Saturday, December 31, 2011


This video was recorded at Science and Nonduality Conference in 2011. Father Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Priest and an Author. In this excellent talk he presents the similarities, the differences, and the complementarities between the Eastern and Western understandings of transformation. Some have called the goal enlightenment, some salvation, some ecstasy, nirvana, or heaven. What is the goal of the spiritual journey according to the main line Christian tradition? What Christian spirituality has called the unitive way has often described as non-dual consciousness by Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Are we often seeking the same thing? How can we honor and respect each of these spiritual traditions?                        

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


A couple of years ago, I read Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation.  Merton (seeing as how he was a monk) was big on solitude, and said that it's only by spending time in solitude that we can truly come to love others.  At that time, I couldn't understand how solitude could contribute to a greater love for our fellow beings...

But when it comes right down to it, isn't unity with the Divine and with fellow beings what we're all looking for?  Isn't that the essence of the spiritual path?  Michael Brown, author of the Presence Process, said "It was not enlightenment I was looking for at all; it was intimacy.  I was desperately seeking intimacy with myself, with God, with nature, with my family, with all humans I encountered, with my cats, with my writing, with plants, with the falling rain, with my pain, with my dreams and visions, and with all the minute aspects of this experience we call 'living our life,' like washing dishes and doing laundry.” It is not enlightenment we all crave, it's intimacy.  But to achieve intimacy, we've got to overcome what separates us.  That's why we have to "go inside" and get to know all the aspects of ourselves, become self-aware.  Humility develops as we face those inner demons common to all of us.   Only in becoming conscious of the forces that drive us we can conceive of the forces that may drive others.  In so doing, we come to see that we're all deeply the same, each of us capable of the greatest good and the greatest evil.  As we develop compassion for our own failings, compassion for others grows.  From this perspective, we become capable of genuine forgiveness; the barriers come down and we can end the separation! 

Solitude is a tough discipline that takes great courage.  Most of us would rather do anything than spend time alone in self-reflection in order to face ourselves!  It's one reason we tend to keep our minds so busy with activities; keeping our minds busy prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are (warts and all). It is only in solitude and stillness that we can connect with what's really going on inside of us.  And connection to other beings is not possible unless that self-connection is first established.  Spending time A-Lone leads to the understanding that we are All-One...this heart-felt knowledge enables us to relate to one another with Love and Intimacy.   And, isn't that what we're all really longing for?