Our Writers - Contemplative Journal

About the Writers

Regular Contributors

Mark Matousek

Mark Matousek is the author of two award-winning memoirs, Sex Death, Enlightenment: A True Story (an international bestseller) and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father (Los Angeles Times Discovery Book), as well as When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living, and Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life. A featured blogger for Psychology Today, Purple Clover, Huffington Post, he has contributed to numerous anthologies and publications including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine (contributing editor), The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Yoga Journal, Details, The Saturday Evening Post, AARP, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and many others. A popular lecturer and writing teacher, he is the Creative Director of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls. His latest book is Ethical Wisdom for Friends.

Join him at The Seekers Forum.

Read The Seekers Forum

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Adyashanti began teaching in 1996 after a series of transformative spiritual awakenings. Today, his retreats are so popular that would-be attendees must win a lottery held only once a year. Adya’s teachings have been compared to some of the early Ch’an (Zen) masters of China as well as teachers of Advaita Vedanta in India. His books include Falling into Grace (Sounds True, 2011), The End of Your World (Sounds True, 2008), and Emptiness Dancing (Sounds True, 2006). He lives in northern California. See adyashanti.org.

Allen S. Maller

Rabbi Allen S. Maller was the rabbi at Temple Akiba in Culver City, CA for 39 years before retiring in 2006. He is a graduate of UCLA and the Hebrew Union College. He has taught at Gratz College in Philadelphia, the Hebrew Union College and the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, and at the UCLA Extension. He has published over 100 articles on Jewish values in popular magazines; Jewish, Muslim and Christian. He is the author of “Tikunay Nefashot,” a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children’s short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, “God, Sex and Kabbalah.”

Amanda Peterson

Amanda Petersen, M. Div., is the owner of Pathways of Grace (spiritual direction and workshops) and has experience as a pastor within the Presbyterian and United Church of Christ denominations, hospice chaplain, spiritual director, life coach, and artist. She has led many workshops and retreats in the areas of spirituality, creativity, meditation, and the mystics. She is adjunct faculty at the Arizona Ecumenical Institute for Spiritual Direction and adjunct spiritual director at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her passion is creating a safe place for people of all backgrounds to explore their contemplative walk.

Andrew Oser

Through guided Mt. Shasta retreats and Spiritual Life Coaching, Andrew Oser helps people use the power of alternation to connect with the divine and to bring more ease and grace into all aspects of their lives.

To see how alternation can change your life, check http://www.mountshataretreat.net.

Beverly Lanzetta

Beverly Lanzetta has been guiding others in the universal call to contemplation for almost forty years. She is the author of seven books on global spirituality, the divine feminine, and the new monastic way of life that have won prizes for their wisdom, eloquence, and mystical insight. At an early age she experienced a conversion of faith and for many years served as a spiritual director, healer, and teacher. She holds a master’s degree in sociology and human rights from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in historical theology and contemporary religious thought from Fordham University. From 1988 to 2004 she served as a Religious Studies professor at Grinnell College, Prescott College, and Villanova University. In writing, teaching, and spiritual life she brings both a scholarly and spiritual background of the world’s sacred texts and traditions to her work..

Brenda Miller

Brenda Miller is the author of Listening Against the Stone (Skinner House Books, 2011), Blessing of the Animals (EWU Press, 2009), Season of the Body (Sarabande Books, 2002), and co-author of Tell it Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction (McGraw-Hill, 2012). Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes and has been published in numerous journals. She is a Professor of English at Western Washington University and serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Bellingham Review.

Brother Wayne Teasdale

Wayne Teasdale was initiated as a Christian sannyasi — that is a Christian monk in the Indian monastic tradition — by Bede Griffiths, OSB in 1989. He taught at De Paul University, Columbia College, the Benedictine University, and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where he lived for many years. His book The Mystic Heart was published in 1999. He is also the author of a major study on Bede Griffiths called Toward a Christian Vedanta (1987) and A Monk in the World (2002), among several other books and many articles. Devoted to a new interfaith understanding, Teasdale came to espouse what he termed “interspirituality,” a perspective that discovered in the world’s religions a degree of commonality that can be approached through mystical experience. Teasdale was active in promoting and developing this facet of spirituality, and he had a passion for causes relating to environmental responsibility and homelessness. He died at the age of 59 in 2004.

Carl McColman

Carl McColman is a Christian contemplative writer, speaker, retreat leader, and spiritual director. He studied Christian meditation at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and trained in spiritual direction at the Institute for Pastoral Studies in Atlanta. He is a professed member of the Lay Cistercians of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, a community devoted to the practice of contemplation within the context of marriage and family, outside of a traditional monastery.

Celeste Yacoboni

Celeste Yacoboni is passionate about helping people discover a deeper experience of the sacred in their daily lives. Ordained as a Minister of Walking Prayer by the Center for Sacred Studies, she facilitates healing and transformation through her unique approach to spiritual direction and her mastery of a number of healing arts. Her book How Do You Pray? is an interspiritual prayerbook and resource guide to an emerging global spirituality which embraces our religious and spiritual diversity.

