We can nourish our souls by transforming everyday practices―eating together, working out, reading, taking a walk―into sacred rituals that can heal our crisis of social isolation and longing for connection.
The Power of Ritual was published by HarperOne, named as one of Adam Grant’s top reads of 2020, and has been translated into five languages.
John Green generously described it as, “Essential reading for anyone interested in how to find meaning in our strange, new world. Bursting with wisdom and compassion, this is the rare book that really might change your life. It has certainly changed mine.”
The Nearness is an 8-week journey to nurture your spirituality.
Each week, participants get together for 90-minute small group conversations that meet in our community app. Everyone receives expert guidance through structured conversation prompts, practices, and support along the way. Plus, there are monthly workshops from poets, activists, and wisdom teachers.
Life feels increasingly anxious and unmoored. Many of us are disconnected from the people and things that matter most in life – focused instead on the endless tasks on our to-do list or pointlessly scrolling through social media feeds.
Historically, religious institutions have often helped focus our attention on life’s meaning and beauty: caring for one another, cultivating virtues like compassion, justice, and generosity, and inviting us to celebrate and grieve together.
But with more 50% of Americans now disconnected from a local congregation, we know we need new structures of belonging and new rhythms of life to help us focus on what matters most. The Nearness is designed to do exactly that.
Sacred Design Lab is a soul-centered research and development lab.
We’re devoted to understanding and designing for 21st-century spiritual well-being. We translate ancient wisdom and practices to help our partners develop products, programs, and experiences that ground people's social and spiritual lives. Our partners and clients include the Fetzer Institute, Google, Jim Joseph Foundation, Pinterest, the United Methodist Development Fund, OneTable, Well Being Trust and the Obama Foundation.
Founded with my partners Angie Thurston and Sue Phillips, Sacred Design Lab envisions a world in which every person is connected to their inherent goodness, known and loved in communities of care, and bountifully giving their gifts toward beauty, justice, and wholeness.
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is an award-winning podcast with more than 30 million downloads. As co-founder and a co-host from 2015-2021, I read the Harry Potter books as if they were sacred texts, drawing on Christian and Jewish reading practices to find meaning in the best-selling classic. The podcast has hosted more than 30 live shows across the USA, supported the creation of more than 100 local groups and fundraised tens of thousands of dollars for Black Lives Matter and immigration justice organizations.
We’ve actively invited in trans and non-binary voices following JK Rowling’s transphobia, and in the wake of COVID-19, our community created a podcast mutual aid fund to support one another emotionally and financially through exchanges of art, money and a listening ear. The podcast creates time in our listener’s week to think about life’s big questions. Because, as we like to say, reading fiction doesn’t help us escape the world, it helps us live in it.
How We Gather maps the emerging landscape of Millennial communities that are fulfilling the functions that religious congregations used to fill. Released in 2015 and co-authored with Angie Thurston, the report traveled far and wide and was praised by Bishops and tech CEOs alike.
Grounded in six recurring themes—community, personal transformation, social transformation, purpose-finding, creativity, and accountability—this report has been called the most important non-theological text being read in seminaries today.
In the midst of COVID’s daily repetitiveness, I co-created this guidebook and annual planner with Holstee to help people identify, organize, and embrace their ritual life to deepen their experience of joyful belonging. Paired with an online workshop, or self-facilitated, this Ritual Life Planner offers reflection prompts, simple teachings on ritual, and a fold-out planner to help map out meaningful moments across the year—from Oscar watch parties, midsummer bonfires, Easter-egg decorating and Purim costume celebrations.
Our relationships are what make life worth living - but you knew that already. So why write about it?
Because our dominant culture—which we inherited, yes, but which we also perpetuate—treats connection as secondary. Second to work, wealth, social status; to “getting what’s mine.” In our politics, in our communities, on our campuses, and in our digital worlds, our differences are exploited as we are turned against one another for private profit or political gain. By losing sight of our relationships, we now face crises of mental health, loneliness, and toxic polarization that wreak havoc on our private and public spheres.
“A Call to Connection” is a primer for leaders, to help you take practical steps toward fostering a culture of connection across your areas of influence. Of course, policy change is essential, but it is also insufficient. To complement structural change, we offer a lens, indeed an orientation to life, that prioritizes and strengthens relationships.
The Real Question is a weekly podcast exploring life’s questions through a surprising mix of pop culture and academic insight. My co-host Vanessa Zoltan and I learned in divinity school about the art of paying attention. By paying attention to very specific things in our lives, we can begin to see something true about big, universal questions. In this podcast, we turn that attention to a variety of everyday scenarios in their own lives to see what’s really at stake. Questions about the tooth fairy can really be about the fear we have for our children. Questions about driving can really be about what it means to be a good partner. Each week, we walk each other through the process of figuring out what our ‘real’ questions are in conversations with texts ranging from movie musicals to theological treatises.