Poverty: Advent Has Its Own Gifts


An argument with the spouse: his small, innocent observation unleashes the ghost of a thousand arguments past, complete with its burden of chains. Marriage is like that sometimes: after two or three decades together, every fight recapitulates all fights. I hate feeling this way: poverty. The end of the semester. The beginning, and for that [Read More...]


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The first mosque I visited had a bullet hole in the outside placed there a drive-by shooter while adults and children were inside having a prayer service. It reminded me of the bomb that killed four black children at a church in Alabama in 1963. We, as a nation, eventually found better ways to address [Read More...]

Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement, Week 2 — Embodying Peace


I had no idea what to expect. As my wife and I began the trek from Berkeley across the bay to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I was curious and excited. The closer we got on our mass transit journey the more we were surrounded by people, a sense of excitement, and an unspoken [Read More...]

Jesus Loves Santa (I Saw Them Together at Macy’s)


I had a religious experience at Macy’s department store in New York City when I took my four year old son there to meet Santa. It was a Saturday morning. There were billions of us (I’m not exaggerating) standing between two yellow lines of tape on the floor which led to a far away door. [Read More...]

Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality


What is monastic spirituality and what might it offer us and the world today? Author Carl McColman has written a beautiful new book that, while focusing on one particular order of monasticism, the Cistercians, reveals the very heart and soul of monastic life and practice. In doing so, he presents a radically counter-cultural expression of living in [Read More...]

National Public Radio for the Mind


At our Wednesday mindfulness meditation practice group here at the University of Southern California, which is part of our Mindful.USC.edu initiative, I start our sessions with a very short introduction to the practice, and end the 30 minutes of silence with a time for the students and staff who attend to share about how their [Read More...]

America, We’ve Got a Serious Problem: San Bernardino, the New Normal


I’m crying right now as I trying to write this. It’s happening again. Not a week after the horror of Colorado Springs we have another mass shooting. I can’t even begin to process this. It’s just one after the other after another.    As I write this there are reports coming out of San Bernardino [Read More...]

Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement


“I have found in my journey that music can play a powerful role in allowing me to clear my mind, still my breath, and find the space for new life to emerge. Over the next few weeks I invite you on this journey with me, to not only read and reflect, but to breathe and [Read More...]

Born Dying: Conversations from a Death Cafe


Imagine attending a meet-up with friends at your local coffee shop. You might catch up on a hobby, discuss parenting, or share life hacks on your work-life balance. Instead, you talk about dying. “Death Cafes” are among American’s most recent cultural phenomena. Across the U.S., people gather to muse—not about the weather—but about what happens [Read More...]

The Refugees Who Came for Thanksgiving

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the autumnal harvest time’s spiritual significance. As a time of connectedness, I pause to acknowledge what I have to be thankful for. But I also reflect on the holiday as a time of remembrance – present and historical. Presently, I hope over this holiday [Read More...]

Rethinking Thanksgiving in an Age of Terror: Creating Interfaith Traditions


by Glenn Zuber As we move into renewed period of terrorist fear and personal anxiety, how can U.S. Christians and their congregations respond with hope and solidarity during Thanksgiving? Most Americans, Christians included, value the Thanksgiving holiday as a respite from the real world and a chance to deepen relationships with family. Young adults away [Read More...]

Christ is the Refugee: A Christmas Hymn


This Christmas season, Christians across Europe and the United States will sing carols in praise of a refugee child, carols that extol the virtues of hospitality to the stranger. We will weep over the “slaughter of the innocents” story and imagine with sentimental poignancy the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt to escape Herod’s [Read More...]