Chris Saade

Chris Saade is the co-director of The Olive Branch Center, with his wife, Jessie Thompson, where he teaches courses on engaged spirituality and the mysticism of inclusion. Chris also spearheads the Institute for Life-Leadership and Coaching, and is the senior trainer for the ILC s heart-centered psychological and spiritual-leadership programs. In addition, he is a practicing Personal Coach for individuals and couples, has lead and taught more than 200 psychological and spiritual retreats, offers regular speaking engagements, and serves on the board for The Respite, a center for grief and hope based in Charlotte, NC.

Christopher Page

Christopher Page is rector of St. Philips Anglican Church in Victoria, a respected writer, speaker, and retreat leader with The Contemplative Society. He was ordained in Toronto in 1980 after receiving his M.Div. A graduate at the Spring 2001 Convocation of the Vancouver School of Theology, Christopher completed his second Masters Degree (in Theology) in 2004. His thesis explored nature mysticism in the work of Thomas Merton. These studies have, in turn, led to a deep interest in the contemplative tradition and in the lives of the Desert Fathers.

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault is a Christian contemplative, author, retreat leader, and self-described Episcopal “hermit” priest, dividing her time between solitude on Eagle Island, Maine, and a more extraverted schedule in Vancouver. As founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and The Aspen Wisdom School, Cynthia is passionately committed to the recovery of the Christian Contemplative and Wisdom paths. The author of seven books, she’s also a past Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural research at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and an oblate of New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, California. A major promoter and practitioner of Centering Prayer, Cynthia has worked closely with Thomas Keating and others in developing and teaching this method.

Dadi Janki

Dadi Janki , who is in her hundredth year, is the head of The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization (www.brahmakumaris.org) based in Mt. Abu, India with over 8,000 centers in over 110 countries. Their focus is the transformation of the world through the transformation of individual awareness. They do this by teaching and practicing a knowledge-based form of meditation called Raja Yoga. Dadi Janki recently spent ten days at Peace Village, the Brahma Kumaris’ retreat center in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she shared a message very similar to that encapsulated in this article with those who had gathered for the Western Hemisphere annual meeting. For more information about Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center, please visit www.peacevillageretreat.org.

David Ellzey

David inspires us as an author,  speaker, and transformative performer, to recognize our unlimited and loving nature. From United Nations events to Mother Theresa’s orphanages: from leading seminars worldwide to writing his book, The Ocean of Now, David finds himself forever inspired by the common yearning within all eyes for the realization of our oneness.

Visit David’s YouTube page to learn more.

Donna Miesbach

Donna Miesbach has been on a spiritual path all her life, which led her to extensive study with some of today’s premier teachers of spirituality. She has studied with Dr. Deepak Chopra for over twenty years and is one of the Chopra Center’s certified meditation and yoga instructors. She has achieved the level of Quantum Explorer in Remote Viewing after training with Dr. David Morehouse, and has studied with Roger Gabriel both in the United States and in India. Donna has also completed the advanced level of intensive training in Sound Healing with Jonathan Goldman and is a member of the Sound Healers Association.

Ed Bastian

Dr. Ed Bastian holds a Doctorate in Buddhist Studies and is the founder and president of Spiritual Paths Foundation. His writing and teaching is the product of over forty years of research, study, and teaching, especially during the past decade, with over fifty esteemed teachers from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and Native American traditions. He is the award winning co-author of Living Fully Dying Well, author of InterSpiritual Meditation, author of Creating Your Spiritual Paths, publisher of Meditations for InterSpiritual Wisdom, and producer of documentaries on religion for the BBC and PBS.

Edward Goode

Edward Goode is senior pastor at The Presbyterian Church of Wyoming near Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his wife (also a pastor) have three young children who keep them busy as do their callings as ministers. He also has a passion for photography and the ways that photography can give insight into the Christian faith. He blogs regularly about the intersection of faith and photography at www.imagoscriptura.com.


Ellen Grace O'Brian

Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian is the Spiritual Director of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment (CSE) in San Jose, California. CSE is a ministry in the spiritual tradition of Kriya Yoga that serves people from all faith backgrounds who are seeking Self- and God-realization. Yogacharya O’Brian was ordained to teach in 1982 by Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda.

Felicia Parazaider

Rev. Felicia Helen Parazaider attended the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministry, and was ordained in March 2012.  She holds degrees from University of California Berkeley in both Religious Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies, and has completed training programs in Spiritual Psychology and Tree of Life Teachings.

