Join us for worship at 8am and 10:30am Sundays, 10am Wednesdays.

Contemplative Practices

“Contemplation is more like a spiral than a line; you keep 20140217_100424 returning to the places you’ve been, even as you progress on the journey of your life.”
~Carl McColman

St. James’ hosts several opportunities to deepen your contemplative practice.


  • Contemplative Practices meets in the Little Church between services from 9:30 – 10:15 am. We will focus on one particular practice for the rest of the school year. Contact Brian Cochran with questions. Please join us!


  • Sitting Meditation 5:55-6:25 pm in the Little Church.  Bell for silence sounds at 6pm. Everyone is welcome to join us for this time of silent meditation. Please contact Janet Fischer with any questions.
  • Tai Chi class led by Sylvia Ma, in the Parish Hall from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

St. James’ hosts the Women’s Sitting Circle on Fridays, 10:30 am – 12 noon in the Education Room. It is open to all women of St. James’ and is led by Monica Hanson, a long-time practitioner of contemplation and mind-body meditation, and an instructor at Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism. The Women’s Circle is aimed at slowing down and connecting to what is important. The unique combination of reflection, mediation, discussion and community is offered to support traveling the ups and downs experienced each week with more ease, insight and courage.


A Brief Annotated Bibliography of Meditation Resources


Meditation Practices

  • McColman, Carl. Answering the Contemplative Call: First Steps on the Mystical Path (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2013). New from Carl McColman, this book walks us through the initial steps in leading a contemplative life.
  • Meadow, Mary Jo. Christian Insight Meditation: Following in the Footsteps of John of the Cross (Wisdom Publications, 2007). Available on  This is an updated version of Insight Meditation for Christians, published in the 1990s.
  • ____. Gentling the Heart: Buddhist Loving-Kindness Practice for Christians. (Crossroad, 1994). Out of print.  Used copies available on
  • Saltzberg, Sharon.  Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Publications, 2011). Anything written by Sharon Saltzberg is not to be missed, but this work on Metta is especially fabulous. A chapter, Facets of Metta,  is available online here.
  • LeShan, Lawrence. How to Meditate. 1974.  Reprinted Little, Brown & Co. 1999, available on
  • Kapleau, Philip, ed. The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, Enlightenment, 1965 (Anchor; 35h rev. upd. ed. (December 18, 2013).
  • Nouwen, Henri. Behold the Beauty of the Lord: Praying with Icons  (Ave Maria Press; Revised edition 1986).
  • Famous lecture by writer David Foster Wallace with some suggestions of the benefits of greater awareness:
  • Easwaren, Eknath. Passage Meditation: Bringing the Deep Wisdom of the Heart into Daily Life, (Nilgiri Press; 3rd edition (September 1, 2008).  website:; home page:

Anglican Rosaries/Prayer Beads

  •  Anglican Prayer Beads
  •  How to say the Anglican Rosary.
  • The Rosary for Episcopalians/Anglicans, 2nd ed.  (Order of the Holy Cross. Incarnation Priory Press, 2003). Available on Amazon.  These prayers are based on the Catholic rosary.
  • Kristen E. Vincent.  A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads (Upper Room Publications, 2013). Updated ed. 2015: Another Bead, Another Prayer.

Centering Prayer & Zen Practice

  • Carl McColman’s blog, Silence Today, Love Forever.
  • Mercy Center in Burlingame offers a number of Centering Prayer and Zen meditation retreats.  Check out their schedule at
  • Bourgeault, Cynthia. Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening (Cowley Publications 2004).
  • Keating, Fr. Thomas. Open Mind, Open Heart: the Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel.  (Continuum, 1995).  (Also a 20th anniversary edition available.)
  • ___. Intimacy With God (Crossroad 1994).
  • ___. The Human Condition: Contemplation and Transformation (Paulist Press 1999).
  • Pennington, Basil. Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form (Image 1982).
  • The World Community for Christian Meditation at

Daily Prayer Practices

The Examen

Walking the Labyrinth

  • An extensive labyrinth resource center.
  • The labyrinths at Grace Cathedral
  • Links to information and resources for labyrinths.
  • Artress, Lauren.  Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool (Riverhead Books, 1996).
  • _____.  The Sacred Path Companion: A Guide to Walking the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform (Riverhead, 2006).  Both available from amazon.
  • Shaper, Donna & Carol A. Camp.  Labyrinths from the Outside in: Walking to Spiritual Insight-A Beginner’s Guide (Skylight Paths Publishing, 2000).