Saturday, April 17, 2021





I have a VISION which you might share with me. It's a vision of all humanity -- or at least a significant portion of us -- working together to create a NEW FAITH FOR A NEW EARTH devoted to increasing compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all. This is not a new religion. There is nothing wrong with the great religions of the world unless they have decided that their religion is the only true religion and possibly even declared that other religions must be eliminated. That needs to be challenged by all sincere seekers of meaning and purpose.

Perhaps you can join me in believing and even promoting the idea that ...

We are intimately, intricately, infinitely connected
in a matrix of unconditional, unlimited, uniting love
which is miraculous, mysterious and marvelous.

Myohye offered a quote: 
As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. … That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life… Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind. -- Anthony de Mello

Comment by Mark: “Great statement, John! What we need is widespread spiritual education that helps people grow spiritually to embrace and embody this vision. For the most part, it's not happening in the churches. Sermons, traditional Sunday school religious education, and traditional sacraments aren't cutting it. We need much more contemplative prayer, cosmic Christ spirituality, and walking the walk activism and countercultural social witness.”


Here is a prayer I love:

Earth, Teach Me

Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
-- An Ute Prayer

Chris offered a Bodhisattva Prayer For Humanity*:

May I be a guard for those who need protection,
A guide for those on the path,
A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood.
May I be a lamp in the darkness,
A resting place for the weary,
A healing medicine for all who are sick
A vase of plenty, a tree of miracles.
And for the boundless multitudes of living beings
May I bring sustenance and awakening,
Enduring like the earth and sky
Until all beings are freed from sorrow
And all are awakened.
- Shantideva
*performed daily by the Dalai Lama

Naomi offered a Navaho Prayer:

The mountains, I become part of it.
The herb, the fir tree, I become part of it.
The morning mists, the clouds, the gathering waters, I become part of it.
The wilderness, the dew drops, (the snow flakes) the pollen,
I become Part of it.

Now that we got through Groundhog Day, we need to KEEP GOING.  Here is some delightful inspiration for our journey > THE KEEP GOING SONG >

Comment by Chris: “fantastic!”


Praying without ceasing is not ritualized, nor are there even words.  It is a constant state of awareness of oneness with God; it is a sincere seeking for a good thing; and it is a concentration on the thing sought, with faith that it is obtainable. ― Peace Pilgrim

To make The New Earth a reality, we need to focus on Praying without ceasing.  A critical mass of humanity praying constantly for compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance will make it so.  We are evolving.  We are becoming a species which is moving away from constant ego gratification to a sincere and effective commitment to work for the common good of all.  So, a huge increase of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance is within our grasp.  Really.


I thought you may want to know what I plan to offer in the upcoming days, weeks, months. I invite you to post on your interests and concerns, celebrations and trials, at any time.

I plan to continue with PRAYER for a while. We need to pray unceasingly for compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance. I believe prayer needs to become increasingly InterSpiritual so I will soon begin to share some of the wisdom and practices I have been learning as a result of my commitment to InterSpiritual Meditation >  and the Mandala Process of Twelve Spiritual Styles and Twelve Spiritual Questions >

But first I plan to offer a variety of prayers and insights about prayer. I simply believe that Constant Prayer is essential and we need to help each other get to a place where prayer truly becomes unceasing and we get transformed and all creation gets transformed.

Here’s a great one:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

-- attributed to Saint Francis


A prayer and a song:

First, the prayer:

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us.
May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings.
Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory.
Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world.
[Please add your own intentions.]
Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking,
we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, Amen.
-- A Daily Prayer of the Center for Action and Contemplation Community

Now the song which was offered on behalf of UNICEF:

Here is a link to the video by Pink and the Ndlovu Youth Choir singing (and dancing) A MILLION DREAMS > It’s delightful and inspiring.

Comment by Chis: “... a million dreams for the world we are making.”