Her greatest passion and commitment has been launching a truly inclusive, diverse ministry.  In December 2012, Rev. Felicia founded The Revolution Of Love (ROL), a spiritual-not-religious (SNR) organization which focuses on the inner work in the self and the outer work of the world, through the vehicles of bold love, radical compassion, and nonviolence.  The Revolution of Love Wednesday Night Services, The Prayer Rope and The Love Challenge are all branches of The Revolution,  specifically designed for people to begin this transformative process for themselves and this planet.  The ministry meets bimonthly in the San Francisco Bay Area, for multi-faith, multicultural services, as well as for roundtable gatherings.  The Revolution Of Love is not only a ministry, it is a movement, transforming the world through the power of unconditional love and peace. To connect with Rev. Felicia check out her business page on Facebook: theRevParazaider and friend her: Felicia Parazaider.

Giovanni Dienstmann

Giovanni is a meditation teacher, the writer behind the popular blog LiveAndDare.com, and the creator of the acclaimed Master Your Mind program.  He has been intensely seeking personal growth and enlightenment since his teenage years. In this process, he has practiced meditation daily (totalling nearly 7,000 hours), read hundreds of books, tried several different techniques, and spent time on retreats with masters and instructors around the world.

All this practice, learning and training has radically transformed his mind and experience of the world – as a result, he now lives a fearless, peaceful, and fulfilling life.

Giovanni is not a guru or a spiritual master – but a practitioner on the way, sharing the powerful tools and insights that have helped him thus far. His work is to translate and “update” the tools and teachings of world-wide wisdom traditions so that they are easily digestible for the 21st-century person.

Gunilla Norris

Gunilla Norris lives in Mystic, Connecticut with her long time partner, Stanley. She is a psychotherapist in private practice, a meditation teacher, and workshop leader. She especially loves accompanying people on their spiritual journeys. She has published eleven children’s novels, seven books on the spirituality of the everyday (including the award-winning Sheltered in the Heart: Spirituality in Deep Friendship), one book of poems, and the newly-released spiritual practice book Match: Bringing Soul and Heart into Alignment. For more about her work, visit http://www.GunillaNorris.com.

Holly J. Hughes

Holly J. Hughes is the editor of the award-winning anthology, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease, published by Kent State University Press and the author of Boxing the Compass, published by Floating Bridge Press. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University’s MFA program, she teaches writing at Edmonds Community College, where she co-directs the Sustainability Initiative and Convergence Writers Series. She has spent over thirty summers working on the water in Alaska in a variety of jobs, including commercial fishing for salmon, skippering a 65-foot schooner, and more recently, working as a naturalist. She divides her time between Indianola and Chimacum, Washington.

Jacoby Ballard

Jacoby Ballard has been meditating since he was 17 and teaching yoga and meditation for 16 years. In 2008, he founded Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn, and in 2016 was part of the member-owned cooperative Bending Towards Justice, teaching yoga teachers about oppression, privilege, solidarity, and alliance. He is on the Advisory Board of the Yoga Service Council, and part of the team writing the Best Practice White Book in prisons this fall on behalf of the Council. He works at the intersection of social justice and spiritual practice, and he had the immense honor to teach Buddhism in a prison this past year to students committed to awakening. www.jacobyballard.com

Glenn Loughrey

Father Glenn Loughrey is an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Grafton, NSW, Australia. He has a Masters in Theology majoring in spirituality and is presently the chaplain to an independent Anglican pre-school to year 12 school. He has implemented stillness, meditation, and silent retreats for students across the whole school and is developing a process of spiritual direction for interested students. He is also doing his Ph.D. research thesis at the University of Newcastle.

Jamal Rahman

Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. He has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. Co-founder and Muslim Sufi minister at Seattle’s Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University, he is a former host of Interfaith Talk Radio and travels nationally and internationally, presenting at retreats and workshops. He is the author of Sacred Laughter of the Sufis, Spiritual Gems of Islam, The Fragrance of Faith, and co-author of Religion Gone Astray, Out of Darkness into Light, and Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam.

Janet F. Quinn

Janet F. Quinn, PhD, RN, FAAN is an InterSpiritual spiritual director/guide in private practice, working with people from all faith traditions, or none, in person, via phone and Skype. She is a long-time practitioner/student of Centering Prayer and the Christian Contemplative Tradition; a mureed in the Sufi Order International; and a happy dervish in the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order. Janet is the author of a book of affirmations and meditations for women entitled I Am A Woman Finding My Voice, and is also a passionate horsewoman, hanging out at the Church of the Holy Barn with her equine friends whenever possible, experiencing the healing potential and spiritual nourishment in the horse-human relationship.

More at http://www.janetquinnsoulfriend.com and www.janetquinn.com

Jason Brown

Jason M. Brown grew up in Southern California but since 2001 has lived in the Dominican Republic, Utah, Connecticut and British Columbia. He was raised in the Mormon tradition but is currently practicing contemplative spirituality within the Anglican and Zen traditions. He has dual master’s degrees from Yale University in forestry and theology and is currently working on his PhD at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) in the field of Spiritual Ecology. Please visit him at his website, www.holyscapes.wordpress.com.

