Saturday, April 30, 2005

Getting Out Of Town!

Tomorrow at 4:00 PM I fly out of Melbourne to Singapore, and then on to London for two days, then finally to Assisi for a three week conference on St. Francis. Hopefully I will be learning much and teaching a little, mainly on Thomas Merton and some connections between Francis and the best of the Benedictine tradition.

If I were a better ascetic I would not take the iBook, not have checked out internet cafes in Assisi, not planned to keep in touch with the world around the campus while across the world, but I am not. A trip like this is too good not to be shared!

I was in Assisi two years ago for a week and it was wonderful. I am suspicious when people talk about places that are “holy,” but Assisi is a special place by any definition: I walked into the little church that Francis rebuilt, and where Clare died, knelt to pray, and thanksgiving exploded out of me like fireworks. That holy place enabled me to see again how many places are holy. I am looking forward to this trip.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

On Refitting my Rule of Life

My life is pretty well balanced at present. I need to eat better, exercise more, take care of time, use money a bit better; but I am well placed to make a few changes that can make more differences. This all relates to rethinking and renewing my own rule of life; and I have been thinking about the head-heart-gut-groin connections lately: how to honour and balance between ideas, feelings, convictions, and desires. Here is some fairly rough-draft thinking in process.

There are four places to focus:

Head/Mind: how I see, articulate, and meet the world both inside and outside my head. Here are the ways I connect intellectually, with myself and with the others I meet in history and community: where I put the framework of ideas and images so that the world co-inheres, hangs together. I learned to do this first as an undergraduate in American Studies at UC Davis in the mid-seventies; then sharpened it up when I was at seminary and worked on a rule of life for the first time. It’s a good exercise: to have a coherent and articulate paradigm on what matters and how to live life - and to relate, sharpen, live with, these theories in daily life, so that the rubber meets the road.

Heart/Feelings: has to do with how I affectively connect, enjoy, love, relate and respect the “others” in the world: the people I am related to, live with, work for, deal with; avoid or enjoy. Animals, vegetables and minerals belong in the category; Thanks God for two cats I know well who keep me more human and lively. But this also is the place where I notice, relate, give thanks for weather, trees and flowers, the noisy world of insects and birds. Lately, driving the Eastern Freeway makes me gulp my breath with the amazing exhibits of geology in the place where I live. How much I learn and enjoy in living in Australia! But do I give thanks, enjoy, make love and do right by the world I am connected to? My relationship with my own body fits here as well the bodies of others, the corporate body, the body of believers ( and of belief) as well.

Gut/Convictions: how I stand up for what I believe is important in the area of ethics and values. How I treat my neighbour and live my life: issues of honesty, justice, community. Robert Egan SJ, who was my spiritual director for much of the 1980s and 90s, used to say, “How uncomfortable do you let yourself be for the new creation?” How eagerly do you work for the children of God to be revealed? How wakeful am I to see good works done, people treated well, helped to heal and grow? How much do I put my energy, time, money and life on that line?

Groin/Desire. Not just looking for somewhere to plant individual seeds for future harvest, and not just the erotic need to connect physically - though all that is an important part of it - but honouring the whole constellation of that in me (and others) that longs for connection, conversion, growth and community in the deepest desires of life. This is the place where dreams, poetry, radical yens can turn us around and send us towards a new way and a new set of relationships. It can often be found in the realm of the artistic, creative, symbolic, like music that sets us singing and dancing – it doesn’t have to say much at all, but the images and ideas that make our whole lives come together in a new way.

Writing this out, I see how the inter-relationship between the parts is integral, they cannot be separated, although they each have some distinct areas that are helpful to look at individually. Once again it is the balancing of the whole, bigger than belief, constellation called life. Like Zen’s finger pointing at the moon. Not the thing itself; but helpful.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Contemplative Space

Yesterday Laurence Freeman gave a talk on prayer at La Trobe. We had around 40 people, mainly staff and although the numbers weren’t huge, the quality of the gathering was wonderful. One staff member wrote this morning to say that, “the talk was clear, crisp, precise - absolutely every word was carefully selected, and the whole was inspired by a great spirit,” and that’s right to the point. There were a couple of students who were talking to Freeman afterwards about how their experience of Tibetan Buddhism opened them to a deeper return to Christian roots. Also a guy that was asking whether Jesus was universal or unique. Two wide ways of being in the room yesterday: whether you are there for doctrinal truth or to deepen and enlarge the place where you encounter some face of sacred truth.

