• Unfamiliar Flavors: How Coffee and NLP can help you integrate spiritual experiences into your everyday life.

    Have you ever had an “ineffable” experience?… Something that seemed transcendent and important, but left you unable to talk about it or perhaps even see how it connects to the rest of your life? Or would you like to? Enjoy this first podcast.  It is a workshop in which I help people experience how and practice things they can do things to integrate aspects of spiritual or profound experiences into their everyday lives. This workshop was part of the free day of NLP in Austin TX.   It is designed so people of any or no faith can fully participate and learn.  Enjoy the workshop and stay in touch. Contact me…

  • Being Moved: praying our resentment instead of harboring it

    There are very few vices I have encountered as much in my own life – and in the lives of the people I have listened to and prayed with – as much as I have encountered resentment. What other of my own shortcomings have I nurtured and even protected like I do my grudges? Ever hear of anyone harboring gluttony or greed? Resentment seems to hold a very precious place in a lot of our lives and after a few years of trying to deal with it personally I think I have finally begun to understand why: It is delicious.

  • Being Moved: from busy-ness, to awareness, by love. Ash Wednesday

    Have you ever wondered where the ashes form Ash Wednesday come from? In truth, it actually depends on the tradition of your local church (and how organized your priest or pastor is), but traditionally it is prescribed that the ashes used on Ash Wednesday are the burned up palm leaves from Palm Sunday the previous year. Palm Sunday is the most foliaged Sunday in the liturgical year unless you are one of those churches that goes absolutely nutso with the army of Christmas trees and sea of poinsettias. Even so, Palm Sunday remains the Sunday where Christians go waving flora around the sanctuary. The sight always strikes me as comical, the…

  • An Untimely Eulogy for the Outpatient Monk’s Biggest Fan.

    In the back of my mind I have very passively been making two very big assumptions about my world. 1) That’ there will one day be a L’Arche community in Austin Texas for me to one day be a part of and 2) That Dianne would probably be the very first assistant at that community and that, like me, she would finally find her true home at L’Arche as well. Dianne was also, without question, the biggest fan of the Outpatient Monk blog and this will probably be the first post since I started writing that wont be read by her letter for letter. Dianne died tragically yesterday and this…

  • The Discipline of Joy: Reasons to keep feasting when you just don’t feel like it. 

    This year, my experience of the holidays was…. not ideal. In short: I just stayed sick most the time.  I ended up in bed on Thanksgiving, on Christmas and again on Epiphany.  And while I had to cancel my normal plans to stay by myself in a cabin at the State Park for Christmas, I did have some good friends who at least managed to haul my feeble body to church for Christmas eve services.  I spent most of Christmas day with the blankets up to my chin and 30 Rock on Netflix.  I could have stayed there in bed all day, occasionally checking for signs of life on FaceBook…

  • Ancient LifeHack: Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy

     The change of seasons may be slow and subtle in Austin, but the transition from summer to, well, an equally-as-hot-Autumn still inspires making some changes. After a lot of thinking I have decided to cut my job, not quit, just cut. Between working my “normal” 40 hours a week job and doing to personal and freelance work, I find I am busy, too busy, and that busy-ness has become my spirituality.

  • One More Wall of Angels: Lent and the Death of Fred Phelps

      There are few men in the popular media in recent years that have been as easy to hate as Fred Phelps.   His tactics and behavior, if not his convictions alone, have been sufficient to offend both right and left and everyone in between.   His name has become synonymous with hatred. The news of his impending death seem to come as good new on the social media and curated media outlets I follow.   And without any hint of surprise there are threats, commentary and speculation of returning, in kind, the protests and disdain Fred Phelps inflicted on so many other families. It is both as a gay…

  • Holding Christians to their Own Light: Nonviolence and hope in Arizona’s “Turn the Gay Away,” Laws

    I try to be careful about which hot culture issues I write about for this blog as it usually take about 20 minutes before everyone on my FaceBook news feed stops caring about which Buzzfeed quiz you are, how what “Miley did was shocking BUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT will change you forever,” or, “Twerking and what it means to me.”.   So I don’t mean to fan the flames that bore you but since I have two dogs in this particular dog fight there is something I need to say. I don’t find these laws very terrifying as I think they won’t hold muster to higher courts and I don’t…

  • Grace, Race, and Peace: Admitting there is a problem is the first step to getting help.

    The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, or so I have been told by those who specialize in treating addiction. What they also tell me is that the correlative is true: the the greater investment we make in denial, the more the addiction feeds itself. I was raised, as many in American were to believe that racism is a bad thing. But I was also raised to believe that racism is only a limited description of mean and ill intended choices that one person could, but should not, make. Therefore it was pretty easy for me to agree that being racist is bad, because it was…

  • Making room for Christ with Dorothy Day

    This post is a reflection on Dorothy Day’s classic advent writing…Room for Christ by Dorothy Day Dorothy Day has a way of hacking into our sophisticated means of cushioning the incarnation, doesn’t she? There is little that we, including me, would love more than to believe that Christmas is something that we simply need to remember. Wouldn’t it be nice to say that Christmas was a thing that happened in a different era; “The Bible Times,” as we like to say. It was a thing that happened and it has meaning for us today. And isn’t that lovely and worth commemorating with pageantry and especially crafts and baking. We have…