Presence and Absence: 2

Tolerating absence is, in essence, trusting presence – even when the one who is present to us is not physically present.  Think of the two year old gradually loosening his clinging grasp to the leg of his mother… Continue Reading »

Presence and Absence: 1

I have long been nostalgic about presence. Nothing lingers for me like it. Nothing dissolves the sense of distance between me and another person like it, and nothing makes me feel alive and at one within myself in… Continue Reading »

Pondering Presence: 4

Presence lifts us above the sphere of particularities and separateness into a world of integral wholeness.  It is always is experienced as a unitary whole.  Think, for example, about the experience of sitting on the top of a… Continue Reading »

Pondering Presence: 3

Everything and everyone has presence. Just think of your experience of things and people when you step back of your thoughts about them.  Think, for example, of your home. It communicates something about itself that is there to… Continue Reading »

Pondering Presence: 1

Recently I have been thinking a lot about presence.  Current interest in mindfulness bombards us with reminders about the importance of being present.  But presence isn’t something we can turn off and on like a faucet. We are… Continue Reading »

Action and Contemplation

Notice the first image that comes to mind when you think of the word contemplation.  Possibly it is a monk fingering prayer beads and slowly walking the cloisters of a monastery.  Or maybe it is someone sitting in… Continue Reading »

Learning from the Mystics

Most Christians find the mystics somewhat . . . let’s say, mystifying.  Their language often makes it hard to identify with them, their lifestyle seems out of sync with modernity and their message simply doesn’t seem relevant to… Continue Reading »

Meditation and Contemplative Prayer: An Interview

Dr. Donald Woodside is a recently retired psychiatrist with whom I worked closely for many years. But more than that, he has been a valued friend and spiritual companion. His spiritual journey draws together Christian faith with Buddhist… Continue Reading »

Talk of God

Karen Armstrong begins her recent, excellent book, The Case for God, by suggesting that we talk too much and too easily about God.  I agree.  People of all three of the great monotheistic religions of our world acknowledge that… Continue Reading »