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Integral Contemplative Christianity

Last post 03-12-2007, 8:27 AM by jikishin. 60 replies.
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  •  07-30-2006, 3:09 PM 2465 in reply to 2454

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    Hello Everyone,

    I was thinking today that we may want to consider branching out our threads at some point soon to indicate the myriad faces of Christianity and the many "faces of Jesus" we have begun discussing....

    Regardless, for now I would like to tell you all about a little "experiment" I performed the other day: I took a book of some the the Mahayana Buddhist teachings along side an "American Standard" translation of the Bible and began alternating reading each text (Gospel of John) for approximately 5 minutes each, for a duration of 30 minutes...

    I had not read any of the gospels for quite some time (years) and I thought it might be interesting to share some of my thoughts over the following days regarding the "experiment"....

    One of the things that really stood out for me was the historical/political/religious context in which the the life of Jesus was embedded and how important that is to the "message" that Jesus brought, and the controversy  he wrought, upon the established Jewish religious heirarchy of the time.... The "meek" may inherit the earth", but Jesus was no mild mannered apoligist - he was a "kick-ass and take names" PROPHET!! He severly criticized and rebuked those who provided only lip service to the "law and the prophets", while living a quite, shall we say, hypocrital orthodoxy....

    Something else, that "came to life" once again for me, was what we can call the essence of the Christian religion - the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus who was the "Christ" (anointed or chosen one/born of the Holy Spirit) and therefore, the preeminence of GRACE in Christian theology - "Christ in you, the hope of glory".....

    And now, one last "observation", in the context of this post; and this is what I became very interested in: My "second" relationship with Christianity had very little to do with the doctrinal apsects of the religion, in fact I was subsequently "excommunicated" from the church for a brief period of time due to my more "pluralistic" interpretation of the words of Jesus. In any case the primary motivation was the "experiences" I was having - and because the experiences were so enrapturing and grace filled, I was in a sense compelled as it were, to "tailor" the doctrine to suit the experience. And eventually I came to see how important the interpretation of experience is!

    But, within the context of our Christian discussion I think it would be interesting to discuss the "Spirit Filled" experience of many "Evangelical Christians" as compared to "states" that are associated with, at least from my own experience, Kundalini Yoga - And how a more esoteric interpretation of Christian texts may result from various forms of mystical states....

    Take Care ALL,

    Justin

    I


    "Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink".

    SHUNRYU SUZUKI
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  •  07-30-2006, 3:40 PM 2469 in reply to 2454

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    Mary,

    I wanted to say thank you for pointing me back to Fr. Keating's website.  I used to visit it fairly often a year or two ago, and had read several essays and book excerpts there, but the library has expanded quite a bit.  I have been reading through The Mystery of Christ, as you recommended, and I appreciate the work that Fr. Thomas is doing.  There's quite a lot to study!

    Following is an excerpt which reflects my own understanding, but which has been shot down almost every time I voiced it!  I am happy to see a priest in good standing with the Church voicing this -- and voicing it so beautifully...

    The Father and I Are One

       Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places; otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you, and then I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be. You know the way that leads where I go."
        "Lord," said Thomas, "we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus told him: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. If you really knew me, you would now my Father also. From this point on you know him; you have seen him."
        "Lord," Philip said to him, "show us the Father and that will be enough for us." "Philip," Jesus replied, "after I have been with you all this time, you still do no know me?"
        "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak are not spoken of myself; it is the Father who lives in me accomplishing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works I do. I solemnly assure you, the one who has faith in me will do the works I do, and greater far than these. Why? Because I go to the Father."
    [John 14z:1 - 12]
    From Jesus' final discourse at the Last Supper

        The basic text for Christian practice is "the Father and I are one." (John 10:30) Christ came to save us from our sins, but only as the essential preliminary to our ultimate destiny. The source of all sin is the sense of a separate self. The separate-self sense is, of course, the false-self, but not only the false-self, as we shall see. The false-self is to be surrendered to Christ through the love of his sacred humanity and the divine Person who possesses it. Christ is the way to the Father. His human nature and personality is the door to his divinity. By identification with him as a human being, we find our true self--the divine life within us--and begin the process of integration into the life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

