Monday, August 22, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 253

This is the daily exploration for Friday, September 9, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF HEAVENLINESS

+ This is the final post on the style of Love & Compassion as we continue to explore Heavenliness through the lens of the 12 styles of the Mandala process.  There are 5 more styles to explore and then we will move on to the 9 Attributes of Heaven.  The 5 remaining styles are Nature, Prayer, Reason, Relationships & Wisdom.  We explored Mysticism in posts 201 to 217.

+ Compassion is expressed in gentleness. When I think of the persons I know who model for me the depths of the spiritual life, I am struck by their gentleness ... They are gentle because they have honestly faced the struggles given to them and have learned the hard way that personal survival is not the point. Their caring is gentle because their self-aggrandizement is no longer at stake. There is nothing in it for them. Their vulnerability has been stretched to clear-eyed sensitivity to others and truly selfless love.
-- John E. Biersdorf in Healing of Purpose

+ It has been nearly 30 years since this amazing teacher introduced me to a variety of meditation, contemplation and prayer practices.  He is now the pastor of Point of Vision Presbyterian Church and has just finished writing a book on religion and science, Infinite Reach: Spirituality in a Scientific World.  I moved away from Michigan in 1988 and no longer could have regular contact with Jack but the quote above sums up his approach to compassion.  He modeled it for me and others during the years he led the Institute for Advanced Pastoral Studies which morphed into the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit.  The Library there was named the John Biersdorf Library. I know his congregation is blessed abundantly with his unique gifts.  His wisdom and guidance can be found in some great books he has written including How Prayer Shapes Ministry, Healing of Purpose and Hunger for Experience.

+ Spirituality & Practice offers abundant resources on the practices of Love & Compassion: The Practice of Love | The 12s Gallery on Love | The Practice of Compassion | The 12s Gallery on Compassion  

+ The 12 styles of Mandala: Creating An Authentic Spiritual Path: An InterSpiritual Process by Edward Bastian are listed in SE206.

+ The 7 steps of InterSpiritual Meditation by Edward Bastian are listed in SE21 and SE213. They are described fully in his book, InterSpiritual Meditation.

+ To get inspired and illuminated by Ed Bastian, I invite you to set aside some time for these videos:  Seven Steps of InterSpiritual Meditation (11 minutes) | 15 minute introduction to InterSpiritual Meditation and the Mandala Process | 2 hour lecture & conversation

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Heavenliness page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Heavenliness” or “Love” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

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