Simplicity and Silence

This message came to me the other day.Hi Carl. Love reading your blogs. From one who is a struggling contemplative can you tell me what form of contemplative prayer you do and why? Also can one do more than one form of contemplative prayer? ie, will one complement the other?Two questions here. First, what does my own daily practice look like? And secondly, what do I think about using more than one method of contemplative practice?First, about what I do. I'm assuming you simply want to … [Read more...]

Plunging Thought Into Light

The Philokalia is an extensive anthology of writings on prayer by Eastern Orthodox contemplatives. The anthology was first compiled in the 18th century, and a number of editions have been published over the years, in Greek, Russian, and other languages; currently a four volume set is available in English (which does not include the entire anthology; I hope the editors plan on translating the rest!).If you want a more succinct introduction to The Philokalia, one option — which, unfortunately, … [Read more...]

The Chotki

This morning during my prayer time I used, for the first time, a chotki or prayer beads. Unlike a western rosary, the chotki originated in the eastern churches, and is typically used in a manner similar to mala beads or other prayer ropes from various spiritual traditions: unlike the rather complicated rosary, where different beads represent different prayers or meditations, each bead on the chotki simply stands for another repetition of the eastern Christian "prayer of the heart," also known … [Read more...]