Freeman said something interesting on the uniqueness of Jesus. Quoting the tail end of Matthew where Jesus welcomes people who served him in the hungry, sick, lonely, imprisoned; he made the point that the people who Jesus welcomes into his presence for serving him in these people – that these people didn’t know him. And it didn’t matter to Jesus, he was glad to see them because they did the stuff he saw as important: walked the walk, rather than just talking the talk.

Two things hit me here. The unhealthy preoccupation of some folks in churches with statements of belief rather than deeds and actions; and whether I am too much a talker and not enough of a doer. Though maybe that’s part of my “cross,” that I talk a better game than I live. “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach!” has a lot of truth to it. But even the old singing teacher who has little voice left has her function, her unfinished ministry, and that might be enough.

Anyway, back to basics, judge not.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I believe in God, but does God believe in me?

That is from the Leonard Bernstein Mass written in memory of John F. Kennedy in the late 60s, and maybe it dates me – as it should – but I still think the question is a good and important one. Does God believe in me? Because if God CAN believe in me, then that says something about how particularly and intimately the universe is “hitched up” together, as John Muir put it.

It is one thing to allow the chance that there’s a watchmaker out there, winding it up and setting it on the mantle; but to take the chance that we – each of us – in threaded through with the same sanctity, the same spirit, that there is an analogy of being between us and the creative centre of the whole thing. And more than this: that we might be of great value, being made, cherished and named out of some deep and intimate love. That is a different cosmology entirely.

I’ve said it before: a god is anything that offers a blessing and asks for a sacrifice, the civilised world is crowded with them. But still, the question that calls me into both deeper solitude and more intentional community, making me sometimes less comfortable and usually a better neighbor, is this: what if God can come that close, moment by moment, over time and space, here and now?

Enough of weighty theologies! I am writing this in Caffeine, the coffee house in the centre of the Agora at La Trobe. Inside people are lining up for coffee, and sitting reading, writing, and in conversation. There is a buzz of voices, some laughter, a voice asking, “Can I help anybody? Who’s next?” And if I look around carefully, seeing only what is in front of me, but looking with as much discernment and care as I can exercise, than the answer is clear. God is here.

Other stuff.

Laurence Freeman will be giving an address here in two hours. I have heard his tapes and read some of his stuff on meditation, very much in the tradition of Merton, Main, the “Centering Prayer” people and so many in the mystical tradition. This very noisy man will be interested in, and needing to hear, his talk on prayer. If you are on campus at 1:00PM, join us at the HUEED lecture theatre.

Monday, April 18, 2005

What do I believe right now?

That there is a cosmic justice that starts things out, finds us in the middle and wins out in the end.

That, in the heart of the cosmos, there is a caring love that finds us in the middle of the road, meets us in the midst of the way, and is involved on the deepest, closest, dearest level: that, in every moment of creation, we are met, nourished and loved.

That this presence, this possibility of relationship, waits for us without power: without, for the most part, lights, cameras or action. That the reality of this relationship is without ordinary power so that we may come into it without compulsion or addiction: it is neither bought nor sold. It waits in silence and in patience for us to stop and listen, waits for the awareness to grow and ripen in us that we are in the presence of ultimate caring and loving reality, right here in the very middle of it.

That there are times and places, people and animals, who bring this ultimate reality of love into daily interaction in our lives. They move, sing, talk, love, like that deeper reality. Thus the infinite God enters the finite world of our interactions. Thus there are poets and prophets and messengers broadcasting on popular channels of our understanding.

That the man Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospels, the Christian Scripture, and 2000 years of Church tradition, is a picture – a kind of full-colour full-sound moving picture – of how that awareness and love moves in the world.

That in a world where there is much that is bent, out of shape, hidden is lies and in shadows, stretched to the point of breaking; in that world a whole man will be broken: but as he is true to that original unity and nurture and love (here it comes!), even if he dies, he will live.

That this world is, in many ways, a pre-limn, a doorway to other modes of life and living, where we may come to see a deeper and more integral understanding of how we are created, connected, related, than we might presently understand.

That we are unable to comprehend these modes of existence and connection, any more than a child can understand the emotional, mental, or physical states of an adult. And that most of the myths found in historical religions are true, poetic and prophetic pictures attempting to articulate where we are headed an what it might look like. That the are all les than accurate.

