I am currently reading The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault.
I wish to share with you her take on the Beatitudes. I will discuss four Beatitudes this week, four next week, and sprinkle in my commentary.
To provide some quick background, Bourgeault presents Jesus as a wisdom teacher: teacher of the path of inner transformation.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” What is poor in spirit? Poor in spirit designates an inner attitude of receptivity and openness. It is when we open ourselves that we find we are truly blessed. I specifically notice this as a fruit of my centering prayer practice. During my silent sits, I open to the presence and inner actions of God. God seems to bless me and I notice these fruits during my non-silent times: patience, wisdom needed for a task, inner peace, confidence, actions I need to take today.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Mourning is a brutal form of emptiness. However, in this emptiness, if we remain open, the Divine reaches back to us with compassion. I agree! My first centering prayer sit after my father passed away was difficult! I opened to the presence and action of God with my sacred word, then sobbed and gently returned to my sacred word, over and over and over again, until I was finally embraced by Divine peace and compassion.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” When we have dealt directly with our sense of fear and scarcity that are a direct result of our egoic operating system, then we will inherit the earth. There is enough for everyone. We do not need to compete, divide and split the field. We do not need to be jealous of others’ success, instead, we can choose to help each other to succeed and celebrate their success. Compete does not need to be the mantra!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Righteousness means to be anchored in God’s aliveness: to be deeply connected to God. I yearn for this connection. Twice per day I sit with God in silent prayer and connect to the Divine. I arise from my daily sits reconnected to the Divine, ready to partner with God and take on the day. I hunger and yearn for God’s righteousness both during my silent sits and non silent times of the day. During the day, I like to silently whisper the word Jesus to reconnect to God at any moment.
I hope you will join me next week as I share the last four Beatitudes!
The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault.
The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart by Cynthia Bourgeault.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.
Healing the Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots by Amos Smith
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The rate is $50 – $75 per hour. The first session is 1/2 off.
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Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering Contemplative Practices. This course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including: The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
I am currently reading The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault and The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is by N. T. Wright.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
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. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
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.
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.
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.)