Holding His hand, I am not in charge anymore.

Today’s gospel (Mark 1:29-39) was about how Jesus grasped the hand of Simon’s mother-in-law who was sick with a fever. He helped her up and the fever left her and she waited on them. My mind just focuses in this piece of the gospel because this is the way how I started my spiritual journey jumping to the unknowing with my total trust that He will take my hand and guide me. I remember that I bought a bible and used the parish bulletin to guide me with the daily readings. This strategy forces me to know my parish and get involved and to be faithful to the daily readings. Little by little, I began to be attracted to silent. I was exposed to a Centering Prayer group few years later and realized that I was praying in similar way intuitively. My participation in this group began and I learn about this prayer more formally. The path has been slow because changes are slow. Every time I reach a dead end in my way, I usually got a little anxious until I remember that I am not in charge that He is guiding me. With time, the image of holding His hand has been with deeper trust and confidence. The daily practice of Centering Prayer has giving me the way to develop a deeper relationship with God and a total confidence that He is taking my hand always guiding me wherever He wants I need to go.

Centering Prayer and Embodied Contemplative Practices

Centering Prayer and Embodied Contemplative Practices – My experience

The article Contemplative Movement on the January 2018 of Contemplative Outreach Ltd. bulletin by Robin Gates, stirred in my mind so many experiences that I observed after few years of my Centering Prayer Practice. I noticed that my body began asking for movement as never before during reading, working on the computer, attending conferences, etc. My body always was asking me to move even in a small way. I did not know what was happening so I decided to have a standing working station, and began doing more physical exercises. When I found a direct correlation of my Centering Prayer Practice, and the growth of my spiritual awareness with all these changes, I began searching for explanations. Finding scientific research papers supporting the cultivation of interoceptive, proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness at the core of movement-based contemplative practices such as Yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi, my interest to add some of this kind of practices began in order to find a better balance in my daily life.

I began practicing yoga and then I decided to understand this discipline in a deeper form after I found a lot of benefits in my life. I began with yoga studies and yoga training in the Satyananda tradition (Bihar Yoga) where I have been exposed to yoga philosophy and yoga psychology too. My mind opened a 180 degree radio after this studies and training, given me the discipline and strength necessary to keep going forward in my Centering Prayer practice as transformative tool in the Christian Contemplative Heritage.

Movement-based embodied contemplative practices: definitions and paradigms. Front. Hum. Neurosci., 14 April 2014 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00205.

Editorial: Neural Mechanisms Underlying Movement-Based Embodied Contemplative Practices. Front. Hum. Neurosci., 26 April 2016 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00169

Satyananda Yoga/Bihar Yoga http://www.biharyoga.net/yoga-vision/satyananda-yoga/

Elements of True Love

1. Friendship or kinship.

2. The capacity to heal or healing. To heal is to become or to make something healthy or well again. Thus, healing can be seen as a process of transforming and removing suffering, so that wellbeing can be present in ourselves, in our relationship with ourselves, and with others.

3. The joy that we cultivate in ourselves or the joy that we offer to other person. When we’re gratified by the joy that another person is experiencing, this is known as “altruistic joy”, to feel happy for another person’s advantageous conditions or achievements.

4. Interbeing. Some people associate the terms “equanimity” and nondiscrimination” with equal rights, gender and racial issues so the term interbeing is used. In fact, interbeing encompasses equanimity, nondiscrimination, inclusiveness an letting go.

5.Trust and confidence and the consequences that those elements bring: breathing freely, freedom from fear, confidence, reliance, comfort, encouragement and inspiration.

6.Reverence or respect. Reverence is a capacity to recognize and to be in awe of what is.
(to put down upon the earth, turn or direct direct toward, deposit with, entrust or commit to, to place at the head, receive with reverence, call to mind, reflect, and ponder.)

Dang Neghiem, Sister.(2015) Mindfulness as Medicine: A Story of Healing Body and Spirit.p.15-16

Prayers to quiet the mind for entrance to Centering Prayer

Let Your God Love You

Be silent.

Be still.

Alone.

Empty.

Before your God.

Say nothing.

Ask nothing.

Be silent.

Be still.

Let your God, look upon you

That is all.

God knows.

God understands.

God loves you.

With enormous love.

And only wants

To look upon you

With that love.

Quiet.

Still.

Be.

Let you God-love you.

Edwina Gately and Jane Hammond-Clarke.

Whispers: Conversations with Edwina Gateley

Source Books, 2000

http://www.cachisdigital.com/wp-content/juf-websites/prayingfromtheheart/?p=158

 

 

Prayer of Abandonment (Br. Charles de Foucauld)

Father,

I abandon myself into your hands;

do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,

and in all your creatures –

I wish no more than this, O Lord.

 Into your hands I commend my soul:

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,

to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

for you are my Father, my Mother my Alfa and my Omega,                                                                      

my refuge and my strength,

my inspiration and my consolation.

An Ancient Byzantine Prayer

Serene light shining in the ground of my being,

Draw me to yourself,

Draw me past the snares of the mind,

Free me from symbols and words

That I may discover the Signified,

The Word unspoken,

in the darkness that veils, the ground of my being.

