Experiencing God Directly: Book Discussion


Houston Physicist, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

Wednesday evenings starting October 6

This is a six-week book discussion using the book Experiencing God Directly: The Way of Christian Nonduality by Marshall Davis. Topics will include the practice of God’s Presence, a knowing awareness of oneness with God in each moment, and how such nondual awareness relates to God’s Kingdom within. We will begin each session with twenty minutes of shared silence in a contemplative practice such as centering prayer.



We will meet via Zoom on multiple Wednesdays from 7:15pm to 8:45pm:

  • October 6, 13, 20
  • November 3, 10, 17

To ensure consistent and fruitful participation, please be willing to commit to at least five of those six dates. For our first session, Wednesday, October 6, please have read chapter one of the book.

Register below. Registration is free, but please only sign up if you can participate. Email guesthouse@ssje.org if you have any questions.

At this time, the program is full. You may wish to check back near the first meeting date in case anyone has cancelled their registration.

Submit any questions to guesthouse@ssje.org

The Gospel Way to Freedom and Love

Gospel Way to Freedom and Love

Video Series

Sign up below to access the series
Gospel Way to Freedom and Love

Many of us spend time and energy seeking the “glittering” things we think will make us happy, only to find that deep joy and peace and love have eluded us. Br. David Vryhof invites us to discover the “freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21) that comes when we ground our identity in God, rather than in those things that the world counts most valuable.

Br. David Vryhof offered this online workshop on
Saturday, October 2, 9:00am to 12:00pm EDT

Sign up below to receive the link to the video series and materials.

The Art of Discernment in Prayer

“Let me pray about that…”:
The Art of Discernment in Prayer  

A five part video series

Making decisions is a part of life. Join Br. David Vryhof in exploring the role of prayer in making life choices. How do we discern which of the options before us represents “the will of God” for our lives?

Sign up below to access the video series. Available now.


The Wayless Way: July 1 – 4



The Wayless Way: An Online and At-Home Retreat

Dates: July 1 (afternoon) to July 4 (morning)

Facilitator: Br. Nicholas Bartoli, SSJE

Click Here to Register

The title of this retreat, “The Wayless Way,” was the name given to the spiritual path offered by Meister Eckhart, a 13th century theologian and mystic. It is characterized by resting deeply into silence, surrendering to the process of self-emptying, and abiding in the awareness of God’s Kingdom within. Following Jesus in this wayless way encourages a baptismal journey of death and resurrection in Christ.

Our primary intention for the retreat will be to deepen into the silence and stillness of God’s presence, abiding in the Light of Christ, and in the unitive awareness of our True Self. To facilitate our journey into this silent land we will commit to not engaging in conversation outside of designated times. This time of silence will start on Thursday afternoon and end at 11:00 am on Sunday morning.

Aside from when necessary to participate in the retreat, please refrain from using electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatch, etc.) as these devices make it extremely easy to avoid the solitude of a humble heart where the Holy One dwells, and Christ is born. Optionally, if you would like an even more thorough experience of silence, you may consider limiting your reading to only what is part of the retreat. All kinds of writing, like journaling, drawing, etc., are encouraged.

Since this is an online retreat, please be ready to fully commit to the entire duration of the retreat and to the sanctity of our time together. This means taking full responsibility of your own experience of silence, stillness, and solitude during the retreat. It may be helpful to take care of things like shopping before the retreat starts and to let your friends and loved ones know that this will be a time of retreat for you. In addition, please remember that this is your retreat, so listen to the wisdom of your body, mind, and spirit as you decide how best to participate.

We will share a practice of centering prayer three times on Friday and Saturday, and once on Sunday morning. These will be rich opportunities to share this silent journey together. These sessions will thirty minutes long, however you can practice as long as you’d like. A full schedule will be sent to participants before the retreat starts.

Click Here to Register

Note: When the program is full, the registration form will no longer appear. Reach out to guesthouse@ssje.org with any questions.


Centering Prayer: Program Registration


Centering Prayer is the contemplative practice of silently resting in the stillness of God’s Presence. There is no goal, only an intention to allow ourselves deep rest for our souls. This practice is very helpful along our journey toward self-emptying and living in union with God in Christ.

This six-week offering is intended both for those with a seasoned contemplative prayer practice and those new to this style of prayer. We will meet on Wednesday evenings at 7:15 pm Eastern from April 28 to June 2, 2021. Each session will begin with instruction and inspiration leading into a 30-minute silent practice. We will end with any reflections people might have on the experience of the practice.

