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...]

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 therapize. … [Read more...]

Two More Wonderful Videos: Tilden Edwards and Richard Rohr

The treasures from Shalem, in honor of its 40th anniversary, just keep coming! Last week I posted a wonderful video featuring Shalem's founder, Tilden Edwards, in conversation with a former Shalem director Carole Crumley and the Franciscan contemplative Richard Rohr. That video looked at how our  understanding of contemplation has changed over the past four decades. Here are two more videos, apparently from the same conversation. The first explores the question "What drew you to the … [Read more...]

How the Understanding of Christian Contemplation has Changed: Carole Crumley interviews Tilden Edwards and Richard Rohr

Here is a must-watch video — Carole Crumley of the Shalem Institute interviews two of the "elder statesmen" of the contemporary contemplative movement: Tilden Edwards (the founder of Shalem) and Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation. The video was produced as part of the Shalem's observance of its 40th anniversary, and the topic these three consider is how the understanding of Christian contemplation has changed over the past four decades. Enjoy... … [Read more...]

Dana Greene speaks on Evelyn Underhill

Here are a couple of videos, courtesy of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, featuring Dana Greene speaking about Evelyn Underhill. … [Read more...]

Meditation Minutes

"Seven times a day I praise You." — Psalm 119:164 I took a class on spiritual formation from the Shalem Institute in Washington, DC, back in the mid-1980s. The instructor, Isabella Bates, led us through a variety of meditative and contemplative practices. We met every Saturday morning from November through May for two and a half hours. It was a wonderful class. One thing that Isabella said, toward the end of the class, has stayed with me over the past 25 years. Commenting on the relationship b … [Read more...]


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