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Archive for Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats

Expanding Into a New Call

“This I know: My life is in your hands. I have nothing to fear. I stop, breathe, listen. Beneath the whirl of what is, is a deep down quiet place. You beckon me to tarry there. This is the place where unnamed hungers are fed, The place of clear water, refreshment. My senses stilled, I […]

What Do We Think We’re Doing When We Pray?

One of the readings assigned for my first program at the Shalem Institute, the Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats program, was an article by Ann Ulanov entitled, What Do We Think People Are Doing When They Pray?  I have often returned to that question, both in my own practice and in my […]

Silent Retreat: Deepening Intimacy

Silent retreat is a serious commitment and practice common to spiritual seekers throughout history. Conversations about the spiritual journey are studded with transformational experiences that have occurred on quiet days, weekends, or even quiet months. When my children were young, it was only possible for me to attend day retreats. But I remember being drawn […]

With My Heart Enlightened

Last February was the 10-year anniversary of my open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. The valve problem was caused by a congenital defect, and the time had finally had come for the replacement. Scripture, mystics, and poets say that the heart is the organ of spiritual perception. I’ve wondered if the purpose of […]

A Space for Silence & Prayer

Article by Judy Walsh-Mellett – September 2019 eNews As a child walking in the woods, I was not compelled to ponderous thinking or righting the world’s wrongs. I simply walked and paused breathless if a deer or a rabbit passed by. Or gazed in awe if I chanced to see a Lady Slipper’s rare glory, […]

The Intimacy of Transition

Article by Ann Dean (September 2018 eNews) September rains bring cool crisp air, soften the fragrance of the last white rose at the garden gate and splatter the pathways with acorns and the first shiny gold leaves from the tulip poplar overhead. Old pines whisper wisdom in the quiet of the morning breeze. Multitudes of wings […]

The spiritual life is not taught, but caught. You get it through contagion.

~Evelyn Underhill

A Simple Path to Follow

Today’s post is by Nancy Flinchbaugh Ancients created labyrinths thousands of years ago, and more recently, labyrinths again surfaced to help center and orient pilgrims on their life path. In the middle ages, labyrinths were laid in stone into the floors of cathedrals in Europe. The faithful, who couldn’t afford a journey to the holy land, […]

Draining the Pond

I was delighted to see I had a view of the pond. Through brightly colored leaves, I caught a glimpse of water shimmering below. Ah, the pond! Still water, reflecting clouds and sun, holding leaves aloft – oranges and yellows, sky blue, greyish white and dark green.

Soul Assignment

Today’s post is by Susan Rowland. This is a transcript of her audio testimony highlighting her experience in Shalem’s Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program. You may also listen to her tell her story by clicking on the video above.

My experience with the Shalem program “Leading Contemplative Prayer groups and Retreats” was unique in so many ways. At the residencies, we were among a circle of talented people, gathered with the intention of deepening their life and leadership in contemplative practice. The breadth and expression of faith was so rich. Small groups provided a safe opportunity to try out different prayer practices in an open, experiential, supportive space. I will be forever grateful for the emphasis on simple explanations of prayer practices so that the Spirit is “free to move about the cabin” of the gathering.

What made that possible was the Shalem program leadership, modeling something so beautiful and authentic in all that they offered. I have been to programs where they teach by telling you what to do. At Shalem, the leaders revealed their personal passion to us through each teaching. Their words and presence were alive – resonating and bouncing off all of our hearts– together, we laughed, we walked, we played with art, we talked a lot over meals. They truly entered into the community with us.