As a spirit person, Jesus had an experiential awareness of the reality of God. Jesus prayed and fasted. Jesus often went off on his own and prayed for hours at a time. It is quite possible that he practiced wordless prayer.
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He addressed God as Abba, his Father. This was very intimate and personal. This was not a common tradition at this time. For Jesus, God was not just an outside source. God was in Jesus and Jesus was in God. The Spirit of God emanated from Jesus. He lived his life connected to God. God nourished his soul.
Jesus spoke with authority that flowed from his spiritual experience. As a spirit person he taught the need to die to the conventional wisdom of the world and to die to the self. Jesus wanted the Spirit to transform lives. Jesus wanted people to be centered in God.
As a wisdom teacher Jesus taught in parables and memorable short sayings (aphorisms). Jesus was both a teacher of wisdom and the embodiment or incarnation of divine wisdom. His parables and aphorisms invited his hearers to see something they might not otherwise see.
He wanted to open eyes to a new way of seeing. He invited people in and made them think for themselves. He did not give them the answer. He wanted them to find the answer themselves.
As a social prophet he criticized the economic, political and religious elite with his alternate social vision. Jesus was often in conflict with the authorities. Jesus emphasized compassion. The dominant social vision was centered on holiness and purity. Jesus stressed that compassion not holiness was the dominant quality of God.
God was not concerned if people obeyed purity rituals that were important to the Jewish temple priests and officials. God was concerned that compassion be enacted in the community. Everyone was welcome at the table. For Jesus purity was on the inside not the outside of a person.
Lastly, Jesus was a movement founder. He reformed Judaism. It was an inclusive movement. It included all: women, untouchables, the poor, the sick, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the marginalized. It also included those people of stature who found his vision attractive.
Jesus went to Jerusalem to make his final appeal to the people at the center of the national and religious life. Jesus was sentenced to death by Pilate on the charge of treason and executed by the Romans as a political rebel. Jesus did not create Christianity. After his death and resurrection, his early followers spawned Christianity.
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 Marcus J. Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith, (HarperOne): 1995
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I just finished Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P. Coleman and The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner. I am currently reading Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
I use a Prayer Rope after each Centering Prayer Sit.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
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