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Archive for Spiritual Deepening

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 […]

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 […]

Conversions of Consciousness

“Jesus is concerned with eliciting a conversion of consciousness from those not yet able to understand, and not with imparting information to a deluded pattern of consciousness.” (John P. Keenan, The Gospel of Mark: A Mahayana Reading) As I reflect on the events of September 11 and our nation’s way of responding, I realize that […]

Mustard Seeds and Yeast

[Jesus] proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell […]

Contemplative Conversations on Race

“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates.” – John Lewis Congressman John Lewis […]

Contemplatives and Racial Justice: What is Ours to Do?

Rose Mary Dougherty, in her days leading groups at Shalem, had a favorite parable she came back to often. With her charming Irish smile, she would ask: “Why do the antelope walk side by side in the jungle?” And after letting that settle for a short moment, she would answer: “So they can blow the […]

Between Us There Is No Between

Today’s blog is taken from the reflection and prayer offered during Wednesday’s Prayer for the World by Shalem graduate Barb Kelly. Over the past several weeks I have been pondering and praying the question, “What obligations do we have to one another?” I have a heightened awareness of the question of obligation during this time […]

Letting the Light In

Full disclosure: I’ve tried to write this column for weeks. Thoughts and notes spill across my journal pages; drafts of documents sit on my laptop. Prayer and vigil candles are spent. Life feels heavy. Sometimes overwhelming. The state of our world and our country is revealing the dark, shadowy side beneath our comfortable façade. And […]

People of Light

Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetop.” (Matthew 10:26-28) Last night I watched the summer solstice sunset and the […]

Guard Your Heart

Since my grandmother died over a decade ago, she comes to me from time to time in my dreams. In moments of pain or struggle, confusion or doubt, she will suddenly come visit me while I sleep. As we neared the three-month date in this time of physical distancing and social upheaval, everything felt very […]