Check out some of my favorite online courses.
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New Course: Living Sacraments: The Christian Mystics & The Inner Journey to God – If you could travel through time and learn directly from the great Christian mystics like Dionysius the Areopagite, Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, or even modern mystics like Evelyn Underhill, how would it deepen your spirituality or practice? What knowledge did these figures obtain and why did it radically change not only their own lives, but their whole world? Most of us get bits and pieces of figures like Julian of Norwich and John of the Cross, but what makes each of these figures unique? What are the threads that connect them? How did they respond to the challenges of their own time and place? It is both a history class and a spiritual class where you will study the biographies of 20 Christian Mystics.
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.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This 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, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.
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. 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?
Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere: The Essential Guide to the Contemplative Teachings of Thomas Merton – Now James Finley, who for six years lived, prayed, and studied with Brother Louis, as Merton was known at the Abbey of Gethsemani, shares with us the gifts passed on to him by this towering figure.
The Teachings of Meister Eckhart: An Invitation to Experience God in Every Moment: The 13th-century mystic Meister Eckhart was the most brilliant Christian scholar of his day, but he was also legendary for the way that he opened listeners to the direct experience of God during his public talks. Today, his written wisdom remains alive as ever, ready to illuminate us. James Finley, one of today’s best-known teachers of the Christian contemplative tradition, invites us into Eckhart’s insights in the same way that this luminary teacher delighted in sharing them—through the spoken word.
Udemy offers a course on Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain that will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. These prayer methods include: Prayer of Jesus, Paul and the Early Christians, Praying With Scripture (Lectio Divina), Centering Prayer, Christian Meditation, Breathing Prayer, Praying Psalms, Praying with Icons and Art (Visio Divina). (Enjoy my review.)(Enjoy my interview with Dr. Philip St. Romain.)
Udemy offers a wonderful course by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright titled, Simply Good News. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. I have read and listened to this course and highly recommend it. I have used it at Adult Forum sessions at church too. It was well received. You will find other courses by N. T. Wright and others on this site.
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.
The Bible can often be a mystery to those who read it. There are various narratives which combine to make a great story. We have a great story, which is God’s story, which is then the story of creation, with humans in the middle of it. We have Israel’s story, called to be the promise bearing humans. Often, people wonder how the various stories, poems, prophetic texts, Gospels, and letters all fit together. This course by N. T Wright will unpack some of the questions surrounding the meaning of the Bible to bring a coherent sense of what is being communicated by the biblical writers. The Bible then, truly, becomes a Grand Story of God’s faithfulness.
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.