Encountering Silence
Explore the beauty, importance, and vitality of silence, as we explore the spirituality, psychology, and sheer humanity of silence.
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“Coming Soon” Teaser Trailer
November 9, 2017 • 1 MIN
Coming Soon: A Podcast on All Things Silence.
Pilot Episode: Meet the Hosts of Encountering Silence
December 6, 2017 • 33 MIN
Meet Kevin Johnson, Cassidy Hall, and Carl McColman. We are the hosts and co-creators of Encountering Silence.
Encountering Silence in Childhood (Episode 1)
December 13, 2017 • 36 MIN
In this episode we explore our first memories of "meeting" silence in childhood.
Encountering Silence In Adolescence (Episode 2)
December 20, 2017 • 36 MIN
We continue our conversation about silence by considering silence in the teen/young adult years.
Encountering Silence During the Holidays (Episode 3)
December 22, 2017 • 28 MIN
The Holiday Season can be joyful and/or stressful—a time when silence remains as important as ever.
Encountering Silence as Adults (Episode 4)
January 3, 2018 • 40 MIN
Carl, Cassidy & Kevin consider how our relationship to silence can evolve over time.
Encountering Silence in Relationships (Episode 5)
January 10, 2018 • 36 MIN
Unless you are an absolute hermit, other people factor in your life — and relationships can be noisy indeed.
Our Silence Heroes (Episode 6)
January 17, 2018 • 41 MIN
Kevin, Cassidy and Carl talk about the people who have inspired us with their relationship to silence.
Patrick Shen: Creating in Silence (Episode 7)
January 24, 2018 • 42 MIN
Our first conversation with a special guest! Joining us is Patrick Shen, the director of "In Pursuit of Silence."
Silence in Conflict (Episode 8)
January 31, 2018 • 37 MIN
To be human is to sometimes be in conflict. Silence's relationship with conflict is multifaceted.
Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD: Howard Thurman and the Inner Authority of Silence (Episode 9)
February 7, 2018 • 59 MIN
Professor Lerita Coleman Brown describes Howard Thurman's rich and deeply silent spirituality.
Valentines Day & Ash Wednesday — Silence & Paradox (Episode 10)
February 14, 2018 • 34 MIN
Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day each offer their own doorway into the riches of silence.
Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, OSB: Silence in the Cloister (Episode 11)
February 21, 2018 • 50 MIN
Cassidy Hall goes to the monastery to inverview Benedictine monk Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, OSB.
Silence as Refuge (Episode 12)
February 28, 2018 • 40 MIN
Kevin, Cassidy and Carl reflect on the gifts and the challenges that silence brings to the human need for refuge.
Fr. James Martin, SJ: Silence as the Bridge to Christ, the Self and the “Other” (Episode 13)
March 7, 2018 • 64 MIN
New York Times bestselling author Fr. James Martin, SJ looks at silence in the light of Ignatian spirituality.
Silence and Rhythm (Episode 14)
March 21, 2018 • 40 MIN
Cassidy, Kevin and Carl ponder the question of how silence impacts and informs the cadences of life.
Br. Elias Marechal, OCSO: The Silence of a Trappist (Episode 15)
March 28, 2018 • 50 MIN
Meet Brother Elias Marechal — Trappist monk, contemplative, and the author of "Tears of an Innocent God."
Silence and Mysticism (Episode 16)
April 4, 2018 • 58 MIN
Exploring the role that silence plays in mysticism, in the light of Carl's book "The Little Book of Christian Mysticism."
Notes on Silence (Episode 17)
April 12, 2018 • 38 MIN
Patrick Shen joins us again to discuss "Notes on Silence" which he co-wrote and co-edited with Cassidy Hall.
Silence and Poetry (Episode 18)
April 18, 2018 • 38 MIN
We love poetry — since poetry seems to quickly bring the attentive reader to the threshold of silence.
Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM: Silence, Action, and Contemplation (Episode 19)
April 25, 2018 • 52 MIN
Richard Rohr talks with us about silence, spirituality, contemplation, action, and why discernment matters.
Jim Forest: Silence and Peacemaking (Episode 20)
May 2, 2018 • 55 MIN
Jim Forest's humility and sincerity reveal much about listening, truly seeing, and deeply caring for each other.
Encountering Silence in Our Busy Lives (Episode 21)
May 9, 2018 • 30 MIN
Busy-ness seems to be a problem must working adults struggle with. How can silence help us?
Kurt Johnson: Silence, the Body, and Movement (Episode 22)
May 16, 2018 • 58 MIN
Kurt Johnson talks to us about silence, the human body, movement, exercise, wellness and performance.
Jessica Mesman Griffith: The Silence of Missing Voices (Episode 23)
May 24, 2018 • 58 MIN
Author Jessica Mesman Griffith talks about silence, creativity, fear, doubt, death, and missing voices.
Mirabai Starr: Silence, Stillness, Passion, and Embodiment (Episode 24)
May 30, 2018 • 37 MIN
Mirabai Starr muses on the profound relationship between silence, stillness and mystical love.
Six Months of Encountering Silence! (Episode 25)
June 6, 2018 • 24 MIN
After six months, Cassidy, Kevin and Carl reflect on the lessons and insight this podcast has provided.
Barbara A. Holmes: Silence as Unspeakable Joy (Episode 26)
June 14, 2018 • 49 MIN
A Conversation with Barbara A. Holmes, author of "Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church."
Kenneth S. Leong: Silence, Christianity and Zen (Episode 27)
June 25, 2018 • 44 MIN
Kenneth Leong, reflects on how silence takes us beyond the limitations of doctrine, dogma, or religious culture.
Paula Pryce: Silence, Bodily Knowing and Ritual (Episode 28)
July 9, 2018 • 53 MIN
Anthropologist Paula Pryce describes her ethnographic research into the Christian contemplative community.
James Finley: Silence and Vulnerability (Episode 29)
July 23, 2018 • 60 MIN
Cassidy Hall interviews author, retreat leader, and psychologist James Finley.
Leah Weiss: Silence at Work (Episode 30)
August 6, 2018 • 39 MIN
Stanford University professor Leah Weiss speaks about mindfulness in the workplace.
Silence in the Summertime (Episode 31)
August 20, 2018 • 37 MIN
Summer brings its own challenges and opportunities to bear on the human need for silence.
Paul Quenon, OCSO: Silence and Poetry at Gethsemani Abbey (Episode 32)
September 20, 2018 • 57 MIN
Cassidy Hall speaks with Trappist poet, photographer, and memoirist Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO.
Parker J. Palmer, Part 1: On the Brink of Silence (Episode 33)
September 24, 2018 • 42 MIN
Parker J. Palmer's lifetime of wisdom concerning silence and aging (part one of a two-part interview).
Parker J. Palmer, Part 2: On the Brink of Silence (Episode 34)
October 1, 2018 • 38 MIN
The conclusion of our conversation with noted author and activist Parker J. Palmer.
Kathleen Norris, Part One: Silence, Poetry, and Acedia (Episode 35)
October 9, 2018 • 34 MIN
Cassidy Hall speaks with self-described "evangelist for poetry," Kathleen Norris .
Kathleen Norris, Part Two: Silence, Poetry, and Acedia (Episode 36)
October 15, 2018 • 33 MIN
In this episode we conclude our interview with poet and essayist Kathleen Norris.
Allison M. Sullivan: Silence, Yoga, and Faith (Episode 37)
October 23, 2018 • 48 MIN
Allison M. Sullivan, author of "Rock Paper Scissors" explores the intersection of silence and faith with us.
Helen Lees: Silence, Politics, and Education (Episode 38)
October 30, 2018 • 43 MIN
British writer and educator Dr. Helen E. Lees explores topics such as education, silence and art.
Judith Valente: Silence, St. Benedict, and Writing (Episode 39)
November 6, 2018 • 49 MIN
A conversation with poet, journalist and Benedictine Oblate Judith Valente.
Christine Valters Paintner: Silence, Art, and Contemplation (Episode 40)
November 13, 2018 • 43 MIN
Christine Valters Paintner explores silence, contemplation, creativity, and living as a monk in the real world.
David Cole: Celtic Mysticism and Silence (Episode 41)
November 28, 2018 • 2654 MIN
David Cole and Luna How does silence impact the rhythms of our lives — including the rhythm of prayer? How can we invite silence into our lives, in both structured and unstructured ways? Joining us to explore questions like these — from the New Forest of England — is the award-winning author, teacher and spiritual guide David Cole. Intentional silences is different to just finding yourself not saying anything, there's a focus behind that, that intention that you're deliberately being with God in that moment. — David Cole David’s books include: The Mystic Path of Meditation: Beginning a Christ-Centered Journey, Celtic Prayers and Practices: An Inner Journey and Forty Days with the Celtic Saints: Devotional Readings for a Time of Preparation. His most recent books are Celtic Advent: 40 Days of Devotions to Christmas and Celtic Lent: 40 Days of Devotions to Easter.  David is the founder of Waymark Ministries which creates opportunities for people to engage with the wisdom teachings of Christ and Christianity for our time, with a particular emphasis on Celtic spirituality and Christian mysticism. He is also Deputy Guardian for the Community of Aidan and Hilda, a dispersed, ecumenical Christian intentional community which draws its inspiration from the lives of the Celtic saints. David and Luna in the New Forest In this wide-ranging conversation, David shares how Celtic spirituality and an early mystical experience of Christ shaped his spiritual identity, and how the new monastic movement, the experience of working with a soul friend (anam chara), and long walks in the New Forest with Luna, his border collie companion, have all been gateways for his own encounter with silence. On Lindisfarne, particularly during the summer, they can have eight to ten thousand people a day coming on to the island to visit, it gets hugely busy.  And it's fascinating speaking to some of these travelers and visitors who have no spiritual context, but will tell you that they can feel something different in this place, they will say there's something in this place that feels different. And obviously, for myself, that's the Divine Presence... There is something there that even those who don't believe can feel. — David Cole To learn more about David Cole's books and ministry, visit www.waymarkministries.com. To learn more about the Community of Aidan and Hilda, visit www.aidanandhilda.org.uk. Some of the authors and resources mentioned in this episode: David Cole, The Mystic Path of Meditation: Beginning a Christ-Centered Journey David Cole, Celtic Prayers and Practices: An Inner Journey David Cole, Forty Days with the Celtic Saints: Devotional Readings for a Time of Preparation David Cole, Celtic Advent: 40 Days of Devotions to Christmas David Cole, Celtic Lent: 40 Days of Devotions to Easter J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings C. S. Lewis, The Signature Classics C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia Saint Benedict, The Rule of Saint Benedict The Northumbria Community, Celtic Daily Prayer The Book of Kells Ray Simpson, Exploring Celtic Spirituality Justin Welby, Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See Meister Eckhart, Selected Writings Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom John O'Donohue, Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong John O'Donohue, Benedictus (published in the USA as To Bless the Space Between Us) Chris Walton, ed., Words of Praise (includes David's poem "Standing in the Reign, Waiting for the Son") John of the Cross,
Rebecca Bratten Weiss: Silence, Feminism, and Literature (Episode 42)
December 6, 2018 • 2936 MIN
This week's episode marks the one-year anniversary of Encountering Silence! Our pilot episode was released a year ago today. It seems appropriate, therefore, that on this first-year anniversary, we release an episode that marks a new "first" for us. Not only is it the first time we've interviewed Catholic author, philosopher and feminist Rebecca Bratten Weiss, but also the first time we've recorded an episode in front of a live audience. This was recorded on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at Terra Incognita, a literary conference and workshop sponsored by the Convivium Journal, which Rebecca Bratten Weiss edits. Kevin and Cassidy both attended the conference and took the opportunity to interview Rebecca — and perform what we hope will the first of many, many Encountering Silence live events. We decided, as part of our one-year observance, to release this episode with only very light editing — for two reasons. First, we felt that the first twelve minutes, where Cassidy and Kevin talk about the podcast and introduce themselves and the podcast to the audience, was worth keeping for the sake of new (newer) listeners who might enjoy hearing how we introduce ourselves. But our other reason for leaving this episode (mostly) unedited was simply that we felt it would be a fun way to share with our listening circle, just what it feels like to be with us as we record. We did edit out a few obvious bloopers. But for the most part, you get the feel of one of our recording sessions, from getting interrupted by a cellphone, to our moment of silence before we "officially" begin recording. We hope you enjoy it! If you set forth on a voyage across the ocean, silence is a little bit like that, in that you will meet many many things, as Odysseus did on his voyages: strange monsters, dragons, friends, seducers... As a writer, one has to go into that realm because so much that we have experienced in our lives is stored there in our memory and we then find that the things that we remember are still alive there, very very alive, moving around like little strange sea creatures, connecting with each other, perhaps breeding and producing new creatures that now reside in your imagination. — Rebecca Bratten Weiss But of course, the real treat in this episode is our chance to chat with Rebecca Bratten Weiss. Novelist, poet, editor, professor of English and philosophy, co-founder of the New Pro-Life Movement, and self described "Christian rebel," she is the manager of the Catholic Channel on Patheos, where she also maintains her blog, Suspended in Her Jar.  In her blog bio she says "I'm interested in eco-growing and sustainable economies, a theology of the real female body, social justice, and poking at the patriarchy. I write poems about insects and other things that some find disgusting, and novels that are likely to be banned in certain quarters." I'm a Catholic woman — I've been silenced my entire life. I lived in religious semi-community situations, so it was constant silencing, and it's knowing what you can't say, and a long list of things you can't say, and the words you can't use, especially as a woman; and I've taught in Catholic academia, and that meant knowing what you can't say — but then I said some things anyway! — Rebecca Bratten Weiss Her books include Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut and Catholic Philosopher Chick Comes on Strong (both co-authored with Regina Doman), as well as a chapbook of poems, Palaces of Dust. Another chapbook, Mudwoman, co-authored by Joanna Penn Cooper, has recently been released. Rebecca Bratten Weiss muses on how silence is a "strange land," a place where writers access the wonders and terrors of their imagination; she reflects on how silence has been a gift for her in relation to interacting with her horse, the relationship between silence, intimacy, writing,
Jacqueline Bussie: Silence and Love without Limits (Episode 43)
December 14, 2018 • 2834 MIN
Dr. Jacqueline Bussie. Photo by Rachel Kabukala Sometimes we do not encounter silence so much as silence encounters us — whether we want it to or not. Today we have a conversation with Dr. Jacqueline Bussie, author of Love Without Limits: Jesus' Radical Vision for Love with No Exceptions. Dr. Bussie teaches religion, theology, and interfaith studies classes at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she also serves as the Director of the Forum on Faith and Life. "There is something that I think we have to be more authentic about within our faith traditions... and that is the silence of God and the way that is not always pretty." — Dr. Jacqueline Bussie A book about love may not sound very radical — but when the book's original publisher wanted to edit or remove sections it deemed too controversial, Jacqueline faced a dilemma: either accept the publisher's demands, or lose the publication contract. It was an experience of having her voiced silenced, all because she wanted to affirm the radical nature of true Christian love — a love with no boundaries and no exceptions. Thankfully, a new publisher was quickly found willing to take over the task of publishing the book — without silencing Jacqueline's voice or her commitment to love without limits. But she received a crash course in how vulnerable we all are, to being silenced by those who wield greater power. "Writing is prayer." — Dr. Jacqueline Bussie We recorded this episode of the podcast while Jacqueline was attending the Parlaiment of World Religions in Toronto, where she was one of the presenters. But she made time in her schedule to Skype with the Encountering Silence team, not only to discuss the remarkable story of her encounter with a silence that threatened to silence her, but she also explores more how silence has been part of her story in more life-affirming ways as well. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Jacqueline Bussie, Love Without Limits: Jesus' Radical Vision for Love with No Exceptions Jacqueline Bussie, Outlaw Christian: Finding Authentic Faith by Breaking the 'Rules' Jacqueline Bussie, The Laughter of the Oppressed: Ethical and Theological Resistance in Wiesel, Morrison, and Endo  Episode 43: Silence and Love without Limits: A Conversation with Jacqueline Bussie Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Cassidy Hall, Carl McColman Guest: Dr. Jacqueline Bussie Date Recorded: November 5, 2018 Appreciating healthy silence at a writer's retreat in Wyoming
Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO: Silence in Chicago (Episode 44)
December 20, 2018 • 2960 MIN
We are so pleased to welcome Trappist monk and poet Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO, back to Encountering Silence. A while back, Cassidy Hall interviewed brother Paul at his home, Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky (you can listen to that episode by clicking here). Br. Paul, out shopping with Cassidy She ran into Br. Paul again recently while visiting Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, to participate in the conference "'Disappear from View'? Thomas Merton, Fifty Years Later and Beyond" which commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Merton's death in Bangkok in 1968. If you can breathe comfortably with yourself, you're going to be breathing more comfortably with other people. If you're not comfortable with yourself, how are you going to be comfortable with other people? — Brother Paul Quenon, OCSO Judith Valente interviews Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO at the CTU Conference They sat down for another chance to chat, and here is the recording of that conversation. Some of the resources and authors mentioned in this episode: Paul Quenon, In Praise of the Useless Life: A Monk’s Memoir Paul Quenon, Unquiet Vigil: New and Selected Poems Paul Quenon, Bells of the Hours Paul Quenon, Afternoons with Emily Paul Quenon, Monkswear Paul Quenon, Laughter: My Purgatory Paul Quenon, Terrors of Paradise Paul Quenon with Judith Valente and Michael Bever, The Art of Pausing Episode 32: Silence in Chicago: A Conversation with Paul Quenon, OCSO Hosted by: Cassidy Hall Introduced by: Kevin Johnson Guest: Paul Quenon, OCSO Date Recorded: December 7, 2018
Auld Lang Silence (Episode 45)
December 31, 2018 • 2089 MIN
