How Celia Dispelled My Fear of Falling

“Never fall within sight of the lodge.” That was my friend Bob’s good advice when I was learning to ski more than twenty years ago. He meant, of course—you can fall all you want on the mountain, but when you come shushing down that gentle slope to the base, you have an audience. People are…

Of Groundhogs and Light

(We’ll get to Gobbler’s Knob in a moment.) Today—February 2nd—is a big turning point. It’s a great cross-quarter day, midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. In ancient, agricultural societies it was regarded as the beginning of spring—the time for first turning the soil in preparation for March planting. There were prayers and…

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…

Church Without God

  My publisher, Convergent Books, asked me to write a piece on a phenomenon called “Sunday Assembly.” It’s essentially church for atheists, a movement recently featured on NPR. It’s a curious spiritual development, one that ought to tell us why people are taking a pass on our version of “church.” Click the link and give it…