        Christ came to communicate to each of us his own personal experience of the Father. However, even when the separate self has been joined to Christ, it is still a self. The ultimate state to which we are called is beyond any fixed point of reference such as a self. It transcends the personal union with Christ to which Paul referred when he said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)

        The death of Jesus on the cross was the death of his personal self, which in his case was a deified self. Christ's resurrection and ascension is his passage into the Ultimate Reality: the sacrifice and loss of his deified self to become one with the Godhead. Since all reality is the manifestation of the Godhead and Christ has passed into identification with It, Christ is present everywhere and in everything. The cosmos is now the body of the glorified Christ who dwells in every part of it.

        Union with Christ on the cross--our entrance into his experience--leads to the death of our separate-self sense. To embrace the cross of Christ is to be willing to leave behind the self as a fixed point of reference. It is to die to all separation, even to a self that has been transformed. It is to be one with God, not just to experience it.

        Jesus' invitation to "take up your cross every day and follow me" is a call to do what he actually did. As the Way, Jesus invites us to follow his example step-by-step into the bosom of the Father. As the Truth, he shares with us, through participation in his death on the cross, the experience of the transpersonal aspect of the Father. As the Life, he leads us to unity with the Godhead beyond personal and impersonal relationships. On the Christian path, God is known first as the personal God, then as the transpersonal God, and finally as the Ultimate Reality beyond all personal and impersonal categories. Since God's existence, knowledge and activity are one, Ultimate Reality is discovered to be That-which-is.

    ~*~

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  08-01-2006, 2:19 PM 2756 in reply to 2469

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 09-04-2008, 12:45 PM maryw
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    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    Thanks for posting this explication of Keating's, Balder. In a few other threads -- some on the old IN forum, I have seen people ask about the 1-2-3 of God and examples of God in the first person in the Christian tradition. This excerpt from what you quoted is all about the first-person God:

    Christ came to communicate to each of us his own personal experience of the Father. However, even when the separate self has been joined to Christ, it is still a self. The ultimate state to which we are called is beyond any fixed point of reference such as a self. It transcends the personal union with Christ to which Paul referred when he said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20) ...

        Union with Christ on the cross--our entrance into his experience--leads to the death of our separate-self sense. To embrace the cross of Christ is to be willing to leave behind the self as a fixed point of reference. It is to die to all separation, even to a self that has been transformed. It is to be one with God, not just to experience it.

    Keating also touches on God-in-the-third person:

    Since all reality is the manifestation of the Godhead and Christ has passed into identification with It, Christ is present everywhere and in everything. The cosmos is now the body of the glorified Christ who dwells in every part of it.

    Peace,

    Mary


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  08-01-2006, 11:26 PM 2835 in reply to 2756

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    Hi, Mary,

    Here are a few other quotes which I think speak to the 1-p experience of God in Christianity...

    "These Christian themes of 'life in Christ' and 'unity in Christ' are familiar enough, but one feels that today they are not understood in all their spiritual depth.  Their mystical implications are seldom explored.  We dwell rather, with much greater interest, on their social, economic and ethical implications [Balder's note: LL and LR quadrants].  I wonder if what Dr. Suzuki had said about 'emptiness' ought not to help us to go deeper than we usually do into this doctrine of our mystical unity and purity in Christ.  Anyone who has read St. John of the Cross and his doctrine of 'night' will be inclined to ask the same question.  If we are to die to ourselves and live 'in Christ,' does that not mean that we must somehow find ourselves 'dead' and 'empty' with regard to our old self?  If we are to be moved in all things by the grace of Christ should we not in some sense realize this as action out-of-emptiness, springing up from the mystery of the pure freedom which is 'divine love,' rather than as something produced in and with our egotistical, exterior self, springing from our desires and referred to our own spiritual interest?