For our final episode of 2018 — the first full year of our podcast, which debuted on December 6, 2017 — the three co-hosts of Encountering Silence sat down for a brief chat in which we reflected on the year just past, and shared some hopes for the podcast in the year to come. This time a year ago, we had only released four episodes and had yet to interview our first guest (who would be Patrick Shen, in episode 7). We were still trying to figure this whole podcasting thing out. Kevin had managed to get some grant money for the recording and mixing equipment, and we all split the costs of the website, the URL and the podcasting hosting fees. We were operating on a shoestring, driven by faith and our shared love for silence (and, as we were soon to discover, poetry). This time a year ago we had no idea that we would soon be interviewing a wide array of truly interesting and insightful guests who spoke about silence from a variety of perspectives. (If you're new to the podcast, here's a partial list of the folks we've spoken to over the past year): James Martin, SJ Barbara A. Holmes Richard Rohr, OFM Kathleen Norris Parker J. Palmer Leah Weiss Jim Forest Mirabai Starr Over the course of the year, several themes emerged, some of which we were mindful of when we began the podcast, but others which arose out of the various conversations over the year. Some of those themes included these thoughts: Silence matters; silence is an "endangered species" in our hyper-connected, entertainment-drenched world; silence is essential not only for spiritual well-being but for mental and physical wellness also; silence is essential for creativity; different kinds of people embrace and encounter silence in different ways; not all "silences" are created equal, and not all expressions of silence are good — there is such a thing as "toxic" silence; and the list could go on. After thirteen months, all three of the co-hosts are awed and humbled and amazed at the richness of the conversation, as well as the emerging web of new friendships and connections that we see on social media, as well as in "real life," of people who are drawn to this podcast — and each other — by a shared recognition that silence matters. So — now, where do we go from here? Looking ahead, naturally we are eager to expand the conversation as we invite some new dialogue partners onto the podcast (and perhaps welcome a few of our previous guests back for new episodes). We are eager to explore more deeply both the social dimension of silence (how silence relates to religion, to art, to social justice, and to the problem of social and economic privilege) as well as the personal dimension of silence (how to be more silent in the middle of stress, during times of vulnerability or suffering, and in the midst of life's ordinary chaos). We believe silence makes a difference, and — except for its toxic form, which we would argue is actually a betrayal of true silence) — that difference is universally positive, yielding physical, mental and spiritual benefits. So we also want to talk more about how to spread the "good news" of silence and help others to access silence in both personal and communal ways. It's amazing how such a quiet topic (pardon the pun) can yield such a rich and nuanced conversation. We feel like the conversation is just getting started. Please stay tuned — we value your companionship as we make this journey, deeper and deeper into the mystery of silence! Finally, one last point to observe about both the year just ended and the year to come. As of this writing, 42 people have committed to support the podcast financially through a monthly pledge on Patreon (we've had several other donors make one-time contributions as well). All three of us find it's awkward to ask for money,
Richard Rohr in Conversation with Cassidy Hall (Episode 46)
January 7, 2019 • 1860 MIN
Richard Rohr sat down with Cassidy Hall in Chicago last month, at the conference “‘Disappear from View’? Thomas Merton, Fifty Years Later and Beyond” which commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Merton’s death. If I had to choose between music and silence, I'd always choose silence. — Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM In this informal chat, Fr. Richard and Cassidy reflect on why Merton remains so important a half century after his passing, along with insights into Fr. Richard's sense of hope in our time (spoiler alert: he's impressed with young people today), his thoughts on how Christianity in America has (and has not) been faithful to the teachings of Jesus over the past few decades, thoughts about his own work and legacy, and much more! There's so much creativity in the way we love people and the way we serve people. — Cassidy Hall Listeners of this podcast will recall that we first spoke with Fr. Richard Rohr last spring — that conversation was released as Episode 19. We're all victims of our own culture. — Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM This is a field recording (made in the lobby of Fr. Richard's hotel!) and so there's plenty of background ambient noise — ironic, we know, for a podcast about silence! But we hope that listeners will appreciate this wonderful moment when Fr. Richard spoke with Cassidy in a truly relaxed and candid way. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Richard Rohr, Just This Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ Richare Rohr, What Do We Do About the Bible? Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation Meister Eckhart, Selected Writings Peter Enns, The Sin of Certainty Augustine, The Confessions of Saint Augustine Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel Paul Quenon, In Praise of the Useless Life: A Monk’s Memoir Bono (of U2), Bono in Conversation with Michka Assayas Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out Some of Richard Rohr’s other books include: Richard Rohr, Essential Teachings on Love Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation Richard Rohr, Falling Upward Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps Richard Rohr, What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self Richard Rohr, Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective Episode 46: Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM in Conversation with Cassidy Hall in Chicago Hosted by: Cassidy Hall Guest: Father Richard Rohr, OFM Date Recorded: December 7, 2018  
Andō: Silence in the Forest, Part 1 (Episode 47)
January 14, 2019 • 2679 MIN
"All words begin as silence," proclaims Andō on her Patreon page.  Indeed, those five words provide an auspicious introduction to this enigmatic yet joyful contemplative Zen poet. As a lay monastic, Andō has spent many years living a monastic life in the forest. In her own words, “Spending five years living quietly in the forest, I learnt the Zen of forest, mountain and river, studied the poetry of the wind.” Above: Cassidy Hall, Andō. Below: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman. She says “I'm passionate about the poetry of Zen, Ch’an and Daoist traditions, in particular, haiku, monoku, renku, free verse and fragments.” She is writing a haiku memoir and will publish her first two poetry collections this year. Active on social media and through her own Patreon page, she shares her poetry which is luminous with both silence and light. Originally from England, she now makes her home in Portugal, where she spoke to us via Skype. Our deeply contemplative conversation explores her relationship with Zen, with poetry, how a long illness became her greatest teacher, and how the forest brought her both healing and a deeper initiation into the mysteries of silence. She tells of studying with masters like Mooji and Ganga Mira, and how she discovered her vocation as a poet and spiritual companion, through silence. "The truest poetry is where we're not the poet, we're the vehicle for the poetry." — Andō She is the creator of the Small Silences poetry course: "a contemplative poetry course for those seeking to make space for silence and poetry in their lives. Small silences are contemplative moments of awareness, attention, insight and clarity, recorded as brief poems." To learn more or to register for this course, click here: www.silentiumstudio.com/smallsilencescourse01 To support Andō  via Patreon, click here: www.patreon.com/silentiumstudio "Quit trying. Quit trying not to try. Quit quitting." — Zen saying This is part one of a two part interview. Part Two will be released the week of January 21, 2019. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Paul Reps, Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings James Finley, The Contemplative Heart Rumi, The Essential Rumi Evagrius Ponticus, The Praktikos & Chapters on Prayer Jane Hirshfield, Nine Gates Thomas Merton, The Intimate Merton: His Life From His Journals Ramana Maharshi, Be As You Are  Bankei, Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693 Mooji, Vaster Than Sky, Greater Than Space: What You Are Before You Became  H.W.L. Poonja, This: Poetry and Prose of Dancing Emptiness Elias Marechal, Tears of An Innocent God Paul Quenon, In Praise of the Useless Life: A Monk’s Memoir Episode 47: Andō: Silence in the Forest, Part 1 Hosted by: Carl McColman Guest: Andō With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: December 17, 2018
Andō: Silence in the Forest, Part Two (Episode 48)
January 23, 2019 • 2165 MIN
Today's episode is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. "All words begin as silence," proclaims Andō on her Patreon page.  Indeed, those five words provide an auspicious introduction to this enigmatic yet joyful contemplative Zen poet. As a lay monastic, Andō has spent many years living a monastic life in the forest. In her own words, “Spending five years living quietly in the forest, I learnt the Zen of forest, mountain and river, studied the poetry of the wind.” Above: Cassidy Hall, Andō. Below: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman. She says “I'm passionate about the poetry of Zen, Ch’an and Daoist traditions, in particular, haiku, monoku, renku, free verse and fragments.” She is writing a haiku memoir and will publish her first two poetry collections this year. Active on social media and through her own Patreon page, she shares her poetry which is luminous with both silence and light. Originally from England, she now makes her home in Portugal, where she spoke to us via Skype. Our deeply contemplative conversation continues with more insight into Andō's singular spiritual journey, how illness impacted her life, her deep love for the Christian mystical classic The Cloud of Unknowing, and much more. "The truest poetry is where we're not the poet, we're the vehicle for the poetry." — Andō She is the creator of the Small Silences poetry course: "a contemplative poetry course for those seeking to make space for silence and poetry in their lives. Small silences are contemplative moments of awareness, attention, insight and clarity, recorded as brief poems." To learn more or to register for this course, click here: www.ando.life/smallsilencescourse01 To support Andō  via Patreon, click here: www.patreon.com/silentiumstudio Andō suggested that we might list information about her Zen masters here, which we are happy to do: My first Zen Master, Daizan, under whom I trained as a meditation and mindfulness teacher, and was lay ordained into the Rinzai Zen tradition and lineage of Shinzan Miyamae Rōshi. Julian Daizan Skinner Rōshi's website is www.zenways.org. Julian Daizan Skinner is the author of Practical Zen: Meditation and Beyond and Practical Zen for Health, Wealth and Mindfulness. My second Zen Master, Sokuzan, under whom I was lay ordained into the Sōtō Zen tradition and lineage of Kobun Chino Rōshi and Shunryu Suzuki Rōshi. Sokuzan's website is www.sokukoji.org. Sokuzan is the author of A Meditation Primer. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Paul Reps, Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing Julian of Norwich, The Showings of Julian of Norwich Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems Basho, The Complete Haiku Dogen, The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master Yang Wan-li, Heaven my Blanket: Earth my Pillow: Poems from Sung Dynasty China Episode 48: Andō: Silence in the Forest, Part 2 Hosted by: Carl McColman Guest: Andō With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: December 17, 2018
Celebrating Mary Oliver (Episode 49)
January 27, 2019 • 2485 MIN
"Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?" asks Mary Oliver in  her poem "The Summer Day." On January 17, 2019, her many fans — including the co-hosts of this podcast — discovered just how real this question was, as we reeled from the news of Oliver's death at the age of 83. Even before the podcast was launched in late 2017, Mary Oliver was on our dream list of persons we would like to interview. The word on the street was that she rarely gave interviews, but we remained optimistic, periodically sending her requests in the hope that one day she would say yes. Even as recently as our 2018 End of Year Episode, we confessed that Oliver was the one person we most wanted to interview. Less than three weeks after that episode was released, Oliver passed away due to lymphoma. Well — we may not have fulfilled our dream of interviewing Mary Oliver, but we did the next best thing: in today's episode we reflect together on our shared love for this most popular of contemporary poets — from Cassidy, who has loved Oliver's work for years, to Carl, who began reading Oliver because of Cassidy's and Kevin's love for her work. While poetry has become an increasingly important theme of this podcast, we remain devoted primarily to a conversation about silence, so naturally this episode includes some thoughts on the most mysterious silence of all: the silence of death. The poems we mention on this episode include: "The Summer Day" from House of Light "Wild Geese" from Dream Work "Moments" from Felicity "What I Said at Her Service" from Thirst "Whistling Swans" from Felicity "Gethsemane" from Thirst "One or Two Things" from Dream Work "The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac" from Blue Horses "In Blackwater Woods" from American Primitive Among the many books we love by Mary Oliver: Mary Oliver, No Voyage and Other Poems Mary Oliver, The River Styx, Ohio, and Other Poems Mary Oliver, The Night Traveler Mary Oliver, Twelve Moons Mary Oliver, American Primitive Mary Oliver, Dream Work Mary Oliver, House of Light Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook Mary Oliver, White Pine: Poems and Prose Poems Mary Oliver, Blue Pastures Mary Oliver, West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems Mary Oliver, Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse Mary Oliver, Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems Mary Oliver, The Leaf and the Cloud Mary Oliver, What Do We Know: Poems and Prose Poems Mary Oliver, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays Mary Oliver, Blue Iris: Poems and Essays Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early: New Poems Mary Oliver, At Blackwater Pond: Mary Oliver Reads Mary Oliver Mary Oliver, Thirst Mary Oliver, Our World with photographs by Molly Malone Cook Mary Oliver, Red Bird Mary Oliver, The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays Mary Oliver, Evidence Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings: Poems Mary Oliver, Dog Songs Mary Oliver, Blue Horses Mary Oliver, Felicity Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems Kevin also mentioned the Buddhist poet Jane Hirshfield, author of Nine Gates: Entering the MInd of Poetry. Episode 49: Celebrating the Life and Poetry of Mary Oliver Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: January 21, 2019  
Shirley Hershey Showalter: Simplicity and Silence, Part One (Episode 50)
February 6, 2019 • 1910 MIN
What is the relationship between silence and simplicity? Silence and peace? Or, for that matter, how does silence relate to the importance of our voice — as human beings in general, but especially for writers or for people whose voices have traditionally bee marginalized, such as women or those who live in traditional rural settings? These are some of the questions we explore with Shirley Hershey Showalter, the author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World Jesus giving his life actually is a form of helping us to find peace within ourselves, and peace with the world, and peace with all other humans and creatures in the world. — Shirley Hershey Showalter She grew up "a barefoot girl" on a Mennonite farm near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where her ancestors tilled the soil for generations. Speaking of her childhood, she describes her earliest encounters with silence as embedded in the experience of the vast spaciousness of the farm. Her memoir explored the tension she experienced "in the silence of her own heart" between the traditional culture of the Mennonites and her desire to discover her own voice as a teenager and young woman in the 1960s — ultimately choosing to embrace her Mennonite identity, but very much on her own terms. I don't dress differently from other people today, but I hope that I am nonconformed to the world — that I am able to withstand the temptations of the violence of the world — of frivolity, and noise. Those are the things that I try to extract from the  teachings about plainness that I grew up with. — Shirley Hershey Showalter After being the first in her family to attend college, she joined the faculty of Goshen College, a Mennonite college in Indiana, eventually serving as that institution’s first woman president. Shirley Hershey Showalter in Glendalough, Ireland From there she became an executive with the Fetzer Institute. She now is engaged in what she calls her “encore vocation” of writing and helping others to celebrate what she calls jubilación — the art of aging joyfully. Our conversation explored not only how silence informed both her faith and the simple joy of growing up on a traditional farm, but also how the "plain" culture of Anabaptist Christianity gave her an appreciation both of the beauty of silence and the power of words. She reflects on how the "plain" culture of the Mennonites — an effort to follow Christ by being nonconformed to the world — not only meant for her embracing the traditional Anabaptist commitment to peace, but also avoiding the noise of the world in which we live. This is part one of a two part episode — to listen to part two, click here. Find Shirley Hershey Showalter online at www.shirleyshowalter.com. When peace is associated with silence at the center, then one becomes aware of the many people who don't have the luxury of peace, or the luxury of silence. — Shirley Hershey Showalter Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Shirley Hershey Showalter, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poems and Prose Episode 50: Simplicity and Silence: A Conversation with Shirley Hershey Showalter (Part One) Hosted by: Carl McColman Guest: Shirley Hershey Showalter With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: January 28, 2019
Shirley Hershey Showalter: Simplicity and Silence, Part Two (Episode 51)
February 11, 2019 • 1818 MIN
Today’s episode is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. Our conversation continues with Shirley Hershey Showalter, the author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. Singing is to a Mennonite what silence is to a Quaker. For me, singing is a way of bringing silence and voice together. — Shirley Hershey Showalter She grew up "a barefoot girl" on a Mennonite farm near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where her ancestors tilled the soil for generations. Speaking of her childhood, she describes her earliest encounters with silence as embedded in the experience of the vast spaciousness of the farm. Her memoir explored the tension she experienced "in the silence of her own heart" between the traditional culture of the Mennonites and her desire to discover her own voice as a teenager and young woman in the 1960s — ultimately choosing to embrace her Mennonite identity, but very much on her own terms. Being here in the Shenandoah Valley, looking out at the mountains, every morning it's part of my spiritual practice to just sit in my red chair and look at the mountains. — Shirley Hershey Showalter Shirley Hershey Showalter in Glendalough, Ireland Our conversation in today's episode begins with looking at the affinity between Anabaptist/Mennonite spirituality and Benedictine or monastic spirituality, including the spirituality of Celtic Christians. She shares how Irish mystic/poet John O'Donohue wrote eloquently of the contemplative nature of the mountains. She reveals why she came to call her memoir Blushand reveals who her silence heroes are (one living, one from history). She speaks about her most recent joy — encouraging people in their "final third of love" to find joy, jubilation, and a renewed sense of purpose." Find Shirley Hershey Showalter online at www.shirleyshowalter.com. To learn more about Threshold Choirs, visit www.thresholdchoir.org. At a Mennonite conference I heard someone say, "Mennonites try to take monasticism into the family." — Shirley Hershey Showalter Today’s episode is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Shirley Hershey Showalter, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation Menno Simon, The Complete Writings Michael Sattler, The Legacy of Michael Sattler Parker J. Palmer, On the Brink of Everything Judith Valente, How to Live: What the Rule of Saint Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community John O'Donohue, Walking in Wonder Susan Cain, Quiet Dacher Keltner, The Power Paradox Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark Willa Cather, O Pioneers! Marc Freedman, How to Live Forever Isabel Allende, The Sum of Our Days: A Memoir Episode 51: Simplicity and Silence: A Conversation with Shirley Hershey Showalter (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman Guest: Shirley Hershey Showalter With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: January 28, 2019
Mary Margaret Funk, OSB: Silence Matters, Part One (Episode 52)
February 20, 2019 • 2981 MIN
