Category Archives: Daily Practice

Raids on the Unspeakable

One of the gifts of vacation is to change up one’s prayer ritual. Normally, Pam and I sit for prayer in a corner of our bedroom. There are two chairs, a small table for an oil lamp, a few sacred books, and a timer that sounds a Tibetan prayer bell when our orison is over….

Two Words and a Wedding

  Tonight I will officiate at my second wedding in a week. I like weddings, but I always struggle with what to say. At baptisms, the parents in the front pews listen even though they’re often tussling with older siblings of the one in white. At funerals, people listen intently. Their stare—both skeptical and desperate—says:…

Monastic Gin

I am sitting with my father, playing gin rummy, but I might as well be sitting in a monastery or any retreat house. I am here for a week. Our days are simple and highly ritualized. Breakfast is at 8:30. (Two eggs on an English muffin, daily, for him.) We may converse for a while…

God is an Underground River

“God is an underground river,” Meister Eckhart said, “that no one can dam up or stop.” I love that image of God because it completely flips the dominant image of God “up there.” When we first imagine a deity, God is always “up,” always distant, the Sky God of nearly every ancient religion. Until gradually…

U.S. Marines are Meditating? That’s Right.

  How strange is it that the U.S. military is spending millions to teach Marines how to meditate? Still within churches and religious institutions we find enormous reluctance or suspicion around meditation. It’s an “Eastern” thing. To many American Christians, the notion of sitting there and “doing nothing” seems almost dissolute (even though Jesus praised…