Philokalia means 'love of the beautiful and the good', and the writings that were added to this collection were mostly concerned with the importance of awakening and developing attention and consciousness.
Themes of cultural and religious identity loomed large in Agha Shahid Ali's work, as written in his poem Prayer Rug.
Brother David Steindl-Rast hones in on a transcendental moment of the day which in the monastic tradition is a time of reflection and healing.
In this essay about anger and injustice, writer and social activist Alice Walker begins by presenting a curse prayer found by Zora Neale Hurston that is more than a century old.
A moment of transcendence is captured by Robert Miner in this short and evocative poem inspired by the sight of a group of students flying kites on a quad. The movement from the earth to the sky and the devotional missive of the kites being sent up and disappearing into the darkness come together like a silent prayer or a whispered exchange between mortals and the infinite.
Simone Weil lauds 'unmixed attention', which she likens to prayer, and reflects on the quality of attention, expressed as 'patience, effort and method' to 'understand with our whole self the truths which are evident.'
Brian Doyle's essays are accessible and uplifting to people of all and no faith inclinations. His humorous and poignant prayers touch the details of our lives and the beings that we often overlook: in this case, shop cashiers, herons and international terrorists, but also sunscreen, chess and the state of Iowa.
Oklahoma-born Joy Harjo is a member of the Mvskoke Nation and the United States' 23rd poet laureate, the first Native American to be nominated for the post. Much of the imagery she uses in her poems is couched in nature as well as myth and ancestry. In Eagle Poem, she invokes circles and revolutions, wordless… Continue reading Eagle Poem – Joy Harjo