Mary Margaret Funk, OSB, is a member of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana. She entered this Benedictine community in 1961 and served as the prioress from 1985 to 1993. In 1994 Sister Meg became the Executive Director of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Board. She has been in formal dialogue with people of the Hindu, Zen Buddhist, Islamic, Confucian, and Taoist traditions. Sr. Meg chats with Fran, Carl and Kevin via Skype. She holds graduate degrees from Catholic University (1973) and Indiana University (1979). She is a graduate of Epiphany Certification Program of Formative Spirituality (2002). She received a grant from the Lilly Foundation to explore the history of Christian spirituality and its ongoing relevant to women religious today. "Music is the closest thing there is to silence, actually; it's a way to taste silence." — Sister Mary Margaret Funk, OSB Sr. Meg is the author of numerous books, including the "Matters Series" books on traditional Christian spirituality: Thoughts Matter: Discovering the Spiritual Journey, Tools Matter: Beginning the Spiritual Journey, Humility Matters: Toward Purity of Heart, Lectio Matters: Before the Burning Bush, and Discernment Matters: Listening with the Ear of the Heart. Her other books include Renouncing Violence: Practice from the Monastic Tradition and Islam Is: An Experience of Dialogue and Devotion. Our Lady of Grace Monastery When we approached Sister Meg to invite her to join our conversation on silence, we were delighted to learn that her monastery is only a short drive from Cassidy's new home in Indiana! So this episode was recorded by Cassidy in person at the music room of Our Lady of Grace Monastery. In part two of this interview, Kevin and Carl — and Carl's wife, Fran — joined the conversation via Skype. "Solitude gives you a house in which to be silent." — Sister Mary Margaret Funk, OSB Sr. Meg is a gifted teacher, and our conversation quickly turned into a lesson in spiritual history and practice. Using the themes of her books as an organizing principle, Sr. Meg skillfully explained the central role that silence plays to Benedictine spirituality — and indeed to Christian spirituality as a whole. And while her insights dove deep into her "home tradition" of Christian spirituality, her years of insight into interreligious dialogue added a richness and depth to her reflections on how Christians and persons of other faiths can learn from one another — and how honoring the integrity of their own traditions enhances interfaith dialogue. Sr. Meg playing the recorder As if all this weren't enough, Sr. Meg is also an amateur musician, and played several tunes for us on her tenor and alto recorders! She now has the distinction of being our first guest to explore silence not only with her words, but with her music as well. Today’s episode is part one of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part two. "Everybody knows what violence is, but they don't know what renouncing is." — Sister Mary Margaret Funk Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Mary Margaret Funk, Thoughts Matter Mary Margaret Funk, Tools Matter Mary Margaret Funk, Humility Matters Mary Margaret Funk, Lectio Matters Mary Margaret Funk, Discernment Matters Mary Margaret Funk, Renouncing Violence Mary Margaret Funk, Islam Is St. Benedict, The Rule of Saint Benedict John Cassian, The Institutes John Cassian, The Conferences The Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness Evagrius Ponticus, The Greek Ascetic Corpus Pseudo-Macarius, The Fifty Spiritual Homilies Columba Stewart, Prayer and Community Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis, Volume I
Mary Margaret Funk, OSB: Silence Matters, Part Two (Episode 53)
February 27, 2019 • 2442 MIN
Today’s episode is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. Sr. Mary Margaret Funk, OSB continues her conversation with Cassidy, recorded at Sr. Meg's monastery in Beech Grove, IN. Toward the end of the conversation, Kevin, Carl (and Carl's wife, Fran) joined the conversation via Skype. "In Mepkin Abbey we all have to drink our coffee together... you can't take your coffee cup to your room...  the first day I resented it, I said 'nobody messes with my coffee'... the second day, I just sat there and drank the coffee; the third day, I actually listened to the birds wake up, the third day I noticed who also was in the room; the fourth day I actually tasted silence, and I brought that back home with me." — Mary Margaret Funk, OSB She reflects on how Jesus represents a path from violence to healing, plays more music on her recorders, muses on the best practice for interreligious dialogue ("practice your own faith and understand others"), and leads Cassidy on an exercise for training attentiveness. Kevin and Carl ask Sr. Meg additional questions about interspiritual practice, on cultivating an "ethos of silence" in the church, and how to best teach the practice of silence in our time — particularly the question of contemplative teaching online. Sr. Meg rounds out her conversation with a wonderful description of "five cups of coffee" that illustrate her encounter with silence and the presence of God. Don't miss it! "If I could put what I believe about God in fewer than 200 words, it would be this: Jesus is the way for us to shift from violence to healing..." — Mary Margaret Funk, OSB Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Mary Margaret Funk, Thoughts Matter Mary Margaret Funk, Tools Matter Mary Margaret Funk, Humility Matters Mary Margaret Funk, Lectio Matters Mary Margaret Funk, Discernment Matters Mary Margaret Funk, Renouncing Violence Mary Margaret Funk, Islam Is Jim Forest, At Play in the Lion's Den: A Biography and Memoir of Daniel Berrigan Daniel Berrigan, Essential Writings The Dalai Lama, My Spiritual Journey The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings John Cassian, The Institutes John Cassian, The Conferences Thomas Merton, Silence, Joy Evagrius Ponticus, The Greek Ascetic Corpus Thomas Keating, Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation Paul Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul Pedro Arrupe, Essential Writings The Glencairn Sisters, Glencairn Abbey: A Year in the Life Episode 53: Silence Matters: A Conversation with Sr. Mary Margaret Funk, OSB (Part Two) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman Special Guest: Fran McColman Guest: Mary Margaret Funk, OSB Date Recorded: February 5, 2019
Jane Brox: The Social History of Silence
March 6, 2019 • 2651 MIN
If silence could tell us a story about itself, what would it say? This could be the question that Jane Brox answers in her most recent book, Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements in Our Lives (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). Brox is the award-winning author of several acclaimed works of literary nonfiction, including Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light and Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm. In her fascinating study, Brox explores how silence impacts people both as individuals and as communities, by considering how silence has shaped two of the most archetypal institutions in western society: the monastery and the penitentiary. But she also considers the ways in which silence has particularly impacted the lives of women — both inside and outside such institutions. Silence has always been important to my life, partly because I'm a writer and to me, there's never enough silence when I'm working. Not only when I'm working at the page, but before and afterwards — that's the place in which the work grows. — Jane Brox Brox offers us tremendous insight into how silence is critical to her process as a creative writer. Having first encountered silence in her childhood on a farm, she grew up to embrace the writer's life, and discovering how essential silence has been to her ability to think — and create — in a comprehensive way. She talks about having a long-standing appreciation for Thomas Merton, which led to her organizing her book around his story — and the story of an obscure nineteenth-century convict from America's first penitentiary. But she also looks at how women have experienced silence in some very different ways from men's experience of silence. What emerged for Brox was a deepened appreciation for just how complex the human relationship to silence really is — that a simplistic distinction between "imposed silence" (in the penitentiary) and "chosen silence" (in the monastery) simply does not adequately reveal just how nuanced the social history of silence truly is. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Jane Brox, Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements in Our Lives Jane Brox, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light Jane Brox, Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm Jane Brox, Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History Jane Brox, Here and Nowhere Else: Late Seasons of a Farm and its Family Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas Thomas Merton, The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals Thomas Merton, A Life in Letters William Shakespeare, The Complete Works Benjamin Rush, The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush Eugenia Ginzburg, Journey Into the Whirlwind Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence Tillie Olsen, Silences Seamus Heaney, Field Work Agnes Day, Light in the Shoe Shop: A Cobbler's Contemplations Silence is an extreme place; and it's total exposure. Even the most balanced person is tested there. That's in part why people seek it, to see where they will go; that's in party why people flee it, because it's so terrifying. There's no protection in the silence... There's no place to  hide in silence. — Jane Brox Episode 54: The Social History of Silence: A Conversation with Jane Brox Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Cassidy Hall, Carl McColman Guest: Jane Brox Date Recorded: February 4, 2019
Martin Laird: Silent Land, Luminous Ocean (Part One)
March 14, 2019 • 42 MIN
Diving deep into silence with contemplative author Martin Laird. First of a three-part interview.
Martin Laird: Silent Land, Luminous Ocean (Part Two)
March 19, 2019 • 2623 MIN
Our conversation with contemplative author Martin Laird continues with this episode. To hear part one, click here. "What I mean by 'Contemplative' is ultimately overcoming the illusion of separation of God, and that illusion is sustained and maintained by inner noise in our head. And everything about our culture keeps our attention riveted there." — Martin Laird Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation, Martin Laird, A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness and Contemplation Martin Laird, An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation and Liberation. Martin Laird, Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith Miguel Farias & Dr Catherine Wikholm, The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You? Evagrius Ponticus, The Praktikos & Chapters on Prayer John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings Bernard of Clairvaux, Selected Works Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing John of the Cross, Collected Works Meister Eckhart, Selected Writings John Ruusbroec, The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works Thomas Merton, Dialogues with Silence Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See Teresa of Ávila, The Interior Castle Howard Thurman, Essential Writings Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love Diarmaid MacCulloch, Silence: A Christian History "Life itself is too wild to be tamed by the social constructs that we try to shoehorn it into." — Martin Laird Episode 56: Silent Land, Luminous Ocean: A Conversation with Martin Laird (Part Two) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Carl McColman Guest: Fr. Martin Laird, OSA Date Recorded: February 18, 2019 "In deepest silence the self is 'unselfed' of self... Silence 'unothers' the other." — Martin Laird  
Martin Laird: Silent Land, Luminous Ocean (Part Three)
March 28, 2019 • 2470 MIN
Our conversation with contemplative author Martin Laird concludes with this episode. To hear part one, click here. To hear part two, click here. "In a spiritual path there are no 'outcomes assessments'." — Martin Laird After recording an interview with just Carl and Kevin, Fr. Martin graciously agreed to an additional recording session with all three of us. Today's episode features that second conversation, including Cassidy. Fr. Martin deepens and clarifies some of his thoughts on issues already discussed, including discerning the distinctions between secular mindfulness practices and Christian contemplative practices. "Simply being aware of thoughts as they go by — yes, that's fine. But who is doing the 'aware-ing'?" — Martin Laird Some of the resources and authors we mention in this conversation with Martin Laird: Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation, Martin Laird, A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness and Contemplation Martin Laird, An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation and Liberation. Martin Laird, Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith R. S. Thomas, Collected Later Poems, 1988-2000 "This whole business of silence is B.S.-proof. It's not a contemplative mascara... The attraction to things spiritual, the attaction to silence, to contemplative practices or disciplines, can actually be a defense against what contemplation will make you face." — Martin Laird Episode 57: Silent Land, Luminous Ocean: A Conversation with Martin Laird (Part Three) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall Guest: Fr. Martin Laird, OSA Date Recorded: February 25, 2019 "A self 'unselfed' of self is free, is fully created, and becomes a vehicle of compassion because it has overcome the sense of a separate self." — Martin Laird
Cynthia Bourgeault: The Heart of Silence (Part One)
April 3, 2019 • 2095 MIN
Cynthia Bourgeault has embraced silence and the contemplative life from a variety of perspectives: as a child in Quaker schools, as an Episcopal priest, as a student of the Gurdjieff "Fourth Way" and of centering prayer working with Fr. Thomas Keating, and now as a teacher both in her own Wisdom Schools and as part of the Living School. She is also the author of numerous books and a widely sought-after speaker and retreat leader. Joining us via Skype from Tucson shortly before she led a retreat, she offers a wide-ranging, insightful conversation on topics ranging from mysticism to inner transformation to the practical ways to develop contemplative culture in an ordinary neighborhood church — and why the local parish may not be the ideal environment for fostering deep interior work. This is part one of a two-part interview. Encountering Silence talks to Cynthia Bourgeault When people gather in silence, a deeper kind of  collective, synergistic, numinous knowing unfolds. And that’s the only knowing that’s worth a damn, particularly when you’re working with the infinite. — Cynthia Bourgeault Cynthia shares how her love for silence originated with her early education in Quaker schools, where she recognized silence as a "liturgical expression and mode of divine communion." There she discovered silence not merely as the absence of noise, but as a sacred container of presence.  For her, after a long meandering journey from Christian Science to Episcopal ordination, she became (in her words) a "Trappist junkie" as she began to study centering prayer with Fr. Thomas Keating, which for her meant a coming home to the silence she had learned to love as a child. You can't do infinite truth in a dialogical, debating mode. — Cynthia Bourgeault She offers keen insight into the dynamic interplay not only between silence and religion, but also silence as a medium by which we can experience inner transformation — a rewiring of our inner "operating system" as we move from the dualistic consciousness that is encoded in our language to the radical nonduality that only contemplative silence can reveal. With insights into the relationship between silence and philosophy, silence and psychology (including the ways in which western psychology misunderstands silence), and how monastic practices have encoded rich tools for using silence as a way to access nondual seeing, Bourgeault offers a rich and compelling statement for how silence is literally crucial for human growth, development, wellness, and knowing. Centering Prayer, in complete alignment with the radically surrendered heart of Christ, offers Christians a way to jump into the deep luminous river of silence, and to know in a different way... it's a 100% Christian experience of the deeper waters of silence." — Cynthia Bourgeault Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening Cynthia Bourgeault, The Heart of Centering Prayer Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus Cynthia Bourgeault, Love is Stronger Than Death Cynthia Bourgeault, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing G. I. Gurdjieff, In Search of Being: The  Fourth Way to Consciousness Jakob Boehme, Genius of the Transcendent Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing Thomas Keating, Reflections on the Unknowable John Chrysostom, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men William Meninger, The Loving Search for God: Contemplative Prayer and the Cloud of Unknowing George Fox, The Journal of George Fox Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer Pythagoras, The Golden Verses Plato, The Complete Works
Cynthia Bourgeault: The Heart of Silence (Part Two)
April 8, 2019 • 2076 MIN
Cynthia Bourgeault continues her conversation with the Encountering Silence team, offering insight into silence as a deeper way of knowing, contemplative Christianity as a unique spiritual path, and centering prayer as a singular practice of deep meditation. This is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. "There is no 'toxic' silence, because in real silence there is a power of presence... when you enter silence, you are never alone, you enter a luminous imaginal stream of help and reality at a higher order of being." — Cynthia Bourgeault Encountering Silence talks to Cynthia Bourgeault "What has really capped and is a cancer in Christian spirituality nowadays... is the anger... the only antidote to toxic anger lies at the level of the unitive heart." — Cynthia Bourgeault She offers us a new way of thinking about what we have, in the past, referred to as "toxic silence" on this podcast. "There is no toxic silence," she declares, going on to draw a helpful distinction between true silence and what she describes as "a destroying of the voice." She also offers insight into what she sees as the important tasks facing our time as we seek to embrace new "artforms" of silence, as alternatives to some of the sexist, authoritarian, or obsolete ways in which silence has been practiced — or marginalized — in the past. Her thoughts on the challenges facing Christians today — particularly the temptation to give in to anger — seem particularly timely, not only for contemplatives but for all who seek to integrate spirituality with the demands of everyday life. Instead of anger and panic, she invites us to stand present, and to remain present with whatever arises, in fidelity to "the highest benchmark of love." "The highest benchmark of love, courtesy, generosity and beauty that is put into the world will never vanish from the world. And when it's time, it will restore itself instantly." — Cynthia Bourgeault Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Cynthia Bourgeault, Love is the Answer: What is the Question? Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening Cynthia Bourgeault, The Heart of Centering Prayer Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus Cynthia Bourgeault, Love is Stronger Than Death Cynthia Bourgeault, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing G. I. Gurdjieff, In Search of Being: The  Fourth Way to Consciousness Jakob Boehme, Genius of the Transcendent Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing Thomas Keating, Reflections on the Unknowable John Chrysostom, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men William Meninger, The Loving Search for God: Contemplative Prayer and the Cloud of Unknowing George Fox, The Journal of George Fox Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer Pythagoras, The Golden Verses Plato, The Complete Works Doc Childre, The Heartmath Solution The Dalai Lama, Refining Gold: Stages in Buddhist Contemplative Practice Sigmund Freud, The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud Carl Jung, The Portable Jung John Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening Franz Kafka, The Complete Stories Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ Ilia Delio, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love Bruno Barnhart, The Good Wine: Reading John from the Center Wallace Stevens, The Collected Poems Elias Marechal, Tears of An Innocent God Maurice Nicoll, Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky
Therese Taylor-Stinson: Silence, Contemplation, and Justice (Part One)
April 17, 2019 • 2039 MIN
