Amos' Blog:


From Persistent Dualisms to Unity 01-21-2018

If our ultimate reality is dualistic thinking, then we have succumbed to the idol of mere knowledge. Binary thinking is the basis of conventional knowledge, which divides and conquers. Dualistic knowledge is fool’s gold, which traps us in this visible world of the senses.

On the other hand, if our ultimate reality is holistic thinking, then we kneel at the golden throne of wisdom—the throne of Jesus. Then “we walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)—a faith beyond the visible persistent dualisms of attachment and aversion. Then the cross and the resurrection are spoken with the same breath. Then we no longer cling to the resurrected Jesus or run in horror from the cross. Then the divine union of the mystics is within reach. Then we find freedom.

Holistic presence and thinking will take patient endurance and is a rare achievement, yet the value of wisdom is unsurpassed (Proverbs 4:7). Wisdom is the gateway to the holy of holies, to The Jesus Paradox, to the sacred heart of God.


this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.  Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering  Contemplative Practices. This  course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including:  The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: Does God Wake You Up At 3 in the Morning?

Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review

How We Imagine Ultimate Reality 3 01-13-2018

Many teachers tell us that the most powerful catalyst for change is the change of our reference point. Our reference point or paradigms determine who we are more than out attitudes or habits.

May we experience a paradigm shift! May we experience the resurrection of the mind! This will create ripples in our relationships and communities, which will have numerous practical applications, such as conflict-mediation, deeper listening, greater honesty, and stamina in the face of messy real world debacles.

May we heal divisions in our hearts and world by absorbing the Gospel on deeper and deeper levels! Through regular Gospel reading, sound mystical theology, and deep forms of prayer may we experience ever-deepening intimacy with God. Through service to the beings who share our planet, including foreigners, “the least of these,” and devastated forests, may we experience ever deepening intimacy with our neighbors. Then the mystic heart of Jesus will beat in our chests and in our communities.

Teach me your way, O God,

that I may walk in your truth;

give me an undivided heart to

revere your name. (Psalm 86:11)


this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.  Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering  Contemplative Practices. This  course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including:  The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review

 

How We Imagine Ultimate Reality 2 01-06-2018

If people have a fixed dualistic understanding of God, faith becomes stagnant.

The truth is we’re baptized in a river. And we never step into the same river twice. The river is always morphing. Jesus’ mystical essence is a moving target. If our ultimate truth (The Jesus Paradox) is a moving target that can’t be pinned down then we’re less vulnerable to enticing absolutes. Then our faith will safeguard us from fixations, ultimatums, and violence. Then our faith will have breadth worthy of the mystics and worthy of the Twenty-first Century.

The Jesus Paradox calls a cease fire, it halts trench digging. It keeps our minds pliant, able to come up with creative solutions on the spot, to create space where there is no space, to find humor in the humorless situation.

May the cease fires be called! May the trenches be filled! May dynamic union and paradox win the day, not absolutes! May the body of Christ be cured of its excesses and be restored to wholeness!

this post may contain affiliate links

 

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering  Contemplative Practices. This  course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including:  The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review

Sowing Seeds of Nonviolence Part Two 12-23-2017

Prayer, absorbing the values of the Gospel, and understanding Jesus according to the Alexandrian mystics (Alexandrian Fathers), heals the divide. These practices make us less likely to scapegoat others. They make us more likely to see the enemy within, instead of labeling an enemy “out there.”

These practices open us to the paradoxical and multi-dimensional quality of human beings and their circumstances. These practices leave us open to ambiguity and to living the questions. These practices ground and stabilize the law of love (Mark 12:30-31). The monks of the Egyptian desert from the third century on knew this. It’s time we understand it too.

The combined strategy of the Alexandrian mystics empowers us to “live in that life and power that takes away the occasion for all wars,” as George Fox puts it. A supple mind not prone to taking sides, to quick-fixes, and to unilateral absolutist certainties is fertile for nonviolence.

Creative tension is the language of mysticism and nonviolence, not gridlock and “us against them.” And no matter what flaming arrows may assail us in this life, spiritual practice is our refuge and our source of strength.

this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Sowing Seeds of Nonviolence 12-17-2017

I talked to my friend Susan about my first book, Healing The Divide. She said, “It sounds like the book promotes nonviolence.” I said, “Yes, but not conventional nonviolence. The book doesn’t necessarily address activists or soldiers in the field. It focuses in on the mind and heart of the community organizer in her kitchen before the rally is planned. It addresses the mind of the general in his study before war is declared.”

It’s said wars are won or lost in the general’s tent. So too, war can be prevented in the general’s tent. Holistic consciousness and the seeds of reconciliation begin in our minds. It is there that we wrestle in the trenches. It is there that the trenches are filled in or reinforced according to our choices.

“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Another way of putting this: Let the violence stop with me. What does this mean? It means that we acknowledge that offender and offended have an equal part in a conflict. If we are the offender we ask forgiveness. If we are the offended we grant forgiveness. We move beyond the dualistic mind to the new mind. We don’t take sides. This requires inner strength and deep integrity—the integrity of The Jesus Paradox.

