A Monkish Friendship: Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO (1940-2020)

“The monastic night watch is good practice in the art of waiting, as we patiently look for the coming of dawn. Monks and nuns wait in the dark, longing for the light of dawn but unable to hasten its coming. No one can force the dawn or bring it about in any way. It dawnsContinue reading “A Monkish Friendship: Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO (1940-2020)”

The Absurd Vocation

“One person plus one typewriter constitutes a movement.” –Pauli Murray Coming off a week-long class on activism, organizing and social movements in Durham, North Carolina (and my first full year of seminary at CTS), I climb back into the quiet walls of a Kentucky monastery: Gethsemani Abbey. Here, the silence seeps into my bones likeContinue reading “The Absurd Vocation”

The Single Garment of Destiny

“…I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly,Continue reading “The Single Garment of Destiny”

Carl McColman Interviews Cassidy Hall

How did you get inspired to create a film about Thomas Merton and his hermitage?

Notes on Silence… is here!

Many of you know I’ve been working on co-authoring a book with Patrick Shen. We lovingly titled the work Notes on Silence based on our extensive deep-dive into studying silence over the last four years. It includes nearly 300 pages of original essays, images, quotes, notes, and transcripts from the silence experts featured in the documentary film, In PursuitContinue reading “Notes on Silence… is here!”

Encounters with Silence – Thomas Merton’s Hermitage

To go seeking for something which cannot be sought. To go on looking for something which cannot be found. To attempt to do something which cannot be done.

The Uncertainty of Silence

(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 aboutContinue reading “The Uncertainty of Silence”

The Encountering Silence Podcast is Here!

Many of you know I’ve begun recording a podcast with my dear friends, fellow writers and thinkers, Carl McColman and Kevin M. Johnson. They’ve focused on silence and contemplative studies for years via writing, speaking, and personal practice. We’re finally on iTunes sharing our podcast with the world. It’s titled Encountering Silence because of the way silence isContinue reading “The Encountering Silence Podcast is Here!”

When Letting Go Is Holding On

“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 securityContinue reading “When Letting Go Is Holding On”

“Cassidy Hall found silence in an Iowa monastery and brought her discoveries to a new documentary” Des Moines Register

“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 notContinue reading ““Cassidy Hall found silence in an Iowa monastery and brought her discoveries to a new documentary” Des Moines Register”