Wednesday, May 8, 2024

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 28

+ This is the third post on InterSpiritual Meditation Step 3: May we be awakened and transformed into our highest potential.

 + Our intimate, intricate, infinite connection to Ultimate Reality is the source for all genuine transformation. Here are some main points on the Spirituality & Practice Practice of Connection by Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat: 

·        Separateness is an illusion.

·        Everything is interrelated — in time, space, and our very being. Both religion and science reveal this truth — Hinduism's image of Indra's net, Buddhism's understanding of interbeing, the experiences of the mystics, the teachings of ecology and physics, even the Internet.

·        One definition of spirituality is "the art of making connections."

·        There are certain givens: The one is made up of many. One thing always leads to another. Everything is related to everything else.

·        The practice of connections reinforces holistic thinking and our awareness of how the spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of our being interpenetrate and nourish each other. It enables us to see the big picture.

·        We need to engage in this practice when we have a tendency to compartmentalize our experiences, to put them in neat little boxes instead of seeing them as parts of a whole.

·        The history of the world is plagued by dueling dualisms: mind vs. body, humans vs. nature, God vs. the world, science vs. religion, country vs. city, male vs. female. The spiritual practice of connections erases such arbitrary and unnecessary distinctions.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 27

This is the second post on the third step of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE TRANSFORMED INTO OUR HIGHEST BEING.

I have collected many quotes and resources on the topic of Transformation. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

+++

We have been given the gift of life in this perplexing world

to become who we ultimately are –

creatures of boundless love, caring, compassion, and wisdom.

— Wayne Teasdale

+++

We are not born finished; we are born to become all that we can be: good, kind, giving. 

— Joan Chittister

+++

We are travelers on a cosmic journey,

stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity.

… We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.

This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.

— Paulo Coelho

+++ 

What you seek is seeking you.

— Rumi

+++ 

The winds of grace blow all the time.

All we need to do is set our sails.

— Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

+++ 

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals

that something deep inside us is valuable,

worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.

Once we believe in ourselves we can risk

curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight

or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

-- E.E. Cummings

+++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offering reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are:  

1.      Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”

2.      Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”

3.      Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”

4.      Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”

5.      Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”

6.      Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”

7.      Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful Spiritual Paths course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by harnessing your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.”

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

+++  

Thursday, February 29, 2024

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 26

 + Today I begin to focus on the third step of the InterSpiritual Meditation process: MAY WE BE TRANSFORMED.

Here are excerpts from what Ed Bastian, the creator of InterSpiritual Meditation (ISM), wrote about thi step:

"We acknowledge and confess our shortcomings, vowing to patiently persevere in our personal transformation. We vow to remove our inner obstacles and negativities. Without guilt, we forgive others and ourselves as we open to the transformative presence of love."

AND

This ignorance does

A prison make,

Only true wisdom

Helps me escape.

Freedom lies

Inside, not out,

Of this pure truth

I have no doubt.

I know that

Real happiness

Must arise from my

Own consciousness.

Within my being’s

Sacred design,

Resides the heart

Of the divine.

Thanks Ed.

++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offering reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are:  

1.      Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”

2.      Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”

3.      Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”

4.      Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”

5.      Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”

6.      Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”

7.      Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful Spiritual Paths course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by harnessing your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.”

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

  







Tuesday, August 8, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 25

This is the seventh post on Step Two of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE'S MANY GIFTS. 

Here are six quotes offered by Brother David Steindl-Rast, one of the wonderful pioneers of InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices. During his long life he has thoroughly focused on practicing Gratefulness. Scroll down to see resources for learning more about his work including the fantastic website he and his colleagues offer for growing in gratitude. 

· It is enough to be grateful for the next breath.

· Happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy.

· Gratitude celebrates life with a joyful "yes" at every knot of the great network in which everything is connected to everything.

· Our approach to gratefulness has to be big enough to embrace all the difficulties of the world.

· The quest of the human heart for meaning is the heartbeat of every religion.

· My religion is surprise.

· The smallest surprise, received gratefully, yields a harvest of delight. 

+ I recently reflected on that last wonderful quote and wrote the following:

I like this idea a lot because it offers a way to be delighted with the little things of life in the here and now, moment after moment, breath after breath. In the stillness of this moment, this breath, there are a million surprises, maybe more. They happen within us and beyond us. Our Greater Self is always aware of this “harvest of delight” so available in the stillness and silence beyond our ordinary small-self awareness.

BROTHER DAVID STEINDL-RAST RESOURCES

·        Grateful Living | Word for the Day | Brother David page | Practice Space | Content Library |

·        Spirituality & Practice Teachers project | Quotes | Books | Video Clips

·        Spirituality & Practice Search

·        Grateful Living Youtube Channel | Youtube Search for David Steindl-Rast

·        More Quotes > Goodreads | AZquotes 

++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are: 

 1.      Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”

2.      Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”

3.      Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”

4.      Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”

5.      Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”

6.      Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”

7.      Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful Spiritual Paths course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by harnessing your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.” 