This book addresses the mind and heart of the general and the general’s spouse, who talks things over with him the night before war is declared. It addresses violence in its most primal and subtle forms: ideas as they take shape in our minds and lodge in our hearts. This is where the seeds of violence or nonviolence germinate. Dualistic thinking in its extreme form, absolutism, sows seeds of violence. Nondual thinking sows seeds of nonviolence.

this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Trench Warfare Part 2 12-01-2017

The Early Mystics knew the Gospels are an excellent start on the road to integration and wholeness. They are an excellent start to fill in trenches and to dismantle self-serving cultural paradigms. Yet, in order to call a permanent cease fire between dualistic factions within, we need as many tools as possible.

A combination of The Gospels, the theology of The Jesus Paradox, and spiritual practice, keeps our minds and hearts open and supple. This combination has the greatest potential to vanquish the trenches for good and to slowly pry the implements of war from our hands one finger at a time.

The Gospels are an antidote to individualism and prejudice. Centering prayer is an antidote to relentless activity and the addictive process. The Jesus Paradox is an antidote to dualistic thought and absolutism. Combined they spawn synthetic genius, which can dig through even the most divisive calcified cells in our bodies, in our churches, and in society.


this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.  Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Trench Warfare 11-25-2017

The most destructive trenches and foxholes are not necessarily in the war torn regions of the world. At least those foxholes are visible. The most destructive trenches and foxholes are the invisible ones we silently dig in our own hearts and minds.

This is where the trench warfare begins that tears apart relationships, families, churches, communities, and the world. Here we dig defensive lines against science or religion, against conservatives or liberals, against feminists or patriarchs, as the case may be. Here we dig defensive lines against people who bring up our father or mother wound or our other baggage, which we refuse to acknowledge within ourselves and so project outside ourselves. And the list goes on and on.

One of the primary functions of the Gospel is to fill in these trenches and call a cease fire. Jesus’ parables most often address our mental and emotional state—our underlying value system, biases, and prejudices. But, the trenches in our hearts and minds are dug so deep and they have such a long history in our family of origin and culture that sometimes the Gospel isn’t enough to fill in the trenches or to call a permanent cease fire. When trenches have been dug in early childhood and reinforced by cultural scripting over and over for decades, dismantling them requires varied means.

Contemplative arts such as centering prayer and the study of nondual theology gives us the interior resources and tenacity to hold up Gospel values no matter the cost.


this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering  Contemplative Practices. This  course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including:  The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review

Actual Experience & Connection with our Source

Do you often feel drained of energy, depleted? Do you wish that you had more energy, more hours in the day?

Do you feel disconnected from your source? Do you yearn for a faith and spirituality that’s based on experience?

Do you feel a lack of inspiration and guidance? Does the world feel like a tangled web of confusion that you wish you could escape for a while?

If so, then Be Still and Listen is for you. I hope you join Be Still and Listen’s call to cultivate actual experience of God’s energizing peace and joy echoed in the pages of the Bible.

My new book, Be Still and Listen: Experience the Presence of God in your life, will be in stores February or March of 2018.

Stay tuned!

New Book Release in 4 Months 11-13-2017

David, who according to Biblical tradition wrote the Psalms, was a shepherd. Moses who inspired the first five books of the Bible spent much of his life as a shepherd. Samuel, Samson, and John the Baptist were ascetics.

The great prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures, Elijah and Elisha, were reclusive and mysterious. Other prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures, such as Isaiah and Hosea, likewise seem to have had monastic, or at least deeply ascetic, leanings. The Greek Testament tells us that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed,” sometimes prayed all night, and “fasted in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights” (see Lk. 5:166:12) Most of the scribes who copied the scriptures by hand for centuries were monastic.[i]

In other words, they were all people accustomed to spending successive days and hours of solitude steeped in silence. This was their context. This is what I call the inherent mysticism of the Bible. Many of the people who wrote and inspired the Bible were steeped in silence and stillness. This is the premise of my next book, Be Still and Listen: Experience the Presence of God in Your Life.


[i] One of the primary employs of the monks at Qumran was hand copying Hebrew Scriptures (see studies on Qumran). One of the primary undertakings of the monks in Ireland from Saint Patrick on was hand copying the Bible (see How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill).

Paradigm Shift! 10-27-2017

The Jesus Paradox’s profound primal power is that it changes our frame of reference. It changes our paradigm.

As many teachers point out, the most powerful changes we can make as human beings are not changes in our attitude or in our habits. The most powerful changes we can make start with a shift in our frame of reference, a shift in our paradigm. This will indirectly affect our attitudes and habits more powerfully than if we were to work on attitudes or habits.

May we have a paradigm shift, which transforms our hearts! May we recover the integrating holistic vision of The Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers) about Jesus. The Jesus Paradox as taught by the Alexandrian Mystics has the power to heal our souls and our communities!

For more about The Jesus Paradox see my first book, Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots.

this post may contain affiliate links

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering  Contemplative Practices. This  course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including:  The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: My Favorite Centering Prayer Books

Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review