Therese Taylor-Stinson is the co-editor of Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color, and the editor of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice. She is an ordained deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), a lay pastoral caregiver, and a graduate of and an associate faculty member of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, where she previously served as a member of the board. She is the founder of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, an international, ecumenical/interfaith association of persons of color with a ministry of spiritual accompaniment. A native of Washington DC, she now lives in Maryland. Her ministry, like her books, explores the intersection of contemplative spirituality and the ongoing struggle for social justice and the dismantling of racism. I've always loved nature, I love trees... I love the ocean, I love the sunrise and the moonrise... those kinds of things bring me into silence in a kind of pondering and sitting with what we call 'God', but to me is more 'Mystery'." — Therese Taylor-Stinson In this first part of a two-part episode, Therese shares with us her early experience of contemplative silence, formed by her education in Catholic schools as well as her early encounters with the silence of nature. She goes on to show how her journey as a contemplative and a spiritual director has impacted her experience as a woman of color. Of particular interest is her insights into the contemplative dimension of the civil rights movement, particularly in terms of the under-appreciated contribution of Howard Thurman. "For some people of color, silence is uncomfortable — it feels oppressive or imposing,  it makes them go places or feel things they're not ready for, or that they aren't ready to express to me. We have to be really careful with silence... I don't know that silence is a requirement to find that still place within." — Therese Taylor-Stinson In the second half of today's episode, Therese offers insight into the contribution of people of color, not only to contemplative spirituality, but to Christianity as a whole — and how those contributions have been erased from history through the dynamics of racism — leading to a "silencing" toxic in its nature. This is part one of a two-part interview; to hear the second part of this conversation, click here. To learn more about the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, visit www.sdcnetwork.org. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Therese Taylor-Stinson (ed.), Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice (includes essays by Jacqueline Smith-Crooks, Lerita Coleman Brown, Maisie Sparks, Jung Eun Sophia Park, Soyinka Rahim, and Ineda P. Adesanya, among others) Therese Taylor-Stinson et al. (editors), Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited Lerita Coleman Brown, When the Heart Speaks, Listen: Discovering Inner Wisdom Maisie Sparks, Holy Shakespeare! Jung Eun Sophia Park, Border-Crossing Spirituality: Transformation in the Borderland  Soyinka Rahim, Bibo Love Ineda P. Adesanya, Kaleidoscope: Broadening the Palette in the Art of Spiritual Direction Martin Laird, An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation and Liberation Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing Barbara A. Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church Desert Fathers and Mothers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings Tilden Edwards, Living in the Presence Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel John Main, Door to Silence: An Anthology for Meditation Gay L. Byron,
Therese Taylor-Stinson: Silence, Contemplation, and Justice (Part Two)
April 22, 2019 • 1791 MIN
This episode concludes our two-part conversation with author and spiritual director Therese Taylor-Stinson, the founder of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network. To listen to part one, please click here. "All contemplation should be followed by action; they are there for one another. The reason to contemplate anything would be to have clarity about what action to take next." — Therese Taylor-Stinson Therese Taylor-Stinson is the co-editor of Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color, and the editor of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice. She is an ordained deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), a lay pastoral caregiver, and a graduate of and an associate faculty member of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, where she previously served as a member of the board. She is the founder of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, an international, ecumenical/interfaith association of persons of color with a ministry of spiritual accompaniment. A native of Washington DC, she now lives in Maryland. Her ministry, like her books, explores the intersection of contemplative spirituality and the ongoing struggle for social justice and the dismantling of racism. "Trauma doesn't have to be something physical, where a bone is broken or blood is seen or anything like that. Anything that silences you and keeps you from defending yourself against something coming against you is trauma." — Therese Taylor-Stinson In this week's episode, Therese builds on our previous conversation by exploration the relationship between silence and trauma, talking about how the science of epigenetics has revealed how trauma effects people over generations. She also invites us to explore the question of how contemplation can be misused as a way of hiding from the problems facing our world — but how it can also be a meaningful way for people to awaken to what is real and what needs our collective attention. Acknowledging the painful links between Christianity, racism, and white supremacy, Therese offers a word of hope — that we do not need to be shaped by the mistakes of the past, but can work together in pursuit of true justice and reconciliation for today and tomorrow. Comparing the struggle against racism to a relay race, she hopes that the steps that we take today can help to make the world a better place for our grandchildren. To learn more about the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, visit www.sdcnetwork.org. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Therese Taylor-Stinson (ed.), Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice (includes essays by Jacqueline Smith-Crooks, Lerita Coleman Brown, Maisie Sparks, Jung Eun Sophia Park, Soyinka Rahim, and Ineda P. Adesanya, among others) Therese Taylor-Stinson et al. (editors), Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color Serene Jones, Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World Yūsuf Ībish and  Ileana Marculescu, eds., Contemplation and Action in World Religions Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream and the Letter from Birmingham Jail James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree Brian McDermott, SJ, Word Become Flesh: Dimensions of Christology Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited Episode 61: Silence, Contemplation, and Justice: A Conversation with Therese Taylor-Stinson (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Therese Taylor-Stinson Date Recorded: March 25, 2019  
James Finley: Reflections on the Spirituality of Silence (Part One)
May 8, 2019 • 1734 MIN
Contemplative author, teacher, retreat leader, and psychologist James Finley returns to the Encountering Silence podcast this week. At James's suggestion, when we recorded this episode we began by giving him the opportunity to share his own reflections on the spirituality of silence. After he finished this presentation, we engaged in a time of shared dialogue in response to his reflections. This week's episode consists of James Finley's reflections; next week's episode includes our dialogue in response to his talk. Click here to listen to part two. "The poet cannot make the poem happen, but the poet can assume the inner stance that offers the least resistance to the gift of the poem... lovers cannot force the oceanic oneness, but can assume the inner stance that offers the least resistance to the gift of that." — James Finley To lead us into his reflections on silence, James offers different ways of understanding silence that he first learned from a Jesuit priest/Zen sensei; then takes us through a thoughtful commentary on the ancient monastic practice of lectio divina. He reflects on the importance of listening — both in the spiritual life as well as in ordinary human wellness. If you'd like to hear James Finley's first episode with Encountering Silence, follow this link: Silence and Vulnerability. "Can I become so silent that I can hear God speaking me into being, all things into being, the divinity or the holiness, the virginal newness of all things?" — James Finley Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere James Finley, The Contemplative Heart James Finley, Christian Meditation James Finley, Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere James Finley, Meister Eckhart’s Living Wisdom Thomas Merton, Medieval Cistercian History Guigo II, The Ladder of Monks & Twelve Meditations T. S. Eliot, The Four Quartets Teresa of Ávila, The Interior Castle Rollo May, Love and Will John Duns Scotus, Philosophical Writings Thomas Aquinas, Selected Writings Jean-Baptiste Chautard, The Soul of the Apostolate Martin Heidegger, Being and Time Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems "The mystic isn't someone who says 'listen to what I've experienced,' the mystic says 'look what love's done to me.'"  — James Finley Episode 62: Reflections on the Spirituality of Silence: A Talk by James Finley (Part One) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Guest: James Finley Date Recorded: April 18, 2019 "Our listening is an echo of God's eternal listening to us. We might say poetically, that God says to us, 'I created you to have someone to listen to, because I just love it when you talk to me like this. And my listening, I created in my heart an echo of my eternal listening to you, so that each unto each, the listening and the word, unites in a kind of union." — James Finley
James Finley: A Conversation on the Spirituality of Silence (Part Two)
May 13, 2019 • 1810 MIN
In today's episode, the hosts of Encountering Silence speak with contemplative teacher James Finley, following his reflection on the spirituality of silence which we released last week as episode #62. If you have not yet listened to episode 62, we encourage you to do so before listening to this episode — click here to listen to it. “I don't know how to listen. I think I'm afraid to listen. Because listening implies an act of trust. When I get quiet, the voices of pain come up inside of me and drown me out. Thomas Merton said, 'We live in a world that has forgotten how to listen.'” — James Finley To lead us into his reflections on silence, James offers different ways of understanding silence that he first learned from a Jesuit priest/Zen sensei; then takes us through a thoughtful commentary on the ancient monastic practice of lectio divina. He reflects on the importance of listening — both in the spiritual life as well as in ordinary human wellness. If you’d like to hear James Finley’s first episode with Encountering Silence, follow this link: Silence and Vulnerability. “Everything said in this monastery should come out of silence, and its fruit should be to deepen the silence... We should never forget that all of  our noise comes out of silence and is very quickly returning to it.” — Thomas Merton, as quoted by James Finley Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere James Finley, The Contemplative Heart James Finley, Christian Meditation James Finley, Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere James Finley, Meister Eckhart’s Living Wisdom Thomas Merton, Medieval Cistercian History The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings T. S. Eliot, The Four Quartets Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander Thomas Merton, Seeds of Destruction Martin Buber, I and Thou David Brooks, The Second Mountain Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer Kathleen Deignan, Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy Thomas G. Hand, Always a Pilgrim: Walking the Zen Christian Path “How do we contemplatively listen to the evening news? How can I be contemplatively present to the complexities and challenges of the real world?”  — James Finley Episode 63: A Conversation on the Spirituality of Silence: with James Finley Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman Guest: James Finley Date Recorded: April 18, 2019
Carrie Newcomer: Silence, Song, Blessing and Waiting (Part One)
May 21, 2019 • 2770 MIN
What is the relationship between silence and music? This week's guest, acclaimed folk musician and educator Carrie Newcomer, helps us to explore this provocative question. "To do music you have to be comfortable with silence... a song without the pauses is just cacophony. You have to be able to breathe, and take a breath. Juxtaposition: the sound, and the moments of pause." — Carrie Newcomer Carrie Newcomer's CDs include The Point of Arrival, The Beautiful Not Yet and Kindred Spirits. She has been described as a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe and one who “asks all the right questions” by Rolling Stone. She regularly works with Parker J. Palmer in live programs, including Healing the Heart of Democracy: A Gathering of Spirits for the Common Good and What We Need is Here: Hope, Hard Times, and Human Possibility. Newcomer and Palmer also are actively collaborating on The Growing Edge, a website, podcast, and retreat. Three of Newcomer’s songs are included in Palmer’s most recent book, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old. Other special collaborations include presentations with neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, author Rabbi Sandy Sasso, and environmental author Scott Russell Sanders. "I've always been a seeker.... I was the little kid who asked the questions you weren't supposed to ask in Sunday School." — Carrie Newcomer Carrie lives in the woods of southern Indiana with her husband and two shaggy dogs. Find her online at www.carrienewcomer.com. Visit The Growing Edge at www.newcomerpalmer.com. This is part one of a two-part interview. To listen to part two, click here. "What I discovered is that you never see the world or anyone or anything the same once you've blessed it. Once you've looked at it that way, it's hard to look at it as anything else anymore." — Carrie Newcomer Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Carrie Newcomer, The Point of Arrival Carrie Newcomer, The Beautiful Not Yet (CD) Carrie Newcomer, The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics Carrie Newcomer, Kindred Spirits Carrie Newcomer, Everything is Everywhere Carrie Newcomer, A Permeable Life (CD) Carrie Newcomer, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays Carrie Newcomer, The Gathering of Spirits Parker J. Palmer, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old Marilynne Robinson, Gilead Beyoncé, Beyoncé Bill Harley, First Bird Call Mary Oliver, American Primitive: Poems Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing The song "Holy as a Day is Spent" is from the album The Gathering of Spirits. The song "The Beautiful Not Yet" is the title song of the album The Beautiful Not Yet. The song "Learning to Sit Without Knowing" is on the album The Point of Arrival. "I live in southern Indiana; something really good happened to my writing when I gave myself permission to sound like a Hoosier! What I mean by that is that I gave myself permission to sound like the person I am. I'm so midwestern — I am the lady that brings the casserole when someone's sick, you know, and I'm just really comfortable with that... my truest voice, my most powerful voice would always be my most authentic voice, my most connected voice." — Carrie Newcomer Episode 64: Silence, Song, Blessing and Waiting: A Conversation with Carrie Newcomer (Part One) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Guest: Carrie Newcomer Date Recorded: May 9, 2019
Carrie Newcomer: Silence, Song, Blessing and Waiting (Part Two)
May 29, 2019 • 1830 MIN
Our conversation with musician, songwriter/poet, and Quaker Carrie Newcomer concludes this week. Carrie continues to share with us her insights into the relationship between poetry and lyrics, between music and silence, between creativity and authenticity — and how love can change everything for the better. Like the first part of this conversation, she also graces us with performance of several of her songs. Whether it's coming through a visual art, through music, through poetry, through dance, or some art form in that sense, or the art form of our lives — every time we speak we are putting a certain spirit into the world; every time, every encounter. — Carrie Newcomer To listen to part one of this interview, click here. Carrie Newcomer's CDs include The Point of Arrival, The Beautiful Not Yet and Kindred Spirits. She has been described as a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe and one who “asks all the right questions” by Rolling Stone. She regularly works with Parker J. Palmer, who is collaborating with her on The Growing Edge, a website, podcast, and retreat. Three of Newcomer’s songs are included in Palmer’s most recent book, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old. "Every time I walk into a room; every time I encounter someone, or I have a conversation, I can step into that space with that internal sense of silence, and waiting; with that internal sense of I'm stepping into this moment in love and blessing." — Carrie Newcomer Carrie lives in the woods of southern Indiana with her husband and two shaggy dogs. Find her online at www.carrienewcomer.com. Visit The Growing Edge at www.newcomerpalmer.com. Cassidy Hall and Carrie Newcomer out for a walk in the beauty of nature. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Carrie Newcomer, The Point of Arrival Carrie Newcomer, The Beautiful Not Yet (CD) Carrie Newcomer, The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics Carrie Newcomer, Kindred Spirits Carrie Newcomer, Everything is Everywhere Carrie Newcomer, A Permeable Life (CD) Carrie Newcomer, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays Carrie Newcomer, The Gathering of Spirits David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous Parker J. Palmer, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old The songs "Writing a Better Story" and "Learning to Sit Without Knowing" are on the album The Point of Arrival. Episode 65: Silence, Song, Blessing and Waiting: A Conversation with Carrie Newcomer (Part Two) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Guest: Carrie Newcomer Date Recorded: May 9, 2019  
Kathleen Deignan: Silence and Nature (Part One)
June 13, 2019 • 2265 MIN
Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D. is an Irish-American theologian, author and sacred song writer who has been engaged in the ministry of liturgical musicianship for over forty years. She is currently composer-in-residence of Schola Ministries and is the founder and director of Iona Spirituality Institute at Iona College, New York, and previously directed the Iona Institute for Peace and Justice Studies in Ireland. Sr. Kathleen is a GreenFaith Fellow who recently completed an intensive training in religious environmental leadership. Her work in this area focuses on the prophet legacy of Father Thomas Berry and The Great Work of our time. She has previously served as president of the International Thomas Merton Society, and currently sits on the board of the American Teilhard de Chardin Society. We all come from a kind of silence of which we have no idea. We come out of a very mysterious milieu or dimension, and in some ways, if we take the poets seriously, and the mystics, we have been abiding in silence ever before we came into a sound environment. — Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Sr. Kathleen Deignan, ed., Thomas Merton: When the Trees Say Nothing — Writings on Nature Sr. Kathleen Deignan, ed., Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours Thomas Berry, The Great Work Thomas Merton, Mystics and Zen Masters Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Selected Writings Douglas E. Christie, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems Paul Hawken, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing Charles Peguy, The Portal of the Mystery of Hope Wolfhart Pannenberg, Historicity of Nature: Essays on Science and Theology Sister Kathleen notes that her music is freely available online. But if you are interested in purchasing her music on CD, here are a few titles that feature the music of Sr. Kathleen: Ave: Songs of the Congregation of Notre Dame A Garden Once Again: Songs in Celebration of Creation The Gift: Songs of the Grateful Heart What silence opened up for me was music, or maybe I can even say it the other way: music opened up silence for me. — Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D. Episode 66: Silence and Nature: A Conversation with Sr. Kathleen Deignan (Part One) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall Guest: Sr. Kathleen Deignan, C.N.D. Date Recorded: April 22, 2019 The challenge for us now, I think, especially for people who are laboring to be awake, or 'woke,' — people who are yearning for the transformation — is that we know it is a profound spiritual work, it is a tremendous spiritual work; we're not going to technologize our way out of this, we are not going to scheme our way out of this; because a new human being has to build up the new planetary civilization for us to go forward. And it will take centuries. — Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D.  
