Healing Prayer for the World

The other day I found myself weeping over the state of our world. I felt deep grief and pain; I call it being heartsick. I felt moved to seek out another person so I could share this deep pain. As we sat together and I wept, I felt comforted. I told of the troubles I […]

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 […]

Hearts Broken Open

In mid-March, all the numbers fell off my calendar and clock as my carefully arranged plans changed in an instant. With the spread and threat of the COVID-19 virus, my sensibly constructed life changed. For the next month, I would watch every single plan change, die, or be reconceived in some way or another. The […]

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 […]

Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Today’s blog is taken from the reflection and prayer offered during Wednesday’s Prayer for the World. Shalem graduate Barb Kelly guided the time from her home in Empire, Michigan. Although we can’t see each other, we can join together in prayer with love and compassion for all humanity and for all of creation. During this […]

Who is God?

A byproduct of living a long life is I have come to accept the coming and going of faith. I have accepted that part of the essence of believing is to sometimes doubt and not believe. Like many of life’s bigger questions, when I gave up the struggle, the journey became more interesting. And the […]

A Mindful Loaf

Sunday, I decided, was the perfect day to use some of my precious yeast and flour to make a single loaf of bread—the day Christians set aside to gather and remember God’s great gift of self, given and shared with all creation. Baking would be my prayer. The cover of my old Tassajara Bread Book […]

Despair and Revelation

The Gospel story this week (Luke 24:13-25) is of two downcast followers of Jesus walking the long road home from the City of Peace with heavy hearts. Their world had collapsed, their hopes were crucified, and they kicked up dead dust with each plodding step. Then Jesus draws near, though their eyes are kept from […]