About Marc

Executive Director

Contemplative Instructor and Author of Dante’s Road: The Journey Home for the Modern Soul.

If we don’t learn to mythologize our lives, inevitably we will pathologize them.

Richard Rohr

Marc Thomas Shaw – My Story

I grew up the youngest of three boys in a pastor’s home, and entered the missions field to Germany at age 9. These cross-cultural experiences in German public school, the international school, as well as American and European churches have profoundly shaped my worldview. I began my interest in contemplative practices while a student at Seattle Pacific University, where I majored in Psychology and Literature. It was there I cultivated a deep love of mystical theology, poetry of faith, and writers like Dante, Eliot, and Dostoevsky. I then pursued a Masters in Theology and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary.

For ten years I served as an English teacher, department chair, and administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the U.S.I have also been published in numerous poetry journals, including Relief Journal, Pacific Review, and The Red Brick Review.

After years of study in myth, contemplative practice, and mystical theology, and with personal breakthrough experiences engaging in contemplative practices, I came to a place of profound reorientation, experiencing a sense of direction, purpose, freedom, and inner peace. Of course troubles still come, but everything’s different once you’ve drunk deeply from these kind of living waters. 

A student of the Christian mystics for over twenty years, I’m a writer and teacher focusing on the contemplative teachings and practices to help people grow toward greater awareness of their true self.

I’m a graduate of Fuller Seminary with a Masters in Theology and the Arts, a member of Spiritual Directors International, a member of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a presenter-in-training with Contemplative Outreach, and a co-founder of Contemplative Light, a community of interfaith teachers and writers providing contemplative resources for growth and healing.

Books & Publications

The Contemplative JOurney

Dante’s Road

This Award-Winning spiritual guidebook follows in the footsteps of Dante on his journey through the Divine Comedy. A fresh, modern take on this path, the book invites us to explore these questions: what is my hell and how do I move through it? What is my purgatory and what lesson do I need to take away? What is my paradise; how do I get there and how do I stay there? With wisdom distilled from the great myths, scriptures, and the world’s mystics, this book is an invitation to ever-greater awakening and wholeness.

Mystics and Mysticism

150 Meditations

People on the path of inner awakening the world over find inspiration in the writings from the mystical and contemplative traditions, those whom Evelyn Underhill called “humanity’s finest flower.” This short collection brings together timeless wisdom and insight from awakened spiritual teachers like Meister Eckhart, Dionysius The Areopagite, Teresa of Avila, and Eastern teachers like Lao Tzu, Ramana Maharshi, and Nisargadatta Maharaj to help illuminate the inner journey toward wholeness, awareness, and divine love.