Kathleen Deignan: Silence and Nature (Part Two)
June 24, 2019 • 2562 MIN
This episode concludes our conversation with Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D. Sister Kathleen is an Irish-American theologian, author and sacred song writer who has been engaged in the ministry of liturgical musicianship for over forty years. She is currently composer-in-residence of Schola Ministries and is the founder and director of Iona Spirituality Institute at Iona College, New York, and previously directed the Iona Institute for Peace and Justice Studies in Ireland. Sr. Kathleen is a GreenFaith Fellow who recently completed an intensive training in religious environmental leadership. Her work in this area focuses on the prophet legacy of Father Thomas Berry and The Great Work of our time. She has previously served as president of the International Thomas Merton Society, and currently sits on the board of the American Teilhard de Chardin Society. We can't lose our real connection to the vitality that's brought everything into being; the genius that brought everything into being; the hard work that every single creature which is part of my body — I am cell of their bodies, they are cells of my body — that all these cellular dimensions of this one planetary body we are, are working hard to get well. So I lean into that radically incarnate, visceral, physical, cellular kind of hope. — Sr. Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D. Note: The featured image on today's post is from Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky. Photo by Patricia Turner is used by permission. Learn more about her and her photography by clicking here: www.aphotographicsage.blogspost.com Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Sr. Kathleen Deignan, ed., Thomas Merton: When the Trees Say Nothing — Writings on Nature Sr. Kathleen Deignan, ed., Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times Thomas Berry, The Great Work Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing Charles Péguy, The Portal of the Mystery of Hope Pope Francis, Laudato Si' Thomas Merton, Mystics and Zen Masters Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas Paul Hawken, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming John Moriarty, A Moriarty Reader: Preparing for Early Spring John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us Sister Kathleen notes that her music is freely available online. But if you are interested in purchasing her music on CD, here are a few titles that feature the music of Sr. Kathleen: Ave: Songs of the Congregation of Notre Dame A Garden Once Again: Songs in Celebration of Creation The Gift: Songs of the Grateful Heart For me, I feel my spiritual work is to live within radical unknowing, so my prayer is in "the cloud of unknowing." Speaking of silence, you know that in the school of the cloud of unknowing, it's all about silence. The only thing that you let spring up is a passionate word of love. That's it. For me, it's also mercy.  — Sr. Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D. Episode 67: Silence and Nature: A Conversation with Sr. Kathleen Deignan (Part Two) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall Guest: Sr. Kathleen Deignan, C.N.D. Date Recorded: April 22, 2019 I've been reading Thomas Merton since I was a young teenager. I was introduced to him during detention. At school I was always acting out in religion class, and the nun was always throwing me out of the classroom, down to the library. And the nun who was the librarian, we had this thing going, and she'd say, "In detention again, Kathleen Deignan?" and I'd say, "Yes, mother," and she'd say, "Well, read that." Boom! "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander." The next couple of days,
Ruben L. F. Habito: Christianity, Buddhism, and Silence (Part One)
July 8, 2019 • 2111 MIN
How does silence form and shape the life of person who is both Zen roshi and a Catholic spiritual director? Ruben L. F. Habito is both a former Jesuit and a master of the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Zen. In his early youth the Society of Jesus sent him from his homeland in the Philippines to Japan, where he began his Zen practice under the guidance of Yamada Koun-roshi. Koun-roshi was a Zen master who taught many Christians students, an unusual practice for the time. In 1988, Habito received Dharma transmission from Yamada Koun. He left the Jesuit order shortly after that, and in 1991 founded the lay organization Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas. He has taught at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University since 1989 where he continues to be a faculty member. He is married and has two sons. Silence for me is not so much a set of external conditions, but more of an inner state of mind. — Ruben L. F. Habito Dr. Habito is the author of several books, all of which explore various aspects of Buddhist-Christian dialogue, including Be Still and Know: Zen and the Bible, Zen and the Spiritual Exercises, and Living Zen, Loving God.  In his conversation with the Encountering Silence team, he speaks about the relationship with silence and the fullness of a joyful life, as well as how his engagement with both Christianity and Buddhism has shaped his own relationship with silence. I felt some kind of unspeakable joy of just being in the middle ... if you are at a place within you that enables you to be at home where you are, that's where you can find that interior silence that can connect, and enable you to really open your heart in a warm embrace. That's what silence is for me. — Ruben L. F. Habito Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Ruben L. F. Habito, Be Still and Know: Zen and the Bible Ruben L. F. Habito, Zen and the Spiritual Exercises Ruben L. F. Habito, Healing Breath, Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World Ruben L. F. Habito, Living Zen, Loving God Ruben L. F. Habito, Experiencing Buddhism: Ways of Wisdom and Compassion Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Barbara Brown Taylor, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others Krister Stendahl, Energy for Life  Nicholas of Cusa, Selected Spiritual Writings Paul Knitter, Without Buddha I Could Not Be A Christian William Johnston, Christian Zen: A Way of Meditation Tilden Edwards, Living in the Presence: Spiritual Exercises to Open Our Lives to the Awareness of God  Thomas Merton, Mystics and Zen Masters Susan Stabile, Growing in Love and Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation Mary Margaret Funk, Discernment Matters Charles Curran, Loyal Dissent: Memoir of a Catholic Theologian Francis Sullivan, Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium Episode 68: Christianity, Buddhism and Silence: A Conversation with Ruben L. F. Habito (Part One) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Ruben L. F. Habito Date Recorded: May 3, 2019
Ruben L. F. Habito: Christianity, Buddhism and Silence (Part Two)
July 22, 2019 • 2057 MIN
Our conversation continues  with Zen roshi and a Catholic spiritual director Ruben L. F. Habito. Ruben L. F. Habito is both a former Jesuit and a master of the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Zen. In his early youth the Society of Jesus sent him from his homeland in the Philippines to Japan, where he began his Zen practice under the guidance of Yamada Koun-roshi. Koun-roshi was a Zen master who taught many Christians students, an unusual practice for the time. In 1988, Habito received Dharma transmission from Yamada Koun. He left the Jesuit order shortly after that, and in 1991 founded the lay organization Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas. He has taught at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University since 1989 where he continues to be a faculty member. He is married and has two sons. Dr. Habito is the author of several books, all of which explore various aspects of Buddhist-Christian dialogue, including Be Still and Know: Zen and the Bible, Zen and the Spiritual Exercises, and Living Zen, Loving God.  In this concluding part of his conversation with the Encountering Silence team, Rubito speaks about what inspires him as a writer, the difference between centering prayer and zazen, the centrality of the breath in contemplation, and other topics related to his singular path as a Zen Christian. Spend one hour a week doing nothing; doing nothing in a very intentional and purposeful way. In short, not attempting to do anything, but just allowing... to be. — Ruben L. F. Habito Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Ruben L. F. Habito, Be Still and Know: Zen and the Bible Ruben L. F. Habito, Zen and the Spiritual Exercises Ruben L. F. Habito, Healing Breath, Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World Ruben L. F. Habito, Living Zen, Loving God Ruben L. F. Habito, Experiencing Buddhism: Ways of Wisdom and Compassion Maggie Ross, Silence: A User's Guide, Volume 2 Nicholas of Cusa, Selected Spiritual Writings World Spirituality: Jewish Spirituality, Volume One World Spirituality: Jewish Spirituality, Volume Two World Spirituality: Hindu Spirituality, Volume One World Spirituality: Hindu Spirituality, Volume Two World Spirituality: Islamic Spirituality, Volume One World Spirituality: Islamic Spirituality, Volume Two World Spirituality: Christian Spirituality, Volume One World Spirituality: Christian Spirituality, Volume Two World Spirituality: Christian Spirituality, Volume Three World Spirituality, Spirituality and the Secular Quest Simone Weil, Waiting For God Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace Frances S. Adeney, Christianity Encountering World Religions Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment is the Universe Episode 69: Christianity, Buddhism and Silence: A Conversation with Ruben L. F. Habito (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Ruben L. F. Habito Date Recorded: May 3, 2019
Philip Roderick: Encountering Silence in Quiet Gardens (Part One)
August 9, 2019 • 2064 MIN
Philip Roderick, a priest of the Church of England, is the founder and a patron of the Quiet Garden Movement, of Contemplative Fire  and of Hidden Houses of Prayer. He delights in the radical presence of God in community, in nature – on hillside and by seashore; he rejoices in chant and harmony, syncopation and stillness. He is an author and a musician. He has worked in Bangor University as Chaplain and Lecturer in Theology then in the Oxford Diocese as Principal of the Buckinghamshire Christian Training Scheme and as a parish priest in Amersham on the Hill. In 2015 he retired from being Bishop’s Adviser in Spirituality and Chaplain to Whirlow Grange in the Diocese of Sheffield. Philip's writings include the book Beloved: Henri Nouwen in Conversation, and articles that appear in the following books, all part of the “Ancient Faith, Future Mission” series published by Canterbury Press: New Monasticism as Fresh Expressions of Church,  Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Tradition, and Doorways to the Sacred: Developing Sacramentality in Fresh Expressions of Church. SIlence is a weaving, it's like a tapestry or a pattern of presence; it recalls me; but it's not like a block, it's more like a river, a flow, a patterning... silence is for me a resource, an aperture, a journey... — Philip Roderick Other resources featuring Philip include Sacred Posture, a teaching DVD on body prayer, and Sheer Sound, a music album featuring  a musical instrument called "the Hang." Philip joined us via Skype from his home in England near the South Downs to discuss his various efforts, all of which unite creativity and/or community building to help foster contemplation and silence in people's lives. Sometimes the stillness is so evocative that the stillness becomes the call. — Philip Roderick Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Philip Roderick, Beloved: Henri Nouwen in Conversation Philip Roderick, Sacred Posture (DVD) Philip Roderick, Sheer Sound (available as CD or MP3) Mother Thecla, Great Feasts of the Church Bede Griffiths, Essential Writings Thomas Gray (et al.), Selected Poems Silence and solitude are precursors to service. They can seem to be escapist, but in fact a true silence and a true solitude lead to a full expression of care and love; so the call to love and heal is integrally bound up with the call to be hidden and alone. — Philip Roderick Episode 70: Encountering Silence in Quiet Gardens: A Conversation with Philip Roderick (Part One) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Philip Roderick Date Recorded: May 6, 2019
Philip Roderick: Encountering Silence in Quiet Gardens (Part Two)
August 26, 2019 • 1929 MIN
Here is the second part of our conversation with Philip Roderick, the founder and a patron of the Quiet Garden Movement, of Contemplative Fire  and of Hidden Houses of Prayer. He delights in the radical presence of God in community, in nature – on hillside and by seashore; he rejoices in chant and harmony, syncopation and stillness. He is an author and a musician. He has worked in Bangor University as Chaplain and Lecturer in Theology then in the Oxford Diocese as Principal of the Buckinghamshire Christian Training Scheme and as a parish priest in Amersham on the Hill. In 2015 he retired from being Bishop’s Adviser in Spirituality and Chaplain to Whirlow Grange in the Diocese of Sheffield. Philip’s writings include the book Beloved: Henri Nouwen in Conversation, and articles that appear in the following books, all part of the “Ancient Faith, Future Mission” series published by Canterbury Press: New Monasticism as Fresh Expressions of Church,  Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Tradition, and Doorways to the Sacred: Developing Sacramentality in Fresh Expressions of Church. I believe there is a continuum in all of us — well, I feel it in my own being — between the hermit and the engaged one. — Philip Roderick Other resources featuring Philip include Sacred Posture, a teaching DVD on body prayer, and Sheer Sound, a music album featuring  a musical instrument called “the Hang.” Philip joined us via Skype from his home in England near the South Downs to discuss his various efforts, all of which unite creativity and/or community building to help foster contemplation and silence in people’s lives. Contemplative intercession can be profoundly engaged spirituality, because it is a holding of the wounds of the world; it's doing deep work, doing deep work on behalf of the universe. — Philip Roderick Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Philip Roderick, Beloved: Henri Nouwen in Conversation Philip Roderick, Sacred Posture (DVD) Philip Roderick, Sheer Sound (available as CD or MP3) Teilhard de Chardin, Essential Writings Simone Weil, Waiting for God William Blake, Complete Poetry and Prose Martin Israel, Doubt: The Way of Growth Thomas Keating, Reflections on the Unknowable R. S. Thomas, "The Other" from The Echoes Return Slow Silence and solitude are precursors to service. They can seem to be escapist, but in fact a true silence and a true solitude lead to a full expression of care and love; so the call to love and heal is integrally bound up with the call to be hidden and alone. — Philip Roderick Episode 71: Encountering Silence in Quiet Gardens: A Conversation with Philip Roderick (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Philip Roderick Date Recorded: May 6, 2019
Unteachable Lessons: Encountering Silence in Wisdom That Can’t Be Taught
September 9, 2019 • 2407 MIN
This week we're keeping our conversation close to home, as we explore Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can't Be Taught and Why That's Okay — the new book from Encountering Silence co-host Carl McColman. How do you touch the face of God? You touch the face of God through the medium of silence. And the silence is always there, it's not something I have to create, it's not something we have to conjure, if anything it's something we simply have to allow. Again, by learning, little by little by little, by learning to attend to the spaces between the words. — Carl McColman Unteachable Lessons looks at some of the most important "lessons" of life — learning how to love, how to trust, how to pray, how to grieve — can never be learned from a book or a class or a workshop. It looks at how wisdom often operates on a level deeper than words. Of course, that means one of the best ways to access wisdom is through silence. In today's episode of the podcast, Cassidy and Kevin talk to Carl about how the book came to be written and what inspired Carl to explore this particular topic. Sometimes words get in the way... and sometimes going to a workshop gets in the way, or reading a lot of books gets in the way... we have to learn not through "learning," but through living. — Carl McColman Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Carl McColman, Unteachable Lessons Carl McColman, Befriending Silence Carl McColman, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism Carl McColman, Christian Mystics Carl McColman, Answering the Contemplative Call Lil Copan, Promises of Heaven Martin Laird, An Ocean of Light Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul Woody Allen, Without Feathers William Faulkner, Three Novels Tilden Edwards, Living in the Presence: Spiritual Exercises to Open Our Lives to the Awareness of God Gerald May, Will and Spirit: A Contemplative Psychology Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel Rene Girard, Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World Elias Marechal, Tears of An Innocent God: Conversations on Silence, Kindness and Prayer Mary Margaret Funk, Thoughts Matter Marvin C. Shaw, The Paradox of Intention Writing is a great antidote to pride. — Carl McColman Episode 72: Unteachable Lessons: Encountering Silence in Wisdom That Can't Be Taught Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: September 3, 2019 Bonus content! Here's one of Carl's favorite kitty-cat videos... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr3H_-evGb0
Bushi Yamato Damashii: Silence and the Peaceful Samurai (Part One)
September 16, 2019 • 2200 MIN
Bushi Yamato Damashii is the founder of Sangha Bodhi Christo (a Buddhist-Christian student and practice community), and directs the Thomasville Buddhist Center in Thomasville, NC. He is a student of Buddhist teachers Lama Rod Owens and Lama Justin Von Bujdoos. Like many American Buddhists, his practice is eclectic, drawing from the Daishin Zen and the Vajrayana lineages. Bushi, who also is known as Heiwa no Bushi, or “peaceful samurai,” speaks and teaches on topics such as “The Making of a Christ Sangha” and “Celebrating and Integrating Inter-Spiritual Energetic Healing Modalities.” Joining us on the podcast, he shares his insightful wisdom not only on Buddhism and Buddhist-Christian dialog, but also on the psychology of spiritual growth. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Lama Rod Owens, Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger Justin Von Bujdoos, Modern Tantric Buddhism: Embodiment and Authenticity in Dharma Practice Howard Thurman, Essential Writings Francis X. Clooney, Comparative Theology: Deep Learning Across Religious Borders The Matrix Film Trilogy Carl Jung, The Portable Jung Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth Sun Tzu, The Art of War This is part one of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part two. Silence became pretty much the foundation for the rest of my living with the life that I have; the foundation for the rest of my living. — Bushi Yamato Damashii Episode 73: Silence and the Peaceful Samurai: A Conversation with Bushi Yamato Damashii (Part One) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: September 6, 2019
Bushi Yamato Damashii: Silence and the Peaceful Samurai (Part Two)
September 30, 2019 • 2097 MIN
Bushi Yamato Damashii returns for the second part of this two part interview. Click here to listen to part one. Bushi Yamato Damashi is the founder of Sangha Bodhi Christo (a Buddhist-Christian student and practice community), and directs the Thomasville Buddhist Center in Thomasville, NC. He is a student of Buddhist teachers Lama Rod Owens and Lama Justin Von Bujdoos. Like many American Buddhists, his practice is eclectic, drawing from the Daishin Zen and the Vajrayana lineages. Bushi, who also is known as Heiwa no Bushi, or “peaceful samurai,” speaks and teaches on topics such as “The Making of a Christ Sangha” and “Celebrating and Integrating Inter-Spiritual Energetic Healing Modalities.” Joining us on the podcast, he shares his insightful wisdom not only on Buddhism and Buddhist-Christian dialog, but also on the psychology of spiritual growth. Jesus and the Buddha did the same work. Were they different in their lineages or where they came from? Yes. But I believe that  Jesus and the Buddha both understood... we must become a very intimate people with one another, and then our books will begin to make sense — and not the other way around. — Bushi Yamato Damashii Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Lama Rod Owens, Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger Justin Von Bujdoos, Modern Tantric Buddhism: Embodiment and Authenticity in Dharma Practice Howard Thurman, Essential Writings Francis X. Clooney, Comparative Theology: Deep Learning Across Religious Borders The Matrix Film Trilogy Carl Jung, The Portable Jung Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth Sun Tzu, The Art of War Never hold yourself or anyone else too seriously. — Bushi Yamato Damashii This is part two of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one. Silence became pretty much the foundation for the rest of my living with the life that I have; the foundation for the rest of my living. — Bushi Yamato Damashii Episode 74: Silence and the Peaceful Samurai: A Conversation with Bushi Yamato Damashii (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: September 6, 2019
Silence and the Wisdom of Henri Nouwen: A Conversation with Gabrielle Earnshaw (Part 1)
October 7, 2019 • 2220 MIN
Historian Gabrielle Earnshaw is the founding archivist of the Henri Nouwen Archives in Toronto, Canada. She has been the adviser to the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust for eighteen years and is consulted throughout the world on Nouwen and his literary legacy. She is the editor of several of Nouwen's posthumously published books, including Love, Henri (a collection of Nouwen's letters), You Are the Beloved (a collection of daily meditations), and the newly published  Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety, based on lectures Nouwen gave at Harvard University in the 1980s. Gabrielle Earnshaw In our conversation, Earnshaw shares not only her insights into the spiritual and literary legacy of Henri Nouwen, but also her own journey into the spirituality of silence — and how curating Nouwen's archives helped her along the way. Henri Nouwen with his dear friend, Sr. Sue Mosteller Henri Nouwen spoke about silence in every book; it's not like he had one book on silence — it's in every book... it was really important to him... one of the most important themes in his writing. — Gabrielle Earnshaw Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Henri Nouwen, Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life Henri Nouwen, You Are the Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritaul Living  Henri Nouwen, Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart: Connecting with God Through Prayer, Wisdom and Silence Henri Nouwen, Encounters with Merton: Spiritual Reflections Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery Henri Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey John Main, Word Into Silence: A Manual for Christian Meditation Laurence Freeman, Web of Silence: Letters to Meditators Jean Vanier, Tears of Silence: A Meditation Sue Mosteller, Light Through the Crack: Life After Loss Sue Mosteller, A Place to Hold my Shaky Heart: Reflections from Life in Community Sue Mosteller, My Brother, my Sister Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers (introduction by Henri Nouwen) Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality  Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer This is part one of a two-part interview. Part two will be released next week. Episode 75: Silence and the Wisdom of Henri Nouwen: A Conversation with Gabrielle Earnshaw (Part One) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall Date Recorded: September 6, 2019
Silence and the Wisdom of Henri Nouwen: A Conversation With Gabrielle Earnshaw (Part 2)
October 15, 2019 • 1993 MIN
Our conversation continues with historian Gabrielle Earnshaw — the founding archivist of the Henri Nouwen Archives in Toronto, Canada. She has been the adviser to the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust for eighteen years and is consulted throughout the world on Nouwen and his literary legacy. This is part two of a two-part interview. Part one was released last week. She is the editor of several of Nouwen’s posthumously published books, including Love, Henri (a collection of Nouwen’s letters), You Are the Beloved (a collection of daily meditations), and the newly published  Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety, based on lectures Nouwen gave at Harvard University in the 1980s. Gabrielle Earnshaw In our conversation, Earnshaw shares not only her insights into the spiritual and literary legacy of Henri Nouwen, but also her own journey into the spirituality of silence — and how curating Nouwen’s archives helped her along the way. Henri Nouwen spoke about silence in every book; it’s not like he had one book on silence — it’s in every book… it was really important to him… one of the most important themes in his writing. — Gabrielle Earnshaw Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Henri Nouwen, Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life Henri Nouwen, You Are the Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritaul Living  Henri Nouwen, Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart: Connecting with God Through Prayer, Wisdom and Silence Henri Nouwen, Encounters with Merton: Spiritual Reflections Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery Henri Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey John Main, Word Into Silence: A Manual for Christian Meditation Laurence Freeman, Web of Silence: Letters to Meditators Jean Vanier, Tears of Silence: A Meditation Sue Mosteller, Light Through the Crack: Life After Loss Sue Mosteller, A Place to Hold my Shaky Heart: Reflections from Life in Community Sue Mosteller, My Brother, my Sister Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers (introduction by Henri Nouwen) Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality  Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer This is part two of a two-part interview. Part one was released last week. Episode 76: Silence and the Wisdom of Henri Nouwen: A Conversation with Gabrielle Earnshaw (Part Two) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall Date Recorded: September 6, 2019 Featured Image: Henri Nouwen at his New Haven apartment circa 1981. Photo courtesy of Jim Forest via Flickr Commons.
