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 Christian of the Future — a New “Mystical Minute” Video for Contemplative Seekers


Friends, here is a new video I’d like to share with you. God willing, this will be the first of a series of videos I will be creating in the months to come. This video, like all my online content, is funded through Patreon. When I set up my Patreon account, I set several goals: commitments for new content or new projects that I would undertake when the number of patrons supporting my work...

Video: Mysticism and the Bible — Three Contemplative Verses


“Is mysticism in the Bible?” It’s a question I get asked from time to time. And while the word mysticism itself is not found in scripture, the elements of mysticism are very much part of the Biblical story. In the first of what I imagine will be multiple videos on this topic, I begin to explore mysticism in the Bible by focusing on three verses that speak of silence — in a...

Five Key Words for Understanding Christian Mysticism


So often people will say to me, “I just don’t know what Christian mysticism is!” Which is perfectly understandable, since not only is mysticism related to mystery, but also the added confusion that the word gets used in so many different ways by different people. Evelyn Underhill alluded to this, over a century ago, in her book Practical Mysticism: The genuine inquirer will find...

Praying with the English Mystics


Dear friends, I have now experienced what it is like to direct a spiritual retreat online. And while it is certainly not the same thing as a retreat in person (especially at a monastery, surrounded by the atmosphere of prayer and the timeless cadences of monastic chant), it is still a way for us to pause, take a deep breath, and attend to our souls — especially in this time of pandemic and social...

Speaking of Mysticism: Three Video Clips Filmed in Portland, Oregon


Here are three brief excerpts from a talk I gave in Portland, OR, in October 2010 on the topic of Christian mysticism. These videos were produced by Cathy Zheutlin who lovingly describes herself as a “holy rascal.” In the first one, I tell an amusing story of one of my monastic mentors, Father Anthony, who gave me some grief about the difficulty of defining the word...



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