Looking up, I knew this was a moment to behold. Across the living room from me sat Jim Forest, laughing among friends while in Toronto for the first annual Voices For Peace conference. The 76-year-old peace-activist, author, storyteller, and lover of humanity was frozen in a moment of pure joy. I grabbed my camera … More The Tireless Pursuit of Peace
(This will be among the many essays featured in the forthcoming book Notes on Silence that I’m co-authoring with Patrick Shen which can be purchased here.) “…I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone…” Rainer Maria Rilke I was around 8 years old when I began to have reoccurring dreams about … More The Uncertainty of Silence
“My dishonesty with myself and others hinders the honesty of all humanity, hinders the progress of all people.” Journal entry on 2/12/12 In 2012 I made the decision to let go of some certainty in my life for the sake of exploring something unknown. I quit my job. I quit my salary-paying, insurance-giving job full of security … More When Letting Go Is Holding On
“A cricket chirped in the monastery’s library. That and the swish of a turned page, Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation,” was about it for sound. Cassidy Hall stopped on page 81. Merton did not write on the absence of sound on that page but the abyss of solitude in the soul: “You do not … More “Cassidy Hall found silence in an Iowa monastery and brought her discoveries to a new documentary” Des Moines Register
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” Albert Camus I’ve had a disdain for winter for as long … More Embracing Winter
The towering redwoods of northern California have always mystified me. I’m constantly swept away with awe and wonder, as if I’ve rewinded my life back into childhood. With my gaze upward and my mouth wide open, I oooo and ahhhh at the way the light shines through the endless towers, the great elevated heights of … More Redwoods, Give Me A Word.
Listening to the voice of my heart has never come easy for me. I’m usually quick to assume a present feeling is final, an agony is forever, or that all of my questions should have answers and answers NOW. … More The Voice of the Heart
As originally posted on Huffington Post and Patheos: “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving.” Bell Hooks This time, after jumping in my car, no maps were necessary as I navigated my way towards New Mellerary Abbey for the 10th time since 2011. Maybe I had gone enough times to know my way, … More When Doing Nothing is Doing Everything