Adam Bucko: Silence, Sacred Activism, and the Spiritual Imagination (Part One)
October 22, 2019 • 2139 MIN
In the summer of 2019, the Reverend Adam Bucko was appointed as a Minor Canon at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, NY, where he serves as the director of the Center for the Spiritual Imagination. Although he is a newly ordained Episcopal priest, Adam has been a prominent figure in new monastic and contemplative Christian circles for some time now. Before going to seminary, he was an activist and spiritual director to New York City's homeless youth. He is the co-author of two books, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (with Matthew Fox), and The New Monasticism: A Manifesto for Contemplative Living (with Rory McEntee). What was my contemplative practice? My contemplative practice was to become aware of everything that was alive in me, both the joys, the heartbreaks, you name it... simply gather that, bring it to God, and sit there in a state of receptivity and listening, inviting God to hold me. And just sitting there in a state of curious not-knowing, consenting to whatever work God wanted to do in my life. — Adam Bucko Adam grew up in Poland during the totalitarian regime, where he explored the anarchist youth movement as a force for social and political change. After emigrating to the US at 17, his desire to lead a meaningful life sent him to monasteries in the US and India. His life-defining experience took place in India, where a brief encounter with a homeless child led him to the "Ashram of the Poor" where he began his work with homeless youth. I remember as a kid, just being enveloped by this Loving Presence, and it felt like, even though everything around me was falling apart, nonetheless there was this something, almost like a motherly presence, that is holding me, and therefore it's okay for me to be here, to be alive, and to continue with my life... — Adam Bucko Upon returning to the US, Adam worked with homeless youth in cities around the country. He co-founded The Reciprocity Foundation, an award winning nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of New York City's homeless youth. Additionally, Adam established HAB, an ecumenical and inter-spiritual contemplative fellowship for young people which offers formation in radical spirituality and sacred activism. I went to India to get out of this world, but I was brought back into it — especially into the world of pain; and that was a huge gift, it changed my life and it allowed me to work with my own pain, my own trauma. — Adam Bucko Adam speaks movingly about growing up in the repressive society of totalitarian Poland (where priests he knew were killed by the government), and then discovering contemplative practice through Hindu spirituality, before discerning a call to integrate his spiritual life with a commitment to social justice and sacred activism. To learn more about Adam, visit www.adambucko.com. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Adam Bucko & Matthew Fox, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation Adam Bucko & Rory McEntee, The New Monasticism: A Manifesto for Contemplative Living Tessa Bielecki, Holy Daring: The Earthy Mysticism of St. Teresa, the Wild Woman of Avila (forward by Adam Bucko) Bede Griffiths, Essential Writings John Main, Essential Writings Sr. Vandana Mataji, Nama Japa: The Prayer of the Name Ramon Panikkar, The Intra-Religious Dialogue Abhishiktananda, Essential Writings Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart Bernie Glassman, Infinite Circle: Teachings on Zen Episode 77: Silence, Sacred Activism, and the Spiritual Imagination: A Conversation with Adam Bucko (Part One) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson
Adam Bucko: Silence, Sacred Activism, and the Spiritual Imagination (Part Two)
October 29, 2019 • 1948 MIN
Our conversation with the Rev. Adam Bucko continues in this episode, the second part of a two-part interview. To listen to part one, click here. In the summer of 2019, the Reverend Adam Bucko was appointed as a Minor Canon at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, NY, where he serves as the director of the Center for the Spiritual Imagination. Although he is a newly ordained Episcopal priest, Adam has been a prominent figure in new monastic and contemplative Christian circles for some time now. Before going to seminary, he was an activist and spiritual director to New York City’s homeless youth. He is the co-author of two books, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (with Matthew Fox), and The New Monasticism: A Manifesto for Contemplative Living (with Rory McEntee). What we discovered was that homeless kids were not interested in talking about spirituality, but they were very eager to experience what would feel like a break from all the chaos that was present in their lives. — Adam Bucko Adam grew up in Poland during the totalitarian regime, where he explored the anarchist youth movement as a force for social and political change. After emigrating to the US at 17, his desire to lead a meaningful life sent him to monasteries in the US and India. His life-defining experience took place in India, where a brief encounter with a homeless child led him to the “Ashram of the Poor” where he began his work with homeless youth. This trans kid who started coming every day to learn meditation, he simply said, "Every time I show up here, I feel like I need to go into the meditation room. Once I go there, once I sit and get quiet, I feel like I just need to tell God about all of the pain in my life, and then just rest there, and be silent." And so my response to that was, "Why don't you just do that — every day." — Adam Bucko Upon returning to the US, Adam worked with homeless youth in cities around the country. He co-founded The Reciprocity Foundation, an award winning nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless youth. Additionally, Adam established HAB, an ecumenical and inter-spiritual contemplative fellowship for young people which offers formation in radical spirituality and sacred activism. Contemplative prayer for me is very much about heartbreak and aliveness. I gather all of the stuff of my life, all of the stuff that I experience in this world, both my heartbreak but also all of those things that make me truly alive, and I bring them to God and I sit there, in silence, awaiting God's response.  — Adam Bucko Adam speaks movingly about growing up in the repressive society of totalitarian Poland (where priests he knew were killed by the government), and then discovering contemplative practice through Hindu spirituality, before discerning a call to integrate his spiritual life with a commitment to social justice and sacred activism. To learn more about Adam, visit www.adambucko.com. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Adam Bucko & Matthew Fox, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation Adam Bucko & Rory McEntee, The New Monasticism: A Manifesto for Contemplative Living Ramon Panikkar, The Intra-Religious Dialogue Bede Griffiths, Essential Writings Wayne Teasdale, The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution Thomas Keating, Open Mind Open Heart Thomas Merton, Mystics and Zen Masters Beverly Lanzetta, The Monk Within: Embracing a Sacred Way of Life John Main, Essential Writings Teresa of Ávila, The Book of My Life Bernie Glassman,
Walter Brueggemann: Silence and the Prophetic Imagination (Part One)
November 4, 2019 • 1664 MIN
The Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is widely regarded as one of the world's leading Christian interpreters of the Old Testament and is the author of numerous books, including The Prophetic Imagination, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, From Judgment to Hope: A Study on the Prophets, and his most recent book, Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out. He recently joined us via Skype to talk about his understanding of both the challenge and the possibilities associated with silence,  especially the importance of interrupting coercive or repressive silence and the status quo in this world of chaos and oppression. In his latest book, he writes: "Silence is a complex matter. It can refer to awe before unutterable holiness, but it can also refer to coercion where some voices are silence in the interest of control by the dominant voices.” ― Walter Brueggemann, Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out. Some other quotations to ponder: “Multitasking is the drive to be more than we are, to control more than we do, to extend our power and our effectiveness. Such practice yields a divided self, with full attention given to nothing.” ―Walter Brueggemann, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now “No establishment figure wants to tolerate affrontive poetry that exposes the failure of the totalizing system and claims it contradicts God’s will.” ― Walter Brueggemann, Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out. “We have seen in our own day in so many liberation struggles that the first cry for mercy does not succeed. The silencers are powerful and determined. Among us the silencers are the powerful, who have a stake in the status quo and do not mind some poverty-stricken disability, and those who collude with the powerful, often unwittingly. The work of silencing, like that of this crowd, is variously by slogan, by intimidation, by deception, or by restrictive legislation. Emancipation does not succeed most often in a one-shot effort. More is required.” ― Walter Brueggemann, Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out. This is part one of a two part episode; to listen to part two, click here. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination Walter Brueggemann, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now Walter Brueggemann, Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent Walter Brueggemann, A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent Walter Brueggemann, Journey to the Common Good Walter Brueggemann, From Judgment to Hope: A Study on the Prophets Walter Brueggemann, Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out. Thomas Merton, Dialogues with Silence Barbara A. Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church Episode 79: Silence and the Prophetic Imagination: A Conversation with Walter Brueggemann (Part One) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Guest: Walter Brueggemann Date Recorded: October 14, 2019
Walter Brueggemann: Silence and the Prophetic Imagination (Part Two)
November 11, 2019 • 1624 MIN
This is part two of a two part episode; to listen to part one, click here. The Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading Christian interpreters of the Old Testament and is the author of numerous books, including The Prophetic Imagination, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, From Judgment to Hope: A Study on the Prophets, and his most recent book, Interrupting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out. Anybody who is not in touch with the pain of the world probably is not a truth-teller. — Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann Dr. Brueggemann recently joined us via Skype to talk about his understanding of both the challenge and the possibilities associated with silence,  especially the importance of interrupting coercive or repressive silence and the status quo in this world of chaos and oppression. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination Walter Brueggemann, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now Walter Brueggemann, Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent Walter Brueggemann, A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent Walter Brueggemann, Journey to the Common Good Walter Brueggemann, From Judgment to Hope: A Study on the Prophets Walter Brueggemann, Interrupting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out. Thomas Merton, Dialogues with Silence Barbara A. Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church Greta Thunberg, No One is Too Small to Make a Difference Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer Angela Davis, Women, Race and Class Eugene Peterson, The Message Rashi, Commentary on the Torah Episode 80: Silence and the Prophetic Imagination: A Conversation with Walter Brueggemann (Part Two) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Guest: Walter Brueggemann Date Recorded: October 14, 2019
An Orientation to Silence
November 27, 2019 • 1730 MIN
If you are interested in the spirituality and psychology of silence, but are new to the idea of intentional silence, where do you begin? How do you orient yourself to the world of silence that is always available to you, right here and right now? Silence perpetuates its life as being wordless, empty, and nothingness; and at the same time, everything, and whole. Not only does it make it infinite, but it points to its wholeness. — Cassidy Hall Today's episode of our podcast explores a concept that arose from an interaction between Kevin and a new listener of the podcast, that recently took place on Facebook. Realizing that we did not have a single episode that functions as a kind of orientation to silence (as something more than just the mere absence of sound), we set out to record this episode to fill that gap. An orientation of silence centers around these questions of, "Is silence a silencing? Is it an opening? Is it an invitation?"... When you orient toward silence, maybe the first orientation is toward ambiguity." — Kevin Johnson We hope that if you are new to the podcast (and to intentional silence), that this episode will help to you get a sense of where we are coming from, and our philosophy behind why silence matters. But even if you have been listening to us since our first episode almost two years ago, we hope that this will be a helpful conversation — since we are all, always, continually invited to recalibrate and reorient ourselves to the gifts that silence has to offer us. We find silence, paradoxically, in the absence of silence; that there's something about the absence of silence that can pivot us back deeper into it. — Carl McColman Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Thomas Merton, Day of a Stranger Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land Maggie Ross, Silence, A User’s Guide Volume 1: Process Christian Bobin, The Eighth Day: Selected Writings Carl, Cassidy, and Kevin Episode 81: An Orientation to Silence Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall Date Recorded: November 25, 2019
Happy Birthday, Encountering Silence
December 4, 2019 • 1974 MIN
Happy Birthday, Encountering Silence! This week marks the two-year anniversary of our first episode (listen to it here). To mark the occasion, we recorded a few thoughts about how the podcast has surprised us and expanded our own sense of both the beauty and power of silence — and the challenges that silence faces in our noisy and wounded world. Silence is the meeting place for knowing what we have to say when it's time to speak up and speak out. — Cassidy Hall Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Volume Two (includes "Everything") Walter Brueggemann, Interrupting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out. Barbara A. Holmes, Joy Unspeakable Therese Taylor-Stinson, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice Rebecca Bratten Weiss (with Joanna Penn Copper), Mudwoman Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk Cynthia Bourgeault, The Heart of Centering Prayer Lerita Coleman Brown, When the Heart Speaks, Listen Mary Margaret Funk, Renouncing Violence James Finley, The Contemplative Heart John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness James Martin, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything Carrie Newcomer, The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics Helen E. Lees, Silence in Schools Silence is so beautiful that we have to speak out against its abuse. — Carl McColman Episode 82: Happy Birthday, Encountering Silence Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: November 25, 2019 Words can't capture the fact that silence can hold everything, and somehow hold it in gladness. — Kevin Johnson
Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza: Silence and Activist Theology (Part One)
December 11, 2019 • 1636 MIN
Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, the author of Activist Theology, joins our conversation this week. Born to a Mexican woman and an Anglo man in Northern Mexico, the Republic of Texas, Dr. Robyn moved to Chicago, IL for graduate school, and completed a master’s degree in theological ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Clinical Pastoral Education at a Trauma II Chicagoland hospital. Following graduate school, Dr. Robyn worked in domestic violence & sexual assault fields before joining the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. This is part one of a two-part episode. To listen to part two, click here. In 2009, Dr. Robyn began doctoral work at the University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology studying constructive philosophical theology & ethics, & completed a graduate certificate in Latinx Studies. As an activist-scholar, Dr. Robyn travels the country doing activist theology and continues to write, using the tools learned in both academy and activism to stand in the hybrid space of faith communities, academy, and movements for justice — curating activist scholarship with deep intention of bridging with difference. Dr. Robyn's life has been lived with the ongoing challenge to remain grounded in the center of their own difference as a non binary Trans mixed-raced Latinx. This has required the thoughtful intention of bridging with their white ancestors and Mexican ancestors and with those in the queer community. As a result, their life’s vocation is one that is committed to the deep relationality of bridging with difference. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Activist Theology Alba Onofrio, Reverend Sex Erin C. Law, Salt Space Some websites to visit include Dr. Robyn's personal site, iRobyn.com, the Activist Theology Project, and Imaginarium. We can't repair relationships without being embodied. — Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza Episode 83: Silence and Activist Theology: A Conversation with Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (Part One) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: December 10, 2019
Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza: Silence and Activist Theology (Part Two)
December 17, 2019 • 1373 MIN
