About Jacob Watson

Jacob Watson grew up in a New England family, attended traditional schools, then took a hard turn left. He was a grief counselor until his client’s broken hearts and wounded spirits – and a fire that damaged his counseling office – propelled him into ministry. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of Creation Spirituality, and after further study at the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministries, was ordained an Interfaith Minister. He is the founding Abbot of the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, and devotes his life to teaching, writing and prayer. “Sometimes we are quite naturally shy about our emerging spiritual lives. We may have spiritual wounds from the past when our natural instincts toward the spirit or religious world were not supported by family or friends. We often need privacy and confidentiality to heal spiritual wounds, and begin to create new relationships with the divine. The intimacy and depth of individual meetings can be affirming and helpful.” “As an Interfaith Minister and spiritual teacher I have had experience teaching, mentoring, and providing individual spiritual companionship, support and guidance to our diverse community. Serving as a Hospice Chaplain and Chaplain Supervisor I have counselled individuals and families through their grief and helped them on their path. At the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, which I founded in 2002, I teach classes and workshops on interfaith spiritual practices.”

We’re Gainin’: Collins Brook, A Maine Free School – A Memoir

Book Testimonials The intertwining of Jacob's memoir with the birth, life and death of Collins Brook School contains rich details of physical endurance, snarling and loving relationships, tests of will and determination, and the path from emotional loss to spiritual growth. The sweep of We’re Gainin’ is engaging and informative, wistful and provocative. The drama of this remarkable school from concept to creation and demise is backdrop for the odyssey of Dick to Jacob Watson. We're Gainin' is the engaging memoir of Jacob Watson, a New Englander of superb imagination, the exercise of which created Collins Brook, a Maine free school. It details how he built it out of that imagination, seemingly inexhaustible personal energy, and incredible utilization of resources that seemed to appear out of nowhere. It also details the hamartia — the  "fatal flaw" — that limited the school to seven years. The story engaged me from the outset, and held that

We’re Gainin’: Collins Brook, A Maine Free School – A Memoir2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

Breaking Hearts Open

Special to the Portland Press Herald Maine Voices I applaud the recent teen-age letter writer who has the courage to express her feelings about our suicide epidemic, and encourage that helpline numbers be posted in high schools. She is correct that we have an epidemic of young adult drug use and suicide. Almost every day these tragedies shout out from the newsprint, or from the television and Internet. May the telling words in the obituaries of young people, "died unexpectedly at home" wake us up! Adolescence is rightfully the time of experimentation and searching. We leave the familiar surroundings of our family to move out into the larger world. It is right and healthy to challenge and outgrow the roles and restrictions of youth and seek to create new independent and meaningful lives. The excitement and passion of youth are precious but fragile, valuable

Breaking Hearts Open2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts, by Jacob Watson

Over 160 blessings inspired by nature to awaken, stimulate and deepen meditation and spiritual practice.   Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts by Jacob Watson. Publication date 29th April 2016, published by O Books (an imprint of John Hunt Publishing) ISBN: 978-1-78535-298-0 (Paperback) £13.99 $24.95 EISBN: 978-1-78535-299-7 (e-book) £5.99 $8.99 Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts presents over 160 Morning Blessing Letters to awaken, stimulate and deepen meditation and spiritual practice. In the tradition of Robert Frost and Wendell Berry, Jacob uses poetic images and personal experiences of New England nature, the birds, animals, woods, and beaches of coastal Maine, to awaken readers to begin their day nurtured and encouraged to be themselves, joined with like-minded souls. The personal letters in Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts provide a friendly, comforting and accessible way to wake up and affirm the whole self. Each letter has seven brief

Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts, by Jacob Watson2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

Workshops, Sermons, Radio Interviews, & Book Readings

Precious Spirit - Men’s Spirituality November 7, 2015, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm The Spiritual Center at Woodfords Church, Portland Mary Zachary-Lang: mzachary-lang@woodfordschurch.org; 774-8243 Creation Spirituality November 8, 2015, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, Portland admin@chimeofmaine.org; 347-6740. Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit - Book Readings   Abbey of Hope Book Reads October 5 & November 16, 2015, 6:30 - 8:30 pm Burton Fischer Conference Room: One City Center, Portland Longfellow Books Portland TBA Jabberwocky Bookshop Newburyport, MA TBA Maine Coast Maine Bookshop & Cafe Damariscotta TBA Upcoming Radio Interviews   Spirit Quest Radio w/Tom Cannon & Lisa Blake   Love Maine Radio w/Lisa Belisle

