Join me this winter at the Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta for a special three-night contemplative retreat called “Two Paths to Contemplative Prayer: Spiritual Wisdom from St. Ignatius and Thomas Merton .” This silent retreat will include ample time for personal prayer, conferences each day to invite us deeper into our prayer through the wisdom of St. Ignatius and Merton, and the beautiful facility and grounds of Ignatius House — gorgeous even in the winter!

Date: January 31, 2019—February 2, 2019
Event: Two Paths to Contemplation: A 3 Night Retreat at Ignatius House
Topic: Contemplative Prayer
Sponsor: Ignatius House
Venue: Ignatius House
(404) 255-0503
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.

One of the highlights of my year is the “Wisdom of the Christian Mystics” retreat that I co-facilitate each year with my dear friend, the Trappist monk Br. Elias Marechal (author of Tears of An Innocent God).
This year, Brother Elias and I will be leading this retreat at Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, GA, November 16-18.
If you want to go, call now — it usually fills up weeks in advance — and put your name on the waiting list if it’s already full. Sometimes people cancel at the last minute.

Date: November 16, 2018—November 18, 2018
Event: Wisdom of the Christian Mystics Retreat
Topic: Wisdom of the Christian Mystics
Sponsor: Monastery of the Holy Spirit
(770) 760-0959
Venue: Monastery of the Holy Spirit Retreat House
(770) 760-0959
Location: 2625 Highway 212 SW
Conyers, GA 30094
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

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

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

Kathleen Norris, Part One: Silence, Poetry, and Acedia (Episode 35)

A self-described “evangelist for poetry,” Kathleen Norris explores the spiritual life in both intimate and historical ways, through her award-winning poetry and luminous works of literary nonfiction, including Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, The Cloister Walk, and Acedia and Me. In addition to her distinguished literary career, she is a Presbyterian layperson and a Benedictine Oblate. “There’s natural noise, … Continue reading Kathleen Norris, Part One: Silence, Poetry, and Acedia (Episode 35) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

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

Parker J. Palmer, Part 2: On the Brink of Silence (Episode 34)

This week our conversation with Quaker activist, author, and educator Parker J. Palmer continues. Please listen to Part One (Episode 33) if you haven’t already done so. In this week’s episode, we explore the question of how sometimes silence can be toxic (a “silencing” rather than the silence that frees), and how Quaker spirituality has … Continue reading Parker J. Palmer, Part 2: On the Brink of Silence (Episode 34) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

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

This year at the Oratory in Rock Hill, SC, I’m leading a Friday/Saturday retreat called Praying in the Thin Places: the Wisdom of the Celtic Saints. You can register for just Friday evening, for just Saturday, or for both days. Registration is delightfully “old school” — you can call the Oratory at 803-327-2097 or download this PDF, fill it out and mail it in with your registration fee! Click here to download the registration form.

Date: October 19, 2018—October 20, 2018
Event: Celtic Retreat at the Oratory in Rock Hill, SC
Topic: Celtic Spirituality
Sponsor: The Oratory Center for Spirituality
803-327-2097
Venue: The Oratory at Rock Hill
803-327-2097
Location: 434 Charlotte Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29731
USA
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

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

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

Parker J. Palmer, Part 1: On the Brink of Silence (Episode 33)

Parker J. Palmer is a world-renowned writer, speaker, educator, and activist whose work explores issues and concerns related to spirituality, education, community, leadership, and social change. He is the author of many books, including Let Your Life Speak,A Hidden Wholeness,The Promise of Paradox, and The Active Life. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly … Continue reading Parker J. Palmer, Part 1: On the Brink of Silence (Episode 33) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

Paul Quenon, OCSO: Silence and Poetry at Gethsemani Abbey (Episode 32)

Poet, photographer, and memoirist Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO sat down to chat with Cassidy Hall this past July when she was visiting Gethsemani Abbey. Author of several volumes of poetry including Unquiet Vigil: New and Selected Poems, Br. Paul is also the author of a newly published autobiography, In Praise of the Useless Life: A … Continue reading Paul Quenon, OCSO: Silence and Poetry at Gethsemani Abbey (Episode 32) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

Join me in October for a special online course exploring the spirituality of the Celts — through the poetry and prayers of the Carmina Gadelica!

Spirituality and Practice is one of the “hubs” for online spiritual learning, and this is my second course on Celtic spirituality with them! This course is designed both for beginners and for those who took last year’s course.

We will be exploring traditional Celtic prayers, poems, and incantations — and looking at how the down-to-earth wisdom of the Celtic people has much to teach us even in today’s world.

The online course includes emails from me, interaction in our online “Practice Circle,” and a conference call I’ll be hosting in late October.

Hope to connect with you there!

Date: October 8, 2018—November 2, 2018
Event: Online Course: Poetry and Prayer from the Celtic Tradition
Topic: Celtic Wisdom
Sponsor: Spirituality and Practice
Venue: Online Course
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

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