It has been over two weeks since I've posted to this blog -- and in the blogosphere, two weeks is an eternity! One of my fellow bloggers, Jon
, sent me an email from his cat Talbot, expressing concern about my absence. I am fine, I've just been busy. Among other things I was preparing for two workshops I facilitated this past weekend for a retreat called "Journey of Body, Mind, Spirit." I was deeply honored to be asked by my church, St. Luke's Episcopal
in Atlanta, to do a workshop on Embodied Prayer, incorporating forms of prayer from both the Christian and Sufi traditions.
In a way, this weekend brought me around full circle. When I joined St. Luke's in 1994, I began to learn about the wonderful mystics of the Christian tradition: Hildegard von Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, and others, including the anonymous authors of The Cloud of Unknowing
and The Way of a Pilgrim
. I was urged by one of the priests at St. Luke's to not just read the Christian mystics, but to read the Sufi mystics also. I also visited a monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit
on several occasions for spiritual direction, and he too urged me to read the Sufi mystics. Thus began my journey into the Sufi tradition. It was truly a blessing to be able to share that journey with my friends from St. Luke's, where the journey began.
I'll write more about that journey in the near future. I wrote about how these two traditions, the Episcopal and the Sufi, have helped to heal my image of Jesus, in a recently-published article called No Longer Judge: Jesus as Healer
. You can read the article online at the Gay Spirituality & Culture Blog
My friend Carl McColman (whose Website of Unknowing
is a great introduction to the Christian mystics) has started an extended study of the mystics called 77 Mystics in 77 Months
. I've already started reading Origen, the mystic for February, and plan to join the online discussion at Carl's blog. Feel free to join us!