That all this is a collection of words that falls short of pointing to the ultimate hope that I look for and love, to the best of my ability, every day.

That it is fun to try anyway.

Interest Rates

Last week or the week before I was reading the lessons for the Daily Office and there it was; “You shall not charge interest rates.” A plain and simple prescription in the midst of dietary laws and sexual taboos, gone the way of fabric separation and keeping kosher foods, and I am sort of sad about that. Because so much of the evil, the sinfulness, the treating each other as objects and means to an end, all that comes fr m the idea that we can make profits from one another. It is pretty deeply embedded in everything from our scales of productivity to why and how we assign value to anyone and anything.

In this civilization, at least as lately introduced, we need to make profits, interest, from one another. That’s the bottom line today; we are of interest to one another. The Christian religion makes an economic image one of its central tenets; someone redeeming a broken contract, Christ paid the price of your sinfulness. Jesus takes the charge, picks up the check, on your behalf. It’s his shout, to use the Australian term. In modern economics, he adds value to the product, at least if we are products, and many of us are thinking of ourselves as that.

A lot of popular theology has that element to it as well. We follow Jesus to be better, he makes us whole, adds value to the package. He comes into our brokenness and either fixes us up or restores us back to where we used to be, or up to where we should be: makes us worthy of God. I believe that there is some truth there, however awkwardly the terms might seem in present usage, But there is this thread of adding interest and value, sort of a world-sized self-improvement to it all, that makes Jesus into a kind of cosmic DIY guy who’s fixing it all up to please his absent father, and that saddens me.

Because at the centre of the message that I get from the scripture and tradition is this; we are met, greeted, connected up, found and brought home, even before we get too interesting, even before we have an adequate theory of being lost. That’s the heart of the Gospel for me. God, or the man Jesus, or this inconceivably intimate and cosmic love known as the “spirit,”\ meets us face to face, like the eager father in the story of the prodigal son. She or he’s right there, in our face, first; even before we have put out our rehearsed speech, our canned repentance, our nicely phrased need to articulate that we have strayed from some path and lost our idea of a way – whether a way of self-righteousness, justification, even enough freedom or whatever it may be. Even before – as Eliot puts it: we have “a face to meet the faces that we meet.” He meets us face to face and knows us to be a friend, a child, a whole and counted member of the family. All that before we speak a word.

So, what if we were OK even if we raise interest? What if we didn’t have to buy into any particular theological or historical or economic model? What if God just met us on the way, without any of us having to resort to legalisms of bookkeeping or grace, and welcomed us home? That would be a grace that would be worthy of the name.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sunday Sermon - The Road to Emmaus

One of the interesting facets of a city parish is that on any particular Sunday there are a number of people, newcomers or welcome visitors, who come from somewhere else. At the same time, a certain number of parishioners, friends of the place, people we get used to seeing here, are often away for the weekend; in the mountains, at the sea, in the bush. Sometimes it seems like everybody is on the move! So, when we hear the Gospel for this week it looks like the early apostles are taking the same route, in this case, a trip away from the City for refreshment and renewal, a very early post-Easter vacation.

That is what is happening towards the end of the Gospel of Luke in the lesson we’ve just heard. Cleopas and his friend are taking the road out of Jerusalem past the usual suburbs they inhabit, heading for the bush. It is understandable that they need a break! They’ve been through a lot: After such a glorious beginning too, for those not yet named followers of this Jesus: seeing his truth, joining his company, following his way, learning something about the grace and glory available to those who walk that road, live that life.
But after all that promise, they’ve come up against failure, betrayal, suffering, death, And even now, even if there is this slightest hint that there may be more to the story, some strange -beyond belief - uprising hope. Maybe even with that, it is just time to get out of town.

So, the disciples head to the bush to talk it out and walk it off. And Jesus comes along as well. As an unexpected, unrecognised companion on the way. And maybe, after all they have been through, they can be forgiven for not seeing him clearly right away. They have been through a quite a lot. And so have we.