    St. John of the Cross compares man to a window through which the light of God is shining.  If the windowpane is clean of every stain, it is completely transparent, we do not see it at all: it is 'empty' and nothing is seen but the light.  But if a man bears in himself the stains of spiritual egotism and preoccupation with his illusory and exterior self, even in 'good things,' then the windowpane itself is clearly seen by reason of the stains that are on it.  Hence if a man can be rid of the stains and dust produced within him by his fixation upon what is good and bad in reference to himself, he will be transformed in God and will be 'one with God.'  In the terms of St. John of the Cross:

    'In thus allowing God to work in it, the soul (having rid itself of every mist and stain of creatures, which consists in having its will perfectly united with that of God, for to love is to labor to detach and strip itself for God's sake of all that is not God) is at once illumined and transformed into God, and God communicates to it His supernatural being in such wise that the soul appears to be God Himself, and has all that God Himself has... All the things of God and the soul are one in participant transformation; and the soul seems to be God rather than the soul, and is indeed God by participation'" (Ascent to Mout Carmel.

    ~ Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite

    "It is essential to remember that for a Christian 'the word of the Cross' is nothing theoretical, but a stark and existential experience of union with Christ in His death in order to share in His resurrection.  To fully 'hear' and 'receive' the word of the Cross means much more than simple assent to the dogmatic proposition that Christ died for our sins.  It means to be 'nailed to the Cross with Christ,' so that the ego-self is no longer the principle of our deepest actions, which no proceed from Christ living in us.  'I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me." (Gal. 2:19-20; see also Romans 8:5-17).  To receive the word of the Cross means the acceptance of a complete emptying, a Kenosis, in union with the self-emptying of Christ 'obedient unto death.' (Phil. 2:5-11)  It is essential to true Christianity that this experience of the Cross and of self-emptying be central in the life of the Christian so that he may fully receive the Holy Spirit and know (again by experience) all the riches of God in and through Christ. (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15)....

    We must never forget that Christianity is much more than the intellectual acceptance of a religious message by a blind and submissive faith which never understands what the message means except in terms of authoritative interpretations handed down externally by experts in the name of the Church.  On the contrary, faith is the door to the full inner lif of the Church, a life which includes not only access to an authoritative teaching but above all to a deep personal experience which is at once unique and yet shared by the whole Body of Christ, in the Spirit of Christ.  St. Paul compares this knowledge of God, in the Spirit, to the subjective knowledge that a man has of himself.  Just as no one can know my inner self except my own 'spirit,' so no one can know God except God's Spirit; yet this Holy Spirit is give to us, in such a way that God knows Himself in us, and this experience is utterly real, though it cannot be communicated in terms understandable to those who do not share it.  (See I Cor. 2:7-15.)  Consequently, St. Paul concludes, "we have the mind of Christ." (I Cor. 2:16).

    ~ Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite

    "The eye wherein I see God is the same eye wherein God sees me." ~ Meister Eckhart, quoted in Zen and the Birds of Appetite

    "Father Louis's interest in and sympathy with Eastern thought and practice were influenced by and influential in his preoccupation with the Christian mystical tradition.  Eastern thought served him better in his efforts to express that inner unity of all that is what our mystics have tried so hard to express.  Expressions of this unity have been problematic for our Western theologians, who have ever been fearful of falling into pantheism.  There is some legitimate concern here.  We do need to be careful how we speak.

    If one asks, then, what we will be at the end, I would answer that we will be one with God, we will be, in a sense, God.  God will be all in all.  The only thing different from what was before will be that we will be in him.  The distinction by which we avoid pantheism is that we can say, We are God, but we were not always God.  God has been and always is God.  By creation and recreation, by the transformation of grace, we become God.  This is what Christ prayed for on the eve of his sacrifice that made all this possible, as he gave us the Eucharist by which it is perfected:  "May they all be one.  Father, may the be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.  I have given them the glory you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.  With me in them and you in me, may thy be so completely one."  The oneness we have in God in Christ Jesus is beyond anything we can comprehend, even as we cannot comprehend how the Father and the Son are one in the Trinity.  It is a oneness we can hardly exaggerate.  Yet it frightens us.

