Wednesday, March 30, 2016



+ If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.
-- Rollo May in The Courage to Create

+ I didn’t know I would come up with 16 Spiritual Explorations posts on the practice of Discernment when I began contemplating this series of posts.  But I did and this is the final one.  Healing comes next. 

So, here is my concluding thought for now.  You may soon find more on the Discernment page which I have been working on and plan to revise some more and expand.

My discernment and the discernment of many very wise and discerning people is that we definitely need to create a new faith for a new earth.  This does not mean that anyone needs to stop being a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Wicca, a (fill in the blank) or even an agnostic or atheist.  But we do need to come together often, very often, to share our ideas and practices which create more compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance.   We are evolving toward this rapidly now.  This is Good News.   

I believe The Charter for Compassion and the movement it has created is an essential part of this “new thing” God is doing now.  I urge you to read it, sign it, share it, promote it, make it happen.  Here it is:

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.  

For many years Spirituality & Practice has been a major influence in my life contributing greatly to my discernment of this “new thing” God is doing.  More recently I have participated actively in the development of InterSpirituality under the guidance of Dr. Edward W. Bastian of Spiritual Paths.  He has created a powerful  seven step InterSpiritual Meditation  which can bring people of all wisdom traditions together since compassion is a universal goal.  He also offers a unique approach to the Discernment process moving from inquiry to insight and then on to integration. He has written two books which offer wise and comprehensive guidance on the process:  InterSpiritual Meditation and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path. To repeat what I said above ... we do need to come together often, very often, to share our ideas and practices which create more compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance ... and Ed offers an effective approach for this to happen based on years of experience and research working with some very wise teachers including Cynthia Bourgeault, Father Thomas Keating, Sheikha Kabir Helminski, Swami Atmarupananda and Rabbi Rami Shapiro.

+ Spirituality & Practice offers many resources on the practice of discernment.

Spirituality & Practice offers 37 Spiritual Practices with an abundance of ideas and resources for this essential practice. Some of my favorites are Attention, Being Present, Connections, Enthusiasm, Imagination, Listening, Meaning, Openness, Questing, Reverence, Silence, Transformation and Vision. Pick one or 2 and see where you are led as you continue to discern your purpose, your path, your mission, your next step

+ I have work to do on my Discernment page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Discernment” to

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to

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