Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review of Spiritual Journaling by Dan Phillips

A Review of Spiritual Journaling- God’s Whispers in Daily Living
By Dan Kenneth Phillips
Circle Books, London, England, 2011

In speaking of his journals, Phillips says, “A frayed journal is precious. It often has torn pages, water lines dribbled throughout, ink stains scattered, forgotten names in inappropriate places, words misspelled, tear stains on blotted ink, crayon marks of a child, wrinkled pages, bible verses scribbled in darkness, or an article from a deceased newspaper columnist.” He describes the journey with a journal as an awakening, an hour of anticipation, a sacred time.

Using his own journals, Dan Kenneth Phillips describes events and experiences where God’s presence was real to him; a patient on his way to surgery becomes a source of inspiration as he faces death, standing on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, sensing the voice of the Apostle Paul, or as he prays by a statue in a dimly lit corridor of a hospital, he realizes the important of life and how the leftovers of our life can be the source of new life.

His inspiration for a spiritual moment can be as simple as a lingering sunset, waves softly rubbing the shore line, a sentence he reads in an ancient book, a kiss, or a prayer in an ancient garden. He describes these moments as “points of light like a meteor showering the sky.”

He emphasizes the importance of buying a special journal.  A Buffalo Journal he bought in Montana says, “This ‘Oh-sooo-soft’ leather is double thick with a natural battered rough edge, the kind a traveler may have taken with them on that long journey, chasing the western sunset.”

Jonathan Montaldo, editor of many of Thomas Merton’s Journals, says of Phillips, “Written with simplicity and revealing great humanity, Spiritual Journaling continues the work of a master teach of contemplative living who finds God’s energies everywhere in all the events of life.”

Phillips is a long time chaplain at a leading hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, a former religious editor, and a blogger. His blog, Monasticskete ( is read by numerous people each day as is a result of many of his journal experiences. He also leads retreats on Developing Your Spiritual Life, using journaling as a key element. Spiritual Journaling-God’s Whispers in Daily Living, can be ordered from Amazon or Kindle at


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Wayne Causey said...

I purchased a SIGNED copy of this book and treasure it. Thank you Brother Dan for putting these thoughts in ink. May God continue to bless you and use you in His Kingdom!


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