Today's Reflection from The One Spirit Learning Alliance: Our goal should be to live in radical amazement. … get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. -- Abraham Joshua Heschel

What is amazing you right now? I am amazed by the beauty of the snow falling with a row of old pine trees gently collecting the flakes.  And you?


For a while I would like this group to focus on praying for a great increase of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance on our planet.  The Practicing Democracy Project is a wonderful source of information, illumination and inspiration for our vision and values. Click on this link for a variety of prayers for political leaders >


Thomas Keating in this video said so much about the contemplative life in just a few words. His legacy including Centering Prayer and the revival of Lectio Divina is indeed one of the most significant offerings to the wave of InterSpiritual Contemplation and Action we are surfing on. I hope you will take a few minutes to be inspired and illuminated by this video from 2003. Link to this video >

My thanks to Ed Bastian for offering this video. It is one of a collection of Spiritual Paths videos on Vimeo. Go to Vimeo and search for Edward W. Bastian. Ed became a close friend of Father Keating. He and other Contemplative leaders led the memorial service for Father Keating in Aspen recently.

Joseph Naft offers wise and practical guidance for our amazing journey with his Inner Fronier Inner Work posts which have been a weekly gift to many of us for many years. Here is a link to the post for this week >

Excerpt > “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48]
Nothing in time can be perfect, not least because it is all impermanent, subject to entropy and decay. Our bodies, emotions, and minds are in time and thus imperfect. However, there is more to reality than time. Beyond time, there is a realm of perfection. Our being and our will are not in time. Our root, our Real Self, is imbued with timeless perfection. This condition of being the meeting ground between the perfect and the imperfect, between the timeless and time, is our challenge and opportunity. We can align with, open to, and embody the perfection of the Sacred. In so doing, we bring the perfect to the imperfect, we bring perfection into this world we live in.

I see that The Center for Action and Contemplation has a new Prayer For Our Community > 

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.

There is no doubt in my mind that this Center led by Father Richard Rohr is one of the best examples of the vision and values of The New Faith for the New Earth.

I am not sure at this point how long I will be emphasizing PRAYER. I hope we can use this group to get closer to that ideal set forth by Saint Paul to pray unceasingly or to come to that wonderful state of mindfulness Buddhists and others teach. Any wisdom teaching worth studying and practicing leads us to become awake, aware and connected breath after precious breath.

I have been blessed for nearly a decade by my association with Ed Bastian and a cohort of 7 of us who were certified by Spiritual Paths as InterSpiritual mentors. Ed began Spiritual Paths 2 decades ago and has worked closely with some wonderful teachers including Father Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, Sheiks Kabir and Camille Helminski, Swami Atmarupananda and Rabbi Rami Shapiro. 

Ed has given the world 2 powerful processes to help us get closer to that ideal of constant contact with the divine: The 7 step InterSpiritual Meditation process and the Mandala Spiritual Styles and Spiritual Questions process.

Beginning today I will focus on the 7 steps of InterSpiritual Meditation and I invite you to be engaged with me in doing this practice. I am a mentor and I hope to work with some of you either individually or in a group. Stay tuned for an announcement of a group meeting via Zoom.

The 7 steps are:

1 - May I (you, we) be happy and healthy (MOTIVATION).
2 - May I (you, we) be grateful (GRATITUDE)
3 - May I (you, we) be transformed (TRANSFORMATION)
4 - May I (you, we) be loving and compassionate (INTENTION)
5 - May I (you, we) be mindful through breathing (ATTENTION)
6 - May I (you, we) be wise through meditation (MEDITATION)
7 - May I (you, we) be in service to all (SERVICE)

I will be offering some of my writing and the writing of others including Ed and my fellow mentors on each step. But first, let me offer my brief take on why this practice is a powerful prayer practice:

The first four steps are basically contemplative, planting the garden. Effective prayer requires a commitment to understanding what it's all about. Once we realize how much we need to become one with the Divine, we need ways to be more and more motivated and devoted to praying constantly. Then we can do it. Steps 5 and 6 are Meditation or Centering Prayer. Step 7 is action. Prayer which doesn't lead us to serving in all kinds of ways can hardly be called prayer at all.