Jenny Finn

Jenny Finn, LSW, is a teacher, speaker, and writer devoted to living radically wholehearted on the planet. Embracing the darkness allows us to live more deeply rooted from the wholeness of our human experience. Jenny’s research and teaching fosters greater intimacy with all of life by exploring creative and courageous ways to face what is uncomfortable, awkward, and even painful within. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Sustainability Education at Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona.

Jillian Bergman

Jillian Bergman is a recent graduate of the School of Metaphysics (SOM), second cycle studies in Mind development and Metaphysics. She has a true passion for education and creative expression for the purpose of awareness. Five years of intensive dream research and meditation has led to greater inner awareness and desire to aid others toward greater realization of peace, contentment and wholeness.  Her motto is: “Being a teacher/freelance writer/artist and business owner provide the platform to touch the hearts of many and extend the invitation for depth and greater connection with divine calling.”

Joseph Drumheller

Joseph Drumheller has been practicing the art of healing since 1991. His mission lies in helping people overcome all forms of suffering while creating paths to success in their lives. From 2003-11, he worked at the Peace Health Cancer Center in Bellingham, WA utilizing his craft to help cancer patients. His book, The Subconscious, the Divine and Me, unveils the mystery of the subconscious mind as related to spirituality. For more information please visit www.josephdrumheller.com.



Karuna is an Associate Level Trainer in the Kundalini Research Institute Aquarian Trainer Academy. She collaborates with Lead Teachers to bring Level One teacher training programs and Level Two teacher training modules to her local community in Boulder, Colorado, USA. With over 25 years of dedication to a yogic lifestyle, Karuna brings her own unique brand of compassion, enthusiasm, and pure joy to every Yoga practice. As founder of the website Light On Kundalini, Karuna strives to share the treasured teachings of Yogi Bhajan with the world.

Kathleen Norris

Kathleen Norris is the award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington. Exploring the spiritual life, her work is at once intimate and historical, rich in poetry and meditations, brimming with exasperation and reverence, deeply grounded in both nature and spirit, sometimes funny, and often provocative.

Kim Orr

Kim Orr has lived all over the world, loves to brag that she can ask for a cookie in seven languages (and that is not counting the dead languages she knows). Kim holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College, and a M.A. from Bryn Mawr College. After passing her doctoral examinations Kim taught History of Art at the University of Delaware and Louisiana State University while writing her doctoral dissertation examining the philosophy of Plato and Plotinus with respect to aesthetics—the philosophy of Beauty—and its application in the Baroque age. She left university teaching upon passing the Foreign Service Exam.

Kurt Johnson

Kurt Johnson has worked in science and spirituality for over forty years. Kurt is co-author of the recently published book The Coming Interspiritual Age with David Robert Ord, which debuted in Amazon’s Top Ten in Spirituality. Kurt also co-authored the best-seller Nabokov’s Blues with Steve Coates of The New York Times, which was a Top Ten Book in science in 2000.

Lance Johnson

Lance Johnson presently lives, serves, works, and studies at a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center near Santa Cruz. He previously served with The Companions of the Way Interfaith Dharma Center in Salinas, California.

Laurence Freeman

Dom Laurence Freeman OSB is a monk of the Olivetan Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation. Laurence was born in England in 1951, where he was educated by the Benedictines and studied English Literature at Oxford University.

Lewis Richmond

Lewis Richmond is a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher and author of four books including the national bestseller Work as a Spiritual Practice (1999) and the recent Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser. Lewis was one of the early disciples of Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and is an authorized teacher in the Suzuki lineage. He leads a meditation group based in Tiburon and Mill Valley, CA and is a regular contributor to the magazines Tricycle, Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma, and The Huffington Post.

Linda Bender

A passionate animal advocate and educator, Dr. Linda Bender’s love of the natural world began in her childhood backyard. From orphaned deer to blue jays prematurely bumped from their nests, animals in distress somehow found a way to her loving arms. Her innate rapport with animals inspired her to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine.

Liz Selene

Liz Selene lives, works, and plays in Colorado Springs., California.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D. is a Sufi teacher in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order. Born in London in 1953, he has followed the Naqshbandi Sufi path since he was nineteen. In 1991 he became the successor of Irina Tweedie, who brought this particular Indian branch of Sufism to the West and is the author of Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master. He then moved to Northern California and founded The Golden Sufi Center.

Loch Kelly

Loch Kelly, MDiv., LCSW, is a graduate of Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, where he was awarded a fellowship to study meditation in Sri Lanka and India from 1981-2 in both the monasteries and at the University in Kandy. He studied there with inter-spiritual teacher Fr Bede Griffins, Dzogchen with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Advaita at Ramana Ashram.

Lynn Stuart

Lynn Stuart grew up in Scotland and currently lives in Hong Kong. When she is not writing she works as an English Teacher and has plans to set up a Reiki practice. Lynn completed her training in Usui Reiki in 2009. She is also a licensed practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and has undertaken courses in Polarity Therapy and Reflexology. Lynn follows a Buddhist spiritual practice and enjoys Baduanjin qi-gong, yoga and hiking.

