Go Deeper On Your Spiritual Journey

Books on Christian Mysticism, Celtic Wisdom, and More

NEW FOR 2019: Now available! An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom draws on myth, folklore, poetry, and the tales of Celtic saints and heroes, to explore the spiritual tradition of the Celtic peoples — a tradition rooted in hospitality, love of nature, and a mystical sense of the presence of God. The Celtic way is more important […]

How to Find God in Your Dreams

One night in a dream I found myself near the Ballston Metro station in Arlington, Virginia (I lived close by there at the time). But as is so often in dreamscapes, the neighborhood in my dreams was radically different than in real life. For one thing, there was a large…… Read more at Patheos

Shirley Hershey Showalter: Simplicity and Silence, Part Two (Episode 51)

Today’s episode is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. Our conversation continues with Shirley Hershey Showalter, the author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. Singing is to a Mennonite what silence is to a Quaker. For me, singing is a way of bringing silence and voice … Continue reading Shirley Hershey Showalter: Simplicity and Silence, Part Two (Episode 51) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

The Easy Way to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours

I believe that anyone who is serious about embracing the Christian contemplative path needs some form of sustainable daily prayer. For most of Christian history, this has meant using a breviary — a prayer book which contains prayer “services” or offices for praying throughout the day. Such collections of prayers are known as The…… Read more at Patheos

Are you interested in learning the basics of Centering Prayer? If so, come to this  introductory workshop that I will be co-facilitating with Maggie Winfrey, the director of Contemplative Outreach Atlanta.

Centering Prayer is a type of Christian prayer based on the teachings of great mystics like the Desert Mothers and Fathers and the author of The Cloud of Unknowing. It is a wonderful means for entering into silence as a way of prayerfully making yourself available to the presence of God. Grounded in scripture and the teachings of the great saints and mystics, it is a beautiful and meaningful spiritual practice that can be learned in a day — and that yields spiritual fruit over a lifetime.

This introductory workshop is sponsored by Contemplative Outreach Atlanta and takes place at the beautiful Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center. Hope to see you there!

Date: May 22, 2019
Time: 09:00 a.m.-03:00 p.m.
Event: Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshop
Sponsor: Contemplative Outreach Atlanta
Venue: Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center
Location: 6700 Riverside Drive, NW
Atlanta GA 30328
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

Inter-Religious Spirituality and the Contemplative Renaissance: How Our Friends From Other Faiths Helped Christians Rediscover Our Spiritual Heart

Christianity has a long history of contemplative practice. But many scholars and spiritual teachers within the faith recognize that in the centuries immediately preceding and following the Reformation, the church (at least in the west) largely lost its contemplative heart. Theologian Robert Davis Hughes III addressed this topic in his…… Read more at Patheos

Shirley Hershey Showalter: Simplicity and Silence, Part One (Episode 50)

What is the relationship between silence and simplicity? Silence and peace? Or, for that matter, how does silence relate to the importance of our voice — as human beings in general, but especially for writers or for people whose voices have traditionally bee marginalized, such as women or those who live in traditional rural settings? … Continue reading Shirley Hershey Showalter: Simplicity and Silence, Part One (Episode 50) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

Contemplation, Atheism, and Amputees

N.B. I wrote the first draft of this post about a year ago, at a time when several militant atheist commentators were active on my blog’s comment section. Eventually I banned the ones who were trollish, some of them moved on, and many of those original comments got deleted. I…… Read more at Patheos

On the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas) — Let’s Practice “Presenting” Christ to One Another

Today is the feast of the presentation. It’s also traditionally known as Candlemas; it was a time when candles would be blessed —a candle, after all, emits light, and Jesus is the light of the world. If Christmas were a forty-day season instead of just a 12-day season, today would…… Read more at Patheos

Religious Violence, Hate Crimes, and Contemplation

About ten miles or so from Thomas Merton Square in Louisville, KY — the street corner where Merton had his famous “Fourth and Walnut” epiphany in 1958 — is a Hindu house of worship, Swaminarayan Temple. Earlier this week, the temple was vandalized. The crime was described this way in the Louisville…… Read more at Patheos

A Contemplative Perspective on Tithing (At Church… and Beyond)

A friend on Facebook named Stephanie posed this question to me: Hello Carl, I am wondering if you’ve ever written anything on the subject of tithing in the church, and what that looks like in regards to a contemplative practice? I am a member of an Anglican church and participate…… Read more at Patheos

Celebrating Mary Oliver (Episode 49)

“Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?” asks Mary Oliver in  her poem “The Summer Day.” On January 17, 2019, her many fans — including the co-hosts of this podcast — discovered just how real this question was, as we reeled from the news of Oliver’s death at the age of 83. Even before … Continue reading Celebrating Mary Oliver (Episode 49) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

Navigating through the Bible’s Shadow

  One of this blog’s patrons named Aaron asked, in response to my post Nonduality in the Bible and Us: Not sure if you’ve posted one before, but is there a resource that collects verses for the mystical and non dual in the Bible? Did you have a post that…… Read more at Patheos

Andō: Silence in the Forest, Part Two (Episode 48)

Today’s episode is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. “All words begin as silence,” proclaims Andō on her Patreon page.  Indeed, those five words provide an auspicious introduction to this enigmatic yet joyful contemplative Zen poet. As a lay monastic, Andō has spent many years living a monastic … Continue reading Andō: Silence in the Forest, Part Two (Episode 48) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

Seven Contemplative New Year’s Resolutions (That Are Worth Adopting Any Time of the Year)

I know, I know — a blog post about new years’ resolutions several weeks after the year has begun?!?! What kind of craziness is that? Sure — the first week of January is our culturally-sanctioned time for making promises to make the new year “better” — whether that means losing…… Read more at Patheos

Understanding How Contemplation and Mysticism are Different (and Similar)

Sometimes people will ask me if “contemplation” and “mysticism” are synonyms. I admit: I often use the words interchangeably. But if they meant exactly the same thing, then one word would be redundant, right? So perhaps it’s worth taking a moment to consider how contemplation and mysticism describe two slightly…… Read more at Patheos