Category Archives: Daily Practice

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…

Luminous Darkness

Last night I hosted the staff Christmas party here at the rectory. In preparing our home for the festivities—which always includes a raucous round of Yankee Swap—I lit all the candles in the living room. Because the room is large and has no ceiling light fixture, we have a number of lamps scattered around. But…