November 12, 2020

Waking Up on a November Morning Waking up on a November morning is particularly challenging for me. Our days are growing darker and cooler. We have changed to standard time and squandered all the daylight we supposedly saved over the summer. The sun is no longer shining in the corners of our windows to beckon us into a new day. The year is drawing to a close and we have only a few more weeks to go. Waking up on… Read more

November 10, 2020

Now is the Winter of Our Discontent This has been a long, painful, sorrowful year and many of us have already entered the winter of our discontent. The year has brought us to our knees. We feel exhausted and are looking for something, or someone, to inspire us. Most of us are not able to migrate right now and it feels like a good time for us to begin hibernating for a long, cold winter. Our screens show us images… Read more

November 5, 2020

  Finding Stillness in a Torrent of Noise We spend our lives seeking stillness in a torrent of noise. Everything was going to calm down this week. We were going to settle our primary disputes by expressing ourselves and making decisions with an election. It seems like we work ourselves into a frenzy by allowing our emotions and our ideas to push us into arguing. Many of us look for opportunities to listen to sacred stillness in our everyday lives…. Read more

November 3, 2020

Intimate Seclusion This has been a year of intimate seclusion for some of us. Many of us have chosen to find as many diversions as we could through these last few months. We have explored new sources of streaming entertainment. Some of us feel lost in the historically epic political campaigns going on around us. We may have stockpiled what we believed was essential and closed ourselves off from our neighbors. All the concerns and all the distractions have kept… Read more

October 29, 2020

Remembering Those We Have Lost We are entering a weekend for remembering those we have lost, one of the scariest weekends of a scary year. This year in particular, many of us work hard to avoid remembering those we have lost. We would like just one day, or an afternoon, to forget this year and all the people who are no longer with us. Many of us have not been able to get away from the steady march of death… Read more

October 27, 2020

Stories We Tell Ourselves We choose who we want to become by stepping into the stories we tell ourselves. Most of us see ourselves as the protagonist of our own stories. We are the beautiful princess or the handsome prince, with the courage or wisdom or persistence which saves the day. The stories we tell ourselves as children at play shape our expectations and perceptions of the lives we lead. We paint our faces and dress ourselves in the clothes… Read more

October 22, 2020

Fire in the Fireplace After the long, extended stretch of this year, we are finally entering the season for watching fire in the fireplace. Where I live this year has brought challenges like heat waves and wildfires along with the pandemic. Our evenings are only now getting cool enough to watch a fire in the fireplace. It might be my favorite contemplative spiritual practice, though I also enjoy staying in bed to read books. When people come to me wanting… Read more

October 20, 2020

The Tides of Conversion of Life People who enter monastic life cross a threshold of three essential and complementary vows. They commit themselves to live, as far as they are able, into stability, conversion of life, and obedience. Each one of these commitments becomes the focus of exploration and discovery. My reflection and contemplation have transformed my own understanding of each of these vows. For example, I once understood conversion to be a once in a lifetime event. My earliest conversion… Read more

October 15, 2020

Contemplative Voting Voting is something I have practiced for almost as long as I can remember. A practice of contemplative voting has been growing in me more recently. Politics and voting have always been important to me. I have voted for president in four different states, as well as for senators, representatives, governors, legislators, and all the local offices. Some places where I lived held elections for judges as well as propositions and referenda, and I voted for them. I… Read more

October 13, 2020

Living in Extraordinary Time In liturgical churches we divide each year into liturgical seasons. It is not enough for us to understand our beliefs intellectually. We need to experience and appreciate them deep within ourselves. This season, the season in which the year ends, is Ordinary Time. This year’s Ordinary Time has become extraordinary time. In general, we start each new year with Advent, which we will begin in about six weeks. Advent helps us prepare for Christmas, which lasts… Read more

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