Here are three brief excerpts from a talk I gave in Portland, OR, in October 2010 on the topic of Christian mysticism. They were filmed and produced by Cathy Zheutlin of Holy Rascals — a media company that produces videos and webinars for the spiritually adventurous. In the first one, I tell an amusing story of one of my monastic mentors, Father Anthony, who gave me some grief about the difficulty of defining the word “mysticism”…

So in this next video, I offer less of a “definition” of mysticism and more of an evocative way of thinking about the topic, by linking mysticism to story, paradox, silence and ultimately transformation.

The third clip is the shortest but perhaps the best of all, where I am talking about how desert fathers (and mothers) like Evagrius Ponticus contributed to the origin of Christian contemplative practice.

I hope you enjoy them.