Letting Go Of (Our Limited Image of) God

“God loves us whether we remain Christian or not.” That’s a statement I made in a previous post, How Should a Christian Respond When a Friend Becomes Interested in Witchcraft and Magic? In response to this, a reader wrote this to me: This is why I love your writing. That said,…… Read more at Patheos

Remaining at the Cross: On Being a Contemplative Christian in a Church That Has Forgotten Its Mystical Heritage

This is turning out to be “James Ishmael Ford” week at my blog. Earlier this week I posted a review of his new book, Introduction to Zen Koans. Check it out if you haven’t done so already. One of the reasons I like his writing so much is that he is…… Read more at Patheos

Want to Learn About Zen? Here’s a Book to Get You Started

Introduction to Zen Koans: Learning the Language of Dragons is the latest book by James Ishmael Ford who is one of my favorite Patheos bloggers (if you don’t know his blog, Monkey Mind, do yourself a favor and check it out). James is a Unitarian-Universalist minister, but also a Soto Zen priest…… Read more at Patheos

Ten Bible Verses About Silence, Stillness and Solitude

This evening I’ve been asked to speak to a small house church in my neighborhood on the spirituality of silence. This particular community is evangelical, and silence is not something that they have traditionally placed a lot of emphasis on. But their pastor (who lives across the street from me)…… Read more at Patheos

Can Christians Use a (Non-Christian) Mantra?

A reader, who identifies as a contemplative/mystical Christian, posted this question to me on Facebook: Carl….when I meditate/contemplative prayer…can I use a mantra such as-OM or Hare Krishna or something similar? It’s a great question, and the short answer is, it depends. Some Christians are allergic to the very idea…… Read more at Patheos

How To Know When to Speak (and When to Be Silent)

Recently I posted this on Facebook: In response, a reader made this comment: Carl, it took time, but about 10 years ago I finally fell In love with silence and the heart of God I find there. This past week though, as so many people on the national stage are…… Read more at Patheos

Two Questions on the Practice of Silent Prayer

A reader of this blog wrote to me about the practice of silent prayer. He alluded to a comment I made in an interview where I talked about allowing my breath to be my “prayer word” — in other words, instead of focussing my attention by silently repeating a single…… Read more at Patheos

Is Mystical Experience the Antidote to Nihilism?

In response to my previous post from last October, Why Experience Is Not the Foundation of (All) Spirituality, a reader recently posted this comment on Facebook: As someone who struggles with fear and nihilism I often find myself craving an experience of god to help “cast out all doubt.” While in…… Read more at Patheos

C. S. Lewis in the Digital Age: An Amazing Collection of Books from Verbum

Did you know that one of the most popular authors in Catholic bookstores is a non-Catholic? I’m speaking of C. S. Lewis, the Anglican layman whose common-sense apologetics and visionary fiction has made him one of the best-selling Christians authors not only among Catholics, but among Christians of all stripes.…… Read more at Patheos

God In The Balance: More Thoughts About Mary and Martha

Today’s post is by a guest author, Dr. David Rensberger, author of Johannine Faith and Liberating Community. A version of this post originally appeared on the blog for the Weavings Journal. Religion is about balance, we are often told. For example, there’s a story in the gospel of Luke about Jesus…… Read more at Patheos

Contemplation and Ecstatic Experience

A reader named Kevin wrote and asked me:  What’s your view on the phenomenon of spiritual ecstasy? I used to think, before I experienced it, that it was a surge of positive emotion, rather like joy. Experienced in the body. Actually, in my experience spiritual ecstasy takes place in silence,…… Read more at Patheos

Contemplating the Sacred Word

A reader wrote this message to me recently: Carl, I just recently started centering prayer as my form of meditation. Here is my dilemma: I find myself picking a word without really knowing why and the midway through the meditation feeling some kind of inadequacy in it so then picking…… Read more at Patheos

Get Started On Your Journey Into Celtic Wisdom

This fall my new book, An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom, will be published. You can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or IndieBound (independent bookstores),  — just click on the retailer’s name to order it). If you would like to read a sample chapter of the book, click here. An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom…… Read more at Patheos

Between Shambhala and the Catholic Church: On Being a Contemplative in Imperfect Institutions

I sure know how to pick them (he says, ruefully). The two organizations that I have turned to for contemplative formation over the past decade — the Catholic Church and Shambhala Buddhism — have both been rocked by abuse and cover-up scandals. Since 2004 the Catholic Church has been my…… Read more at Patheos

Getting to Know A Dangerous Mystic

Meister Eckhart is one of the most renowned of Christian mystics: a medieval philosopher who could have gone down in history as an equal to Augustine or Aquinas — but whose career (and legacy) as a theologian was forever tarnished by accusations of heresy at the end of his life.…… Read more at Patheos