Seminar on the Secrets of Self
Secrets of Self Seminar
Columbia, TN




This seminar directs our attention to discovering the real self behind the persona one develops to survive in life. How do we move toward openness, vulnerability, acceptance, and disclosure? "Secrets" hold the key.

We examine the different selves which make up who and what we are—the loving, judgmental, angry, deceiving, understanding, sympathetic parts.

We search for the real and idealized self to recognize the gaps between "what we are" and "what we should be." The ego defenses—that which keeps us from blaming ourselves for everything—help us avoid looking at the secrets that we think might destroy us: motives, desires, thoughts, shame.

Perhaps the worst imaginable devastation would be the withholding or loss of love. In short, we fear the truth, the very thing that can set us free.

We are loved as we are. We are ok. "The quality of mercy is not strained." Grace abounds! That is the ultimate message of this seminar.

Sacred JourneyThis memoir reflects on key moments of the author's early life, from childhood to his entering seminary, that reveal how God speaks to us in a variety of ways every moment of every day.

If God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks... for God’s language is made up of incarnate words . . . fleshed out in the everydayness . . . of our own experience.

The music of . . . life is subtle and elusive and like no other—not a song with words, but a song without words, a singing, clattering music to gladden the heart or turn the heart to stone, to haunt . . . perhaps with echoes of a vaster, farther music of which it is part. Read More

Now and ThenSpiritual and autobiographical reflections on the author's seminary days, early ministry, and writing career.

There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinating because of that, all the more compelling and haunting.

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.

In the boredom and the pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. Read More

We wear masks. We wear fancy dress with each other. I often think of people meeting the way cars meet, they dim the lights when they approach each other at night. The real person inside one car never meets the real person inside the other one.
Telling SecretsWith eloquence, candor, and simplicity, Frederick Buechner shares his darkest secrets - his father's alcohol abuse and suicide. He traces the influence of these events on his life as a son, father, husband, and minister, and explores the healing, hope, and love to be found in revealing what has long been hidden.

I not only have my secrets. I am my secrets. And you are your secrets....Our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it is to be human. Read More

Columbia, TN