Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises

I have written about the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius with particular interest in the cross-over between what is often called “Ignatian spirituality” and Buddhist practice.

[For a figure as great as Ignatius, I have taken a detail from Ruben’s ‘The Miracle of St. Ignatius.”]

Buddha, S.J., December 11, 2008
This is a chapter from the book, Intimate Meanderings, which I put together with another ex-Jesuit Buddhist, Morgan Zo-Callahan, and many other collaborators.

The Spiritual Exercises and the Examen, May 30, 2009
I combined three posts about Ignatian prayer and what Ignatius calls “the Particular Examen.” I had intended to rewrite them as one piece, but I think that simply dating them while leaving them pretty much as I originally wrote them serves my purpose. I read them as a series of connected reflections.
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a personal reflection
The Examen
This may be heresy, but does it work?
Steps in Making the Ignatian Examen

Further notes on Jesuit Zen adepts, September 20, 2008. This is a rewrite of an article that I wrote about the “Jesuit roshis” and my omission of Fr. William Johnston, S.J. in my tribute to Jesuit Zen Masters in Buddha, S.J. I dedicate it to all the Jesuits who have practiced zazen. Through their practice I have rediscovered the heart of St. Ignatius.

In honor of Mahatma Gandhi — 8.15.08
Taking the Next Step, A Note on Activism as a Spiritual Practice

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, [Originally posted January 6, 2008]
Blogger and friend Charles Gates (You have a friend) asked me how I felt about Jesuits now having their terrible histories as pedophiles show up in the courts—and the news. I wrote this when I revisited a conversation that I had with my friend Avery Dulles. I did not mention him by name when he was alive out of respect for his position and our friendship; though I think that he might have endorsed what I said, I didn’t want to expose my version of his words to the lurkers on the Internet who love bits of gossip that they can distort.

A Prayer for the Jesuits, January 6, 2008
Who might they be, this trio,
Rhythm of life sprung free, intricate,
“brute beauty and valor and act…”
this godlike glance, this genesis?

from “The Windhover” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Zen Bland, February 08, 2010
My friend Laurence Platt just sent me a piece he wrote called “Zen Bland.” [Please see Laurence’s website: Conversations For Transformation: Essays By Laurence Platt Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard, And More].
In it he makes a strong case that simple and unembellished language is the only authentic way to describe deeply moving, transformative experiences. His essay was not a bland piece at all but very juicy. What a really radical notion—living life here and now, speaking about it simply, not altering our experience trying to make it into something else! I think that it applies to meditation practice, and living, as well as writing.

Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Tom Marshall, S.J. (October 9, 1922-March 11, 2010)
On March 22, after his funeral mass at the Jesuit Sacred Hear Center in Los Gatos, I chanted the Heart Sutra as well as the Kanon Gyo at the graveside of Tom Marshall, S.J., a lay brother of the Society of Jesus, an ordained Zen priest in both the Soto and Rinzai lineages, and a wonderful friend. This is the dedication I wrote for my friend and mentor.

Articles that I posted by other authors:

Inclined Toward Love: Notes While Doing the Spiritual Exercises, by Morgan Zo-Callahan. Morgan’s personal reflections while doing a Nineteenth Annotation retreat, 1998-1999

“When I read the actual text of the Exercises, I am amazed that they have withstood the test of time. This thin volume has been printed more than four and a half million times over more than four centuries, making it one of the most influential works about prayer and meditation in the western world. It is not a self-help book, and Ignatius’ directions for the retreat director are as precise, detailed, unembellished, and as dry as any instructions that have ever been written."

Finding God in All Things, by Bonnie Johnson
Bonnie is a great friend and a great spirit. At the request of her husband, Daniel, I introduced her to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius; she picked up the ball and ran with it, exploring and digging further, following her own inspiration and gifts.

Jesuits to Elect a New 'Black Pope'
by Jeff Israely/Rome
with reporting by Francesco Peloso/Rome
The 35th General Congregation elected Fr. Adolfo Nicholas as the General. This article looks at the way the General Congregation of the Jesuits goes about selecting the successor to Ignatius Loyola.


The Beginnings of a Christian-Zen Bibliography

An Ignatian Bibliography

Intimate Meanderings, Appendix III: Websites and Resources for the Spiritual Exercises (compiled by Morgan Zo-Callahan and Ken Ireland)

This could be the most extensive Ignatian bibliography on the Internet. It contains much more than just titles of works about the Exercises themselves. Morgan and I share the attitude that the work of Ignatius demands a looking and seeking in the world. Titles we have not read ourselves were found in the bibliographies in works by an author whom we have read and admired.