    We should let God draw us into himself and let him transform us into himself and not hold back and worry about pantheism.  Let us be open to where he can bring us and realize there is no way in which we can exaggerate what he intends for us.  "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the human mind what God has prepared for those whoe love him."

    ~ Basil Pennington, OSCO, Thomas Merton: Brother Monk

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  08-02-2006, 6:17 PM 2971 in reply to 2835

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    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    the 1-p experience,

    Hello, friends, and thanks for this very interesting thread. I'm a new-poster at I-I -i this being only my second. Also my reading has been sporadic into the forums, so I don't know if anyone has mentioned Bernadette Roberts, a Catholoic contemplative living in Los Angeles. Her three books are as follows:
    The Path to No-Self: Life At The Center 1992
    The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey 1993
    What is Self? : A Study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of Consciousness, 2005

    All three are truly profound and very amazing, but personally I found the first one resonated the best with me because it was the least 'Christian'.  Bernadette has a video out also, and gives occasional events.

    http://www.spiritualteachers.org/bernadette_roberts.htm

    Another approach to the interface between Christianity and Buddhism might be via the  Hesychastic Practices of Heart Meditation as outlined as follows by the poster on his excellent Way-of-light Yahoo list.

        Posted by: "ejackpete@aol.com" ejackpete@aol.com ejackpete
        Date: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:39 pm (PDT)

    The practices outlined here can be made into a completely generic model.  Instead of using language such as "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me", one could use the Pure Land Buddhist Mantra of "Namo Amida Butsu" or any that you could make up or choose.  Just make sure the mantra represents Infinite Compassion and Wisdom being invoked as the already existing core of your own Heart Chakra.  That will cause that primordial Energy to develop and grow as a result.  You will experience tremendous energies of Unconditional Love and Bliss.  You will also sense an aperture (or "pearl") opening and growing wider and deeper within your Heart.  In all my years of studying and practicing... I have found this Heart practice to be the most powerful and most mind-transforming practice of all.  I had similar experiences from doing a Heart meditation visualization that my Kagyu Lama taught me in Nepal many years ago.  But it was not coordinating breath with the flow of energy.
     
    Try this for a few weeks... in my opinion this type of practice should be considered a core practice of the Way of Light approach.  I was taught this practice by a Greek Orthodox Priest, Father Akakios.
     
    Love and Peace,
     
    Jax
     
     
      The Origin of Heart Rhythm Meditation
    Heart Rhythm Meditation originated in the time of the Apostles of Christ and has been used in monasteries ever since as the "Prayer of the Heart" or as it was later called, "The Jesus Prayer". In Heart Rhythm Meditation we place a name or phrase on the heartbeat. In The Jesus Prayer, the words used are Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, as the early Christians would have said it in Greek, or in English, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." Now we use a single two-syllable word that matches the heartbeat, such as "Christe".
    In the following quotations, the identifying characteristics of Heart Rhythm Meditation are mentioned -- conscious breath, breath through the heart, awareness of heartbeat, directing your glance into the heart, repeating the sacred name on the heartbeat, and feeling the presence of God in your own physical heart.
     
    [END QUOTE]
     Once the heartbeat can be easily felt in meditation, then it's merely the process of placing the words you have chosen on the pulse. "I AM" works well, as of course do many other holy syllables.

    Later in the above quote he mentions the following from the Sufi tradition:

    Hazrat Inayat Khan
    Sufi sage who was born in India in 1882, and came to America in 1910. He lived thereafter in Paris, France, and died in India in 1927.
    "Peace comes when self is in harmony with the rhythm of the heart. This is accomplished in silent meditation when one enters into the life-stream in the heart so that it takes up the proper pulsation.
    If there is any form of concentration to be used in meditation, it consists in first getting into the rhythm of the heart, by watching the heartbeats, feeling them and harmonizing with them. Then one centers all feeling in the physical heart and out of feeling selects love, and out of love, Divine Love."


