The Isle of Iona: A Thin Place

“I’ve heard it called a ‘thin place,’” he told me. “I’m not sure I believe that so I want to see for myself.” It sounded to my ears as if he’d laid down a challenge — to me or the island; I wasn’t sure which. This apparent skepticism from someone I respect gave me pause. […]

Keep Walking: An Invitation to Pilgrimage with Shalem on the Camino de Santiago

Walking has long been a pillar of my spiritual life. As a child, I remember walking with my grandmother around her neighborhood and mine, noticing the rabbits hopping about and the birds whizzing from feeder to feeder. I recall many walks with my mother at the cemetery, laying flowers on her father’s grave and listening […]

The Gift of Being Here

Opening the kitchen door to gauge the morning’s suitability for an early walk, I inhaled quickly and held my breath in reverence and awe. Cool refreshing air slid over me after days of stifling heat. Huge, puffy clouds rose in the bright blue sky. Even from my city view, obstructed by buildings, wires, and trees, […]

Five Gathered

Reflection on the Experience of a Group Spiritual Direction Workshop at Shalem Institute. I had the bountiful blessing of making four very close friends at the Group Spiritual Direction workshop on Zoom last June. It was not your typical friendship. Five individuals gathered together in faith, in silence, in prayer, and in profound empathy. The […]

Grounding in Gratitude

World as Lover, World as Self: Courage for Global Justice and Planetary Awakening 30th Anniversary Edition by Joanna Macy Edited by Stephanie Kaza Excerpt from Chapter Two The root of joy is gratefulness . . . It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. —BROTHER DAVID STEINDL-RAST We have received an […]

Recalibrating Humility

I have been pondering the virtues, those aspects of character that are central to the spiritual life. Gradually, I’ve come to understand that we don’t have a virtue, rather it has us, and the only way to know if the virtue has us is by its fruits. As Paul says, it is by their fruits […]

Let the Door Close Behind You

I cling to the image of Mary Magdalene running out of the dark cave early on what we now call “Easter morning.” I carry it with me, believing it will help me leave my own cave that has become a tomb of Netflix evenings and Zoom days. I entered my pandemic cave by choice, but […]

Nijana: The Horse of Lindisfarne

In 2001, I joined Shalem’s Celtic pilgrimage to the islands of Lindisfarne and Iona. Each morning, our pilgrim group gathered outdoors to welcome the day with morning prayers. On Lindisfarne we walked down a flower-lined lane in front of the nearly 1000-year-old parish church that stands before the ruined medieval priory. Then we turned away […]

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul Written by John Philip Newell Reviewed by Leah Rampy Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 In the darkness of the COVID-19 winter, I was drawn again to the […]

Summer Resources for Spiritual Sustenance

As we move into the long days of summer, some of Shalem’s board and staff have put together a list of books, movies, poetry and other resources that are contemplatively grounding and inspirational.  Enjoy! BOOKS Tilden Edwards (Founder and Senior Fellow) When Faith Becomes Sight: Opening Your Eyes to God’s Presence All Around You by […]