Our conversation with Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, the author of Activist Theology, concludes this week, in part two of a two-part interview. To listen to part one, click here. Born to a Mexican woman and an Anglo man in Northern Mexico, the Republic of Texas, Dr. Robyn moved to Chicago, IL for graduate school, and completed a master’s degree in theological ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Clinical Pastoral Education at a Trauma II Chicagoland hospital. Following graduate school, Dr. Robyn worked in domestic violence & sexual assault fields before joining the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. In 2009, Dr. Robyn began doctoral work at the University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology studying constructive philosophical theology & ethics, & completed a graduate certificate in Latinx Studies. As an activist-scholar, Dr. Robyn travels the country doing activist theology and continues to write, using the tools learned in both academy and activism to stand in the hybrid space of faith communities, academy, and movements for justice — curating activist scholarship with deep intention of bridging with difference. Dr. Robyn‘s life has been lived with the ongoing challenge to remain grounded in the center of their own difference as a non binary Trans mixed-raced Latinx. This has required the thoughtful intention of bridging with their white ancestors and Mexican ancestors and with those in the queer community. As a result, their life’s vocation is one that is committed to the deep relationality of bridging with difference. Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Activist Theology Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation Tripp Fuller, The Homebrewed Christianity Guide to Jesus Toni Morrison, The Measure of Our Lives James Baldwin, Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems Alfonsina Storni, My Heart Flooded with Water: Selected Poems Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza Some websites to visit include Dr. Robyn’s personal site, iRobyn.com, the Activist Theology Project, and Imaginarium. So much of our war against everyone has been around disembodiment; and if we encourage embodiment, we might see a different kind of people emerge. — Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza Episode 84: Silence and Activist Theology: A Conversation with Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (Part Two) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: December 10, 2019
J. Brent Bill: Beauty, Truth, Life, Love — and Holy Silence (Part One)
January 20, 2020 • 2046 MIN
For our latest "Encountering Silence field recording," Cassidy Hall visits the farm of Indiana Quaker author J. Brent Bill for a conversation about silence and other essential elements of life. This is part one of a two-part episode; the remainder of this interview will be released on our next episode. J. Brent Bill J. Brent Bill is a Quaker minister, retreat leader, and photographer. He's written more than twenty books, including Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality and Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love: Four Essentials for the Abundant Life. He has served as a local church pastor, denominational executive, seminary faculty member, and go-kart track operator. He lives on Ploughshares Farm, which is forty acres of former farmland being reclaimed to tall grass prairie and native hardwood forest. Finding rhythms of silence throughout our days, our ordinary day, really returns us to center, returns us to God, and keeps us centered. — J. Brent Bill Cassidy Hall and J. Brent Bill In writing, especially, I need the centeredness of silence, especially in the editing stages, to say 'Is this the right word? What am I conveying here, and am I conveying it in such a way that it can be heard? And the only way I can do that is to look at the words in silence. And I do regard my writing as a form of worship, in an exploration, too, in worship of where God is leading me. — J. Brent Bill Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: J. Brent Bill, Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality J. Brent Bill, Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker: A Humble Stumble Toward Simplicity and Grace J. Brent Bill and Jennie Isbell, Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer J. Brent Bill, Mind the Light: Learning to See With Spiritual Eyes J. Brent Bill and Beth A. Booram, Awaken Your Senses: Exercises for Exploring the Wonder of God J. Brent Bill, Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment J. Brent Bill, Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love: Four Essentials for the Abundant Life T. Canby Jones, George Fox's Attitude Toward War Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion John Greenleaf Whittier, The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: A Reader's Edition Thomas Merton, Day of a Stranger Patricia Klein et al., Just as We Were: A Nostalgic Look at Growing Up Born Again Episode 85: Beauty, Truth, Life, Love — and Holy Silence: A Conversation with J. Brent Bill (Part One) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall Date Recorded: December 3, 2019
J. Brent Bill: Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love — and Holy Silence (Part Two)
January 28, 2020 • 1812 MIN
For our latest "Encountering Silence field recording," Cassidy Hall visits the farm of Indiana Quaker author J. Brent Bill for a conversation about silence and other essential elements of life. This is part two of a two-part episode; click here to listen to part one. Cassidy Hall and J. Brent Bill J. Brent Bill is a Quaker minister, retreat leader, and photographer. He's written more than twenty books, including Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality and Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love: Four Essentials for the Abundant Life. He has served as a local church pastor, denominational executive, seminary faculty member, and go-kart track operator. He lives on Ploughshares Farm, which is forty acres of former farmland being reclaimed to tall grass prairie and native hardwood forest. Finding rhythms of silence throughout our days, our ordinary day, really returns us to center, returns us to God, and keeps us centered. — J. Brent Bill Portrait of J. Brent Bill in coffee, by Chris Hagebak In writing, especially, I need the centeredness of silence, especially in the editing stages, to say 'Is this the right word? What am I conveying here, and am I conveying it in such a way that it can be heard? And the only way I can do that is to look at the words in silence. And I do regard my writing as a form of worship, in an exploration, too, in worship of where God is leading me. — J. Brent Bill Some of the resources and authors we mention in these episodes: J. Brent Bill, Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality J. Brent Bill, Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker: A Humble Stumble Toward Simplicity and Grace J. Brent Bill and Jennie Isbell, Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer J. Brent Bill, Mind the Light: Learning to See With Spiritual Eyes J. Brent Bill and Beth A. Booram, Awaken Your Senses: Exercises for Exploring the Wonder of God J. Brent Bill, Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment J. Brent Bill, Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love: Four Essentials for the Abundant Life T. Canby Jones, George Fox's Attitude Toward War Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion John Greenleaf Whittier, The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: A Reader's Edition Thomas Merton, Day of a Stranger Patricia Klein et al., Just as We Were: A Nostalgic Look at Growing Up Born Again Episode 86: Beauty, Truth, Life, Love — and Holy Silence: A Conversation with J. Brent Bill (Part Two) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall Date Recorded: December 3, 2019
Dr. Robert J. Wicks: The Tao of Ordinary Silence (Part One)
February 6, 2020 • 1951 MIN
Dr. Robert Wicks is professor emeritus of Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University Maryland, a prolific author, and an internationally-known speaker on topics such as spirituality, mindfulness, self-care, and stress management. His many books include Everyday Simplicity: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Growth, Perspective: The Calm Within the Storm, Night Call: Embracing Compassion and Hope in a Troubled World, and his latest, The Tao of Ordinariness: Humility and Simplicity in a Narcissistic Age.  Note: This is part one of a two-part interview. To listen to part two, click here. Dr. Wicks received his doctorate in Psychology from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital. According to his website, his "major area of expertise is the prevention of secondary stress which encompasses the pressures encountered in reaching out to others.  He integrates sound psychology and basic spiritual truths to set the stage for profound personal transformation.  He has cultivated this experience through research and clinical practice with psychotherapists, physicians, nurses, educators, relief workers, lawyers, corporate executives and persons in full-time ministry." Dr. Wicks joined the Encountering Silence team on Skype to share his thoughts on the sacred place where spirituality and mental health meet — and the vital place for silence in that nexus. Author Dr Robert Wicks, Ellicott City, MD   Some of the resources and authors we mention in these episodes: Robert J. Wicks, Riding the Dragon: 10 Lessons for Inner Strength in Challenging Times Robert J. Wicks, Everyday Simplicity: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Growth Robert J. Wicks, Perspective: The Calm Within the Storm Robert J. Wicks, Night Call: Embracing Compassion and Hope in a Troubled World Robert J. Wicks, The Tao of Ordinariness: Humility and Simplicity in a Narcissistic Age.  Henri Nouwen, The Spiritual Life Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation Dalai Lama, A Profound Mind: Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith Episode 87: The Tao of Ordinary Silence: A Conversation with Dr. Robert J. Wicks (Part One) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Cassidy Hall, Carl McColman Date Recorded: December 9, 2019
Dr. Robert J. Wicks: The Tao of Ordinary Silence (Part Two)
February 12, 2020 • 1397 MIN
Dr. Robert Wicks is professor emeritus of Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University Maryland, a prolific author, and an internationally-known speaker on topics such as spirituality, mindfulness, self-care, and stress management. His many books include Everyday Simplicity: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Growth, Perspective: The Calm Within the Storm, Night Call: Embracing Compassion and Hope in a Troubled World, and his latest, The Tao of Ordinariness: Humility and Simplicity in a Narcissistic Age.  I think that anytime we can get together and speak about something that is so important as silence, it really is worth the effort, isn't it? — Robert J. Wicks Note: this is part two of a two-part interview. To listen to part one, click here. Dr. Wicks received his doctorate in Psychology from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital. According to his website, his "major area of expertise is the prevention of secondary stress which encompasses the pressures encountered in reaching out to others.  He integrates sound psychology and basic spiritual truths to set the stage for profound personal transformation.  He has cultivated this experience through research and clinical practice with psychotherapists, physicians, nurses, educators, relief workers, lawyers, corporate executives and persons in full-time ministry." People say "Well, I can't seem to sense God." Well, you're too busy in your head thinking. If you look at the energy in a city and experience it; if you're in a quiet place in the forest and you hear the birds that you've never heard, you're hearing the voice of God. The problem is, you're not listening — you're hearing, but you're not listening. — Robert J. Wicks Dr. Wicks joined the Encountering Silence team on Skype to share his thoughts on the sacred place where spirituality and mental health meet — and the vital place for silence in that nexus. Some of the resources and authors we mention in these episodes: Robert J. Wicks, The Tao of Ordinariness: Humility and Simplicity in a Narcissistic Age Robert J. Wicks, After 50: Spiritually Embracing Your Own Wisdom Years Robert J. Wicks, Heartstorming: Creating a Place God Can Call Home Robert J. Wicks and Robert M. Hamma, A Circle of Friends: Encountering the Caring Voices in Your Life Billy Collins, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems Robert Lax, Poems (1962-1997) Thomas Merton, Collected Poems of Thomas Merton S. T. Georgiou, The Way of the Dreamcatcher: Spirit Lessons with Robert Lax Michael N. McGregor, Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax Cassidy Hall (director), Day of a Stranger Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son Karl Barth, Encounters with Silence Episode 88: The Tao of Ordinary Silence: A Conversation with Dr. Robert J. Wicks (Part Two) Hosted by: Kevin Johnson With: Cassidy Hall, Carl McColman Date Recorded: December 9, 2019
Therese Schroeder-Sheker: Silence, Music, and Death (Part One)
February 18, 2020 • 2959 MIN
Silence takes many forms: silent prayer, the silence of meditation and contemplation, the silence of the wilderness and the desert, the relationship between silence and creativity or silence and politics. Silence also shapes and informs one of the great mysteries of life: the mystery of death. Norman Lockwood was trying to teach me about fasting from sound, that helped cleanse both my inner life and the sensoria. And that set the stage for the possibility of being able to hear something new, as a composer or as a performing artist. — Therese Schroeder-Sheker Harpist, singer and composer Therese Schroeder-Sheker has devoted her life to exploring this greatest silence of all, through more than forty years of clinical experience serving the physical and spiritual needs of the dying with prescriptive music. Ms. Schroeder-Sheker founded the palliative medical modality of music-thanatology and The Chalice of Repose Project, the first music-thanatology organization in the world.  Her beautiful and award-winning recordings include The Queen’s Minstrel, Rosa Mystica, and The Geography of the Soul. She is the author of Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World. As the title of that book suggests, her work has a contemplative dimension that explores how music can be a gift to those who are dying or in hospice or palliative care. This is part one of a two-part episode. Part two will be released next week. Some of the resources and authors we mention in these episodes: Therese Schroeder-Sheker, The Geography of the Soul (the beautiful music in this podcast comes from this album, and is presented to you by permission of Therese Schroeder-Sheker) Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World Therese Schroeder-Sheker, The Queen’s Minstrel Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Rosa Mystica Therese Schroeder-Sheker, In Dulci Jubilo Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Celebrant: Historical Harp Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Chalice of Repose: A Contemplative Musician's Approach to Death and Dying (VHS) Norman Lockwood, Carol Fantasy for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (Sheet Music) Gustav Mahler, Complete Edition Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus, Come Forth! E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered Episode 89: Silence, Music, and Death: A Conversation with Therese Schroeder-Sheker (Part One) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Therese Schroeder-Sheker Date Recorded: December 17, 2019 Featured Image: Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash.
Therese Schroeder-Sheker: Silence, Music, and Death (Part Two)
February 25, 2020 • 1728 MIN
Silence takes many forms: silent prayer, the silence of meditation and contemplation, the silence of the wilderness and the desert, the relationship between silence and creativity or silence and politics. Silence also shapes and informs one of the great mysteries of life: the mystery of death. This is part two of a two-part episode. To listen to part one, click here. Photo credits: ©Lynn Johnson, all rights reserved, used by permission.   Harpist, singer and composer Therese Schroeder-Sheker has devoted her life to exploring this greatest silence of all, through more than forty years of clinical experience serving the physical and spiritual needs of the dying with prescriptive music. Ms. Schroeder-Sheker founded the palliative medical modality of music-thanatology and The Chalice of Repose Project, the first music-thanatology organization in the world.  Her beautiful and award-winning recordings include The Queen’s Minstrel, Rosa Mystica, and The Geography of the Soul. She is the author of Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World. As the title of that book suggests, her work has a contemplative dimension that explores how music can be a gift to those who are dying or in hospice or palliative care. Some of the resources and authors we mention in these episodes: Therese Schroeder-Sheker, The Geography of the Soul (the beautiful music in this podcast comes from this album, and is presented to you by permission of Therese Schroeder-Sheker) Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World Therese Schroeder-Sheker, The Queen’s Minstrel Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Rosa Mystica Therese Schroeder-Sheker, In Dulci Jubilo Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Celebrant: Historical Harp Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Chalice of Repose: A Contemplative Musician’s Approach to Death and Dying (VHS) Norman Lockwood, Carol Fantasy for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (Sheet Music) Gustav Mahler, Complete Edition Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus, Come Forth! E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered Episode 90: Silence, Music, and Death: A Conversation with Therese Schroeder-Sheker (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Therese Schroeder-Sheker Date Recorded: December 17, 2019 Featured photo: ©Lynn Johnson, all rights reserved, used by permission.
Pádraig Ó Tuama: Silence, Poetry, and Conflict Resolution (Part One)
March 5, 2020 • 1966 MIN
Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and conflict mediator, who brings interests in language, violence and religion to his work. He is the Poet Laureate and Theologian in Residence for the On Being project, and hosts the Poetry Unbound podcast. He was formerly the leader of the Corrymeela Community (Ireland's oldest peace and reconciliation community), and is the author of four books, including Readings from the Book of Exile, Sorry For Your Troubles, In the Shelter: Finding a Home In the World and Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community. This is part one of a two-part episode. Click here to listen to part two. I think that the deepest spiritual practices are the deepest physical practices, and that the deepest practices of silence are an embodied practice. — Pádraig Ó Tuama Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Pádraig Ó Tuama, Readings from the Book of Exile Pádraig Ó Tuama, Sorry For Your Troubles Pádraig Ó Tuama, In the Shelter: Finding a Home In the World Pádraig Ó Tuama, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community Jason Brian Santos, A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Alison Funk, "The Prodigal's Mother Speaks to God" Pádraig Ó Tuama with Carl McColman in Northern Ireland, Summer 2010 Silence has its own power, and silence can be a way of avoiding. I suppose the hope within any kind of practice of prayer of any tradition, is that any silence that we are holding is also being beheld. There's something or someone or some way of that mystery we call God, that beholds us in the silence that we might be beholding for ourselves. — Pádraig Ó Tuama Episode 91: Silence, Poetry, and Conflict Resolution: A Conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama (Part One) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Guest: Pádraig Ó Tuama Date Recorded: February 17, 2020 Featured image: photo by Adam Markon on Unsplash.
