Cover art for podcast Turning to The Mystics with James Finley

Turning to The Mystics with James Finley

86 EpisodesProduced by Center for Action and ContemplationWebsite

Turning to the Mystics is a podcast for people searching for something more meaningful, intimate and richly present in the divine gift of their lives. James Finley, clinical psychologist and Living School faculty, offers a modern take on the historical contemplative practices of Christian mystics li… read more

86 Episodes | 2020 - 2022

Introducing James Finley

February 8th, 2020

1:27:11

On this introductory episode, Kirsten Oates introduces us to James Finley, our guide for this podcast. Together they explore the journey of Jim's life and how turning to the mystics and leaning into their experiences …

Instructions for The Practice

February 17th, 2020

29:23

In this episode, Kirsten Oates and James Finley are in dialogue about the form and practice of Turning to the Mystics. In this spirit James Finley begins by outlining the 3 contemplative archetypes that serve as …

Turning to Thomas Merton

February 24th, 2020

54:08

In this episode, Kirsten Oates and James Finley are in conversation about Jim’s approach to studying the mystics, how one might integrate their teachings into our daily lives, and most notably a background and sense of …

Thomas Merton: Session 1

March 2nd, 2020

23:32

This is the first episode of eight that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a seminal passage from Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation, …

Thomas Merton: Session 2

March 9th, 2020

31:11

This is the second episode of eight that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In the spirit of Lectio Divina, James Finley highlights a prayer from …

Thomas Merton: Session 3

March 16th, 2020

26:31

This is the third episode of eight that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In the spirit of Lectio Divina, James Finley reflects …

Bonus: Sink Into the Taproot of Your Heart

March 23rd, 2020

53:42

In this special episode of Turning to the Mystics, James Finley is joined by Kirsten Oates to pause and reflect on this timely moment we are all in with the world facing the pandemic, COVID-19. James grounds …

Thomas Merton: Session 4

March 30th, 2020

29:39

This is the fourth episode of eight that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In the spirit of Lectio Divina, James Finley re-visits Thomas …

Bonus: Deathless Beauty in the Fleetingness of Time

April 2nd, 2020

41:27

In this special episode of Turning to the Mystics, James Finley is joined by Kirsten Oates to pause and reflect on this timely moment we are all in with the world facing the pandemic, COVID-19. James grounds his …

Thomas Merton: Session 5

April 6th, 2020

29:26

This is the fifth episode of eight that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In the spirit of Lectio Divina, James Finley looks at a contemplative prayer from Thomas Merton’s Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. In this …

Bonus: A Meditation on Holy Week

April 8th, 2020

37:36

In this bonus episode of Turning to The Mystics, Jim and Kirsten are focusing on Holy Week and discussing what this ritual can offer us as we …

Thomas Merton: Session 6

April 13th, 2020

29:52

This is the sixth episode of eight that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In the spirit of Lectio Divina, James Finley draws from Thoms Merton’s The Seven Story Mountain and James Finley’s own Merton’s Palace of …

Bonus: Grounding Ourselves in Life and Resurrection

April 15th, 2020

53:20

In this bonus episode of Turning to The Mystics, as we enter Eastertide, Jim and Kirsten are focusing on an Easter message that will help us reflect on the truth of life and resurrection so that we might ground …

Thomas Merton: Session 7

April 20th, 2020

44:38

This is the seventh episode of eight that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In the spirit of Lectio Divina, James Finley draws from Thomas Merton’s The Inner Experience teaching from some of Thomas Merton's 11 …

Thomas Merton: Session 8

April 27th, 2020

30:32

This is the eighth and final episode in this series that focuses on the mystic, Thomas Merton. In this episode, Jim revisits our explorations of Thomas Merton by singling out themes or aspects of his teachings, and how …

Thomas Merton: Responding to Listener Questions

May 4th, 2020

1:15:04

On this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions about Thomas Merton that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 1st season. The transcript for this episode can be found here.

To learn more about …

Questions About the Practice

May 11th, 2020

1:00:21

On this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions about spiritual practices that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 1st season. The transcript for this episode can be found here.

