Contemplation begins with Wonder.
What Are you Wondering About Today?

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Verbum / Logos

Most people think of contemplation and mysticism in terms of prayer and meditation — and rightly so. But there is still an impressive body of wisdom literature to explore — what Thomas Cranmer said about the Bible applies also to mystical literature: these are teachings to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.” You can take your study of the mystics so much further if you tap into a program as powerful as Verbum or Logos.

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Spiritual Directors International (SDI)

SDI now is an educational nonprofit, serving over 6,000 members in 42 countries around the world. Although it began as a gathering of Christian spiritual companions, today the organization is interfaith in scope and supports spiritual guides of any faith tradition.

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Do I Have to be a Member of a Church to be a Christian Mystic?

I think I understand how many people — including many people with a genuine interest in the mystics — find church to be the last place they want to be, on Sunday or any other time during the week.

There are many reasons for this. Many people have been hurt by churches.

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Praying with Icons

Praying with icons is no longer just something eastern Christians do. Recognizing that the image can be a powerful window into heaven, Christians across the entire Body of Christ have found meaning and spiritual sustenance in the prayerful contemplation of icons.

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Divinization

What Are You Wondering About Today? Filter by categories Clear Results Community Resources Glossary History of Mysticism Media Miscellaneous Topics Mystical Locations Mystical Theology Overview of Christian Mysticism Profiles of …

Divinization Read More »

Deification

What Are You Wondering About Today? Filter by categories Clear Results Community Resources Glossary History of Mysticism Media Miscellaneous Topics Mystical Locations Mystical Theology Overview of Christian Mysticism Profiles of …

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Theosis

Theosis comes from the Greek θέωσις and literally means “divine state” — Theo (God, divinity) + osis (state or condition). Think of words like theology (God-talk) and gnosis (a state of knowledge) to understand how the word is constructed.

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Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a contemporary method of Christian spiritual practice that is based on teachings from ancient Christian mystics. It recognizes silence and stillness as doorways into prayer and intimacy with God.

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Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

I have a wonderful and affectionate regard for Washington, DC’s Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. It may not be as widely known as Contemplative Outreach International or the Center for Action and Contemplation, but Shalem still has a global reach, offers a distinctive and beautiful approach to contemplative spirituality, and — most significant for me — was the setting where I was introduced to contemplative practice and to the ministry of spiritual direction.

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Latest Blog Posts

How do I choose a contemplative lay order? And do I have to be Catholic to do so?

A reader recently wrote to me: Dear Carl, I grew up as a Protestant, but as I’ve journeyed into Contemplative Christianity over the last while I’ve become more amenable to Roman …

How do I choose a contemplative lay order? And do I have to be Catholic to do so? Read More »

Online Retreat: Celtic Spirituality (March 12-13, 2021)

In March 2020 I was scheduled to travel to western North Carolina to give a retreat on Celtic Spirituality. Alas, it was not to be: the Covid-19 pandemic happened. But …

Online Retreat: Celtic Spirituality (March 12-13, 2021) Read More »

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Carl Perkins, and a Song About Love Between Old Friends

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the senseless, stupid murder of former Beatle John Lennon. I was a sophomore in college when it happened, and I remember it well because …

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Carl Perkins, and a Song About Love Between Old Friends Read More »

2020 Vision: How the Challenges of This Year Can Help Us to See More Clearly

Last month I was invited to participate in a panel discussion with several contemplative leaders here in the Atlanta area, under the topic “2020 Vision.” This delicious pun invites us …

2020 Vision: How the Challenges of This Year Can Help Us to See More Clearly Read More »

art, abstract, abstract art

Online Workshop: Introduction to Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory (March 6)

This Saturday workshop is an orientation to Ken Wilbur’s Integral Theory — also known as “the Theory of Everything”! Building off of Wilbur’s accessible introduction to his thought, A Brief …

Online Workshop: Introduction to Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory (March 6) Read More »

Heart to Heart, Simple Awareness of Love

Recently I received this message from a new reader of this blog… Hi Carl, I found your site yesterday. I am a beginner and the Lord has been telling me …

Heart to Heart, Simple Awareness of Love Read More »

The Prayer of Recollection: A Classic Mystical Practice as Taught by Evelyn Underhill

Contemplative spirituality has its own jargon, and this “language of prayer” evolves over time. Nowadays you’ll find students of the mystical path speaking about meditation, nonduality, mindfulness and heightened consciousness, …

The Prayer of Recollection: A Classic Mystical Practice as Taught by Evelyn Underhill Read More »

Why Practice Centering Prayer?

Recently, I facilitated an online day of reflection and a participant asked me, “Why do you practice Centering Prayer?” I rarely get asked a question so personal, and so naturally …

Why Practice Centering Prayer? Read More »

Seven Ways to Think About Christian Mysticism

Here is the third episode of my “Schola Mystica” podcast. The transcript of the episode appears below. Mysticism is a notoriously difficult word to define — which means it is …

Seven Ways to Think About Christian Mysticism Read More »

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