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Carl McColman
Carl McColman is a Life-Professed Lay Cistercian — a contemplative Christian who receives formal spiritual guidance from Trappist monks. He is a member of a Lay Cistercian community affiliated with a monastery near his home in Clarkston, Georgia. Carl is the author of several books, including “The Big Book of Christian Mysticism,” “Answering the Contemplative Call,” and “Befriending Silence.” His writing appears on Patheos and the Huffington Post in addition to his own blog at While rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition, Carl has a strong affinity with interspirituality and has been active in the Atlanta Interfaith Community. He is particularly interested in the question of fostering vibrant contemplative practice in the context of local, neighborhood churches and faith communities.

A Trappist Monastery in Your Heart: Wisdom of the Cistercians for Daily Life
From Thomas Merton to Thomas Keating to the Monks of Tibhirine, the wisdom of the Trappists has inspired many people with their humility, their deep contemplative silence, and their keen understanding of the radical call of the Gospel. From the seclusion of their monastic cloister, Trappist (Cistercian) monks have been at the forefront of interfaith dialogue, contemplative prayer, and prophetic calls for justice and peace. In our session we will take a closer look at the centuries-old spiritual wisdom that has inspired the Trappists for generations. We’ll talk about prayer, compassion, community-building, earthiness, simple living, and other charisms (gifts) that embody this ancient spiritual wisdom tradition. But this is more than just an academic talk: we’ll look at practical ways to apply Cistercian wisdom to the concerns and challenges of life outside of monastery walls.

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