Category Archives: Blog

A Global Progressive Christianity In Our Time 02-18-2018

People have asked me if I align myself with The Center for Progressive Christianity… This question teases out my underlying perspective…

Over the last fifteen years I have promoted Progressive Christianity. What puts me at odds with a small fraction of “Progressive Christian” writings is my international perspective. I’m interested in not just a Progressive Christianity but a Global Christianity (I think a Global Progressive Christianity will take shape in my lifetime).

I celebrate perspectives that push the envelope of the global Christian community.[i] Perspectives that totally disregard and leave behind the global Christian community don’t interest me. For instance the widely held belief among many progressive Christians that Jesus was a human wisdom teacher who happened to found a world religion, period, doesn’t interest me. It’s too far removed from the global Christian community and two thousand years of witnesses, who claim that something utterly unique happened with Jesus (Incarnation).

 

[i] Here I’m referring primarily to the World Council of Churches (WCC). Online: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/

Christianity’s Non-dual Theology of Jesus 02-11-2018

In this post 9/11 age, it behooves Christians of all varieties to re-examine the finer point of their theology of Jesus (Christology) in order to safeguard against divisiveness and polarization.

The Chalcedonians at the Council of Chalcedon (451) took a beautiful concept (Miaphysite/The Jesus Paradox) and reduced it to its lowest possible connotation, imposing an awful caricature on the most sophisticated theological minds of the time (The Alexandrian Mystics/Alexandrian Fathers). The same is done today by minds that have no room for the mystical/ holistic spirit of Christ. Yet, no politically motivated human authority will have the last word on Jesus.

It may surprise some people that the jury is still out on some of the most significant aspects of Christian faith. Yet this acknowledges that Christian tradition is still alive and kicking in the twenty-first century. God is still speaking. I pray that Christianity has the courage to redress the past – to embrace its very own non-dual theology of Jesus. Then Christianity will not be relegated to the limitations and liabilities of history, but will own up to dynamic tradition that is alive and requires redress in every generation.

How we think theologically is relevant and imperative for the formation of spiritual well-being, culture, social cohesion, and international relations.

The Lineage of Alexandrian Mystics 02-04-2018

The Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers/Alexandrian bishops) during the period listed below are rightly considered the lineage holders of Miaphysite Theology (The Jesus Paradox). But let’s not forget that this lineage was also embodied by many of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the same period, living in various monastic enclaves in the deserts of Egypt. The following lineage is all male, due to the cultural context, but this in no way diminishes the relevance of their message today.

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After the Council of Chalcedon (451), the Alexandrian Mystics experienced a diaspora, accompanied by constant theological and political struggle with Rome. During this period, representation of authentic Miaphysite theology (The Jesus Paradox) was spotty. But there was one champion for Miaphysite theology during the diaspora: Severus of Antioch. In my estimation Severus was the last authentic Alexandrian Mystic lineage holder.

If you want to research authentic Miaphysite theology, don’t get lost in the byways of the diaspora (455 on up through the present day), with its tangled web of theological and political struggles. Stick to the authentic lineage sketched here, especially Athanasius and Cyril. My book, Healing The Divide, tries to make the Jesus Paradox, as taught by the Alexandrian Mystics, accessible today[1] 

The lineage of Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers/Alexandrian bishops), who championed Miaphysite (The Jesus Paradox):

  • Alexander I (312-328 CE)
  • Athanasius I (Primary author of Nicene Creed) (328-373)
  • Peter II (373-380)
  • Timothy I (380-385)
  • Theophilus (385-412)
  • Cyril I (412-444)
  • Dioscorus I (444-454) 

———————————————Diaspora——————————————

  • Severus of Antioch (not an Alexandrian bishop) (465-542)

[1] Before the recent clarity that the Oriental Orthodox Church has offered us through books such as Gebru’s Miaphysite Christology, there was a lot of confusion about the term monophysite (Latin). Like the Oriental Orthodox Church, I steer clear of the term monophysite because of the distortions and confusion surrounding it. Miaphysite (Greek) clarifies the distortions and accurately reflects the spirit and legacy of Athanasius, Cyril, and The Alexandrian Mystics.


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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

 

From Persistent Dualisms to Unity, Part 2 01-27-2018

If in prayer and in contemplation we can behold hidden wholeness, then Holy Communion reaches beyond sanctuary rites into our digestive track and cellular structure. Then the eyes of the world are reflected in our dark pupils. Then the fire of the mystics is rekindled. Then the theological Jewel of the Nile is no longer entombed in the past. Then, like Peter, James, and John, we behold the radiant unity of Jesus transfigured on mount Tabor. Then we reach past the divisions and trenches to the mountain summit and gaze upon the panorama of painted hills. Then our eyes behold the splendor of our Sovereign, supreme now and evermore. . .

We believe in one Sovereign, Jesus Christ

begotten from the Creator before all worlds…

who because of us human beings and for our salvation,

came down from heaven…

and became a human being…

whose dominion will have no end.1

 

[1] Portions of The Nicene Creed.

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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

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.


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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!

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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.

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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

Twenty-first Century Anchor for Progressive and Contemplative Christianity 10-24-2017

Progressive Christianity celebrates diversity, but there needs to be unity within the diversity. Otherwise, we risk a fractured tradition. Diversity is wonderful. It’s what makes progressive Christianity compelling and vital. Yet, that diversity needs an anchor.

Jesus’ person as understood by The Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers) is our twenty-first century anchor for contemplative and progressive Christianity. The anchor’s rope is long enough to plumb the pluralistic twenty-first century ocean. The anchor’s rope is thick enough to weather postmodern storms.