Workshops, Sermons, Radio Interviews, & Book Readings2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit

More than a workbook for personal growth, Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit is a practical guide to emotional and spiritual development. Jacob describes in detail the emotional path to healing past wounds, and how this path leads naturally into spiritual realms. Jacob shares stories of his personal spiritual evolution, growing up in a New England family, starting the alternative Collins Brook School, his career as a grief counselor, helping start the Center for Grieving Children, leading workshops with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and founding the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine. Each chapter begins with a meditation and ends with a spiritual practice. It is available now in local book stores and on Amazon. Click here to order. "A vital, valuable and important book; clear, simple and compelling. His message is unmistakable and moving: he describes ‘catching fire’ in both literal and physical ways. His feelings blaze

Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

India Slideshow

I'm home after a month-long pilgrimage to India where I lived in Shantivanam, a Hindu-Christian Ashram, and visited ancient Hindu Temples. To join the established prayer, chanting and meditation routine of the Ashram dropped me down into a sweet and deep reverence for the accessibility of the divine presence, a minute-by-minute communion that I found both gratefully relieving and quietly exciting. Seven days of silence and solitude offered me a further needed respite from usual social contact, and space for deep reflection and prolonged meditation. On trips to south Indian temples we participated in devotional rituals that have been practiced for over a thousand years. We would climb barefoot up many old stone steps to the top, circumambulate the temple clockwise three times and enter the inner sanctuary, carved deep into the mountain rock. In the dark inner recess - the Cave of the

India Slideshow2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

Morning Blessings

“This simple and profound book, written from the depths of the soul, will touch your soul and awaken it to joy and courage and peace. It’s really lovely and peaceful and beautiful and tender. May this book get into all the hands of all those who need it.” - Andrew Harvey Available for $8 plus $2 shipping and handling. Free shipping & handling for orders of 10 or more books.

 Order by Pay Pal or email: jacobw@gwi.net Blessing Letters began as my own meditation first thing every morning. For a period of six months, I wrote one every weekday morning, in the quiet of the new day, before breakfast. As soon as a Morning Blessing Letter was finished, I emailed it to a list of colleagues and friends. Every letter is written in a carefully designed form to wake up, encourage and support health care workers

Morning Blessings2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

Fog – A Visualization

Here in Maine, the thick wet fog rolls slowly in from the Atlantic Ocean. The fog gathers density from the white surf breaking on the hard black rocks, first at the outermost islands: towering Monhegan, then low and long Damarisicove Island, safe haven for the men and women of the coast’s first fishing community. Then the fog moves on south down to the hulk of Sequin Island, then to tiny Halfway Rock with its tall stone lighthouse. After touching stately Jewell Island and the rest of the Calendar Islands, the fog lumbers onto the mainland at Portland, touching and enveloping all of us. Just as the fog is all around us, we are surrounded and touched and loved by the spirits of all who have ever walked this earth. Allow yourself now, as you hear these words in the present moment, to know and

Fog – A Visualization2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

Lord, I Cannot See You

Lord, I cannot see you, My eyes are dim. Lord, I cannot hear you, My ears are failing. Lord, I cannot touch you, My arms won’t move. Help me know that you are here. Ease my heart with your love.                                                                                                                                 Rev. Jacob Watson

Lord, I Cannot See You2019-10-29T12:52:59-04:00

As Five Senses Fade – Spiritual Life Revealed

As I advance into my elder years - my seventies - I notice that my eyesight is not as keen as it used to be, I cannot hear as well as I used to, my touch is not as sure as usual, food tastes a little weird, things even smell different! My sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell are fading; these losses are organic, inevitable and common. The sensory habits connecting us to the material world are fading away, but they don’t mean that we are fading away! As my five senses fade, new valuable gifts are presented. One is gratitude. What I can still see, or hear, or feel, or taste, or smell, I now appreciate more deeply. Another gift is mindfulness. I have to take more care with everyday activities - even simple tasks like taking a jar off a shelf in

As Five Senses Fade – Spiritual Life Revealed2019-10-29T12:53:00-04:00