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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Greening Nature and Spirits

One spring morning, sitting at the table sipping tea, I saw green buds on tree branches hanging over the yard just outside the picture window. Those small fists of summer, clenched tight, must have been there for a while, but I hadn’t noticed. Seemingly overnight, the greening buds had swelled and stretched up and out, […]

Coddiwomple

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” (Ursula Le Guin) Several years ago, I planned a road trip with a good friend to visit her son, my godson, during spring break. We had only four days to drive out to Idaho, visit […]

Knowing by Heart

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (The Message) “That’s right. The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant with Israel and Judah. It won’t be a repeat of the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I […]

The Rainbow Connection

God said [to Noah]: “This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the […]