Welcome to the Sacred Sandbox, a container for imaginative conversation and experimentation around contemporary ideas of the sacred, secularism, and what religions have that may be meaningful and inspiring for our 21st century plural, open societies. Together in this living lab, I invite you to share, learn, experiment with and reflect on projects we might integrate into our secular societies in deeply meaningful, sometimes playful, always respectful and co-creative ways. Most of all, I invite you to keep an open mind and sign up for email alerts, or check back often, as Rev’d Up, well... revs up (I had to :)



Check back in April for the 2017 date!


If ‘sustainability’ is a major theme in our 21st C spiritual evolution (and surely it is?) then what is, or are, our rituals to reverence it? 

The Blessing of the Bicycles is one possibility. I wrote about it last year (see below), and happily, it’s taking place again this year at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre (TSP) in Toronto, located on the south-west corner of Bloor and Robert Streets (see map here). It’s a lovely, intimate, faith neutral/faith friendly/atheist friendly urban public ritual, and cyclists of all ages and walks of life are welcome.

The purpose of the Blessing is:

    • to have fun!

    • to reverence an ethic of sustainability

    • to celebrate cycling as one way to meet the challenge of living in balance with nature

    • to be present in community to the future we want, and amplify signs of its emergence

    • to share in a moment of silence for cyclists whose lives have been lost in the past year

    • to rededicate ourselves to another season of healthy, human-powered transportation

The original BOB took place at St. John the Divine in New York, and is still going strong there 16 years later: Here’s a short excerpt from it’s founder if you don’t have time to visit their site:  

  1. “Regardless of your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) you are welcome. I [the organizer of the New York event] happen to be Jewish - go figure! We’ve been doing this for 15 years now, and I’ve never heard from anyone that the event made them uncomfortable. In other words, you will be blessed and welcomed; you will not be lectured.

  2. The interesting thing to me about The Blessing of the Bikes is that some people take it very seriously, some think it’s all a big joke, and some are deeply offended. No mater which of those opinions works best for you... good on you!”

With a little imagination, conversation and collaboration, perhaps a blessing like this can become a city-wide urban ritual of practitioners and spaces of all faiths -- and none (think parks) -- a fun and meaningful urban ritual that could bridge otherwise stringent ideas of the sacred and secular. 

Hope to see you there!


Might it be possible to co-create imaginative spiritual engagements unique to secular, pluralist cities?  ‘What’s Your Sacred?’ is a collaborative effort to engage individuals, groups and communities in an exploration of what we hold ‘sacred’. Beginning in Toronto, this multi-media project may give us a glimpse into what matters most to Torontonians, from the perspectives of everyone from kids in a day care, to execs on Bay Street, to Moms who are transforming the suburbs, to scientists in the lab, to people in mosques, temples, churches an d sweat lodges. Might this info translate into measurable spiritual assets to help us gauge what (we think) makes us thrive?


Explore the idea of sacred space.  What are your sacred spaces, the ones where you go with veneration rather than to seek resources or opportunity? This project will include field-trips to some of Toronto’s traditional sacred spaces such as hindu, buddhist, jewish, christian, muslim and earth-based sacred centres, as well as to a list of non-traditional spaces that we co-create together and understand as sacred. You will emerge from this experience with your own (agile!) list of sacred spaces, and practices by which you can reverence them just as they, in return, nourish you.  (the spaces that is, not the actual list ;)  For more information and to register >>>


Produced in partnership with MaRS, the Elliot Allen Institute of Ecology & Theology, the Coach House Institute and Cape Farewell Foundation.  Watch for details, Spring 2014.

When the soul wants to experience something,

she throws out an image in front of her,

and steps into it.--- Meister Eckhart