It is important to remember that we all work so hard at all this faith business. We try to prepare, show up, do the right thing; we try to make sense of scripture, we say, “This year I am going to read the whole Bible again, I am going to pray more, attend more services, I am going to read Rowan Williams, CS Lewis, Richard Hooker, whoever,” We all try so hard! We go to the services and the meetings, read the books, pray the prayers, follow the way, do the best we can. Yet things still fall apart, and good people – young and old – still die and life goes awry, and there are wars and other terrors and you can’t help but wonder why? Why try to attend church and deal with the bother of belief, when bad things keep happening to good people, and people – doing the best they can - are handed heavier crosses than they can seem to bear. So some days it just doesn’t seem right or fair and we might as well join Cleopas and his friend and just get out of town! It is not an uncommon feeling: it makes some sense. We all do it.
Seven years ago, in the space of 6 months, my mother and my older brother both died. My father had died three years before, and this was the end of very bad three act play. It had been a long sickness for all three of them. Tough deaths: not a sweet slipping away and a sense of great release. but sad and scary, mixed up with anger and confusion, denial and sadness. Even for me, as the surviving, it was like living in the soap opera from hell. A time when life hit me like a fast train and left me wondering why.

The day my brother died, a good friend from college - who now lives outside of London - called to tell that his mother had had her last stroke that same morning. We talked a bit that day, the next day too, and on the third day I made reservations for a cheap flight from San Francisco to Heathrow on the following Wednesday, which happened to be Holy Week. But it was one of those times when it was good to get out of town with a friend. So I flew to London and trained to Sussex and got there and we drank tea and ate a lot and talked about what had happened, what was happening, what might happen, and how it all had been with our families and our friends and ourselves. I did attend the local parish church to hear the absolutely worse Easter sermon ever, but otherwise we stayed pretty close to the fire in that late English winter.

The day after Easter my friend had things to do, so I took the late-morning train into Victoria and walked around London: through Kensington and Notting Hill and Oxford Street, and in the mid-afternoon I ended up at Westminster Abbey. I sat in silence for a time in the circular chapter room and looked at the fresoes, as I was leaving, saw a little wooden door that opened into a chapel I had not seen before. It was very small, not much except a few seats; an altar and a crucifix, there might not have even been a window. I walked in there with no particular agenda or prayer in mind, and a question came from the deepest part of my insides like a flash-fire into the silence of the room. “Why in God’s name does it have to hurt so much? And the answer was right there like love. And the answer was simply, “I am here.”

“I am here in the pain with you, I am here on the journey with you. I am here living in the middle of the question with you, in the painful listening, in the incomplete solution, in the making sense of it. I am here with you in the night flight over the pole to London, in the very middle of your very painful journey. I am here with you and with the others, in the hospital beds, in the embarrassed silences, in the incomplete explanations. Without complete solutions, with no easy answers, just meeting you in the very midst of where you are. I am here.”

The answer came before the question was finished, even before the tears had started.
It came like meeting a good friend after a long time away. But it did not heal, the pain did not go away, I was not instantly relieved. Instead, there was a connection that began to bring me back to myself. As much as it hurt, my heart came back to life.

This is what happened to me; and I think this is what happened on the road to Emmaus, Somehow, when you don’t expect it, whether it is Cleopas or you or me, Jesus shows up. This stranger who feels like a relative and seems somehow like the closest friend you’ve ever yet met, meets us when we’re heading out of town, hears the questions that have been burning in our hearts, and gives us a response that is so close that it is almost impossible to see it clearly let alone live it out. He may not answer all the question, we may not even get the answer we want, but we will know this: he will be with us in the middle of it, and we shall be with him in the end. It still may hurt, but we are not alone anymore. We will never be alone again.

According to the written tradition, Cleopas and his mate get more. As they walk on Jesus unravels the scripture for them, gives them chapter and verse, shows them all the how’s, why’s, and what’s of evil, pain and suffering. And that is nice, good for them, it doesn’t happen for everybody, hasn’t happened for me, and, although some days I would enjoy that fundamental and literal certainty. I don’t think it is the most important thing; which is softer, more intimate, more like the life and love, it is what comes at the last of the story. For he went in to stay with them in the village, and “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.” That meal stands at the meeting place: that is the food for the long journey; that is what will bring us home at the last. That table is here, that time is now. Jesus stands ready to share it all. The moment has come to supp with the Lord of life


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Turning Corners The Right Way.

After four years in Melbourne, I am starting to drive more around the city. I joke about a deep and fatal tendency to make a right turn into the near lane, but it is true. Driving on the left requires awareness, vigilance and a certain justified paranoia. It is when I relax that the default preferences arise and I move to the right. So I am trying to drive with awareness but not panic, staying mindful without mania or excess timidity. It is an ongoing practice.