To learn more …

Additional Resources for Studying Thomas Merton

May 28th, 2020

10:17

This is a mini-episode to round out our series on Thomas Merton. A common request we received during the airing of Turning to Thomas Merton was for further reading and additional resources. Jim and Kirsten put together …

Bonus: The Mystics and Social Justice

June 10th, 2020

22:14

On this bonus episode, Jim and Kirsten are offering a reflection on what it means to turn to the mystics during this time of increasing awareness of …

Turning to Teresa of Avila

June 15th, 2020

1:04:48

Welcome to Season 2 of Turning to the Mystics. In this episode, Kirsten Oates and James Finley turning to Teresa of Avila and discovering how one might integrate her teachings into our daily lives. By the end of this …

Teresa of Avila: Session 1

June 22nd, 2020

32:05

This is the first session that focuses on the mystic, Teresa of Avila. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from Teresa's The Interior Castle, and reflects on the …

Teresa of Avila: Session 2

June 29th, 2020

28:41

This is the second session that focuses on the mystic, Teresa of Avila. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from the second mansion of Teresa's The Interior Castle, …

Dialogue: The First Mansion

July 6th, 2020

1:01:57

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten have a dialogue around the first mansion of Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle and discuss the path it provides …

Dialogue: The Second Mansion

July 13th, 2020

1:09:55

On this episode, Jim and Kirsten have a dialogue around the second mansion of Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle and discuss the path it provides for spiritual transformation. In this episode, Kirsten references a …

Teresa of Avila: Session 3

July 20th, 2020

34:06

This is the third session that focuses on the mystic, Teresa of Avila. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from the fourth mansion of Teresa's The Interior Castle, …

Dialogue: The Fourth Mansion

July 27th, 2020

52:17

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten have a dialogue around the fourth mansion of Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle and discuss the path it provides for spiritual transformation. In this episode, Kirsten references a …

Teresa of Avila: Session 4

August 10th, 2020

47:23

This is the fourth session that focuses on the mystic, Teresa of Avila. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from the fifth mansion of Teresa’s The Interior Castle, …

Dialogue: The Fifth Mansion

August 17th, 2020

58:39

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten have a dialogue around the fifth mansion of Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle and discuss the path it provides for spiritual transformation. In this episode, Kirsten references a …

Bonus: The Life and Work of Teresa of Avila feat. Mirabai Starr

August 24th, 2020

1:11:50

Before we venture into the 6th and 7th mansions, we wanted to pause and air this bonus episode in which Jim, Kirsten, and special guest Mirabai Starr explore the life story of Teresa of Avila, and what it means for us …

Teresa of Avila: Session 5

August 31st, 2020

53:43

This is the fifth session that focuses on the mystic, Teresa of Avila. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from the sixth mansion of Teresa’s The Interior Castle, …

Teresa of Avila: Session 6

September 7th, 2020

40:17

This is the sixth session that focuses on the mystic, Teresa of Avila. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from the seventh mansion of Teresa’s The Interior Castle, …

Bonus: Richard Rohr on Turning to Teresa of Avila

September 14th, 2020

1:02:10

Today on the show we have our friend Richard Rohr on the show. In it, we talk about how he discovered Teresa of Avila, the impact she made on his …

Dialogue: The Sixth and Seventh Mansions (Part 1)

September 21st, 2020

1:05:41

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten have their first dialogue around the sixth and seventh mansions of Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle and discuss the path it provides for spiritual transformation. In this episode, …

Dialogue: The Sixth and Seventh Mansions (Part 2)

September 28th, 2020

1:00:26

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten have their second dialogue around the sixth and seventh mansions of Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle and discuss the path it provides for spiritual transformation. In this episode, …

Teresa of Avila: Listener Questions (Part 1)

October 5th, 2020

59:45

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 2nd season.

Resources:

  • Turning to the …

Teresa of Avila: Listener Questions (Part 2)

October 12th, 2020

1:09:51

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 2nd season.

Resources:

  • Turning to the …

Bonus: Grounding Meditation for the Election

November 3rd, 2020

14:30

In this bonus episode of Turning to the Mystics, Jim Finley and Kirsten Oates offer a 10-minute grounding meditation to help nourish us in times of strife and stress, as many are feeling today and all these long …

Bonus: The Gift (A Meditation on Advent)

December 8th, 2020

19:37

In this bonus episode, Jim Finley offers an Advent meditation on the gift of God in and as our lives. In this teaching, Jim provides an image of this gift, the invitation to awaken to its presence, habituate it through …

Coming Soon: Turning to St. John of the Cross

February 8th, 2021

4:26

Season 3 of Turning to the Mystics will continue with our next mystic, St. John of the Cross. We will begin our journey together on March 8th, 2021.

