The Mystic Heart: Contemplative Christianity at the Edge of the Integral Age

If, as historian Arnold Toynbee put it, the introduction of Buddhism into the West "may well prove to be the most important event of the 20th century," we might also argue that the re-discovery of the contemplative roots of Christianity will be equally important. And as we enter the 21st century, it stands to reason that the recognition of a common mystical ground between Buddhism, Christianity, and the other World Religions will be the most important event of all.

In this dialogue series, Brother Wayne Teasdale and Ken Wilber discuss the advent of an integral mysticism in the postmodern world. Reflecting on their own spiritual experiences, the relation of science to spirituality, the lives of the great inter-spiritual pioneers, and how youth culture is revitalizing the mystical traditions, Brother Wayne and Ken show how an integral perspective can bring the revelations of mysticism into everyday life. In so doing, we learn to give fullest expression—as parents and professionals, students and seekers—to the Mystic Heart in each of us.

Editor's Note: This series is currently in the process of being remastered—every couple weeks we will publish a much higher quality video for both streaming and download, in both Windows Media and iPod/iTunes-friendly formats.


"Imagine, if you will, a large board that has holes in it, thousands of holes, through which light can come—and that is this side of existence that we're in now. On the other side of the board, is an infinitely infinite light. And this infinitely infinite light is pure consciousness itself—undifferentiated, unconditioned, totally aware, Sat Chit Ananda, Nirvana, the infinite reality... with an infinite number of attributes, with that deep intention of love. That's God and Godhead... the active and the passive.... And we are those little points of light."
 The Supreme Identity (Remastered) ( 08:04 )
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Einstein is often quoted as saying "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind"—yet these days the age-old debate between the two seems to have reached almost epic proportions, and is largely dominated by three major factions: religious fundamentalism, scientific reductionism, and New Age pseudo-science. The 21st century, however, no longer needs to be tethered to such painful partiality. With the AQAL model, a new synthesis is finally possible, one which fully honors the truths found in both science and spirituality, without reducing one to the other or trying to find trite and trivial connections that simply aren't there. Properly integrated, both fields can bring humanity closer than ever before to the universe, outside and in.
 A Likely Story (Remastered) ( 08:14 )
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Here Brother Wayne recounts the story of one of his most profound mystical experiences—a vision of the total metaphysical structure of the universe—which he identifies as an experience of sudden "intellectual illumination." In a flash, the secrets of existence were whispered in his ear, and he found an answer for perhaps the most fundamental and enigmatic question in the history of philosophy: why does anything exist at all? Why is there something instead of nothing? It's a remarkable story that emphasizes the highly significant relationship that our minds are capable of having with Spirit, despite many of the trends in postmodern spirituality that often devalue the role of mind, something they see as actually obscuring our connection to God.
 Intellectual Illumination (Remastered) ( 09:01 )
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In the Zen tradition, there is a popular koan: "Show me your Original Face, the Face you had before the Big Bang." This is a question designed to cut through the rational mind, to dislodge us from our day-to-day identities and lead us toward a profound recognition of ever-present I Amness. That said, not many people throughout history can claim to have a literal answer to this question--and Brother Wayne Teasdale is one of them. In this clip he tells the story of his face-to-Face encounter with the Divine, the always-already Christ-Consciousness he witnessed peering through countless veils of separation, and the unimaginable fullness of God eternally spilling out into time and space.
 All Reality in One Moment (Remastered) ( 06:46 )
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Brother Wayne lived a truly blessed life, having so intimately felt the presence of God through direct and immediate experience—far beyond the blind faith and mental abstractions that seem to define so many people's relationship with the divine. For many, however, this raises a very important question: how can you tell whether experiences such as those described by Brother Wayne are genuinely mystical, or whether they actually indicative of some sort of psychotic episode?
 Psychosis or Mystical State? (Remastered) ( 04:07 )
Broadband  |  Dialup  |  Download WMV  |  iTunes/iPod 10/25/2004
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Here Ken and Brother Wayne explore one of the most central questions of our lives: how to choose a spiritual path. The information age presents us with more options than we've ever imagined possible—all the most revelatory insights, the most profound truths, and the most enriching practices are right at our fingertips. The downside, of course, is knowing how and where to begin—with literally thousands of different practices to choose from, it would require a lifespan exponentially greater than our own to try them all. "Chase two rabbits, catch none," the Chinese proverb reminds us. So just what are we to do with ten thousand rabbits scurrying around our feet?
 Picking a Path (Remastered) ( 09:26 )
Broadband  |  Dialup  |  Download WMV  |  iTunes/iPod 10/11/2004
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 Out of the Self, Into the Light ( 06:35 )
Broadband  |  Dialup  |  Download WMV   7/19/2004
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