Lynne Forrest

Lynne is a leading pioneer in non-traditional psychotherapy. In private practice for over twenty-five years, she has become known for her work with dysfunctional families and in dealing with co-dependency issues, as well as for her empathy, compassion, and her no-nonsense approach in dealing with life issues. Her original work in recognizing victim consciousness as a widespread epidemic with its own set of definable and recognizable characteristics has revolutionized her approach with clients and transformed the lives of many.

Lynne published Guiding Principles for Life Beyond Victim Consciousness with Eileen Meagher in 2011, and is currently developing an interactive product called The Reality Formula for Kids™.

More at www.lynneforrest.com

Marie-Rose Phan-Lê

Marie-Rose Phan-Lê has 20+ years’ experience in film/TV production. She has traveled extensively from Hawaii to the Himalayas for her award-winning documentary film and companion book, Talking Story (North Atlantic Books). Marie-Rose transitioned her flourishing healing practice, working one-to-one with individuals, to focusing on the one-to-many through her media projects and consulting work. Currently the Chief Operating Officer and Creative Director at High Impact Inc., she applies ancient wisdom to the modern challenges of running a successful business. She is also the founder of Healing Planet Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is the preservation and presentation of spiritual and healing traditions. Marie-Rose was born in Vietnam, emigrated to France, and later to the United States, and currently lives in Hawaii.

Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace is a Professor in the Department of Religion and member of the Interpretation Theory Committee and the Environmental Studies Committee at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania.

He’s the author of Green Christianity: Five Ways to a Sustainable Future (Fortress, 2010), Finding God in the Singing River: Christianity, Spirit, Nature (Fortress, 2005), Fragments of the Spirit: Nature, Violence, and the Renewal of Creation (Continuum, 1996; Trinity, 2002), The Second Naïveté: Barth, Ricoeur, and the New Yale Theology (Mercer University Press, 1990, 1995), editor of Paul Ricoeur’s Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative, and Imagination (Fortress, 1995), and co-editor of Curing Violence: Essays on René Girard (Polebridge, 1994).

Mary Ellen Dougherty

Mary Ellen Dougherty SSND, is a School Sister of Notre Dame in the Atlantic–Midwest province. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Her current ministry is writing.

Matthew Wright

The Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition within a wider interspiritual framework. Alongside his practice of Christianity, he draws deeply from the sacred worlds of Islamic Sufism and Vedanta. Matthew serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY and lives with his wife, Yanick, alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery.

Megan McFeely

Megan McFeely has unknowingly been on a spiritual journey her whole life. She woke up to this fact after a tragedy in 1997 led her inward. She met her Sufi teacher in 2004. She is currently working on a film about feminine consciousness called “As She Is.” She writes about her experience of trying to live an authentic life with as much integrity as she can manage.

Melissa Carroll

Melissa Carroll is a writer, yoga instructor, and professor of creative writing at the University of Tampa. She is the editor of the anthology Going Om: Real-Life Stories on and off the Yoga Mat (foreword by Cheryl Strayed), which has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Yoga Journal, and on Daytime TV and Bay Sunday WKPIX. Every week Melissa guides more than 250 yoga students through various classes, including the largest weekly yoga class in Florida, which is sponsored by the City of Tampa and Yoga Downtown Tampa. She is grateful to be able to do what she loves every single day: to share her joy through words and through the path of yoga.

For more information, please visit www.MelissaCarrollYoga.com.

Michael Wayne

Michael Wayne, Ph.D., L.Ac. is the author of two nonfiction books, Quantum-Integral Medicine: Towards a New Science of Healing and Human Potential, and The Low Density Lifestyle, and a novel, The Knuckleball From Hell. His new book is titled, The Quantum Revolution. He is the founder and director of The Center for Quantum Revolution, an organization whose mission is to help usher a new, positive, holistic, and sustainable paradigm into our world by affecting transformation at its root. As part of that, he is the producer/host of the online video series “Interviews with the Leading Edge.” Dr. Wayne has 25 years experience in the field of Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, and Integrative Medicine, and works with patients in varying states of health.

His website is www.QuantumRevolution.net, and the Interviews with the Leading Edge online video series can be seen at http://www.quantumrevolution.net/interviews-with-the-leading-edge/. He can be reached at mwayne2@mac.com.

Mirabai Starr

Mirabai Starr writes creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. She has received critical acclaim for her revolutionary new translations of Dark Night of the Soul by sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life, by St. Teresa of Avila, and her new translation of The Showings of Julian of Norwich is forthcoming in Fall 2013. She is the author of the 6-volume Sounds True series, Contemplations, Prayers, and Living Wisdom, and contributing author to Living Fully, Dying Well: Reflecting on Death to Find Your Life’s Meaning. Mirabai’s newest book, GOD OF LOVE: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was named one of the “Best Spiritual Books of 2012” and positions her at the vanguard of the emerging Interspiritual Movement.