Many have emailed and asked which book we will be working out of. You …

Turning to St. John of the Cross

March 8th, 2021

1:07:01

Welcome to Season 3 of Turning to the Mystics. In this episode, Kirsten Oates and James Finley are turning to 16th-century Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross and discovering how one might integrate his poetry and …

St. John of the Cross: Session 1

March 15th, 2021

38:04

This is the first session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from St. John's The Ascent of Mount Carmel, and …

Dialogue 1: The Ascent of Mount Carmel

March 22nd, 2021

40:26

This is the first session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from St. John's The Ascent of Mount Carmel, and …

St. John of the Cross: Session 2

March 29th, 2021

53:57

This is the second session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from St. John's The Ascent of Mount Carmel, and …

Bonus Good Friday Homily: Are We Forsaken?

April 2nd, 2021

21:34

This morning Jim Finley gave a homily called "Are We Forsaken?" for a Good Friday service with the Center for Action and Contemplation's staff, board, and extended community and we wanted to share it with you. We hope …

Dialogue 2: The Ascent of Mount Carmel

April 5th, 2021

51:01

This is the second dialogue that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 2, which covered The …

St. John of the Cross: Session 3

April 12th, 2021

59:12

This is the third session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from St. John's The Ascent of Mount Carmel, and …

St. John of the Cross: Session 4

April 19th, 2021

49:10

This is the fourth session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross, and the conclusion on The Ascent of Mount Carmel. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage …

Dialogue 3: The Ascent of Mount Carmel

April 26th, 2021

57:26

This is the third dialogue that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 4, which covered The …

St. John of the Cross: Session 5

May 3rd, 2021

39:24

This is the fifth session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. With this episode, Jim turns to his work on The Dark Night. In this episode, Jim explores the question, "How does a person in today’s world …

Dialogue 4: The Dark Night

May 10th, 2021

50:39

This is the fourth dialogue that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 5, which covered The Dark Night. Next week, we'll release a bonus talk on the Dark Night

Bonus Session: The Dark Night

May 17th, 2021

18:49

In this bonus episode, Jim concludes the section on The Dark Night by reflecting on it using two key passages from the text.

Resources:

  • Turning to the …

St. John of the Cross: Session 6

May 24th, 2021

41:10

This is the sixth session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. With this episode, Jim turns back to Thomas Merton's book, The Inner Experience, to summarize his own understanding of The Dark Night and …

Dialogue 5: The Inner Experience

May 31st, 2021

55:49

This is the fifth dialogue that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 6, which covered Thomas Merton's The Inner Experience as a means of introducing us to the …

St. John of the Cross: Session 7

June 7th, 2021

40:38

This is the seventh session that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. With this episode, Jim turns to St. John of the Cross's work on The Spiritual Canticle and The Living Flame of Love, moving us from The Dark …

Dialogue 6: The Spiritual Canticle

June 14th, 2021

46:48

This is the sixth dialogue that focuses on the mystic, St. John of the Cross. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 7, which covered The …

St. John of the Cross: Listener Questions

July 12th, 2021

1:14:52

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 3rd season.

Resources:

  • Turning to the …

Bonus: The Dark Night, Depression and Suffering

July 19th, 2021

46:34

On this bonus episode of Turning to the Mystics, Jim and Kirsten are joined by long-time friend Mirabai Starr to reflect on listener questions about …

Turning to Guigo II

October 25th, 2021

1:01:37

Welcome to Season 4 of Turning to the Mystics. In this episode, Kirsten Oates and James Finley are turning to Carthusian monk Guigo II to discover the roots of contemplative practice with Guigo's work on The Ladder of …

Guigo II: Session 1

November 1st, 2021

50:40

This is the first session that focuses on the mystic, Guigo II. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from Guigo's The Ladder of Monks, and reflects on the qualitative …

Dialogue 1: What is Lectio, Meditation, and Prayer?

November 8th, 2021

1:11:12

This is the first dialogue that focuses on the mystic, Guigo II. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 1, which covered The Ladder of Monks

Guigo II: Session 2

November 18th, 2021

44:48

This is the second session that focuses on the mystic, Guigo II. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from Guigo's The Ladder of Monks, and reflects on the …

Dialogue 2: What is Mystical Contemplation?

