All posts filed under: Audacity

Transcendentalism in the 21st Century

Walden Pond State Reservation and The Thoreau Society proudly present…“Transcendentalism in the 21st Century,” a lecture by Reverend Jim Sherblom, author of Spiritual Audacity: Six Disciplines of Human Flourishing PLEASE JOIN US! Sunday, April 15, 2018, 12:00pm-2:00pm, at the New Walden Pond Visitor Center, 915 Walden Street, Concord, MA. Phone# 978-396-3254 What is transcendentalism and how does it fit into modern life? Are you a transcendentalist??? Come learn about transcendentalism from a twenty-first century Concord transcendentalist, Reverend Dr. Jim Sherblom, whose journey led him from poverty to Harvard Business School, then from biotech entrepreneur to Brookline Minister through a series of vision quests and theological studies. He emerged as a spiritual teacher, preacher, and friend of God. Jim will lead you on an imaginary journey over some of the ninety miles of wild trails that Henry David Thoreau so often walked, leading to Walden Pond and beyond to the Fairhaven Cliffs. The verbal journey begins at noon on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Following Jim’s talk, join him for a transcendental walk through the wildness of Walden …

Icy Transcendence

A transcendentalist embraces the world differently than a materialist does.  We often are sillier, more engaged with nature, and find joy and equanimity where others might find misery.  I was walking around Walden Pond one cold day last month, where we had had several days of bitterly cold weather already, without any snow or other disturbance of the pond’s surface.  I discovered the ice was several feet thick and as clear as glass, walking on it I could look down six or eight feet through the ice to the clear pond bottom below me.   Further out onto the pond it was like looking down into the abyss of the deep. This brought to mind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s seasonal transcendence walking Walden Pond.  In many of his winter journal entries he wrote about embracing icy cold winter days.  In one he wrote, “Pleasant walk yesterday, the most pleasant of days.  At Walden pond, I found an instrument which I call the ice-harp.  A thin coat of ice covered a part of the pond but melted around …

Kolkata New Year’s Day

I have always loved the Upanishads and was rereading them on my flight to India.  I arrived in Kolkata on New Year’s Eve 2015 to join our group of pilgrims.  That evening our Harvard professor briefed us on Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s great secular humanists, who led the Bengal Renaissance in Calcutta with the Upanishads at its center. Rabindranath Tagore is someone many Unitarian Universalists know well.  In speaking of the importance of living life as a spiritual pilgrim, Tagore said: “The great morning which is for all appears in the East.  Let its light reveal us to each other who walk on the same path on pilgrimage.”  I had come to the East to more deeply discover my inner Light on pilgrimage. There are seven selections from Tagore’s writings in our Unitarian Universalist hymnal, one more than even Ralph Waldo Emerson, and my favorite is called THE STREAM OF LIFE: The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances rhythmic measures. It is …

Marble Mogul

I preached at First Parish U U in Needham, MA last Sunday and the high point of the service was the TIME FOR ALL AGES where I told the story of how I became a marble moguil If you haven’t read my book, please buy it; if you read it and like it, please review it on amazon, Ranger Elementary School was a small brick building that served kids from the poorer side of Tiverton, RI.  My family was among the poorest in town.   My father was the minister of a working-class Baptist church and I was the fifth of his ten children. Beginning in first grade, I discovered the boys played marbles at recess. I didn’t know how to play. Marbles cost money. No one was allowed to play unless you played for keepsies, where the loser must give his marbles to the winner. This felt like a form of gambling. And even if you won, you could still lose your marbles. If they spilled onto the floor, the teacher would confiscate them …

Gurdjieff and Ouspensky

What does it mean to be a mystic, to live between two worlds, embrace all of life as a spiritual pilgrim, to treat every moment as if it matters, every step as if it is upon Holy Ground?  Perhaps I should begin by telling you some of what I know about mystics.  I have traveled to distant lands, over the course of decades, traversing diverse cultures and ways of being human, in answering this question of what it means to be living in divine mystery as a transient spiritual pilgrim. There are so many spiritual pilgrims who have traveled this way before me.  I am not the first and shall not be the last.  You will meet many of my fellow mystics in the pages of this book.  As the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, “You are going, not indeed in search of the new world, like Columbus and his adventurers, nor yet another world that now is, and ever has been, though undreamt of by many, and by the greater part even …


I just sent a rough draft of my second book, SPIRITUAL PILGRIM: Lessons from Mystic Journeys with Five Faiths, to my favorite editor to begin the process of polishing it.  I continue to enjoy the journey.  If you haven’t read my first book, SPIRITUAL AUDACITY: Six Disciplines of Human Flourishing, please buy it and read it.  If you enjoy it, please give it a five star review on amazon.  That is the only way amazon will offer it to others to read as well.  Thank you.  Jim

Beginning Well

It has been among the top 5% best selling books on amazon, has already garnered eight five star reviews, and my distributor has shipped over 200 copies of my book this first month.  I am very grateful for all of you who believed in me and encouraged me on this path.  getting this message of human flourishing out to a wider audience feels like my newest ministry. If you have not yet read my book, please buy it and read it, I want to know what you think of it.  If you have read it, and liked it, please post a review on amazon.  Amazon says if I can get fifty positive reviews of my book then they will offer it to others seeking spiritual books as well. Thank you all!      

Transcendentalist Concord

Last night friends and transcendentalists gathered at First Parish in Concord to welcome Concord’s latest transcendentalist author’s book SPIRITUAL AUDACITY: Six Disciplines of Human Flourishing into the literary world. First Parish’s senior minister Rev. Howard Dana opened with a poem from Mary Oliver, perhaps America’s leading living transcendentalist poet.  Then he offered a few words on human flourishing.  Next Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom explained how the book came to be and read excerpts from the chapters on divine mystery and spiritual awakening.  The evening culminated with Louisa May Alcott, courtesy of Orchard House, wandering in to congratulate Concord’s latest transcendentalist author.  Now on to the October 5, 2017 author’s night at the Concord Library.

Audacity for Unitarian Universalists

Anyone who knows me well knows I delight in being audacious.  Like sitting down to write the story of my life as a spiritual memoir, and it becoming a guidebook to  help discover your own spiritual path. I have traveled a strange and mystic path and hope it helps you on your journey. If you are anywhere near First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Concord, MA from 7 pm to 9 pm on Friday, September 22, 2017,  please come by and join our celebration and book launch party.  There will be readings, refreshments, and books to buy and sign.  All are welcome!