Carl McColman

Soul Friend and Storyteller. Lay Cistercian, Centering Prayer Presenter, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, Teacher, Retreat Leader.

Companions of the Mystery (On-Going Study and Practice Circle)


Friend, you are invited to join with me (Carl McColman) in an on-going project of reading, studying, and praying with some of the great mystical writings in the Christian tradition. Many great mystical writings are challenging and difficult to read—but these books are not meant to be “analyzed” or studied in a critical/scholarly sense so much as they are most beneficial when readers...

Support — with Ko-Fi or Patreon


Hi friends, just a quick post to let you know that I’ve set up an account with Ko-Fi, which gives you another option (an alternative to Patreon) for supporting and my writing ministry. If you want to make a small “tip” or donation, either on a one-time or a monthly basis, you can use Ko-Fi — you can set the dollar amount, and can pay using your credit card or...

The Science of Meditation (and the Relationship between Meditation and Trauma)


A few years back the Buddhist magazine Lion’s Roar published an interesting article surveying what insights we can glean from the scientific study of meditation. These insights concern questions such as the health and psychological benefits of meditation, the relationship between meditation and compassion, and how meditation might impact our relationships and even our biases. It’s an...

Mystical Literature: Poetry and Fiction


A reader of this blog (and a Patreon member) wrote to me and asked: Hi Carl: Do you have a list of fiction and poetry you recommend for those on the Christian Mystic path? Thanks! A wonderful question, and while I didn’t have a handy list available to email back to him, it inspired me to write this post. It’s a bit of hodgepodge: fiction about the mystics, and poetry by mystics. But...

Discover the Three Forms of Contemplation, according to Evelyn Underhill! (Free Online Event: Sign Up Now)


Hi friends! Join me on Thursday, January 19 for a special Zoom call in which I’ll be sharing Evelyn Underhill’s Three Forms of Contemplation. Click here to register for this free program. If you’re not familiar with Evelyn Underhill, a treat awaits you. She a leading Christian mystic of the early 20th century, and her writings influenced other significant contemplatives and...

Register Now for the 2023 Centering Prayer Summit!


Hi everyone! I’m so excited about an upcoming online “Centering Prayer Summit” that I’ll be participating with — I want to make sure all my online friends know about it. Hosted by my friends Keith Kristich and Jana Rentzel, this program features speakers like Cynthia Bourgeault, Adam Bucko, Mary Dwyer, Phileena Nikole and others (including yours truly). Eight speakers over...

Happy Anniversary to Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor!


December 6 is quite a special day. It’s the feast day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children (also known as Father Christmas). In 1875, one of the great mystics of the 20th century, Evelyn Underhill, was born on this day. Fifteen years later, another mystic, the esotericist Violet Firth (better known by her pen name, Dion Fortune) also was born on 12/6. The treaty between England and...

Check Out the New Podcast from Contemplative Outreach!


I am happy (and honored/humbled) to announce that I’ve recently appeared as a guest on the new podcast from Contemplative Outreach! Opening Minds, Opening Hearts is a new initiative from Contemplative Outreach International, hosted by Colleen Thomas and Mark Dannenfelser. Other episodes of the podcast feature wonderful folks like Lerita Coleman Brown and Adam Bucko. Definitely check it out...

Five Approaches to Interspirituality


Brother Wayne Teasdale, author of The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions and A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life, coined the new word “interspirituality.” Sort of a mash-up between “interfaith dialogue” and “spirituality,” interspirituality refers to the possibility or practice of integrating...

Come to the “Writing for Your Life” Conference, March 6-7, 2023!


Note from Carl: I’m honored to be one of the featured speakers at the upcoming Atlanta “Writing for Your Life” conference, along with Barbara Brown Taylor, Luther Smith, Kate Rademacher, and many more! Click here for more information, and/or click here to register. If you write, or read, books that matter – books with substance and soul – then this is the conference for you...

In-Person/Online Hybrid Event, March 11, 2023: A Field Guide to Western Mysticism


Mystics, Monks, Magicians & Druids: A Field Guide to Western Mystery Traditions with Carl McColman Saturday, March  11, 2023 9:00 am – 3:00 pm In Person/Zoom hybrid event $45 ZG members / $50 general This event will be recorded for participants only! Click here for more information and to register. What is the difference between a pagan and a shaman? A monk and a friar? A mystic and a...

Books To Read and Savor During Advent and Christmas


A reader of this blog wrote to me last week and asked: I am writing to ask if you have any good recommendations for spiritual reading during Advent. There are some wonderful books to explore for Advent. Some are new, some are classics, some are specifically “Advent-y” and others are simply books I’d like to recommend. So, here goes! We’ll start with the Advent themed books...



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