Molly Wingate

Molly Wingate is an author, freelance writer, writing coach, and parenting expert. Molly is also a long time Quaker and currently serves as clerk of the Colorado Springs Friends Meeting. Molly taught high school and college students for twenty-two years and has several academic publications from her “previous life.” In 2001, she started Wingate Consulting as a way to write and help writers while being home more for her two sons. Her most recent book, co-written with Marti Woodward, presents a parenting model built around the five attitudes mentioned in her Contemplative Journal article, “Parenting as a Spiritual Practice.” If you find these attitudes helpful, join the Slow Parenting community on Facebook and be sure to get your copy of Slow Parenting Teens, available through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Norlights Press, and local bookstores in Colorado Springs.

Visit Molly at www.wingate-consulting.com and at www.slowparentingteens.com.

Nass Cannon

Nass Cannon is no one in particular who lives a pedestrian life. When not at work, he can usually be found sitting in the same rocking chair he was rocked to sleep in as a child. His favorite past time is rocking as he gazes out of a glass-enclosed porch unto a wooded landscape where light and shadows ply their magic and acrobatic squirrels leap from tree to tree in rhythm to the tunes of the ever-present songbirds. This photo was taken not in that rocking chair, but in another that happens to be in the hermitage where Thomas Merton spent the final years of his life.

Phileena Heuertz

Author, spiritual director, yoga instructor, public speaker, and retreat guide, Phileena Heuertz is passionate about spirituality and making the world a better place.

Phileena’s first half of life was formed on the streets of more than 70 countries, building community among victims of human trafficking, survivors of HIV and AIDS, abandoned children and child soldiers and war brides.

Drawing on 40 years of collective experience fighting global poverty and injustice with Word Made Flesh, in 2012 she and her husband Chris co-founded Gravity to support the development of Christian consciousness in an ongoing effort to respond to the challenging social justice perils of our time. Phileena’s work includes public speaking, teaching and writing on contemplative spirituality, facilitation of contemplative retreats, and spiritual direction.

Named “Outstanding Alumni” by Asbury University and one of Outreach magazine’s “30 Emerging Influencers Reshaping Leadership,” Phileena believes that contemplative spirituality is crucial to authentic, creative, liberating social change. Phileena is a member of the New Friars and Red Letter Christians, is featured on Q Ideas, The Work of the People and Darkwood Brew and known for her provocative theological narrative, Pilgrimage of a Soul (IVP 2010). Follow Phileena on Twitter here.

Philip Hellmich

Philip Hellmich

Philip M. Hellmich is Director of Peace at The Shift Network, an international social enterprise mobilizing educational tools and cultivating alliances worldwide. He is director of The Summer of Peace, a collaborative global celebration of Peace, and serves as adviser to The Global Peace Initiative of Women. Philip has dedicated most of his life to global and local peace building initiatives, including 14 years with Search for Common Ground. He also served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone where he lived and worked in small remote bush villages. A long-time meditation practitioner, Philip enjoys studying and teaching about the parallels between inner and outer peace. He is author of God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis.

Rachelle Benveniste

Rachelle Benveniste was a national award-winning poet and writer and creative writing instructor for 20 years. She was the founder of Writing in the Light writing workshops in storytelling, memoir writing, poetry, essay, and free-flow writing.

Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author of over two dozen nonfiction books on religion and spirituality. Rami received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds a PH.D. in religion from Union Graduate School. A congregational rabbi for twenty years, Rabbi Rami currently co–directs the One River Wisdom School (oneriverwisdom.com). Rami also writes a regular column for Spirituality and Health magazine called Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler. He can be reached via his website, rabbirami.com/.

Rhonda Dean-Kyncl

Dr. Rhonda Dean- Kyncl currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Academic Services in the College of Arts & Sciences where she coordinates academic advising activities for the college.

Rhonda’s most transformative leadership experiences have come through a pursuit of spiritual engagement and authenticity. These experiences occurred through the contexts of a traditional recovery program utilizing the 12-step process and a 3-year contemplative prayer and spiritual direction program that culminated in her certification as a spiritual director.

Rhonda’s husband David is also a member of the OU community as an academic counselor. They have two children: Mary, who will be a first-year student here at OU in the fall and Jonathan, who is a freshman in high school.

Ronda LaRue

Ronda LaRue is an internationally regarded author, teacher, artist, and visionary guide in matters of perceptual breakthrough experiences, real life transformation, and spiritual awakening through everyday soulful living arts.

She is the author of two books, Remembering Who You Really Are, and The Art of Living Your Destiny.

Ronda is founder of Center for SoulArts in Ojai California, rated one of the top ten spiritual retreats in the world (Asia Spa Magazine, 2007). Here Ronda offers utterly unique private apprenticeship retreats to people from all over the world who come to engage in learning the art of inner seeing, self healing breakthrough, and direct awakening to True Self.