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  •  10-08-2006, 1:28 PM 10547 in reply to 2971

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 09-04-2008, 12:45 PM maryw
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    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    Thinking about the II-ISC Integral Contemplative Christianity seminar that is just winding down today (October 8, 2006), I searched for this thread and could not find it under the ISC "General Discussion" forum ... but I was able to click on a link provided to it in another thread. I guess main forums are kept at two pages now -- but an old thread can be dug up via a link or the search function?

    Anyway, wanting to see if I can bump this back up and hoping that those who attended that seminar will write a little (or a lot) about their experiences here, on in a new separate thread ... Although I know that sometimes after these kinds of conferences it's hard to find the words ...

    Eager to hear about it anyway,

    Mary


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  11-01-2006, 11:14 AM 13317 in reply to 1467

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    hi everyone;

    Thanks for all your contributions.  

    I enter this forum with fear and tripidation!  Being a Cathoilc priest. I am necessarily associated with the institutional church.  And I am a retired active priest working in a parish and doing all the sacramental activity that requires.  Let me, at least, tell you a little of what that means to me as I and the pastor I work with expeience the struggle to invite people to transformation. 

    The majority of Cathoics I have dealt with have a mythic-literal consciousness.  Many who have gone to college and who are even professionals retain some of that mixed with ego-rational consciousness.  some are really have a postmodern mentality.   So you speak to the full gamit of consciouness on a Sunday.  Joyfully, some have moved into integral and contemplative consciousness.   But this invitation to conversion is not an easy task. 

    We offer all kinds of opportunities for parishioners.  Cournerstone retreats which help people tell the meaning of their stories and begin to see God in them.  This forms a core of people ready to grow further.  The Ignation exercises also help.  Good Scripture "Little Rock" sessions start to bring them to good exigesis and out of literal reading of the Bible.  We also have Spirituality courses where centering prayer and even Big Mind and Heart are experienced.  By the way, I find that you have to meet weekly with a centering prayer group.  A few good people at a time.   But a core is being formed.  It is hard but rewarding work.

    I believe with Breatrice Bruteau that Communion (Holy), or the community which mirror in our tradition the community of the Trinity is the image we are made in.   Fathe empting in love to the Son, Son empting in love to the Father and the Spirit, the overflow and bond of the love.   So community is a given but not the awareness and concoiusness of that dance of love.   So I have no problem with the community awareor unaware gathering on Sunday.  We simply say outloud what is real.  Eucharist is the symbolic activity of that holy communion that we already are.  Love continues to form and reform us.  Union with the one and the all is celebrated and renewed.  Love, hopefully, can be experienced and thrown out into a world that longs for love and community.  Building consciousness and awareness is essential in out individual prayer and meditation. 

    Just a few thoughts from some priests who really do meditate and try to make a difference.

    Life is but a breath in the eternal dance of Love;

    love to all

    Matthias

     

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  •  11-03-2006, 1:48 AM 13534 in reply to 13317

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 09-04-2008, 12:45 PM maryw
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    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    Hi Matthias--

    Great to see you posting here, walking through the valley of fear and trepidation ... Smile [:)]

    We offer all kinds of opportunities for parishioners.  Cournerstone retreats which help people tell the meaning of their stories and begin to see God in them.  This forms a core of people ready to grow further.  The Ignation exercises also help.  Good Scripture "Little Rock" sessions start to bring them to good exigesis and out of literal reading of the Bible.  We also have Spirituality courses where centering prayer and even Big Mind and Heart are experienced.  By the way, I find that you have to meet weekly with a centering prayer group.  A few good people at a time.   But a core is being formed.  It is hard but rewarding work.