In order to maintain the integrity of the group over time please commit to at least four Wednesdays out of six, preferably all six. This offering is limited to 20 participants. Upon registration, participants will receive an email with further details, including the Zoom link and meeting ID for all sessions.

There will be a fee of $25.00 USD for this program. Pay with Credit Card to register below.

If you are new to this kind of practice, or just want a refresher, here are some resources:

  • The Path of Centering Prayer by David Frenette
  • The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice by Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer by Richard Rohr
  • Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating


Note: When the program is full, the registration form will no longer appear below. Reach out to guesthouse@ssje.org with any questions.

Registration Full. Email guesthouse@ssje.org to be put on the waitlist, or for more information.

Embodied Prayer – Online

A short program from Br. Luke

The platform Teachable will be the central point for materials and resources for this learning series as we’ll get out of our often too-serious and word-filled heads, move, create and see, imagine, and linger with God.

Go through the lessons at your own pace. Each contains a 1-3 minute video and text meditation, a 20-30 minute teaching video and documents describing various prayer practices. Using the comment section, we can share in what we are experiencing and learning.

To enroll, fill out this form below. You will receive an on-screen confirmation, and an email with further instructions to create an account with Teachable.

If you have questions or miss a link, please contact Andrew at guesthouse@ssje.org

Embodied Prayer - Online Course from SSJE

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Abiding with Christ: An Exploration of the Gospel According to John

A Small Group for Students  

Saturday evenings from February 20th to April 24th, at 7:15pm EST for one hour each meeting.

In our community’s Rule of Life, the brothers say, “We find a profound significance for our own lives in what the fourth gospel tells us of the Beloved Disciple’s friendship with Jesus and his call to be a witness to the mystery of the Incarnation.” We invite you to join us in exploring this call to friendship and witness with Christ. This is an opportunity to come together, share our experiences of prayer, and engage with Scripture, that we might experience a “real and growing bond of personal love” with Christ. Through weekly sessions of community prayer and discussion, we will reflect on Jesus’ many encounters throughout John’s Gospel, and how we may encounter Christ in our own lives.

Eligibility: While meetings will begin online, it is our hopeful intention to meet in-person when this becomes safely possible. As such, this cohort’s participation is limited to graduate and undergraduate students of Boston-area schools. This group is open to participants regardless of gender. Commitment to Christian faith is an expectation, though we warmly welcome participants from a variety of Christian traditions as well as those who may be new to faith.

After registering, you will receive an email the week of February 15th with further details and a link to our meeting.

Thank you for your interest in our student group Abiding with Christ. Our group is full at this time. We hope you will be able to join us for future groups and programming.


Send any questions to guesthouse@ssje.org

Monastic Wisdom for Small Parishes: May 16, 2020

Saturday, May 16, 2020 (9:00 am-2:30 pm; includes lunch, doors open at 8:45 am)
Leader: Brs. Jonathan Maury , Jim Woodrum and Sean Glenn

This workshop is tailored for both lay and ordained leaders of small parishes who wish to nurture Christian Community using the classic monastic themes of Hospitality, Prayer and Worship.  In this workshop, Brothers will present on these themes and offer suggestions/resources for how to enliven and strengthen Community within a small parish atmosphere. 

Monastic Wisdom for Small Parishes: May 16, 2020 

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Cultivating the Gift of Patience: March 28, 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020 (9:00 am-12:15 pm, doors open at 8:45 am)
Leader: Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

According to Trappist monk and author Michael Casey, in Western Monasticism patience is seen as the “principal battleground” where we work out our salvation.  It is “the practical expression of faith and hope and an important indication of the genuineness of the interior life.”  Gregory the Great calls it “the root and guardian of all the virtues.” Impatience, on the other hand, is also taken seriously; it is, in the words of Bernard of Clairvaux, “nothing less than the soul’s perdition” (i.e. the soul’s utter destruction).  In this workshop, we’ll try to understand why monastics valued the virtue of patience so highly and how they encouraged us to attain it.

Cultivating the Gift of Patience: March 28, 2020

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FULL – The Way of the Heart: Christianity as Inner Path: January 18, 2020

Saturday, January 18, 2020 (9:00 am-12:15 pm, doors open at 8:45 am)
Leader: Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

The Heart is a poignant symbol in Christian scripture and tradition, an inner sanctum where we can abide with Christ in the midst of busy lives and the whirlwind of our own thoughts. In this workshop we will explore ancient and medieval texts and the work of contemporary spiritual writers on the Heart: the center of our being and the birthplace of our transfiguration in Christ. Contemplative, body-centered exercises will offer tools for grounding and applying these insights in daily life.