God Has A Perfect Plan

God has a perfect plan for each one of us for the future as expressed in God’s words to Jeremiah:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future … Jeremiah 29:11

 

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Cosmic Christ: God in All Things

God in All Things
Sunday, October 23, 2016

(Daily Meditation Oct. 23, 2016, Fr Richard Rhor)

The day of my spiritual awakening
was the day I saw and knew I saw
all things in God and God in all things.
—Mechtild of Magdeburg (c. 1212—c. 1282) [1]

Understanding the Cosmic Christ can change the way we relate to creation, to other religions, to other people, to ourselves, and to God. Knowing and experiencing the Cosmic Christ can bring about a major shift in consciousness. Like Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9), you won’t be the same after encountering the Risen Christ.

As with the Trinity, the Cosmic Christ is present in both Scripture and Tradition and the concept has been understood by many mystics, though not as a focus of mainline Christianity. We just didn’t have the eyes to see it. The Cosmic Christ is about as traditional as you can get, but Christians—including many preachers—have not had the level of inner experience to know how to communicate this to people.

The Cosmic Christ is Divine Presence pervading all of creation since the very beginning. My father Francis of Assisi intuited this presence and lived his life in awareness of it. Later, John Duns Scotus (1266-1308) put this intuition into philosophical form. For Duns Scotus, the Christ Mystery was the blueprint of reality from the very start (John 1:1). Teilhard de Chardin brought this insight into our modern world. God’s first “idea” was to become manifest—to pour out divine, infinite love into finite, visible forms. The “Big Bang” is now our scientific name for that first idea; and “Christ” is our theological name. Both are about love and beauty exploding outward in all directions. Creation is indeed the Body of God! What else could it be, when you think of it?

In Jesus, this eternal omnipresence had a precise, concrete, and personal referent. God’s presence became more obvious and believable in the world. But this apparition only appeared in the last ten seconds of December 31, as it were—scaling the universe’s entire history to a single year. Was God saying nothing and doing nothing for 13.8 billion years? Our code word for that infinite saying and doing was the “Eternal Christ.” (See John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-20, Ephesians 1:9-12 if you think this is some new idea.)

Vague belief and spiritual intuition became specific and concrete and personal in Jesus—with a “face” that we could “hear, see, and touch” (1 John 1:1). The formless now had a personal form, according to Christian belief.

But it seems we so fell in love with this personal interface with Jesus that we forgot about the Eternal Christ, the Body of God, which is all of creation, which is really the “First Bible.” Jesus and Christ are not exactly the same. In the early Christian era, only a few Eastern Fathers (such as Origen of Alexandria and Maximus the Confessor) cared to notice that the Christ was clearly historically older, larger, and different than Jesus himself. They mystically saw that Jesus is the union of human and divine in space and time, and the Christ is the eternal union of matter and Spirit from the beginning of time.

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we’re believing in something much bigger than just the historical incarnation that we call Jesus. Jesus is just the visible map. The entire sweep of the meaning of the Anointed One, the Christ, includes us and includes all of creation since the beginning of time. Revelation was geological, physical, and nature-based before it was ever personal and fully relational (see Romans 1:20).

Gateway to Silence:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

References:
[1] Sue Woodruff, Meditations with Mechtild of Magdeburg (Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Co., 1982), 46.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Cosmic Christ, discs 1 & 2 (CAC: 2009), CD, MP3 download; and
Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014), 185, 210, 222.

Sabiduría Universal

Sabiduría Universal

Domingo, 20 de Noviembre, 2016.

La Tradición de la Sabiduría Perenne…ofrece conocimiento antiguo para la vida contemporánea que es relevante para todo nosotros, y no solo para unos pocos. ­­­­–David G. Benner [1]

La Tradición Perenne abarca los constantes temas que se repiten recurrentemente en todas las religiones y filosofías que continua diciendo:

  • Hay una Realidad Divina por debajo y es intrínsico al mundo de las cosas;
  • En el alma del ser humano hay una capacidad natural,una similitud y un anhelo por esta Realidad Divina;
  • El objetivo final de la existencia es la unión con esta Realidad Divina.

La “filosofía perenne” o la “tradición perenne” es un termino que ha entrado y salido en popularidad en la historia Occidental y religiosa, pero nunca ha sido desechada por la Iglesia Universal. Yo fui entrenado en teología Católica sistemática, y alternativa ortodoxa Franciscana; esto y la tradición completa Judeo-Cristiana me enseñó a honrar la visibilidad y la revelación de Dios en todas las tradiciones del mundo y no solo la mía propia.

La Tradición Perenne fue afirmada, en muchas formas, en el Concilio Vaticano Segundo (1962–65) con miras al futuro en documentos sobre ecumenismo (Unitatis Redintegratio) y en religions no Cristianas (Nostra Aetate). Estos afirman que hay constantes temas, verdades y repeticiones en todas las religiones del mundo.

