What is the Heart of the Mystical Life?
A Silent Gaze into the Face of Love.

Carl McColman writes and speaks about God, and silence, and love — about what ultimately cannot be put into words. In his words, “The heart of every word is silence, and the heart of spirituality is the mystery of love.”

Carl’s books — like the bestselling Big Book of Christian Mysticism and the forthcoming Unteachable Lessons — explore the spiritual life in a variety of ways. Carl’s approach to spirituality (and to life) is joyful and optimistic, filled with a sense of God calling us into deeper communion — and empowering us to transform the world.

Believing that spirituality should bring people together rather than set them apart, Carl’s work explores many paths, from Buddhism to Celtic wisdom to Neopaganism — while remaining grounded in contemplative Christianity. He takes particular delight in exploring how ancient (and often hidden) dimensions of mystical insight can bring joy and purpose to all spiritual seekers today.

Carl blogs about many aspects of spirituality. His latest project is Via Mystica, a website devoted to contemplative and mystical Christianity. His often whimsical writing makes spirituality accessible and down-to-earth. He also cohosts the Encountering Silence podcast.

Following a life-changing encounter with the presence of God as a teenager, Carl studied Christian spirituality at the Shalem Institute, and received formation as a spiritual director through the Institute for Pastoral Studies. He is a life-professed Lay Cistercian (a layperson under the spiritual guidance of Trappist monks) and is in formation to become a commissioned Centering Prayer instructor in late 2019.

What Others Say

Carl McColman gives much wise direction and broad understanding of the field of contemplative theory and practice. Here is your teacher!

Richard Rohr

Carl McColman’s first gift is his commitment to write about things that matter.  His second gift is his ability to write about them with clarity and warmth, enticing his readers to go places with him that we might otherwise not have gone.

— Barbara Brown Taylor

If you don’t know about Carl McColman and his work, you should.

— Brian D. McLaren

Latest Posts

Pictures of Rhiannon

My saving angel was... a chronically ill little girl. If you've read Unteachable Lessons, you know that the "star" of the title chapter of the book ...
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Unteachable Hope, or, My Dream for Readers of My Latest Book

"What is your greatest hope for this book?" This question came to me the other day from my friend Colette Lafia, a spiritual director and ...
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The Point Behind “Be Still and Know”

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” You can go into a ...
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Biased Against Creative Work? It’s Easy to Do

Recently I went for a walk with a good friend of mine. We were chatting as we walked, and one topic that came up was ...
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Contemplating Dragon Con: Pop Culture, Creativity, and the Masks We Wear

Each year on Labor Day weekend downtown Atlanta hosts Dragon Con, one of the larger conventions for fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics, horror, gaming, ...
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A Luminous Autobiography from America’s Most Unsung Mystic

Not all spiritual books are created equal. Of course, there are the theological differences: many books present an image of God that is limited, narrow, ...
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Carl’s Books

Unteachable Lessons (2019)
Invitation to Celtic Wisdom (2018)
Little Book of Christian Mysticism (2018)
Christian Mystics (2016)
Befriending Silence (2015)
Answering the Contemplative Call (2013)
Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader (2010)
Big Book of Christian Mysticism (2010)
366 Celt (2005)
The Aspiring Mystic (2000)
Spirituality (1997, reprinted with new forward 2008))

From 2001 to 2005 Carl wrote books about Neopagan spirituality. Learn about those books here: Eight Pagan Books (by a Christian Author)

Carl’s Speaking, Teaching and Retreats

Upcoming Events
Invite Carl to Speak at Your Church or Community

Carl’s Blogs

Personal Blog (on this website)
Via Mystica (Christian mysticism)
Patheos (contemplative living)

Carl’s Podcast

Encountering Silence (cohosted with Cassidy Hall and Kevin Johnson)

Ways to Stay Connected

Patreon: Donate to Support Carl’s Work
Purchase Autographed Copies of Carl’s Books
Carl’s Email Newsletter
Contact Carl

Carl’s work is supported by readers like you.