For three decades, I’ve studied and practiced various forms of the spiritual life and taught what I’ve discovered about how to pray, to live fully in the present, opening to God with every breath.
My search for real union with God through prayer has carried me among Coptic Orthodox monks in the Egyptian desert, Protestant social activists at Iona, Scotland, Emergent evangelicals in the US and Canada, Anglicans in Oxford, England, and Benedictine Catholic monks from Camaldoli, Italy, as well as among my own tribe—the Presbyterians and other mainline Christians in the US.
My chief interest is in helping contemporary Christians and spiritual seekers to recover the relevance and simplicity of ancient Christian spiritual practices for modern life. These ancient practices go by various names: contemplation, meditation, the Prayer of the Heart, interior/unceasing prayer, the Jesus Prayer, and hesychia. I also learn from the wisdom of other traditions—Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, and Jewish—and what they can teach those who seek union with God.
Currently, I serve as the pastor of the University Presbyterian Church in Fresno, California, and teach courses at Fresno Pacific University and it’s seminary. An Oblate at the New Camaldoli Hermitage (Benedictine) in Big Sur, California, I have authored several books, including my most recent, Returning to the Center: Living Prayer in a Distracting World (the first section is available as a free downloadable eBook).
I’m married to Patty, the joy of my life. Between us we enjoy five grown children and their spouses and partners.