En Nostra Aetate, por ejemplo, los Padres del Concilio comienzan por decir “ Todas las personas constituyen una sola comunidad y tiene un solo origen [creado por uno y el mismo Dios Creador]… Y solo un destino final: Dios…La Iglesia Católica rechaza nada que sea verdad y sagrado en estas religiones”. [2] Luego el documento continua alabando las religiones Nativas, Hinduismo, Judaísmo, Budismo e Islam como “un rayo reflector de la verdad que ilumina a todas las personas.”[3] Usted puede darse cuenta el coraje y la brillantez que tomó en escribir esto en 1965, cuando muy poca gente en cualquier religión pensaba de esta manera. De hecho, la mayoría todavía hoy aun no piensa en esta forma.

Una excepción temprana fue la de San Augustin (354–430), un Doctor de la Iglesia, quien escribió: “Precisamente esto que es ahora llamado la religión Cristiana no estaba presente entre los antiguos desde el comienzo de la raza humana hasta la venida de Cristo en la carne. Después de este tiempo, la religión verdadera, la cual ha existido siempre, comenzó a llamarse ‘Cristianismo.’”[4] San Clemente de Alejandría, Origen, San Basil, San Gregorio de Nisa, y San Leo el Grande todos ellos mantuvieron entendimiento similar antes que el Cristianismo se volviese luego defensivo (¡ y ofensivo!) en modos de cazar herejías, de anti-Semitismo, y las varias cruzadas. Cuando cualquier religión se convierte orgullosa, también se torna en dualística y oposicional.

En algunas maneras cruciales, nosotros hemos retrocedido actualmente de los profundos pensadores y escritos de la Tradición Perenne. Como Ken Wilber repite frecuentemente, una buena religión está hecha para ordenar como servicio tal como “una cinta transportadora” hacia adelante a través de todas las etapas de la conciencia humana. Que triste cuando nos quedamos bloqueados en la etapa de servicio personal..

 

 

 

Referencias:

[1] David G. Benner, “Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living,” “The Perennial Tradition,” Oneing, Vol. 1, No. 1 (CAC: 2013), 24.
[2] Nostra Aetate, Vatican II, 1965, #1, 2. 
[3] Ibid.
[4] Augustine of Hippo, Retractions, 1:13.3, emphasis mine.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Introduction,” “The Perennial Tradition,” Oneing, Vol. 1, No. 1 (CAC: 2013), 11-12. (This issue of Oneing, a limited edition publication, is no longer available in print; however, the eBook is available from Amazon and iTunes. Explore additional issues of Oneing at store.cac.org.)

 

Richard Rhor Daily Meditations

Universal Wisdom
Sunday, November 20, 2016

 

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Universal Wisdom

The Perennial Wisdom Tradition . . . offers ancient wisdom for contemporary living that is relevant to all of us, not just to a few. —David G. Benner [1]

The Perennial Tradition encompasses the constantly recurring themes in all of the world’s religions and philosophies that continue to say:

  • There is a Divine Reality underneath and inherent in the world of things;
  • There is in the human soul a natural capacity, similarity, and longing for this Divine Reality;
  • The final goal of existence is union with this Divine Reality.

The “perennial philosophy” or “perennial tradition” is a term that has come in and out of popularity in Western and religious history, but has never been dismissed by the Universal Church. I was trained in Catholic systematic theology and Franciscan alternative orthodoxy; these and the whole Judeo-Christian tradition taught me to honor the visibility and revelation of God in all the world traditions and not just my own.

In many ways, the Perennial Tradition was affirmed at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) in forward-looking documents on ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) and non-Christian religions (Nostra Aetate). These affirm thatthere are some constant themes, truths, and recurrences in all of the world religions.

In Nostra Aetate, for example, the Council Fathers begin by saying that “All peoples comprise a single community and have a single origin [created by one and the same Creator God]. . . . And one also is their final goal: God. . . . The Catholic Church rejects nothing which is true and holy in these religions.” [2] Then the document goes on to praise Native religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam as “reflecting a ray of that truth which enlightens all people.” [3] You have got to realize what courage and brilliance it took to write that in 1965, when very few people in any religion thought that way. In fact, most still don’t think that way today.

One early exception was St. Augustine (354-430), a Doctor of the Church, who wrote: “The very thing which is now called the Christian religion was not wanting among the ancients from the beginning of the human race until Christ came in the flesh. After that time, the true religion, which had always existed, began to be called ‘Christian.’” [4] St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Leo the Great all held similar understandings before Christianity turned to the later defensive (and offensive!) modes of heresy hunting, anti-Semitism, and various crusades. When any religion becomes proud, it also becomes dualistic and oppositional.

 

Richard Rhor Daily Meditations

Universal Wisdom
Sunday, November 20, 2016

 

Contemplative Prayer and Action

Contemplative prayer and action – life under the direct influence of the Seven Gifts of the Spirit (counsel,prudence, fortitude, reverence, wisdom, understanding, knowledge – is the gospel program for human health, wholeness, and transformation.

(IG 74) : Fr. Thomas Keating.Intimacy with God. Pag. 74

Foundations of Contemplative Living

 

finleyretreat_stpauls

 

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