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...

Encountering Silence: A Conversation with Dr. Joy Schroeder, co-author of “Voices Long Silenced”


It’s time for another episode from the Encountering Silence podcast! In this episode, Dr. Joy A. Schroeder, a Lutheran pastor, joins Cassidy, Kevin and me to explore the shadow side of silence — in this case, the silencing of many significants voices in the Christian tradition, of women Bible interpreters. Dr. Schroeder is a specialist in the history of biblical interpretation. She is...

Patreon Membership Rewards for 2023


Hi friends, just wanted to give readers of this blog a look at what your membership in my Patreon program will provide in 2023. If you’re new to Patreon, it is an ongoing membership/crowdfunding program specifically for writers, musicians, podcasters, artists, game designers and other “content creators.” It’s a way for you to invest a small monthly amount (most people...

A “Video Retreat” Courtesy of Contemplative Outreach Chicago


On October 29, 2022 I led an online retreat day for my friends at Contemplative Outreach of Chicago. We had a wonderful day of reflection, which was called Centering Prayer and the Mystical Imagination. We explored how silence and imaginative prayer are complementary pathways to a deepening spiritual life. Our time together included two sessions of Centering Prayer, along with some imaginative...

The Mystical Imagination: Quotations for Reflection and Meditation


One of my favorite topics to explore when leading a retreat is “The Mystical Imagination.” I often pair it with Centering Prayer, exploring how the silence of Centering Prayer naturally complements the inner imagery of prayer anchored in the imagination. When I lead such retreats, I often will share a variety of quotations with the retreatants to make the case for why the imagination...

Ireland Pilgrimage: September 20-27, 2023


Update: Our Ireland Pilgrimage is full. Please click here to be added to the waiting list. I’ve partnered with Zeitgeist, an Atlanta-based spiritual community, to create a special interspiritual pilgrimage to Sacred Ireland in September 2023! We’ll explore sacred sites from both the pre-Christian and Christian traditions, celebrate the spiritual wisdom from Irish folklore, myth, story...

Videos of Rhiannon and Fran


If you’ve read chapter one of Unteachable Lessons you know all about my wife Fran and my late daughter Rhiannon (who passed away in 2014). Thankfully, we have a number of videos of Fran and Rhiannon singing together, as they often performed especially for events related to the Atlanta L’Arche Community. Here is a collection of some of the videos we have posted to Youtube over the...

Plowshare Prayer — and General Intercessions


Yesterday I was leading a class for Zeitgeist Atlanta and one of the participants shared an amazing song by a musician named Spencer Lajoye, called the “Plowshare Prayer.” It is profoundly beautiful, and I’ve had it on repeat for pretty much the rest of the weekend. Check it out — here’s a video of a live performance of the song (you can also find it on Spotify or download...

Centering Prayer and the Mystical Imagination: Complementary Approaches to Intimacy with God


On Saturday, October 29, 2022, I will be leading an online day of reflection on Centering Prayer and the Mystical Imagination. If you’d like to explore how to integrate silent prayer with imaginative prayer, this program may be for you. To learn more and to register, please click here: Centering Prayer and the Mystical Imagination. A few years ago, a popular contemporary Christian rock band...

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom — But Love Casts Out Fear


N.B. This homily was written for the Community of Hope International at their annual retreat, during the Saturday evening Taizé service, October 8, 2022 at Camp Allen, Navasota, Texas. The readings included Psalm 66:1-12, Psalm 111 and Luke 5:12-16. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” This is a powerful statement, capstoning the beautiful song of praise that we find in Psalm 111...

Prayer and the Contemplative Imagination • In Person Retreat in Atlanta, January 28


PRAYER & THE CONTEMPLATIVE IMAGINATION A MINI-RETREAT WITH CARL MCCOLMAN Click here for more information or to register “Be still and know that I am God” is a promise from the Psalms: a promise that God may be known through stillness, silence, and contemplation. But how do we truly know God — and how does stillness truly invite us into this deeper way of knowing? Explore these questions...



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