For more information: ronda@rondalarue.com or 805-746-1657

Richard Blum

Richard Blum has spent most of his professional life as a software developer and entrepreneur. He received his master’s degree in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University, where he studied with his mentor, Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon.

From Dr. Simon, Richard learned the value of uniting various disciplines, and how this merging can lead to deeper, broader knowledge. To that end he has continued his study of diverse subjects including physics, psychology, artificial intelligence, and spiritual cosmology.

Richard is a devoted follower of Meher Baba, and he has cultivated a meditation practice over the past forty years. He believes that science can help explain spiritual experience, and that spiritual cosmology can extend scientific knowledge. His focus is to unite science and spirituality into what he believes humanity desperately needs, a single cohesive vision of truth.

Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr OFM is a Franciscan of the New Mexico Province and the Founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An internationally recognized author and spiritual leader, Father Richard teaches primarily on incarnational mysticism, non-dual consciousness, and contemplation, with a particular emphasis on how these affect the social justice issues of our time.

He is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, Adam’s Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the 12 Steps, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, and his latest Immortal Diamond, on the Resurrection and the True Self, along with many recorded conferences. For a list of additional publications, visit cac.org.

Richard Siebels

Richard W. Siebels is a contemplative, a retired actuary, and currently serves as part-time Office Manager for Haverford Friends Meeting. Although he has close connections to Quakerism, he has a deep appreciation for many other traditions, seeing the profound connections which exist at the mystical level. Over the past 20 years, he has read extensively about the mystics, the various spiritual traditions, science and religion, evolutionary spirituality, and Interspirituality. He is a graduate of The School of the Spirit, a Quaker program, and The Guild for Spiritual Guidance, an interfaith program, and has served on the Board of both organizations.

Richard recently developed a presentation titled “Evolutionary Spirituality” which brings together the evolutionary story provided by science, beginning with the “Big Bang,” with the basic ideas given to us by the mystics throughout history. It suggests that it is important to have a “Story” which helps to connect us to the mystery which has been unfolding over the last 13.7 billion years. This connection can open us to a deep sense of awe and gratitude and lead us to see Love/Agape as the force which can help us create a viable future.

Rick Hanson

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books include: Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (in 14 languages), Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (in 25 languages), Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time (in 14 languages), and Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.

For more information, please see his full profile at www.RickHanson.net.

Robert Trabold

Robert Trabold holds several master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in Sociology, with a specialty in Urban Sociology. He has had a contemplative dimension for most of his life and is presently active in the John Main meditation and the Centering Prayer movements. He writes articles on meditation which have been published in Quest Magazine, Christian Meditation Newsletter, and Contemplative Link. He writes contemplative poetry, some of which has been published in Soul Fountain, Marie de l’Incarnation, Newsletter Therese Neumann, and on www.contemplativepath.com. He makes contemplative pilgrimages frequently to Spain, Québec, Canada, Germany, and Massachusetts, and has published articles on pilgrimage in The Quest Magazine, Catholic Worker, and Christian Meditation Newsletter. Each month he posts his contemplative poetry and an article on his website www.bobtrabold.com.

Roger Housden

Roger Housden is the author of twenty books on poetry, art and pilgrimage, including the best-selling Ten Poems to Change Your Life series. He holds writing classes in Marin, California and online on a variety of themes, and offers a free weekly poem to his mailing list at: http://www.rogerhousden.com/

Rory McEntee

Rory McEntee is a contemplative rooted in the tradition of interspirituality and new monasticism who works at an intersection of spirituality, education and culture. As a close friend and mentee of the late Brother Wayne Teasdale, he was part of the founding of the interspiritual movement. During that time he participated in dialogues and collaborated with many world spiritual leaders, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Currently, Rory is the administrator for the Snowmass InterSpiritual Dialogue, formerly known as The Snowmass Conference. Founded in 1984 by Father Thomas Keating, it brings together spiritual masters from different wisdom traditions to engage in intimate dialogue. He is the coauthor of New Monasticism: An Interspiritual Manifesto for Contemplative Life in the 21st Century. Rory can be reached at: rmcentee21@gmail.com

Ruthie Stender

Ruthie Stender

Ruthie Stender, certified meditation and yoga teacher, is an award-winning author in both memoir and spiritually based self-help. Ruthie believes that in sharing our stories we find greater compassion, love and understanding for one another and see just how interconnected we are as humans. Feeling this sort of heart connection with another human being is what motivates her as a writer and teacher.

The theme of Ruthie’s personal story is resilience. One thing she says she’s learned, though, is that resilience isn’t necessarily about “toughing it out” so much as it is about tapping into your spirit. Spiritual energy runs through our veins; it’s the life force that sustains us during hardship and lights us up on the other side of it. Ruthie’s aim is to help others remember, and draw on, their own resilience—their own spiritual energy—through her work as an author, teacher and speaker.

