Sports as Contemplative Practice

Today’s blog is by Tilden Edwards, the founder of Shalem Institute. Given the Washington Nationals recent World Series win, we were inspired to remember Tilden Edwards’ article on sports as a contemplative practice, written several years ago.  We are thrilled for our hometown team, albeit exhausted from a wild season, and sincerely thank the Astros […]

Learning To Sit With Not Knowing

Today’s Special Video Blog is by Carrie Newcomer, the recipient of Shalem’s 2019 Contemplative Voices Award on October 27! “Learning To Sit With Not Knowing” from “The Point of Arrival”   “Abide” by Carrie Newcomer and Parker Palmer from “A Permeable Life”   “Room At The Table” from “A Permeable Life”

Listening from the Spiritual Heart

Today’s blog is by Keith Kristich “An atmosphere of intentional prayer precedes and follows group sessions, permeating the time together, as all seek an attitude of trustful openness, ready to share what is given as the fruit of prayer and reflection, and ready to hear what arises in the silence and words of direction time.” […]

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, […]

Learning and Connecting Through Shalem’s Online Courses

Article by Jane Sharp (October 2017 eNews) The summer air in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina renews and refreshes. Since we retired, my husband and I spend five to six months in a small cabin there, a couple of hours away from our “real” home in Greensboro. I can sit in silence, looking […]

Shared Spiritual Companionship

Article by Tilden Edwards (in September 2016 eNews) The medieval mystic Hafiz said, “Like a great starving beast, my body is quivering, fixed on the scent of Light.” That’s a radical thought for us to bring to spiritual direction, both as director and directee. That quivering in me is the strong, graced desire for communion — […]

Virtual Spiritual Community

Today’s post is by Clair Ullmann Can you imagine living in an area where no one speaks your language well? Can you imagine living in an area where you are hours away from a place of worship and faith community that is familiar to you? What would you do to connect to a spiritual deepening […]

Gravy, Not Soup

Today’s post is by Kimberly Borin

Recently, I had the good fortune of being on retreat with the Shalem Institute at the Bon Secours Retreat Center. During our retreat we were blessed with beautiful, delicious meals, which often included soup! One day, in the midst of our silent retreat all I could think about was soup. As I got closer to the soup pot, I could see that there was very little soup. In addition, there were no more soup bowls or soup spoons.

I felt defeated but I was determined to have soup! I found one of the caterers and asked for a bowl, and pointed to the soup. She looked at me in an odd way but gladly handed me a bowl. I went back to the line and started ladling bit by bit whatever soup was left in the pot. The ladle made quite a bit of noise scraping the bottom and sides of the pot as I determinedly filled my bowl. I was desperate to get whatever was left.

The person, behind me was quite patient, despite my constant dips of the ladle into the fairly empty pot. She remained serene even with all of the clanking of my soup seeking gestures. After I was done I noticed that she put some of this soup all over her turkey. “Hmmmm, That’s a nice idea,” I thought to myself.

Joy Unspeakable

It is with joy that I muse about what it means to be contemplative and African American. I’ve been thinking, praying, and studying this seeming contradiction for some time—only to conclude that there is no contradiction. For people of color, the contemplative is embedded in our DNA.