And it is reminding me of who I was forty years ago when I learned to drive the first time. The need to check everything at least once, the fear of forgetting crucial actions, the tentative progress that took some time. But the other side of this is the youthful joy and exuberance in taking the turns, moving into new neighbourhoods, finding out where I am from a new angle and viewpoint. I used to delight in getting lost in San Francisco, checking it out on the map, then making my way home. I know I would have to be careful in learning to drive here, but I didn’t realize I would also get the same youthful delight as the first time.

Daniel Levinson’s book, The Seasons of a Man’s Life was important for me twenty years ago when I first read it, is still important in how I see men develop, grow and change. He sees it as seasonal, recurrent, with a certain elegant circularity. The driving has that aspect about it: taking me back to who and how I was.

The circularity is showing up in another venue, which is my dream life. I am currently dealing with being office-less at La Trobe. It is inconvenient and hobbles the work I am doing on the campus, but there is no blame: there is just a severe shortage of space. People are trying to get me an office, it just hasn’t happened yet. But my recent dreams are taking me back to the early eighties when I was starting a Masters degree. I couldn’t get housing on campus in Berkeley, so I would stay into the evening working in a carrel in the library, then drive off to my parents place, an hour away. I had amazing self-pity for that, perhaps some part of it justified. However, it also feeding into the part of me that tended to be the “little boy left out.” So now, I am dreaming and remembering the early Berkeley times when I had no place that was mine on the campus; they turned out to be some tough, amazing and wonderful years. And waiting for an office in Bundoora is taking me ‘round the seasons again. What will I learn this time?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Rumi Moves To Phillpot

Wednesday, April 6, 2005. New MAC OS software installing as I write this, Music of Thelonious Monk in background, life is likely good. I was at RMIT Monday, mainly for a chaplains meeting, then to get computers installed in the new office. Yesterday a breakfast meeting at La Trobe, then chaplains meeting, then Student Services Committee. Took the afternoon and came home for office work. Today at RMIT and tonight the second run of Canterbury Readers, a small group going over recent web-published writings of Rowan Williams. Tomorrow at La Trobe for some important meetings, then dinner with friends near the campus.

Chaplaincy is a funny balance. Sometimes it is very structured, meetings in order, writing plans and outlines, getting to the next place: other times it is sitting with no agenda, just open to what might come into the configuration, with no preferences. It is wonderful work for that.

I found that the second quote I have been carrying around for years was not Rumi, but an Englishman named Eden Phillpot, author of a number of novels, who died – I think – in the 1960s. My intellectual/spiritual pretensions would rather quote someone named Rumi, but it is still a good quote, I will explore Phillpot as a writer at a later time.

“The world is full of a number of magical beings, patiently waiting for our wits to grow stronger.” I think I heard it on FM radio in the early 70s and it has stayed with me for awhile. The image that came, and stays, is one where new possibilities are hidden in plain sight: requiring not distance and journeying, but discernment and patience, not solving some future solution but relaxing into the present mystery. It gets rid of the need for heroism, of the need to make explicit sacrifice, and replaces that with focussing on what is immanent, available and even easy. Not even focussing, for it replaces the hard stare with what someone once called “soft eyes” – just seeing without looking too focussed on finding anything in particular, ready to be surprised. And, for me, often, that is when I am surprised by the gift of the presence of something that was always there, but overlooked in my great need to get somewhere else.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Rilke and Rumi

“Whenever I saw something that could ring, I rang.” Rilke

”The world is full of a number of magical things,
patiently waiting for our wits to grow stronger. “ Rumi?

I read the first quote in Harpers Magazine in, I think, the spring of 1967. I was twenty-one years old, very serious about building a life and a life style; trying to be well-read, well-rounded, well-liked. Well and good, but looking back I see I was building a product, testing the market, seeing what was accepted by the others at the two year college I was attending that year in the suburbs of Sacramento. I subscribed to several magazines that year, I think. Esquire, maybe Atlantic Monthly as well as Harpers, both east coast literary magazines that looked good on the coffee table in the apartment my parents rented for me across from the college campus. I also bought Playboy and House and Garden, but I don’t think I put them on display as often. And display was important.