November 22nd, 2021

54:29

This is the second dialogue that focuses on the mystic, Guigo II. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 2, which covered The Ladder of …

Guigo II: Session 3

November 29th, 2021

48:28

This is the third session that focuses on the mystic, Guigo II. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from Guigo's The Ladder of Monks, and reflects on the qualitative …

Dialogue 3: Mystical Consciousness, The Path of Consistency

December 6th, 2021

51:45

This is the third dialogue that focuses on the mystic, Guigo II. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 3, which covered The Ladder of Monks

A Coaching Session on Lectio

December 13th, 2021

49:28

On this special episode, Jim coaches Kirsten in implementing the Lectio practice that he has been teaching from Guigo II's work on The Ladder of Monks

Bonus: Childlike Acceptance (An Advent Reflection)

December 17th, 2021

1:20:55

On this bonus episode, Jim gives a talk on childlike acceptance as a reflection for this Advent season. This was recorded with a live virtual audience.

We'll return with our last episode of Season 4 on Monday with …

Guigo II: Listener Questions

December 20th, 2021

1:07:46

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 4th season around Guigo II, The …

Turning to The Cloud of Unknowing

March 7th, 2022

47:36

Welcome to Season 5 of Turning to the Mystics. In this episode, Kirsten Oates and James Finley are turning to the anonymous mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. Throughout this season, we will work with the text and …

The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 1

March 14th, 2022

38:16

This is the first session that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, and reflects on …

Dialogue 1: The Common Life

March 21st, 2022

48:33

This is the first dialogue that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 1 where Jim talks about the first of four phases in The Cloud of Unknowing, the …

The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 2

March 28th, 2022

38:55

This is the second session that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, and reflects …

Dialogue 2: The Special Life

April 4th, 2022

50:32

This is the second dialogue that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 2 where Jim talks about the second of four phases in The Cloud of Unknowing, the …

The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 3

April 11th, 2022

43:18

This is the third session that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, and reflects on …

Dialogue 3: The Singular Life

April 18th, 2022

54:25

This is the third dialogue that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 3 where Jim talks about the third of four phases in The Cloud of Unknowing, the …

The Cloud of Unknowing: Session 4

April 25th, 2022

52:14

This is the fourth session that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins with a passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, and reflects …

Dialogue 4: The Perfect Life

May 2nd, 2022

53:54

This is the fourth and final dialogue that focuses on the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 3 where Jim talks about the fourth and final phase in The Cloud of …

A Coaching Session on Centering Prayer

May 9th, 2022

46:29

On this special episode, Jim coaches Kirsten in implementing the Centering Prayer practice that he has been teaching about from within The Cloud of …

The Cloud of Unknowing: Listener Questions

June 8th, 2022

1:16:02

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions that were submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 5th season around The Cloud of Unknowing.

Due to the length of this episode, we are providing key markers …

Turning to Julian of Norwich

August 29th, 2022

1:02:04

Welcome to Season 6 of Turning to the Mystics. This season we are turning to 14th-century English mystic Julian of Norwich for spiritual guidance. In …

Julian of Norwich: Session 1

September 5th, 2022

36:26

This is the first session that focuses on the mystic, Julian of Norwich. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins …

Dialogue 1: Chapter 10, The Long Text

September 12th, 2022

46:56

This is the first dialogue that focuses on the mystic, Julian of Norwich. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 1 where Jim talks about …

Julian of Norwich: Session 2

September 19th, 2022

36:04

This is the second session that focuses on the mystic, Julian of Norwich. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins …

Dialogue 2: Chapter 10, The Long Text

September 26th, 2022

48:10

This is the second dialogue that focuses on the mystic, Julian of Norwich. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 2 where Jim continues his …

Julian of Norwich: Session 3

October 3rd, 2022

36:28

This is the third session that focuses on the mystic, Julian of Norwich. In the tenor of the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, James Finley begins …

Dialogue 3: Chapter 5

October 10th, 2022

56:30

This is the third dialogue that focuses on the mystic, Julian of Norwich. In this episode, Jim and Kirsten discuss Session 3 where Jim gave a talk …

Julian of Norwich: Listener Questions

November 10th, 2022

1:18:04

In this episode, Jim and Kirsten answer questions submitted by the listeners during the airing of the 6th season around Julian of Norwich.

Resources:

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