While walking on the beach with his Labrador, poet and literature professor Scott Cairns ran headlong into his midlife crisis. A fairly common experience among men nearing the age of fifty, midlife crises are usually manifested in the form of sports cars and younger women; not so for this Baptist turned Eastern Orthodox. Cairns had a realization that as the advancement of his spiritual life was moving at a snail's pace, time was running out, and his crisis emerged in the form of a desperate need to seek out prayer. Told with wit and exquisite prose, Slow Pilgrim is the story of Scott's spiritual journey to the mystical island of Mt. Athos. With twenty monasteries and thirteen sketes scattered across its sloping terrain, the Holy Mountain was the perfect place for Scott to seek out a prayer father and to discover the stillness of the true prayer life. His narrative takes the reader from a beach in Virginia to the most holy Orthodox monasteries in the world to a monastery in Arizona and back again as Scott struggles to find his prayer path. His story includes accounts of the relationships he forges with several different monks and priests along the way, as well as lifelong friendships he makes with other pilgrims.