March 16, 2019

We Pray For Those Who Have Died We pray for all those who have died. For everyone who has ever been shot while worshiping at a mosque or synagogue or church or a Sikh temple or anywhere else. We pray for each person who has died violently no matter who did the killing. Our prayers are for anyone and everyone who has died neglected and alone. We pray for those who have died because they were abused, tortured, or ignored… Read more

March 14, 2019

Being Contemplative in the City Some of us believe it is impossible to be contemplative in the city. We assume we need to head out of town and away from other people to really be contemplative. Does contemplative mean to travel into the country, to the mountains or the desert, into the woods or to the beach? Many of us are convinced we need to get as far as possible from other people to be contemplative. Getting away from other… Read more

March 12, 2019

Sacred Stillness Restores Us We like to believe we understand how life works. While we may not have a user’s guide to life our experience gives us a sense of how things fits together. Some of us believe words can restore us. We become convinced we need to think or say or write the right words or read and hear the words of the right people. It is almost as if the right words have magic powers like an incantation…. Read more

March 9, 2019

Spiritual Life is Beginning to Bloom I was born and raised in the country far from where I live now. There is a cycle of cultivation and growing in the country. Each season plays its own role in the cycle. The cycle begins in winter. Winter can appear to be a time of year when nothing really happens. It is, though, a significant season because winter sets the tone for the rest of the year. Winter weather makes it a… Read more

March 7, 2019

The Next Day and the Day After That Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the liturgical season of Lent. Ash Wednesday was filled with reminders of the new liturgical season. Social networks were awash with photos and explanations to show the significance of Ash Wednesday. Some people even began marking Lent the day before with pancake dinners and special celebrations. Today and tomorrow, though, are no longer immersed in ideas about how to practice the season. These days… Read more

March 5, 2019

The Stillness of Today Today by Mary Oliver Today I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep. The world goes on as it must, the bees in the garden rumbling a little, the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten. And so forth. But I’m taking the day off. Quiet as a feather. I hardly move though really I’m traveling a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors into the temple. Each… Read more

March 2, 2019

Is Lent a Contemplative Practice? I am a member of a church where one liturgical season ends and another begins next week. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the liturgical season we call Lent. Lent is not about giving things up. It is not a liturgical second chance for people who do not follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. Lent is not primarily about chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, or social media. We are beginning a season about being… Read more

February 27, 2019

Watching Movies With Monks I live in a place where movies are big business, where people pay attention to which movies win awards. People I know in everyday life work in “the industry” engineering visual and sound effects. It is hard, challenging work to tell stories well, and profitably. I enjoy how movies shape our lives by telling stories which appeal to all of our senses. The movies I have seen throughout my life show me what it is to love,… Read more

February 26, 2019

Not Only Just a Place to Rest Some of us have a hard time seeing how our contemplative practice of listening could be a place to rest. We struggle to maintain a regular practice. Our time is always in short supply. The idea of scheduling a break to listen to stillness never seems convenient. We have so many other things to do and listening to sacred stillness feels like an interruption. It is a challenge for us to begin and… Read more

February 23, 2019

How We Know What We Think We Know Most of us are convinced we know what we think we know. Some of us believe our senses have shown us what we think we know. We trust our own eyewitness testimony. There are experiences we remember so strongly they shape how we see the rest of our lives. We might have learned what we think we know from other people. What we think we know may come from years of education… Read more

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