    It's so heartening to hear about the fruitful things that are happening at churches like yours -- thank you for sharing this here. And I also love how you describe the Eucharist as "the symbolic activity of that holy communion that we already are.  Love continues to form and reform us.  Union with the one and the all is celebrated and renewed." 

    I'm encountering more exposure to good exigesis in church and through church-sponsored events. Check this out: in March 2007 at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Fr. Richard Rohr will lead a couple of workshops on Jesus (and Paul) as non-dualistic teachers! Here's an excerpt from the registration book:

    Much of our historical misunderstanding of Jesus comes from the fact that we interpret the Gospels through a dualistic mind (either-or thinking), which is the almost exclusive style of rational thinking in Western civilization. Fr. Rohr will present the teaching patterns of Jesus who "taught in parables" and whose God "let the sun shine on both the good and the bad, whose rain fell on the just and the unjust." .... To live and think "in Christ" is, for Paul, to overcome all the usual oppositions between flesh and spirit, law and freedom, weakness and strength, male and female, the individual and the community. .... Come prepared to have your mind changed--which may change your entire Christian life and your approach to justice-making in particular.

    There will also be workshops on Thomas Merton and lectio divina led by Meg Funk and Kathleen Deignan, a Taize prayer service, and a contemplative Mass celebrated by Liam Lawton ...

    Stuff is happening.

    Anyway, Matthias -- thank you for your hard work and dedication. And keep on keepin' on! We need you!

    Agape,

    Mary

     

     


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  11-03-2006, 7:40 AM 13561 in reply to 13534

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    HI Mary

    Just a short response about Richard Rohr.   I have listened to his tapes for years; "The Great Themes of Scripture", "The Great Themes of Paul", "Healing our Violence" that he did with Fr. Keating.  I listen to tapes when I use my treadmill in the morning.  

    I'm so glad to hear the new topic at this conference.  I hope it comes out on tape.  Fr. Joe who lives with me keeps saying; "It happening all over the place.   All the spirituality literature is saying the same thing."   Its really true. The Spirit get through our dualist minds and hearts and culture.  Praise God!

    Love,

    Matthias

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  •  11-25-2006, 5:38 AM 15473 in reply to 1467

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

     

    Centering prayer to examine your life

    Socrates declared some 3,000 years ago, “the life unexamined is not worth living.”

    Today, with the remarkable proliferation and success of reality television shows, such as “Two-A-Days,” “American Idol,” and the legion of other reality shows, it seems that the life not lived on television is not worth living.

    After all, television is a gigantic refractory, a community writ largely on an increasingly ever big screen. Television represents a built-in community, and it is no wonder people want to be a part of it. Why does everyone get so giddy about being on television?

    It is like high school, where everyone talks about the popular kids and wants to be popular too. On reality television you are the popular kid because everyone is watching you. Even though most of us never liked the popular kids because they were arrogant, imperious, and often cruel, they were still the unchallenged leaders of the rest of us.

    Focusing on an examined life by centering prayer would be a great alternative for those disinterested in reality television. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be chosen for reality TV.


    It reminds me of Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount when, in his Holy wisdom said, “But, when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees secrets, will repay you.” Matthew 6:6 (NAB)


    Father Thomas Keating, 81, continues to be one of the most prominent voices in the Christian Centering Prayer movement in an organization he founded called, “Contemplative Outreach.” You can google his website by typing in those words.


    Since the late 1940’s, Father Keating has been interested in the mystical roots of Christianity. He has developed guidelines for centering prayer. Some people call it meditation, some call it contemplative meditation. He calls it centering prayer.


    I am amazed at how many people ask me, “How do you pray? I have been a Christian since I was in my teens, yet I really don’t know how to pray!”


    Father Keating says if you set aside 20-30 minutes in the morning, and 20-30 minutes before going to sleep and spend time practicing ways to deepen your relationship with God, it will more than replace all the reality television in your life. Well, he didn’t mention reality television. I threw that in. In addition, praying without ceasing is Biblical. Throughout your busy day, sneak away from everyone, find a secret place, close your eyes and commune with God as long as you are able.