For more about Ruthie and her work, please visit www.ruthstender.com

Seán Ó Laoire

Father Seán Ó Laoire, M.A., E-RTY 500 was born in Ireland and was awarded a BSc degree (major in Mathematics) from the National University of Ireland. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1972 and subsequently spent 14 years working among the Kalenjin people of East Africa. He is multi-lingual.

Dr. Ó Laoire has an MA and a PhD in Transpersonal Psychology and is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private counseling practice in Los Altos, California. He lectures and conducts scientific research on the effects of prayer.

For more information, please visit his website.

Tilden Edwards

Tilden Edwards, Ph.D. is an Episcopal priest who founded Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He served as Executive Director from 1979 until 2000, and continues to be involved in Shalem’s Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership Program, Spiritual Guidance Program, Leading Contemplative Groups and Retreats Program, and the Society for Contemplative Leadership as one of Shalem’s Senior Fellows.

He is the author or editor of eight books—Spiritual Director, Spiritual Companion; Living in the Presence; Spiritual Friend; Sabbath Time; Living with Apocalypse (ed.); All God’s Children; and Living Simply Through the Day; Embracing the Call to Spiritual Depth: Gifts for Contemplative Living—and has written numerous journal articles about various aspects of the spiritual life.

Experience Tilden’s six-week eCourse, Living from the Spiritual Heart, offered by Shalem in January 2015. Click here to receive email updates from Shalem.

Toinette Lippe

Toinette Lippe was born in London, where she began her publishing career. In 1964 she came to New York City “for a year,” worked at Simon and Schuster for three years, and then at Alfred A. Knopf for more than thirty years as reprint rights director and editor of the Feng/English translation of Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching, Frederick Franck’s The Zen of Seeing, Ram Dass and Paul Gorman’s How Can I Help?, and other spiritual bestsellers. In 1989 she founded Bell Tower, where she published seventy books that nourished the soul, illuminated the mind, and spoke directly to the heart. Her own two books, Nothing Left Over: A Plain and Simple Life and Caught in the Act: Reflections on Being, Knowing, and Doing, were published in 2002 and 2004, and reissued as ebooks and paperbacks in 2014.

Toinette began to study brush painting in 2001. Her paintings, cards, and signed copies of her books can be viewed and purchased at www.toinettelippe.com.She taught ink painting at the Educational Alliance on New York’s Lower East Side from 2007 until 2011, and now offers small classes and private lessons on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Tom Rapsas

Tom Rapsas blogs on issues related to spirituality at Patheos, Elephant Journal, and Contemplative Journal. A long-time spiritual seeker and student of philosophy and religion, his influences include Thomas Moore, John Templeton, Napolean Hill, Ralph Trine, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Tom lives at the Jersey Shore with his wife, daughter, and nine cats. In 2012, he published Life Tweets, available at Amazon on Kindle and as a trade paperback. He has another book coming out in September 2013, a follow-up to Life Tweets, titled God Tweets.

You can reach him at tomrapsas@gmail.com or via Twitter @TomRapsasTweets

Tony Campolo

Tony Campolo is the founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), Dr. Campolo has worked to create, nurture and support programs for “at–risk” children in cities across North America, and has helped establish schools and universities in several developing countries.

Dr. Campolo is one of the founders of the Red Letter Christian movement and blogs regularly at its’ website, www.RedLetterChristians.org. He also is a media commentator on religious, social and political matters, having guested on television programs including The Colbert Report, Nightline, Crossfire, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN News and MSNBC News. He co-hosted his own television series, Hashing It Out, on the Odyssey Network and, presently hosts Across The Pond, a weekly program on the Premier Christian Radio Network in England. Dr. Campolo has authored of 39 books, with his latest release in October 2012, Red Letter Revolution (Thomas Nelson), with co-author Shane Claiborne.

For more information on Dr. Campolo, see www.TonyCampolo.org.

Vanessa Hurst

Vanessa Hurst is author of the book Engaging Compassion Through Intent & Action. She is a member of the Coordinating Circle for the Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville and coordinates its awareness campaign. A practicing contemplative for over 21 years, the natural rhythm of her life is to intentionally share compassion with herself, others, and all of creation.

Vanessa holds a master’s degree in Natural Health. In her practice as an intuitive healer and spiritual mentor, Vanessa understands living contemplatively and compassionately as the roots of healing. For her, compassion is a lived experience, one she hopes will touch all her relationships but most profoundly her relationship with her son, Merlin. She hopes to inspire many to engage compassion through intent and action. She can be reached through her website: www.intentionandaction.com.

William Sheehan

Rev. Bill Sheehan, OMI, is an experienced retreat director and has led many Centering Prayer workshops and retreats.

He has participated in Contemplative Outreach, founded by Fr Thomas Keating, OCSO, since 1983, and has practiced centering prayer and guided others in this way of prayer for more than 25 years. Fr. Bill has a rich background as a pastor, director of ministry to priests, director of formation, and director of the Oblate House of Theology.

He is a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and lives in an Oblate House of Prayer in Lowell, Massachusetts.