Pádraig Ó Tuama: Silence, Poetry, and Conflict Resolution (Part Two)
March 18, 2020 • 2023 MIN
Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and conflict mediator, who brings interests in language, violence and religion to his work. He is the Poet Laureate and Theologian in Residence for the On Being project, and hosts the Poetry Unbound podcast. He was formerly the leader of the Corrymeela Community (Ireland's oldest peace and reconciliation community), and is the author of four books, including Readings from the Book of Exile, Sorry For Your Troubles, In the Shelter: Finding a Home In the World and Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community. In this episode not only does Pádraig share some thoughts of some of his favorite poets and other authors, but he also offers detailed advice for the beginning writer of poetry. This is part two of a two-part episode. To listen to part one, click here. It is mostly poets that I turn to for theology. — Pádraig Ó Tuama Pádraig Ó Tuama with Carl McColman in Northern Ireland, Summer 2010   Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Pádraig Ó Tuama, Readings from the Book of Exile Pádraig Ó Tuama, Sorry For Your Troubles Pádraig Ó Tuama, In the Shelter: Finding a Home In the World Pádraig Ó Tuama, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community Pádraig Ó Tuama, Hymns to Swear By (Album) Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious Marie Howe, Magdalene: Poems Jericho Brown, New Testament Patrick Kavanaugh, Collected Poems Seamus Heaney, 100 Poems Lorna Goodison, Selected Poems Scott MacDougall, More than Communion Ephrem of Syria, Hymns on Paradise Ignatius of Loyola, Personal Writings Augustine of Hippo, Confessions Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love Rumi, The Essential Rumi Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems Sean Hewitt, Lantern Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems Mimi Khalvati, Afterwardness James Baldwin (with Richard Avedon), Nothing Personal Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline Terence McKenna, The Archaic Revival There's something about the space of loneliness and silence in writing something and wondering, 'Will this stand the test of time?' I know poets who won't show a poem to anyone before it's sat for a year, some editing, etc., but that they need it to distill, like whisky, that it needs to have that kind of a quality to it. — Pádraig Ó Tuama Episode 92: Silence, Poetry, and Conflict Resolution: A Conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama (Part Two) Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Guest: Pádraig Ó Tuama Date Recorded: February 17, 2020 Featured image photo by Yves Alarie on Unsplash.
Encountering Silence in Times of Crisis
March 25, 2020 • 2341 MIN
This week the Encountering Silence podcast features just the three of us — Cassidy, Kevin and Carl — reflecting on this extraordinary moment we find ourselves in. Recorded on March 24, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, naturally we are reflecting on the spirituality of silence and solitude while much of the world has embraced the necessity of sheltering-at-home and social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus. But we also recognize that the challenges we are collectively facing during this pandemic could have parallels in almost any crisis situation — any time when life's circumstances present us with situations where we recognize we are not fully in control, we are faced with silence and solitude that may not be of our own choosing, and we are invited to recognize how important it is to embrace our common humanity and relatedness to one another. Silence is all about releasing control, and all about letting go and being, and melting into this vision of unity... this collective common good, this oneness. — Cassidy Hall Carl, Cassidy, and Kevin You've been trained, your whole life, to focus on thinking, words, achievement, doing... so now when you having something like silence and stillness, we don't have places for that in our culture, forced upon you... well, it's a struggle, because you're fighting a habit. — Kevin Johnson Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander St. Benedict, The Rule of Saint Benedict Julian of Norwich, The Showings of Julian of Norwich Blaise Pascal, Pensées and Other Writings The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings The Beatles, "All Together Now," Yellow Submarine The Tao te Ching The Qur'an Kerry Connelly, Good* White Racist: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice Audre Lord, The Collected Poems Sarah Griffith Lund, Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness, Family and Church  Rick Hanson with Richard Mendius, Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom Gerald May, The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need Teilhard de Chardin, The Heart of Matter Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky, Learning to Die: Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous: Pereption and Language in a More-Than-Human World Erazim Kohák, The Embers and the Stars: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Moral Sense of Nature Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry At the end of the episode, Cassidy quotes from the wonderful poem "Stay Home" by Wendell Berry. Here is a recording in which Berry reads his own poem, followed by a musical setting of it, from the CD Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqTYhxMb_Xo Silence and solitude and stillness and contemplation do not exist just to facilitate action. There is a place in which silence and solitude and stillness exist simply because they are good and they are necessary. — Carl McColman Episode 93: Encountering Silence in  Times of Crisis Hosted by: Cassidy Hall With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: March 24, 2020 Featured image: Photo by Amelie & Niklas Ohlrogge on Unsplash.
Christine Valters Paintner: Wild Silence and the Cloister of the Earth (Part One)
April 3, 2020 • 1899 MIN
Christine Valters Paintner is the online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery offering programs and resources on contemplative practice and creative expression. She is the author of thirteen books on monasticism and creativity, including her most recent Earth, Our Original Monastery and her second collection of poems forthcoming this fall, The Wisdom of Wild Grace. This is part one of a two part episode. To listen to part two, click here. Earth is the place where we learn our most fundamental prayers, hear the call of the wild arising at dawn to awaken us to a new day, participate in the primal liturgy of praise unfolding all around us, and experience the wisdom and guidance of the seasons. — Christine Valters Paintner, Earth: Our Original Monastery She leads writing retreats and pilgrimages in Ireland, Scotland, Austria, and Germany and online retreats at her website AbbeyoftheArts.com, living out her commitment as a Benedictine Oblate in Galway, Ireland, with her husband, John. Christine returns to Encountering Silence (click here to listen to her previous interview with us, from 2018) bringing her warm, wise and inclusive spirituality which encompasses deep contemplation with an inspiring commitment to creative expression. Everything in creation becomes a catalyst for my deepened self-understanding. The forest asks me to embrace my truth once again. The hummingbird invites me to sip holy nectar, the egret to stretch out my wings, the sparrows to remember my flock. Each pine cone contains an epiphany; each smooth stone offers a revelation. I watch and witness as the sun slowly makes her long arc across the sky and discover my own rising and falling. The moon will sing of quiet miracles, like those which reveal and conceal the world every day right before our eyes.  — Christine Valters Paintner, Earth: Our Original Monastery Some of the Resources and Authors We Mention In This Episode: Christine Valters Paintner, Earth, Our Original Monastery: Cultivating Wonder and Gratitude through Intimacy with Nature Christine Valters Paintner, The Wisdom of Wild Grace: Poems Christine Valters Paintner, The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom; Christine Valters Paintner, The Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice; Christine Valters Paintner, The Wisdom of the Body: A Contemplative Journey to Wholeness for Women; Christine Valters Paintner, The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred. Christine Valters Paintner, Dreaming of Stones: Poems Christine Valters Paintner, Lectio Divina: The Sacred Art The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings The Psalms David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous: Pereption and Language in a More-Than-Human World Sr. Corita Kent, Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation David Whyte, River Flow: New and Selected Poems Helen Waddell, tr., Beasts and Saints Francis and Clare, The Complete Works Julian of Norwich, The Showings of Julian of Norwich Episode 94: Wild Silence and the Cloister of the Earth: A Conversation with Christine Valters Paintner (Part One) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: March 30, 2020 Featured photo credit: Kilmacduagh Monastery photograph by Carl McColman, copyright 2002.
Christine Valters Paintner: Wild Silence and the Cloister of the Earth (Part Two)
April 6, 2020 • 1370 MIN
Our conversation with Christine Valters Paintner concludes with this episode. Christine is the online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery offering programs and resources on contemplative practice and creative expression. She is the author of thirteen books on monasticism and creativity, including her most recent Earth, Our Original Monastery and her second collection of poems forthcoming this fall, The Wisdom of Wild Grace. Wild, for me, is breaking beyond the confines of the limits of our imagination... wild, for me, is a doorway into this more expansive image of the Divine... wild, for me, is this understanding of the great Mystery that is. You can't commodify wild or mystery, you can't define it; this gift of wildness also asks us to access our intuitive knowing and our embodied knowing, as well. — Christine Valters Paintner She leads writing retreats and pilgrimages in Ireland, Scotland, Austria, and Germany and online retreats at her website AbbeyoftheArts.com, living out her commitment as a Benedictine Oblate in Galway, Ireland, with her husband, John. Christine returns to Encountering Silence (click here to listen to her previous interview with us, from 2018) bringing her warm, wise and inclusive spirituality which encompasses deep contemplation with an inspiring commitment to creative expression. This is part two of a two part episode. Click here to listen to part one. Some of the Resources and Authors We Mention In This Episode: Christine Valters Paintner, Earth, Our Original Monastery: Cultivating Wonder and Gratitude through Intimacy with Nature Christine Valters Paintner, The Wisdom of Wild Grace: Poems Christine Valters Paintner, The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom; Christine Valters Paintner, The Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice; Christine Valters Paintner, The Wisdom of the Body: A Contemplative Journey to Wholeness for Women; Christine Valters Paintner, The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred. Christine Valters Paintner, Dreaming of Stones: Poems Christine Valters Paintner, Lectio Divina: The Sacred Art Evelyn Underhill, The Letters of Evelyn Underhill C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poems and Prose The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings The Psalms Episode 95: Wild Silence and the Cloister of the Earth: A Conversation with Christine Valters Paintner (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Date Recorded: March 30, 2020 Featured image photo credit: Burren/Seashore Photo by Gabriel Ramos on Unsplash.
Mike Morrell: Silence in the Divine Dance (Part One)
April 16, 2020 • 2633 MIN
Mike Morrell may be best known as the collaborating author, with Richard Rohr, of The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation. Mike was involved with the founding of the Wild Goose Festival, a justice, arts and spirituality gathering that takes place each July in western North Carolina; he is also the founder of the Wisdom Camp, which takes place each year just before the Wild Goose. Mike curates contemplative and community experiences through programs such as Relational Skills and ReWilder, wherein he joyfully holds the space for the extraordinary transformation that can take place at the intersection of anticipation, imagination, and radical acceptance. Mike lives with his wife and two daughters in Asheville, North Carolina. To learn more about Mike’s ongoing exploration of Spirit, Culture, and Permaculture, visit his blog at MikeMorrell.org.  Going with these possibilities of different stages of consciousness, it might very well be that what grates against me initially really has a gift in there for me if I stick to it. That's what I experience when I continue to return to that interior silence in order to experience the fellowship of God and the communion of saints. — Mike Morrell There are many different qualities of silence, as we all know — there's the awkward silences, the uncomfortable silences... and then there's a silence of unconditional presence and spacious regard, the possibility of anything happening. — Mike Morrell This is part one of a two-part episode. Click here to listen to part two. Some of the Resources and Authors We Mention In This Episode: Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God Jeanne Guyon, Selected Writings Miguel de Molinos, The Spiritual Guide François Fenelon, The Complete Fenelon Carl McColman, Embracing Jesus and the Goddess Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir Spencer Burke, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable Thomas Keating, Open Mind Open Heart N.T. Wright, For All God's Worth Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire Gareth Higgins, How Movies Helped Save My Soul Don Milam, The Ancient Language of Eden: Rediscovering the Original Language of Jesus: Love, Grace, and Mercy Cynthia Bourgeault, The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three G. I. Gurdjieff, Meetings with Remarkable Men William Paul Young, The Shack Michael W. Smith, Freedom Wynonna Judd, Coming Home to Myself Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light Margaret Barker, Temple Mysticism: An Introduction Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything We're supposed to be ministers of reconciliation, you know, but sometimes I think we rush to that before we even know what it means, because our consciousness is not keeping up with our vocabulary. I think so many religious folks have very lofty vocabulary but without the consciousness, the being, the heart cultivated, that can become a very dangerous weapon. — Mike Morrell Episode 96: Silence in the Divine Dance: A Conversation with Mike Morrell (Part One) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Mike Morrell Date Recorded: April 7, 2020
Mike Morrell: Silence in the Divine Dance (Part Two)
April 20, 2020 • 2379 MIN
Mike Morrell may be best known as the collaborating author, with Richard Rohr, of The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation. Mike was involved with the founding of the Wild Goose Festival, a justice, arts and spirituality gathering that takes place each July in western North Carolina; he is also the founder of the Wisdom Camp, which takes place each year just before the Wild Goose. This is the second part of our conversation with Mike. To hear the first part, click here. Mike curates contemplative and community experiences through programs such as Relational Skills and ReWilder, wherein he joyfully holds the space for the extraordinary transformation that can take place at the intersection of anticipation, imagination, and radical acceptance. Mike lives with his wife and two daughters in Asheville, North Carolina. To learn more about Mike’s ongoing exploration of Spirit, Culture, and Permaculture, visit his blog at MikeMorrell.org.  For me, the choice to be trinitarian is actually to be the most inclusive possible of the many sedimentary layers of our spiritual past... the trinity is a way of saying that unity is not uniformity, oneness is not conformity. — Mike Morrell Most of our religious discussions are taking place in an eyeblink of geological time. That's not to invalidate them, but it is to give them a certain healthy sense of proportion and humility. — Mike Morrell Some of the Resources and Authors We Mention In This Episode: Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together Alexander John Shaia, Heart and Mind Carl G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See Rob Bell, Love Wins G. I. Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson Joseph Aziz, Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, and Exercises Edgar Allan Poe, Collected Works Rumi, The Essential Rumi David Whyte, River Flow: New and Selected Poems "Secrets," the poem Mike read, is by Simona Chitescu Weik. Connect with her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/simonaisabella/ Episode 97: Silence in the Divine Dance: A Conversation with Mike Morrell (Part Two) Hosted by: Carl McColman With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson Guest: Mike Morrell Date Recorded: April 7, 2020
In Pursuit of Silence, Earth Day, and the Dawn Chorus (Episode 98)
April 22, 2020 • 42 MIN
Patrick Shen returns to the podcast to talk about Earth Day, filmaking, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kathleen Norris: Silence, Acedia, and Pandemic (Part One)
May 11, 2020 • 35 MIN
Our returning guest, Kathleen Norris, is an award-winning poet, writer, and author of numerous books.
Kathleen Norris: Silence, Acedia, and Pandemic (Part Two)
May 21, 2020 • 29 MIN
The conclusion of Kathleen Norris's second conversation with Encountering Silence.
Kerry Connelly: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part One)
May 25, 2020 • 31 MIN
Author Kerry Connelly discusses the silence embedded in white privilege and systemic racism. First of two parts.
Kerry Connelly: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part Two)
June 1, 2020 • 29 MIN
This episode continues our conversation with blogger/activist Kerry Connelly.
Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD: Silence, the Disinherited, and the Wisdom of Howard Thurman for Our Time
June 9, 2020 • 74 MIN
Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown returns to the podcast to share more wisdom about Howard Thurman.
Kaitlin Curtice: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture (Part One)
June 16, 2020 • 29 MIN
Kaitlin B. Curtice is the author of Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God. Part 1 of a 2-part interview.
Kaitlin Curtice: Silence, Faith, and Indigenous Culture (Part Two)
June 22, 2020 • 31 MIN
The conclusion of our interview with author Kaitlin B. Curtice.
Sarah Lund: Silence and Mental Illness in the Church (Part One)
July 6, 2020 • 32 MIN
Sarah Griffith Lund shares her expertise on mental health issues concerning the clergy. First of two parts.
Sarah Lund: Silence and Mental Health in the Church (Part Two)
July 20, 2020 • 29 MIN
The conclusion of our interview with Dr. Sarah Lund.
Dr. Leah Gunning Francis: Silence, Ferguson, and Faith (Part One)
August 3, 2020 • 32 MIN
Part one of our conversation with Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, author of "Ferguson and Faith."
Dr. Leah Gunning Francis: Silence, Ferguson, and Faith (Part Two)
August 18, 2020 • 35 MIN
Part 2 of our conversation with Dr. Leah Gunning Francis.
Paul Quenon, OCSO: Silence, Poetry and Monastic Wisdom (Part One)
September 9, 2020 • 30 MIN
Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO, Trappist monk, poet, and photographerm, returns to share his humble, joyful wisdom.
Paul Quenon, OCSO: Silence, Poetry and Monastic Wisdom (Part Two)
September 15, 2020 • 26 MIN
Brother Paul Quenon, OCSO, concludes his conversation with us recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jim Forest: Silence, Protest, and Radical Love (Part One)
September 22, 2020 • 37 MIN
Part 1 of our conversation with returning guest Jim Forest: noted author, biographer, peacemaker, and friend.
Jim Forest: Silence, Protest, and Radical Love (Part Two)
September 29, 2020 • 31 MIN
We conclude our conversation with returning guest, author/biographer/peacemaker Jim Forest.
Rick Hanson: Silence, Buddhism and the Brain
October 6, 2020 • 50 MIN
A conversation with New York Times bestselling author Rick Hanson, PhD.
Cynthia Bourgeault: Silence and the Imaginal Realm (Part One)
October 13, 2020 • 45 MIN
Cynthia Bourgeault returns to Encountering Silence to discuss her new book, Eye of the Heart. Part one of a two-part interview.
Cynthia Bourgeault: Silence and the Imaginal Realm (Part Two)
October 20, 2020 • 40 MIN
Part Two of Our 2020 Conversation with Cynthia Bourgeault.