    Open your mind and Spirit and listen. Be still and know that you and God are one, like Jesus and God are one.


    It is not, like Father Keating teaches, a technique, but a way of cultivating a relationship with God. It is not a relaxation exercise, but it can be refreshing. It is not a form of self-hypnosis, but a way to quiet the mind while maintaining its alertness.


    So, if you really want a reality show of your own, examine that unexamined life you have been putting off. Turn off the TV, close your eyes, center your prayers and let God turn your life on.



    JC
    33° 13' N 87° 37' W
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  •  12-01-2006, 5:58 PM 15743 in reply to 1467

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    sagemichael:  It is the same for me.  It is good that I can now go anywhere.  There was a time when I could not take some of the ignorance coming from the homilies and the mindset of most of the people where I live.  I kept telling myself that if I lived in a university town or some such, it would be different.  It is much much later now and I am so grateful for my catholic roots and many of the things I learned there.

    So Now I wonder what people call themselves when we do seem to just not be inbetween but nowhere .  I don't think it matter.  I really also like Idries Shah's works. If I were rating.  My father said the catholic church was the best he had found so he stayed there even tho he knew and was embarrassed by a lot.  He told me that I could go to church with my southern Baptist friend after I told him sister said I would go to hell.  Daddy said he did not give a damn- I could go with my friend.  And yet, he never missed a Sunday and I pretended to still go when they came to town.  I would go with them and that was the nice part.  I have wondered what we would call ourselves if we truly saw the beauty in all teachings- and the other side also.  It gets long when someone asks.    Pattye

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  •  12-02-2006, 1:51 PM 15767 in reply to 2465

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    Justin:  Just read your post and ws reminded that I read somewhere I read when Ken was discussing the difference between  Religion and Spirituality.  He said that

    Billy Graham was Religious and the Minister (Southern Baptist who cries a lot while

    reading Scripture) was Spiritual.  Jimmy Swaggert!!!!  He mentioned others like Martin Luther King- Spiritual  and on and on.   I was also talking to someone who had been to one of the big tent things where the charismatic guy with black suit with a touch of white has people falling over with the Force of the Holy Spirit all nite.  He is very charismatic (not to me ) but generallly and I can see him power.  There person I talked with said he was absolutely that powerful and charismatic and it would blow your mind.  But he did not like the whole idea himself, and  felt it had big shortcomings.   I suppose these people hvave gifts and spiritual experiences as Ken says but that is the end of the road for them.  They have arrived.

    As I see it we are going down a path and turn off at "Speaking in Tongues" .We go down that path., learn the drill and we either think we have arrived or go back to the main Path and start walking again and we arrive at the Path of Healers.  We go down and not only get healed but find out how to heal.   We either stay or find we need more and go out to the Main Path.  There are pointing out instructions but they can get to be either more difficult or distasteful, so we stop, go back, wander around

    whatever.   My son said once that if he could choose any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he would choose Wisdom, not Speakling in Tongues.  Pattye

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  •  12-02-2006, 1:53 PM 15768 in reply to 15767

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    I am ashamed.  I must correct my typing.   Pattye
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  •  02-12-2007, 1:21 PM 19293 in reply to 15768

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 09-04-2008, 12:45 PM maryw
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    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    This thread "fell off" the edge of this forum, so I did a search for it, found it, and I'm just bumping it up now in an attempt to not lose it ...

    I suppose I could add something of substance here ... but naaaaah. Not at this moment, at least.

    Maybe I should just store it on my hard-drive ...

    But for now I'm bumping it.

    Coffee [C]

     


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  02-13-2007, 2:20 PM 19330 in reply to 19293

    Re: Integral Contemplative Christianity

    And I thought there'd be some terribly interesting little nugget here, Mary!

    Upgrade to ISC!
    http://www.integralinstitute.org/public/static/multispirit.aspx
    http://pods.gaia.com/ii
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