It’s not that I was somewhat superficial – though I was – but more that I assumed life was like a monopoly board, you went round picking up pieces and making moves, avoiding fines and payments to others and maximizing the property, especially in the blue-blooded neighborhooods, you owned. And that world did not seem too big, could be construed from the books read, stories heard, tacit knowledge, family stories, the early novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald and J. D. Salinger.

You need some background here: about what got me to that time, what I brought there and what was missing. I was largely self-educated. I remember hearing the comedy line, “he was a self-made man, the product of unskilled labour,” and feeling such guilt for my lack of formal education. For I had no secondary education, had left school at the age of twelve, nine years before; after a time of missing classes due to various symptoms of headaches and stomach aches, diarrhoea and just not wanting to. And as my absences increased my grades went down and after the Easter vacation in 1958 I would go to school no longer.

My parents were good people, did the best they could, I think. They gave wonderful parties, but forgot to pay the telephone or electric bills. They were well liked, but they didn’t like to look at unpleasant things, and there were some of those around in those years. This is diagnosing backwards, over forty years later, and in another country at that. But after several millennia of therapy of various schools and practices, in looking back this is what I see. I fell over the things they did not want to look at: the death of a parent, the threat of a recurrent nervous breakdown of another, a general lack of money, and a marriage that was dying, a failed business, alcoholism, extramarital affairs, a good friend leaving with some tension, my older brother moving to his own apartment. All this happened and was not spoken of, except for a quiet kind of blackmail, sarcasm, veiled threats that showed up after the third drink and when the final notice of the utility bills came in and we couldn’t use the pool at the tennis club because our monthly dues were unpaid that summer. But nothing was spoken of in the daytime, the family put on a good show except for me.

Years later, in the late eighties, after I had been away for some years, I was staying at my parents house overnight while my brother was in an intensive care hospital ward battling with the effects of acute alcoholism. I called a friend in Berkeley who was a therapist and he asked if I had been the high-achiever of the family. I laughed, “I was seeing a shrink when I was twelve!” He said that was often the case, the healthiest member of a dysfunctional family was often the designated patient that was where the move towards wholeness came. And I had thought I was the broken piece in the collection.

So all that is background to the magazines on the table, the books I read, as well as the tasks that I attempted. I was trying to get well-rounded and I felt, deeply and shamefully, that I was askew, off centre, lacking crucial information and deeply needful of the larger acceptance by the culture that would indicate that I was, in fact, existing and of some value. So the outside world had what I thought I wanted and needed, and I didn’t see much past that.

And then I read the Rilke quote in that magazine and the world opened up. “Whenever I saw something that could ring, I rang.” It was poetry, philosophy, erotica really, drawing me towards some connection I hadn’t thought was possible. At that moment I had a hint that the world was capable of more than I knew, that there was some resonance there. Just then I heard some deep and beautiful music (that I had never listened for, but somehow had known must existed, for there was something in me that was empty, open, waiting for its coming) that could call me out and take me somewhere I didn’t know, lead me to the heart of something I didn’t understand.

One of the joys of chaplaincy is that people often talk to me about moments in their lives when the centre changes, some encounter that makes the shape of the lives they live change configuration; doors open, new options, possibilities come onto the stage, other directions emerge, And that was the first big one as an adult for me. I was not alone as I supposed, a bit of music had emerged, some strain of sound, maybe even melody. The world itself could ring and that could ring in me as well. That line of print written in an American magazine forty-plus years ago opened me to a life that was larger than I had ever known, that had room for more of me than I knew, and life got bigger after that.

Friday, April 01, 2005

After Easter...

I am at La Trobe and the campus is quiet, mainly staff and a few students: an autumn day and peaceful. Due to the wireless revolution I am writing this in Caffeine, the main coffee house in the centre of the campus.

I might take some time and try to add a few sermons into the mix on this page. Not too close, but reachable, so that anyone who wants to know how I see, and phrase, my belief can follow a link and find my more didactic stuff, but that's not a primary aim here. What is that, you ask? Well, Peter Berger titled one book, A Rumour of Angels; I guess I am trying to allow the hint that there might be an opening into transcendence that can be found right in the middle of immanence. And that it can be found in surprising places: everyday silence, exercises of attention and intention, mindful and physical daily liturgies, saying thank you often.

What, you expect something else from a guy writing on an iBook in the middle of the coffee house? Go well anyway.