Jesus according to the Alexandrian Mystics (The Jesus Paradox) is our mystical legacy. It’s our heritage passed down through centuries of clerics, monks, monastic orders, and Oriental Orthodox tradition, dating back to the third century. It is Christianity’s mystic root, which has the power to heal the divide and cure our disintegration!


 

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

 

 

An Eternal Conversation about Things That Matter 10-13-2017

Parker Palmer said “truth is an eternal conversation about things that matter.” The intent of my work is not to conclude the conversation about Jesus, but to keep it going in the most vital sense.

Teachers know that just as every cell has a wall, every subject has authentic boundary lines. Staying within those lines protect the sacred conversation. These parameters don’t confine us. They liberate us to plumb the depths and get to know our subject with greater and greater intimacy.

Every committed relationship has responsible boundaries, which allow the relationship to deepen and blossom. Conversation about Jesus also has parameters. When respected, these parameters draw us deeper into the mystery. The Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers) knew all the magic happens in the interplay between the Divinity and the humanity (The Jesus Paradox).

For more on the Jesus Paradox of the Alexandrian Mystics 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

 

The Game Changer 10-05-2017

Along with Richard Rohr,I think Jesus was the first prominent non-dualistic thinker in the West. And, generally speaking, the West hasn’t known what to do with him. The West doesn’t understand his essence or his thinking.

The East apprehends Jesus’ paradoxical essence. The East understands the incarnation with more depth and subtlety than our dualistic “in two persons” Western theology. For the Oriential Orthodox tradition Jesus could never be “in two persons,” which is tragically dualistic. For the Oriental Orthodox, Jesus is “one united dynamic nature: at once God and human.” This is the Jesus Paradox (Miaphisite in Greek).

We need something we can trust in an ultimate sense, somewhere to turn when our health fails, when our job falls through, when our loved one dies. The mystics affirm there’s no relationship, community, belief, or form of prayer we can completely trust. Nothing is worthy of our trust, nothing but the person of Jesus.

In The Philokalia, Gregory of Sinai (d. 1346) puts it well: “Behold your liberation, which is Jesus Christ, the redemption and salvation of souls. . . who is both God and man (human).”[1] Jesus: God’s dynamic human form—the prize of the mystics—the game changer—paradoxical, active, a moving target.[2]

[1] Palmer, et al, The Philokalia Vol. 4, 234.

[2] May, The Awakened Heart, 189, 198.


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

New Vocabulary for a New Mind

Our thinking is only as large as our vocabulary. There were no English words for “non-violence” or “non-dual” until after World War II. Before then these concepts didn’t exist in English. The East has had words for “non-violence” and “non-dual” for hundreds of years. But only recently did these words appear in English.

The word Miaphysite is virtually unknown in the West. Yet, it holds the key to unlock doors in our minds, which can return depth and breadth to our theology. Interestingly, non-violence, non-dual, and Miaphysite are all connected. All these terms introduce a new mind. It’s not an either/or mind. It’s not a win/lose mind. It’s a holistic mind with untold depths, ultimately apprehended in what The Early Mystics call “blessed stillness.”[1]

When the mind is still and focused beyond any sensory distractions it plumbs the mystery of our pre-fallen state in Christ—of our Original Nature.  And for Christians that mystery has a word: Miaphysite.

Miaphysite, also known as The Jesus Paradox, changes the way we see. It takes us beyond the limitations of conventional religion into a larger world of imagination and possibilities. It takes us beyond dualistic thinking and the subtle and gross forms of violence that follow. It takes us into the light of Christ, which excludes no one, and whose parables turned either/or dualisms on their head.

 

[1] There are references to “blessed stillness” throughout The Philokalia. See Palmer, et al, The Philokalia Vol. 2, 317.


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. TBased 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

The Root Theology of Christian Mysticism 09-24-2017

My core truth about Jesus isn’t rooted in mainstream Western Christian tradition. It is rooted in Jesus’ essence, best preserved by the Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers).

Jesus as taught by the Alexandrian Mystics is about the deep stillness of silent prayer and a theology big enough to give that blessed stillness words. The psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The container for intimate stillness and communion with God is Jesus. The Alexandrian Mystics give us words that encompass infinite God and finite humanity, that reverberate in heaven and on earth.

The Jesus Paradox is the distilled essence of the Alexandrian Mystics—the resolution of the Jesus tug-of-war. Its truth convicts my soul, yet doesn’t require me to leave my reasoning mind at the door.

The phrase “Jesus Paradox” (or Miaphysite in Greek) stretches my reasoning mind to its limits and makes room in my heart for the world. For “God so loved the world” (John 3:16a). The Jesus Paradox doesn’t stop short of the world, its many people and religions. It’s broad like the mystics, making room for the sacred heart of God and for our rough and tumble world rife with despair, brokenness, and war.


 

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

 

Rooted in the Incarnation while Respecting Other Religions 09-15-2017

The Jesus Paradox articulates a primal orthodoxy while respecting other religions.

The Jesus Paradox (referred to as Miaphysite in the Oriental Orthodox Church) acknowledges Christianity’s unique root—the Incarnation. At the same time it respects the revelations of other World Religions.

The Jesus Paradox humbly acknowledges that God is available in other forms aside from the human form.

The time has come for authentic faith in Jesus that acknowledges pluralism as part of God’s plan—as part of God’s revelation in history. The alternatives to this balanced approach are religious fascism on the one hand or eclectic new age experiments on the other.

For more on 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