Monthly Archives: September 2017

CAC – Mysticism Week 1
Practice: Being Fully Present
Only when heart, mind, and body are open—simultaneously—can we truly experience God. From childhood, we’re trained to protect ourselves by closing off one or more of these channels. Perhaps this was a necessary coping mechanism. But to develop a mature, holistic faith, we must learn to embrace and listen to each part in the safety of God’s presence. We each depend on certain areas more than others. It will take some “exercise” to develop the neglected muscle of body, heart, or mind. Below are some practices to nurture each area of being.
    Heart: loving-kindness meditation, deep listening, community, journaling, creating art or poetry

    Mind: lectio divina (sacred reading), writing, dialectic argument, study

    Body: ecstatic dance, mindful breathing, yoga, meditative walking, chant, Tai Chi, or simply observing your body (from toes to head)

Gateway to Silence:

Practice being present.

Bart Marshall | TAT Foundation Conference on the Spiritual Search

Nothing Is Necessary

by Bart Marshall

Bart Marshall
Nothing is necessary for spiritual change. In fact, nothing needs to change—spiritual or otherwise. It is as it is and it’s perfect—an ever-new emergence of All from Void—now and now and now… This is the absolute truth. And yet, the obstacles to having truth flood one’s being are formidable. Why is this? Why is it so difficult to see the truth of who we are? For something as obvious and self-evident as one’s natural state to remain unseen and unexperienced is a masterpiece of legerdemain. It seems the only explanation is that a powerful counter-force is in play, and indeed that’s the case. The magician at work is the id-entity, an elusive phantom that will fight to the death—literally— to maintain the illusion it creates.
The most expedient method for dislodging the id-entity is to confront it directly and ask tough questions. This is self-inquiry, self-interrogation. Don’t be distracted by the flurry of decoys and red herrings it throws out— the personality quirks and tantalizing memories of past imperfections. This is where it wants to play, in the muck and mire of personal history. Here it has home field advantage. It will do everything in its power to keep you looking under those rocks for the duration. There’s no end to it. Rather, look straight at it, at the heart of the matter, at the myth of personhood itself. Is there a self to study? If so, then by all means have at it. If not, why study something that doesn’t exist? First things first.
A certain amount of persona-study is necessary to demystify the workings of one’s particular vehicle. Beyond that it risks becoming a narcissistic indulgence. We need only be concerned with those aspects of persona that block truth. In actuality, very few of one’s traits fall into this category. Focus on those and leave the rest to wither. How can we know which ones stand in the way? Move along a narrow path in the direction of your longest view and see what you hit. The direction of your movement will determine what stands in the way. Deal only with those things that block the path and keep moving. Do not look right or left at extraneous quirks that appear to need fixing—Sirens conjured by the identity to distract and delay you. Don’t get sidetracked trying to become a better robot. Don’t waste time polishing the turd. It doesn’t hold truth and it won’t take a shine.
The path is subtractive here as elsewhere. We love what we believe to be unique personal aspects of our individuality—memories, character traits, opinions… We like to think of ourselves as extremely complex, with burdens and challenges and destinies of mythic proportion. That’s a lot to carry. Weed out as much of this as possible and focus available energy on actual obstacles, not seductive cul-de-sacs and dead ends. The danger is that psychological self-study becomes an ego game, a goal in itself—an endless tail-chasing device that locks one into the idea that the person can be fixed, that it needs to be fixed before moving forward. It becomes a reason for procrastination, a reason to refuse freedom, a reason to hold grace at bay. “I am not yet worthy,” we protest, and fend off God with all our might.
Move in any direction, and the way you live and act will quite naturally come into alignment with that direction. This does not need to be taken on as a separate task. The key is direction. Choose wisely, set your sights on the furthest point in current view and move out smartly. As Rose used to say, “Keep your head on it.” Such a casual and simple phrase but so powerful. What are you thinking about? Where is your head? To modify Jesus a bit: Where your head is, there will your spirit be also.
Return to TAT’s April Conference Page

Non Violence – Richard Rohr Weekly Summary 2017/09/23

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Richard Rohr Summary w/c 17/09/2017

Summary: Sunday, September 17-Friday, September 22, 2017

I sense the urgency of the Holy Spirit, with 7.5 billion humans now on the planet at the same time. Our future is either nonviolent or there is no future at all. (Sunday)

The root of violence is the illusion of separation—from God, from Being itself, from being one with everyone and everything. (Monday)

If we do not recognize the roots of violence at the first and hidden structural level (“the world”), we will waste time focusing exclusively on the second and individual level (“the flesh”), and we will seldom see our real devils, who are always disguised as angels of light (“the devil”). (Tuesday)

Nonviolence comes from an awareness that I am also the enemy and my response is part of the whole moral equation. I cannot destroy the other without destroying myself. (Wednesday)

Most of our conflicts arise from a very fragile sense of the self. When we’re full of fear, the enemy is everywhere. We endlessly look for the problem outside of ourselves so we can expel or exterminate it. (Thursday)

Jesus undercut the basis for all violent, exclusionary, and punitive behavior. He became the forgiving victim so we would stop creating victims. (Friday)

Practice: Vow of Nonviolence

Years ago, the Center for Action and Contemplation staff, volunteers, and friends were invited to say this vow together at an outdoor mass on the Feast of John the Baptist. Today I renew my commitment to nonviolence and invite you to make this vow your own as well.

Recognizing the violence in my own heart, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God. . . . You have learned how it was said, “You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy”; but I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven. (Matthew 5:9, 43-45)
Before God the Creator and the Sanctifying Spirit, I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus
    by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life;

    by accepting suffering rather than inflicting it;

    by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence;

    by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart;

    by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live;

    by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.
God, I trust in Your sustaining love and believe that just as You gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so You will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it. [1]


Gateway to Silence:

Love your enemies.

[1] Eileen Egan and John Dear, “The Vow of Nonviolence, Pax Christi USA, Note that Pace e Bene and John Dear are leading a Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions, September 16-24. Learn more at

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Healing Our Violence Through the Journey of Centering Prayer, discs 1 and 2 (Franciscan Media: 2002), CD

Richard Rohr, “Jesus: Forgiving Victim, Transforming Savior,” On Transformation: Collected Talks, vol. 1 (Franciscan Media: 1997), CD

Richard Rohr, Spiral of Violence (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2005), CD, MP3 download

Watch “Dare to refuse the origin myths that claim who you are | Chetan Bhatt” on YouTube

A TEDx Talk

Always open to ideas about humanity before nation, caste, culture or creed 

The planet is for all humanity …

Secularism Vs Religion 

Intellect Vs Divine

Arguments being and to be played out 

Evolution or indoctrination …

Think nature is likely to win long term … But the short term is uncertain … as it always has been …