with the elegance, beauty and insight of her writing. The fact that her most recent blog post begins with something I tweeted yesterday is not only a delight in itself for me, but her reflections in that post are so rich and relevant to concerns that I am wrestling with in my own current writing that it seems, well, serendipitous. The piece is called Why I Cannot Tell You About My Gods. And yes, "Gods" is meant to be plural, for Alison is a Pagan, her … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Three Video Clips: Speaking of Mysticism in Portland, OR

Here are three brief excerpts from a talk I gave in Portland, OR, in October 2010 on the topic of Christian mysticism. They were filmed and produced by Cathy Zheutlin of Holy Rascals — a media company that produces videos and webinars for the spiritually adventurous. In the first one, I tell an amusing story of one of my monastic mentors, Father Anthony, who gave me some grief about the difficulty of defining the word "mysticism"... So in this next video, I offer less of a "definition" … [Read more...]

Answering the Contemplative Call ebooks now available

I'm happy to announce that three different ebook versions of Answering the Contemplative Call are now available. Pick your preferred version: Kindle Version Nook Version iBooks Version And of course, if you'd rather have the old fashioned paper-&-ink version: Buy it at Amazon But it at Barnes & Noble But it at an Independent Bookstore (Online or Near You) Hope you enjoy the book. … [Read more...]

A shout out to Evelyn Underhill and her wonderful book

Over the next few weeks or so I'll be posting four new videos on Youtube. One will be an "about me" video, one in which I talk about my three most recent books, one in which I talk about an idea I first presented at the Patheos website on "compass points for the spiritual life," and finally, this short little segment on "the book that changed my life." Here you go, it's only a minute long:   About two years ago I gave a paper on Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism at a conference on the … [Read more...]

Getting Started in Contemplative Practice

A reader writes: I hope you might be able to write me a quick note about a good way to get started in a more contemplative/mystical oriented Christianity.  I was involved in religious fundamentalism for most of my adult life and now I am trying to recover from that.  I am hoping you might point me to some books that would help me embark on this path.  Thanks for your time. Thanks for a great question. This is actually the subject of my book, Answering the Contemplative Call, but I'll go … [Read more...]


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