• Margaret Benefiel

    • Margaret became Shalem's executive director in July 2015. Prior to coming to Shalem, she ran her own consulting, speaking, training, and coaching business, Executive Soul, helping leaders and organizations nurture their souls and express their deepest values institutionally. At the same time, she taught as adjunct faculty at Andover Newton Theological School in the area of contemplative leadership. She holds a B.A. in History from Princeton University, an M.A. in Mathematics from Portland State University, an M.A. in Theology from Earlham School of Religion, and a PhD in Spirituality from Catholic University of America. She has written extensively on various aspects of contemplative leadership and spirituality at work, including The Soul of Higher Education; The Soul of Supervision; The Soul of a Leader: Finding Your Path to Fulfillment and Success; and Soul at Work: Spiritual Leadership in Organizations.

Fill Your Heart with Joy: The Journey of Pilgrimage at Home

This article is by Chuck McCorkle, Jackson Droney, and Margaret Benefiel A pilgrimage is a journey, of experience if not of geography, into new and seemingly uncharted territory. . . With vision somewhat more clear as a result of the journey, one can discover a richness within one’s own heritage which had previously been overlooked. […]

Living in Liminal Space

What a week! Since last Friday, we have seen two pivotal razor-close Senate elections in Georgia, the certification of the electoral college vote for President, and the specter of violent rioters descending on the U.S. Capitol. In the past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on living in liminal space and that reflection has illuminated the […]

Learning the New Song

The old song of my spirit has wearied itself out. It has long ago been learned by heart so that now it repeats itself over and over, bringing no added joy to my days or lift to my spirit… I will sing a new song. As difficult as it is, I must learn the new […]

Three Leadership Lessons from John Woolman

In this time of multiple pandemics and many crises, I struggle with how to relate to those with whom I disagree. How do I find the wisdom to interact in a loving way; how do I speak my truth so they might hear? I find the eighteenth-century American Quaker John Woolman inspiring and instructive for […]

Roots of Love and Fruits of Imagination: Three Examples for our Time

As I write this, protests rock the U.S. and protesters call for justice. The protests rightly draw our attention to the more than 400 years of racism and white supremacy, and the vast majority of protesters are peaceful. Violence and looting have also erupted, and the media often gives far more attention to such cases […]

Step by Halting Step: Leadership in Uncertain Times

In this season of the year, following the crucifixion and resurrection and Jesus’s subsequent forty days among the disciples, Christians celebrate the ascension, the time when Jesus left the disciples and ascended into heaven. What a roller coaster that month and a half must have been for the disciples (as I mentioned in the eNews […]

Grieving and Rejoicing

On Good Friday, no one anticipated Easter. The disciples, in shock and grief, hid away in fear. Neither the disciples nor Jesus’s enemies expected resurrection. And then the resurrection came. Unbelievable. How could this be? Still in shock and grief, the disciples weren’t ready. Even after Jesus appeared to the disciples, they kept hiding in […]

Three Essentials for Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus

In the short span of a month, our lives have been turned upside down. We are quarantined. We know people who have COVID-19. We know people who have died from it. We wonder if we have it. Some of us do. We work from home now, or we have lost our jobs. (Unless we are […]

Conscious Leadership as a Spiritual Journey

Article by Margaret Benefiel (May 2019 eNews) What is conscious leadership? When I received the annual Elks leadership award my senior year in high school for my leadership in the Elma Sunshine Makers 4-H Club in Elma, Washington, I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about leadership. After all, I had […]

Cultivating Contemplative Conversations

Article by Margaret Benefiel (December 2018 eNews) In conversations with our “contemplative cousins,” both in follow-up discussions since the August 2017 Snowmass gathering where 20 young contemplatives gathered and in other settings, the question often arises, “What method of prayer does Shalem teach? Contemplative Outreach teaches Centering Prayer, World Community for Christian Meditation teaches the […]