Sunday, August 29, 2010

Being fully present

When you walk into the church or up to the altar, bow or kneel or cross yourself, light a candle, offer peace to another, put money in the plate, kiss an icon, receive bread and wine — don't pull away inside. Don't separate and see yourself doing something. Just be fully present 'in the middle' of the gesture, with nothing left over.

-- Tilden Edwards

Tilden Edwards founded the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and served as its executive director for about twenty years. He continues to lecture and offer workshops. I had the wonderful privilege of studying with him some years ago as part of my training and formation as a spiritual director.


  1. Did you go to the Shalem Institute for some of your training? I did, and he is a wonderfully sweet man.

  2. Hi, Jan.

    When I lived in South Africa, the Institute of Christian Spirituality (a spiritual direction center founded at the request and with the patronage of Desmond Tutu) embarked upon the massive project of providing Shalem training for spiritual directors throughout the country. They invited Tilden Edwards and Sr. Rose Mary Dougherty to come and conduct a ten day intensive training program. This was HUGE. I can't tell you how many people participated. The sessions were held morning, afternoon and evening so that an enormous amount was packed in during a relatively short time.

    I had some lovely conversastions with Tilden and he wrote me a very encouraging letter (after they went back to the States) that I still have.


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