I was raised in the Catholic Church and attended a mixture of liberal public schools and conservative Catholic schools. Growing up I began to realize the infinitely compassionate and loving nature of God, and it became increasingly hard to stuff my own recognition of the divine into the small box of Dogma, regardless of how ornate that box may have been. . .
The Beautiful St. Edmund’s Catholic Church where I attended Mass on Sunday Mornings as a Child.
Eventually, my spiritual path lead me away from the church. I was both angry at the fear mongering and limited perspective of fundamentalists and intrigued by the expansive wisdom of the east. As I delved into other forms of spiritual practice, both eastern and western, I searched for a path that felt more like home. After almost 15 years of searching I have found that there are various levels of spiritual practice and understanding in all of the worlds religions. I realized that there are fundamentalist Buddhists, just like there are fundamentalist Christians and by that logic there must be Christian Mystics just like there are Mystics in any other tradition. Continue reading
I want to share a story with you today. It is a simple description of an experience I had and why I attribute that experience to meditation even though i wasn’t meditating at the time. First however, a little self reproach and criticism of my culture. . .
Everyone in the New Age scene talks about meditation, but very few of us actually do it. Maybe once in a while we become present for a moment or two, or we take a deep breath to center ourselves, but actually sitting down to meditate? Actual Practice of Mindfulness or self inquiry? Chances are, it’s just not happening.
I have fallen off the “spiritual practice wagon” recently myself so, I’m not trying to single anyone out, I’m calling out the whole new age culture! We talk about spirituality, but we don’t practice it. We think about spirit, but we don’t realize it. It’s rampant and it’s obvious, but it’s also understandable.
Actual spiritual practice, like daily meditation or prayer, can have a profound effect on your life, and most of us don’t really want profound effects. We want surface effects, like a better financial situation or a new relationship. We don’t want to face our fears about existence and mortality. We don’t want to release into the void and abandon our identity. That stuff is hard and it is scary and we are already more aware of spirit than most of the people we know anyway, so why go to all the trouble? Just give me a latte and a book and let’s talk about empowerment and healing.
by Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D.
There’s a heart-aching so sharp, so sweet and so bottomless, that both shatters and reassembles us. Such terrible beauty accompanies it, such fathomless yearning, such exquisitely painful gratitude. Endless is this beauty. Upon its shores we break and spill, emptied of the familiarity that self-centers our days and ways.
So very soon we are gone, like dreams vanishing before morning’s habits. Did we leave a mark? Only wingprints in endless sky, tracing evaporating goodbyes. Tombstones soon but stardust. Life is our signature, scrawled by the infinitely varied shape-takings of the Real. Such raw beauty, beauty to die for, beauty both to bow to and to be, beauty that simultaneously outlives and is us. Continue reading
St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular story associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his own jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her. Today, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day, albeit on July 6th. Continue reading
OK. Valentine’s Day is coming up, right? You have about nine days left to figure out something special for that special someone. Ladies, you qualify as “that special someone” so don’t forget to treat yourselves. Now, with Valentine’s day in mind, lets explore a couple of ways that this relates to our final chapter of the Integral Lens: “States and Types”.
States are fairly simple to explain. They are non permanent ways of being. So, when you are happy that is a state. It comes, stays a while and it goes. This is different from levels of development which we talked about last week, because a level is a more or less, permanent state of being. You might say, “I was very happy yesterday”, but you wouldn’t be likely to say, “Yesterday I was an adult.”
There are many kinds of State experiences including emotions, dreams, and deep dreamless sleep. There are states that are induced by stimulants like caffeine, or depressants like pain medications, or psychotropic substances like Zoloft, Prozac, or Paxil. I had a friend in high school who used to see little smiley faces on everything and hear voices when she DID take her Prozac. She never told her doctors because she thought it was fun. . . Continue reading
Integral Theory is shaping the future of politics, medicine, law, psychology, ecology, and an incredible number of other disciplines and areas of study. It is a framework that incorporates the best of all studies and truths, from empirical sciences to mystical wisdom traditions to political studies and social systems.
Learning Integral Theory is kind of like learning to drive. All the different components and gauges seem daunting and difficult to grasp at first, but once you are comfortable with them, it changes your whole life. Last week we talked about Holons and Quadrants as two of the fundamental aspects of an integral lens (For a quick overview you can check out the video below). This week we move on to Lines and Levels.
Lines of development is a simple enough topic to understand, but it’s implications are wonderfully promising. We are all aware of some things that we just don’t do very well, and other things that we excel at. One person may be very intelligent with respect to math and science, while another is particularly adept at dealing with emotional trauma and relationships, at the same time, both of them are hopeless when it comes to Art and Ascetics. Continue reading
Fair Warning! This is not an easy article, so please feel free to watch the video for the short version. It’s a GREAT video and if you want to read this afterwards it will be that much easier to understand.
Integral Theory is shaping the future of politics, medicine, law, psychology, ecology, and an incredible number of other disciplines and areas of study. It is a model that includes the best of all studies and truths, from empirical sciences to mystical wisdom traditions to political studies and social systems.
Last week I introduced the concept of an Integral Lens, and we had some good feedback about it, so thank you! I look forward to the unfolding discussion. This week I promised to start laying out the six basic building blocks of Integral Theory; Holons, Quadrants, Levels, Lines, States and Stages. We wont get through all of them today, but we will handle the two most challenging new concepts, Holons and Quadrants. Continue reading
This is one of my favorite excerpts from Conversations With God – Book 1 by, Neale Donald Walsch, in which, God explains The Creation to Neale. . .
GOD: Let me explain it to you this way:
In the beginning, That Which Is is all there was, and there was nothing else. Yet All That Is could not know itself—because All That Is is all there was, and there was nothing else. And so, All That Is. . . was not. For in the absence of something else, All That Is, is not.
This is the great Is/Not Is to which mystics have referred from the beginning of time.
Now All That Is knew it was all there was—but this was not enough, for it could only know its utter magnificence conceptually, not experientially. Yet the experience of itself is that for which it longed, for it wanted to know what it felt like to be so magnificent. Still, this was impossible, because the very term “magnificent” is a relative term. All That Is could not know what it felt like to be magnificent unless that which is not showed up. In the absence of that which is not, that which IS, is not.
Do you understand this?
NEALE: I think so. Keep going.
Consider joining the movement! Ann Curry is calling on people all over the world to do 26 random acts of kindness for each of the people killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here’s some inspiration from people who have already begun:
“The custodian is using tape to hold his shoes together. He works hard and deserves new shoes.”
“He was so grateful. His eyes were filled with tears.”
Via: @Cheri_Garton Continue reading