Parabola Podcast, Episode 9: “Spiritual Practice”

“Often I have come across stern pronouncements directed at people like me: One cannot dabble, say the priests and scholars. Spirituality is not a tasting menu. “New Agers” who borrow a bit of this religion and a bit of that, while discarding the parts they don’t like, will never have anything but a shallow and delusional relationship with the sacred. Respectfully, I disagree. Seeking itself can be a practice. And what I have discovered, over and over again, is that the more open I am to finding the holy in any place, time, or circumstance, the more likely I am to be invited into a brief encounter with it.”

– Trebbe Johnson, “Devoting”

Story editor Betsy Cornwell explores our Fall 2014 issue, “Spiritual Practice,” in Parabola’s monthly twenty-minute podcast. This episode includes the complete “Devoting” essay, as well as Richard Packham’s “Atheist Prayer.”

Please consider supporting this podcast and Parabola Magazine by purchasing a back issue or becoming a subscriber. This podcast is made available for free through SoundCloud and iTunes.

Music: Dreaming, Op. 15 No. 3 (1892), composed by Amy Beach.


By Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell is Parabola’s story editor and digital editor. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Mechanica and other novels and teaches at the National University of Ireland. Find more of her work at