The Practices

The Daily Examen

The practice of The Daily Examen is a simple but powerful prayer that has been practiced by Jesuit clergy for over 500 years. It takes only 10-15 minutes and can be used to reflect on positive emotions, move past negative emotions, and align your work with God’s work. In the Duke Clergy Health Initiative’s study of flourishing clergy, we found that flourishing pastors are more likely to do just that – to move past difficult emotions by focusing on their contributions to God’s larger plan.

The Daily Examen originates from Ignatian spirituality and shares important commonalities with the Wesleyan theological tradition. For both Wesleyan and Ignatian spirituality, the assurance of God’s love and freely given grace serve as the foundational theological belief. For both Wesleyans and Ignatians, honest self-examination is important for holy living. For both, prayer is central and essential to this transformation of life and faith.

Click here to read more about the Daily Examen.

A Retreat in Daily Life begins with a brief orientation session led by Selah staff one week prior to your online retreat, followed by a one-day or three-session retreat led by our instructors Karen Keen and Mark Shaw. These online sessions will cover the history of the Examen as well as exploring the role of emotions in the spiritual life. You will have an opportunity to practice the Examen three times. We will use videos, breakout groups, conversations, and other learning strategies. The one-day version of this retreat will include time online and time alone, and has been designed to as a day apart to prepare you for the Lenten season. You’ll also receive the gift of two small group sessions of spiritual direction with your instructors following the workshop to help unpack what comes up for you in your practice.


Meet the Instructors

Karen R. Keen
Karen R. Keen is an educator and spiritual care provider at The Redwood Center for Spiritual Care and Education. Karen has degrees in psychology (B.S.) and counseling (M.S.) from Corban University and Western Oregon University. Karen earned her certificate in spiritual direction from the Training Program for the Ministry of Spiritual Direction under the auspices of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, a congregation of Catholic Sisters in the Ignatian tradition. She has experience teaching in both university and church settings. Karen holds an M.A. in exegetical theology from Western Seminary and a Th.M. in biblical studies from Duke Divinity School. A California native, Karen lives in Garland, Texas. She enjoys fellowshipping at her local United Methodist church.

Mark Shaw teaching the Daily Examen Mark Shaw is a spiritual director who lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., and attends St. Thomas More Catholic Church. In addition to Juris Doctorate and M.B.A. degrees, he holds an M.A. in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University. His focus in spiritual direction is for persons in leadership roles. He works with ministers, pastors and deacons from various Christian traditions.

Stress Proofing

Stress Proofing is a program focused on physiology that includes exercises that bypass the brain and work directly on the body to mitigate the symptoms of stress.

This system is based on Stress Inoculation Training, which uses scenarios and recovery skills to prepare people in advance for stressful episodes. The techniques include a variety of breathing, blood flow, and tension control methods, as well as ways to conduct deep tissue massage on oneself to release muscle tension. The physical aspect of the training involves gentle stretching movements, walking short distances, and lying flat on the floor. The awareness aspect involves understanding stress biology, and learning to spot the symptoms of stress in yourself and others.

Click here to read more about Stress Proofing.

Stress Proofing: Online begins with a brief orientation session led by Selah staff one week prior to your workshop taught by Glenn Murphy. The course includes four online sessions along with access to a course site that includes videos guiding you through daily practices.

Meet the Instructor

Glenn Murphy

Glenn Murphy is passionate about martial arts and science. Born in England and educated in Scotland, Glenn began his martial arts training at a young age. He continued practicing martial arts while at the University of Aberdeen, where he studied genetics, physiology and immunology. Later, from London’s Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Glenn earned a master’s degree in science communication, and wrote for the journal Nature. Glenn first learned about the approach to stress offered in Selah from the U.S. Army’s Special Forces. Bringing together his physiology knowledge and science communication skills, he created the Stress Proofing program.

Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up, being fully alive, and being present for the richness of each moment of our lives. The MBSR program challenges participants to practice present moment awareness, deep relaxation, and gentle movement. Through the use of these techniques, a person learns to discover and observe his or her reactions to life’s stressors and to choose how to respond. With practice, one can apply these skills to everyday situations and connect more fully with one’s self, loved ones, and the life one is living.  MBSR can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with pain that may not go away. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations. Though MBSR has origins in Eastern traditions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, its principles have a deep connection to one of Christianity’s core beliefs:  that the Kingdom of God is at hand and available to us now if we pay attention. 

MBSR consists of several techniques. MBSR will be taught through eight online classes attended by you and other clergy. The 90-minute classes will occur during a weekday, one a week for eight weeks. As a bonus, because we are partnering with Duke Integrative Medicine to bring you MBSR, you will have available to you a Day of Mindfulness. For that day, your clergy peers, and people from the general public taking MBSR, come together to practice all of the techniques. In 2021 this will take the form of a half-day online workshop. Click here to learn more about MBSR.


Meet The Instructors

MBSR will be facilitated by trained instructors employed by Duke Integrative Medicine.

Compare Practices


Daily Examen

Stress Proofing


Workshop Format and Length

Three 90-minute online sessions over three successive mornings


One daylong retreat  from 8:30 am-3:30 pm, with a mix of online and independent times of prayer and reflection
Four 90-minute online sessionsA weekly, 90-minute online class for eight weeks
Time CommitmentDaily practice of 10-15 minutes for six monthsDaily practice of 10-25 minutes for six monthsDaily practice of 30-45 minutes for six months
Follow-Up Sessions Two 60-minute online sessions in a small group with clergy from your workshopOne 90-minute online session with clergy from your workshop

A half-day online mindfulness workshop offered quarterly on Saturdays, for participants who have completed their course