January 21, 2020

“Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”                    Carl Sandburg Peeling One Layer at a Time We sit, listening to sacred stillness, sometime with other people and sometimes on our own. People describe what happens when we listen to sacred stillness in different ways. Some of us talk about the calm and peace we find in stillness. We know people who… Read more

January 18, 2020

What is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day All About? It is easy for us to confuse what Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and this weekend are about. Some of us think this weekend is about football playoff games or college basketball. Many of us are just grateful for an extra day off from work this weekend. I know people who seem to think the name Martin Luther King, Jr. is too long for a holiday. People talk about MLK Day…. Read more

January 14, 2020

Reflecting in the Stillness Between Words “The white spaces between words are more important that the text because they give you time to think about what you’ve read.” — Fred Rogers Some of us have resolved to read more this year. I read several different kinds of books. Some books I read as quickly as I can, while others I read slowly. Some books are for breaking open and reading while they are still warm, like freshly baked bread. I… Read more

January 11, 2020

Sitting in Darkness Remembering Our Mistakes Some nights I get out of bed to sit in darkness. What was it like before we learned about electricity, when our only light was from the sun or from a flame? Now we are surrounded by bright light, light which overwhelms the light of the stars in the night sky. We obliterate the dark with lamps, headlights, flashlights, and the glow of so many screens. It is hard for us to even imagine… Read more

January 9, 2020

  Cinema Divina One of the first contemplative practices I learned from monastic life is lectio divina, or sacred reading. Lectio divina is an approach to reading with different priorities than the ways we usually read. When we read a news story or a textbook, or even a blog post, we usually read seeking information. We often read sacred texts seeking to be formed more than to be informed. Many monks believe we read sacred texts to find meaning beneath the… Read more

January 7, 2020

Stillness on a January Morning There is nothing quite like the stillness first thing on a January morning. People, and cities, are just beginning to wake up and wipe the sleep from their eyes. Our first cup of coffee tastes the best and the air is fresher. There is not as much traffic on the streets or on the sidewalks.  Walking is easier. Aromas of breakfast begins to fill the air.  Our second cup is almost as good. Each morning… Read more

January 4, 2020

Why Do We Practice Prayer? Practicing prayer is coming across my screen a lot this year. People ask for us to pray for them or someone they know on social media. We pray for people who are ill or injured, people who experience tragedy or loss. Some of us pray for relief from the fires in Australia or for people affected by violence. Many of us are praying for peace in the Middle East and the rest of the world…. Read more

December 31, 2019

Are We Ready to Become Beginners Again? There are no tricks and no short cuts. . . . One cannot begin to face the real difficulties of . . . life . . . unless one is first perfectly content to be a beginner and really experience oneself as one who knows little or nothing, and has a desperate need to learn the bare rudiments. Those who think they “know” from the beginning never, in fact, come to know anything…. Read more

December 28, 2019

On the Fourth Day of Christmas I know people who are happy and relieved because Christmas is finally over. They no longer need to struggle to survive all that advertising. The weeks of stress and pressure are in the past. It is no longer a challenge to try to remember everything and everyone. All the extra organizing and effort is behind them for another year. These people are surprised, and not pleasantly, when I tell them Christmas has just begun… Read more

December 24, 2019

Stillness on the Night Before Christmas “Twas the night before  Christmas, when all through through house                           Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” Tonight is the night before Christmas, Christmas Eve. It is our opportunity to sit still before tomorrow after being inundated by advertising for month. Stillness is difficult to find for some of us today. We still have long lists of things we have… Read more

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