Be still and know that i am god.
Contemplative Light is a community of interfaith spiritual teachers rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition providing resources for beginning and experienced contemplatives, clergy, and spiritual directors for understanding, growth, and healing.
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There’s the way we are, and there’s the way we imagine we can be. Between the two lies a struggle and a dance. If we reject the way we are, we fail to appreciate the immense goodness and potential we already possess. Likewise, if we’re overly attached to what we imagine we can be, we’re never fully grounded in the present - the only place change can take place.
A couple of years ago a friend bought me tickets to what I thought was a traditional writer’s conference, but it was really a Donald Miller conference. Whether through writing, marketing, or inspirational talks, Miller’s whole focus has become to help people live a better story. It’s a noble enough goal.
Take a writer with a gentle sensibility, probing curiosity, and fierce intelligence with, say, a PhD in Creative Writing with a passion for the Christian Mystics, place her, her husband and children in an intentional Mennonite community in rural Ohio full of idealistic vigor, then knead, proof, bake, and cool.
Ever since I was young, it always seemed to me that if God were real, if there was any supernatural force in the Universe, then it must also be accessible in everyday life…
As we progress along the spiritual path, we hit peaks and valleys. Sometimes we may lose our way altogether for a time. Other times, it feels like we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be: experiencing the fullness of divine love and joy.
It’s been a trying time. Within my own extended family in the past couple months there has been a failed adoption, several trips to urgent care, a surgery, and a layoff. A line from Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing keeps coming to mind: “Doomed enterprises divide lives forever into the then and the now.”
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The Contemplative Light Podcast
The Contemplative Light Podcast is like a warm and candid conversation between friends. Sometimes, it is Contemplative Light regulars, sometimes the guest is a surprise. You can subscribe on iTunes, and you can also check it out below.
Christiana and I talk about all sorts of strange stuff.
Chris Luard talks about his practice and how Buddhism has influenced. This serves as a good practical introduction to Buddhist principles and how they might help facilitate growth and healing. Chris generally distances himself from ostensibly religious labels, preferring to call himself ‘someone who practices the dharma,’ rather than a Buddhist. This has certainly been the approach of many contemporary spiritual guides, and this secularization of mystical practices has perhaps been largely responsible for the growth of yoga and mindfulness in the West.
Dr. Thomas Bushlack is associate professor of Theology and Christian Ethics at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO, where he is also assistant director of the Ashley-O’Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership. He is also a Trustee of the Trust for the Meditation Process, an Oblate of St. John’s Abbey (Collegeville, MN), and a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer through Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. As a scholar, teacher, and author he enjoys offering workshops, retreats, and consultations with a variety of groups and organizations.