Opening to the Spirit

Do you desire support and enrichment for your prayer life?  Do you wish to develop or deepen a consistent spiritual practice?

Join Carole Crumley as she illuminates the introductory core prayer practices found in Tilden Edwards’ Living in the Presence. Weekly material will focus on nurturing presence through body, breath & mind (with audio guided meditations from Tilden Edwards, Marlene Maier, and the late Gerald May). This offering is a part of our Online School of Contemplative Prayer Series.


Wherever you are in your prayer life, whether you feel like a beginner or want to deepen a particular practice, whether you want to explore new ways of praying or are seeking the support of like-spirited others, the School of Contemplative Prayer offers something for you.

The sessions are experiential and will include:

    • enrichment and support for your daily practice through weekly course material, contemplative quotes and images, and midweek email check-ins;
    • encouragement for opening to God through a particular way of praying, offered through weekly brief video teachings led by Carole Crumley and guided meditations and reflections from Shalem’s archives of classic and timeless voices of Tilden Edwards, Marlene Maier and Gerald May;
    • opportunities for journaling and shared reflection with other participants through a simple, secure, members-only web space.

During the six-week course, since each session builds on the previous weeks’ sessions, we encourage you to participate in all sessions sequentially. The online aspect of the course offers you the flexibility of viewing the course material at any time during your day that is right for you. Through it all, your daily silent prayer discipline is the most important aspect of this course.

Here are some questions that may help you discern the rightness of this course for you:

Do you desire support and enrichment for your prayer life?

Do you wish to develop or deepen a consistent spiritual practice?

Do you desire to open more fully to God?

Are you seeking to connect with authentic spiritual community online?

If these questions touch something that you are yearning for in your spiritual life, then join us for the refreshment, vitality and deepening in prayer that is made possible because we are together in this expanded form of spiritual community.

Technical requirements: Adjust your email spam filters to receive emails from Once you register, your receipt email will have your link to the course page, which you can view anytime to access the material online from any computer, phone or tablet. Teachings are hosted by YouTube. Weekly reflection questions are offered for download viewing and printing.

Dates & Times

Course dates: September 26- November 7, 2021

Registration opens: September 11, 2021
Registration deadline: October 3, 2021
If you are registered, you can access the material for two weeks after the course ends.

Flexible; you will receive emails twice a week linking to course content
Invitation to commit to 20 minutes a day for daily practice

Course Content
Week 1: Where are you on your Journey?

Welcome audio: 11 min
Create a Prayer Space video: 5 min
Reading “What is Contemplative Spirituality?”
Silence and Reflection Questions

Week 2: What is Contemplative Prayer?

Teaching video: 11 min
Gerry May audio: 12 min
Silence and Reflection Questions

Week 3: Praying through Body Awareness

Teaching video: 7 min
Guided meditation audio: 18 min
Silence and Reflection Questions

Week 4: Breath Prayer

Teaching video: 12 min
Guided meditation audio: 7 min
Silence and Reflection Questions

Week 5: Presence through Body, Breath & Mind

Teaching video: 8 min
Guided meditation audio: 10 min
Silence and Reflection Questions

Week 6: Reflection and Feedback

Closing audio: 7 min
Request for Feedback for Shalem
Return again to Gerald May audio: 12 min
Silence and Reflection Questions

For your convenience and busy schedules, material is available for you to access for 2 weeks after the course.

Create In-Person Experiences of Our Online Courses

For Graduates of Shalem Long Term Programs

If you are not a Shalem graduate and would like to lead a group of 10 or more, contact .

Are you part of a community that would benefit from Shalem online programs? Do you find yourself saying no to leading groups because you do not have time to prayerfully gather content? Would you like to complement Shalem’s online courses with an in-person component for individuals in your community?

Consider using our contemplative prayer curriculum in your congregation or faith group (at a discounted rate) as the starting point for deepening contemplative practices.

Gather a group of 10 members and receive a deeply discounted rate of $50 per person (plus your registration for free). Your group members can create a profile on our course space, access the course from any computer with internet and join the larger circle of contemplative seekers from around the world journaling about their experience. You will also receive a leader’s brochure with details of the course content to aid in facilitating the in-person time.

Groups of 10 or more: $50 per person, one free registration for a leader
Groups of less than 10: $68 per person ($68 for leader registration as well)

To Register

    • Review leadership materials and gather your group.

Sample Invitation Letter for you to edit and send along to interested participants

Further Information about Leadership

(Details in the documents above are subject to change.  Feel free to contact us with any questions.)

    • Create the in-person time as you feel led.
    • Contact to share your plan and to ask any questions you may have.
    • Gather participant payment and contact information.
    • Leader pays for participants in one lump sum.  Pay online and input your group’s email addresses: Click the Leadership Package option under the “Price & Register Now” section below. (You will be prompted to sign in.  Feel free to contact if you are having issues.)

Become a leader in bringing contemplative practices to your community
For more information or to register for a Leadership package, please email

Price & Register Now

Registration is now closed.


I learned how to quiet my mind, be still and listen.

This was my first online course. It was wonderful and I have already registered for the next eCourse, and will encourage others to do so.

Learn – experience – reflect – practice. The reflection questions provided for good end-of-day Examen. The weekly guided meditations were something I used daily and found they led me into that quiet space where God awaits and longings are met.

I found myself craving time with the eCourse. I would shut the door to my office at the church at different times during the day and listen to the teaching. It provided structure and balance. I would highly recommend this online course at Shalem.

A Graduate’s Experience of Leadership 
Since graduating from the Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program in 2013, I’ve had a deep desire to expose others to contemplative prayer and lifestyle. The Shalem eCourse seemed like the perfect foundation for some of my directees and friends to experience the basics of contemplation and experience contemplative community via Shalem. I appreciated the freedom given to create the group as I was led. We met once before and once after the program. It’s been transformative for each of us. It’s been divine!