This blog is my attempt to keep a conversation going with friends that started on back porches in Austin, TX in the late-1990s about spiritual life, relationships, and what matters. Unlike many of my back porch comrades, I wasn’t raised in any spiritual tradition, but have been practicing in one form or another since age 20.

Over the years, conversations have continued in various forms and with various friends in the booths of City Deli in San Diego, at the Buddhist Geeks Conferences in Boulder, at Holy Ground in Long Beach, at Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, in countless living rooms, coffee shops, and of course in the usual hodgepodge of online spaces and communities.

Now that I’m in my 40s, I’m more clear about the specific topics I want to dig into and the feedback I’m looking for, so here we go.

My current primary practice is in the Christian tradition, though my approach to it is heavily influenced by Buddhism, particularly the tantric view. David Chapman’s writing on Meaningness has also been enormously helpful and a blast to read.

Other misc clarifications:

  • I’m not a spiritual teacher of any kind
  • The goal of this blog is not to develop a following or monetize anything
  • Half the purpose is just to create a beautiful filing cabinet
  • There are already great online spaces that are squarely within the Christian or Buddhist traditions, but I like to get into the weeds, philosophically, with anyone who wrestling with philosophy and practice in any tradition
  • Relatedly, I welcome respectful debate and disagreement! I find that even in communities that value openness, people are rarely straightforward with each other, as in, “This is how I am currently interpreting and applying these teachings.” Folks more often just try to re-state what their teacher said in their own words, or are self-deprecating about their lack of understanding. I am going to write about my practice with confidence, because I take practice seriously and I’m doing my best. But that doesn’t mean I’m not confused! Let’s get into all of it, without embarrassment.