You can begin to be informed about InterSpiritual Meditation by visiting the Spiritual Paths website.


+ Introduction to InterSpiritual Meditation on the Spiritual Paths website:

Develop Your Personal Meditation

InterSpiritual Meditation (ISM) is a universal, holistic and integrated 7-Step process.  It is designed to improve our relationships, professions and service to others.  It fosters profound meaning, purpose and happiness for our lives.  We begin by honoring, harnessing and harmonizing our personal meditation styles.  Then, we explore wisdom and techniques of great meditative traditions.  Our videos, content resources, tools, mentors and support community help us to cultivate a mature and sustainable practice.

Here are the seven steps:

1. Heath & Happiness

2. Gratitude

3. Transformation

4. Love & Compassion

5. Mindfulness

6. Wisdom

7. Service

There is an app from Spiritual Paths for the 7 step process of InterSpiritual Meditation with the beautiful voices and wise messages of some wonderful members of this group. I don't have an Apple device so you will need to go the Apple app store and search for it. Here is the link for Android devices.


Let's get started on the first step of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY I / YOU / WE BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY. 

I think Ed gets it right that we need to always start with what motivates us and we all want to be happy and healthy, don't we?

 And you wouldn't be reading this post if you don't have a sense that our health and happiness are closely connected to our faith and that means our practice, our devotion, our intention.  Meditation, Contemplation and Prayer create happiness and health for ourselves and others.  What makes you keep going on this path? 

Here is how I began my course paper section on Step One when I first took the InterSpiritual Meditation course in 2013:

This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
-- Psalm 118:24

… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There is no law against such things.
-- Galatians 5:22-23

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
-- John 14:27

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.

Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.

(refrain and first verse of There is a Balm in Gilead, an African-American spiritual song)

You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet. -- Franz Kafka

Whatever joy there is in the world, all comes from wanting others to be happy; and whatever suffering there is in this world, all comes from wanting oneself to be happy. 
— Shantideva quoted in Inner Revolution by Robert Thurman


I have decided to use the word HEAVEN to describe health and happiness.  Heaven is not a place you go after you die if you are admitted but a state of being God intends for everyone, everything, a realm of Abundance, Joy, Wisdom, Beauty, Love, Truth, Peace, Justice and Freedom.

I believe that the practice of stillness is the key to heaven, to health and happiness. All of the practices leading to our awakening and awareness that we are in heaven right now, right here depend on us practicing stillness.

+ Before I stop for today, I must say that music is really important and I love this music video of HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING offered virtually when NYC was being hit so hard by COVID last spring >


Anna: Beautiful! Both the words and the song!!  I'm gonna save some of your thoughts.” 

Mary:  Well said John.”

Mark: “The power of interspiritual wisdom. Thanks, John!”


I am wondering …

Where do you see yourself and other individuals and communities working to build compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all?

I have a vision which is guiding me to create a network of compassionate companions. I call this vision and this venture The New Faith for the New Earth. It is you and me and all humanity (a critical mass of humanity at first) uniting to expand compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

I think Deepak Chopra nails it here: 

Every impulse can be traced back to our deep need for love. Your awareness knows this; it knows this even when the cloak of turmoil hovers over the truth, the conditions that turn consciousness toward love are simple.

Giving love to others and receiving it back.
Sitting alone in your own silence.
Immersing yourself in natural beauty.
Making art and appreciating art in all its forms.
Telling the truth, whatever the consequences.
Laughing, dancing, playing with a child.
Having an outlet for joy.
Communing with deep emotions.
Acting out of kindness and compassion.
Bonding, feeling at one with a group whose goals are positive.
Offering yourself in service.
— Deepak Chopra, Peace Is the Way

I have plenty of ideas about what is needed for this miraculous, mysterious and marvelous expansion of Love. I am sure you do too and I invite you to share them via email or in other forums I am leading.

 I hope you will join me on this amazing journey.

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