Me And Jason Stellman: Loving The Misfit Faith

I called up Jason Stellman, author of Misfit Faith, and we talked for a good while.  I felt a warm grace in his presence and our conversation bounced ideas that pointed towards the Infinite.  And yet I found myself, in Zen fashion, hearing our words become silence and the only language was the spacious New Orleans parlor in which I found myself at the time.   Then, air and space.  

But that is just the kind of existential weaving and creative passion for the endless Journey that Jason brings to the table.  And there is a demographic starving for it, a portion of Gen X and millennial Christians and post-evangelicals that long for a Quest, both personal and collective, but their repressive doctrinal youth formation didn’t always allow for it.  Jason and his co-host on their popular podcast, Drunk Ex-Pastors, don’t really seem to mind, though. They pour drinks and have fun, bringing a playful imagination and poignant honesty.  No veil of clergy to hide behind, Jason tells his story with t…

An Altar Call For The Journey: Meet Me On This Train

Some concert goers have described Bruce Springsteen concerts as spiritual experiences, and whether you're a fan of his music or not, it's as real as Eucharist blood  that in his anthem "Land Of Hope And Dreams," the Boss (and think for a second what his nickname might really mean) has done what every mega-preacher secretly dreams of doing.  That's right - everyone is welcome at this church, and not because we want to correct you into our way of thinking.  We just hope you join us on the journey, the current one, where the Kingdom of Heaven can be realized on earth.  Losers and whores are welcome, and there is no statement of faith to sign, just the Sacred Trumpets calling us home....
Listen here.

Clint Sabom is an award-winning writer and former aspirant monk. He works as a Spiritual Coach at Contemplative Light. His new book, Preparation For Great Light is available on Amazon.

My First Mystical Experience

It was an autumn afternoon at Vassar College. I had stayed up the previous night writing a paper. I turned the paper in at an office across campus and began walking back to my dorm room, eager to rest. Soon, it would be nightfall. The cold wind blew across my face. Leaves fell along my path. Gothic architecture merged into the shadows. Tombstones in the nearby cemetery reflected the last vestiges of sunlight.

It was the fall semester of my junior year. The summer before I had backpacked through Europe, racing through seven countries in four weeks. The trip had opened up something inside me. The dam clogging the river of my emotions had burst, and when I returned to school that fall, I knew something big was happening. I changed dorms, moving from a busy one in the center of the quad to a quieter one on the far side of campus. Whereas I had spent my first two years at Vassar constantly socially engaged, I kept more to myself that fall. And things were shifting. From deep within the c…

The Process Of Publishing My Book

I have been sitting on these writings for, literally, ten years.  Most of them were written when I lived at a silent Benedictine monastery under The Episcopal Church.  At the time, I wrote down everything that happened in my life in about a six month period.  This included time spent apart from the monastery and adventures into the city life and social life of a 30 year-old, Beatnik type character: myself.  This resulted in a strange amalgam of contemplative-religion-meets-On-The-Road.  I made a few half-hearted attempts to contact literary agents, and then, after re-reading the book, and feeling lukewarm about it, stuck it on the shelf.  I just didn't like it anymore.  It couldn't quite decide what it wanted to be, and I couldn't quite decide if I even cared.

But as years passed, the manuscript weighed down the creative space inside me, like stuffing too many boxes in the attic and then realizing later you need the space for something else. Julia Cameron, in The Artist&#…

Podcast Interviews Of Spiritual Teachers: The Fan Favorites

I have a few interviews which stand out during my short tenure doing The Graveyard Cowboy At Midnight.  Here are a few interviews I think you would like....

1. Bill Epperly, Ph.D, an advanced seeker and student of Ken Wilber and Integral Spirituality, talks to me about viewing everyday living and the created world as a perpetual opportunity for growth.  The mystic path isn't all about withdrawal and silence; there is stuff here now, in these buys streets, that lead ever-so-beautifully to God.

2. Steve Austin.  The Patheos writer shares some of his personal experiences of wounding and recovery within the Christian tradition.

3. Rich Lewis.  Most recently I talked to Rich about his journey in centering prayer and the transformative power of contemplative practice.

Clint Sabom is an award-winning writer and former aspirant monk. He works as a Spiritual Coach at Contemplative Light. His new book, Preparation For Great Light is available on Amazon.

Returning To Sacred Mystery: How The Mind of God Transcends Our Limitations

The Protestant reformation had a valid point in its rebellion against the practices it perceived to be idolatrous.After all, there is no God but God, and no earthly things - whether people, statues, or cathedrals - can substitute for the Eternal and Infinite nature of a God that always eludes the conscious understanding of our finite minds.Everything in this world remains imperfect, and it's good to be reminded of that.Likewise, the same applies to spiritual experiences and the mysticism that I often discuss in this blog.Whether being filled with the Holy Spirit in ecstatic reverie or resting in the Presence of God during centering prayer, one's experience of the divine is never completely pure.The Spirit enters through the tainted vessel of our humanity, and if one takes original sin seriously, then it obviously follows that our own understanding of God will be distorted by our own mortal imperfections.
Humility. Rarely, though, do we hear this mentality applied to doctrine or…

Repeating The Jesus Prayer Constantly: Fear No Evil

I never like when monks and spiritual teachers of some kind give warnings about mystical practices.  And it's something you hear across religious traditions, caveats about approaching sacred practices in a cavalier manner.  Sure, there are peak-experience junkies seeking highs in religious experience the same way addicts may cling to their drug of choice, but, by and large, it seems to be more of a problem that people don't do spiritual practices enough.  Church attendance goes down; disillusionment with organized religion goes up; and then I read some article by a  theologian saying "be careful" with the Jesus Prayer, don't say it any more than 15 minutes a day.  Mysticism as something exclusive for only an elite few is not a policy that has worked out very well.   As evidence, we can present world history, or, as Leonard Cohen writes:
"We asked for signs The signs were sent The birth betrayed, the marriage spent The widowhood of every government Signs For All …