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 24

+ This is the sixth post on Step Two of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE'S MANY GIFTS. 

·        Abundance surrounds and sustains us like the air we breathe; it is only our habitual self-protectiveness that prevents us from perceiving it. Thus, the real problem with any constrictive motion (defending, hoarding, accumulating, clinging) is that it makes us spiritually blind, unable to see the dance of divine generosity that is always flowing toward us. -- Cynthia Bourgeault

·        How soon will you realize that the only thing you don't have is the direct experience that there's nothing you need that you don't have? -- Ken Keyes, Jr. 

Abundance is not something we need to seek.  Abundance is a gift to be received with each breath. What Good News this is.  The abundance which “surrounds and sustains us” is miraculous, mysterious and marvelous.  I just went to my Abundancetrek.com page on Abundance and found those two wonderful quotes. Abundance is one of nine heavenly attributes I have been writing about for more than 20 years.  The others are Joy, Wisdom, Beauty, Love, Peace, Justice and Freedom.  Abundancetrek has a page on each of them. There are also pages for 12 spiritual practices: Stillness, Detachment, Humility, Silence, Discernment, Healing, Solitude, Devotion, Holiness, Simplicity, Delight and Heavenliness. These are attributes and practices which characterize The New faith for the New Earth which is now growing throughout our beautiful planet.  

Thank You for your devotion to creating more compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance.  I am grateful that more and more of us are tuning in to this Ultimate Reality.  I call it a Great Evolutionary Leap Forward.  It’s really happening. A critical mass of humanity is now being transformed.  We simply need to encourage each other and discover that there are so many of us working on creating this New Earth.  What a gift it is to be here right now involved in a growing global community of faith, hope and love which is new and different in many ways but guided by so many great teachers past and present.

++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are: 

 1.      Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”

2.      Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”

3.      Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”

4.      Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”

5.      Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”

6.      Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”

7.      Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful Spiritual Paths course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by harnessing your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.” 

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

+++

Monday, June 12, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 23

This is the fifth post on Step Two of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE'S MANY GIFTS.

Here is Part Two of my InterSpiritual Journey, from 2002 to now (June 2023):

I am grateful that I have been blessed with support and encouragement from InterSpiritual Companions in recent years.  The term InterSpiritual was coined by Brother Wayne Teasdale in the 1990s but did not become a household term right away.  I became familiar with it around 2010.     

In 2002 I retired after 28 years as a pastor. Mary and I moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina where Mary did a Post-Doc at the University of North Carolina from July 2002 to June 2003.  I thought that making her do this after all the work she did to get a Ph. D. was “cruel and unusual punishment” but the year there turned out to be an important transformative experience for both of us.  This was due to several opportunities for relationships and growth. The one that has made a huge impact was joining a weekly Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina group at The Church of Reconciliation.  Our devotional life ever since has been enhanced immeasurably by that experience. 

That was also when I began to find all kinds of spiritual wisdom and practices mainly due to the explosion of resources on the internet. As I developed Abundancetrek.com, I found that Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat had begun promoting many of these resources on the Spirituality and Health website.  I had appreciated their educational work for many years before the internet came along. I began filling my website with links they offered, perhaps a hundred before those links became extinct due to their move to their own website in 2006, the website I call the best website in the universe, Spirituality&Practice.  What an amazing website Spirituality&Practice is.  If it was limited to book and film reviews it would be amazing.  But add to that many other features including a comprehensive approach to 37 spiritual practices, e-courses, blogs, galleries, the Spiritual Practice of the Day, the Spiritual Reading of the Day, the Quote of the Day, the Teacher of the Day and Naming the Days.    

When I think of my early days of Internet searching I think fondly of Inner Frontier, Daily Zen, The Church of I Am, Wahiduddin’s Web, Grateful Living, The Common Lectionary, Contemplative Outreach, One Spirit and Progressive Christianity. I offered quotes and many links on Abundancetrek.com and my blogs from these websites. More recently I discovered the wonderful daily devotions from The Center for Action & Contemplation. My basic categories on Abundancetrek.com were and still are Heavenly Attributes and Spiritual Practices. The Heavenly Attributes are: Abundance, Joy, Wisdom, Beauty, Love, Truth, Peace, Justice and Freedom.  The Spiritual Practices are The Journey of the Mind practices of Stillness, Detachment and Humility; The Journey of the Heart practices of Silence, Discernment and  Healing; The Journey of the Body practices of Solitude, Devotion and Holiness; The Journey of the Soul practices of Simplicity, Delight and Heavenliness.   

InterSpiritual wisdom and practices are now becoming quite numerous.  Do a search for “InterSpiritual” at Spirituality&Practice and you will come up with 199 books, 23 e-courses, 23 quotes, 21 teachers, 13 traditions,  12 blogs, 7 films and 4 topics as of June 12, 2023.  The first two e-courses listed are InterSpiritual Meditation and InterSpiritual Wisdom.  I took both of these e-courses when they were first offered in 2010 and 2011.  I was so intrigued that I pursued the InterSpiritual path as a student at the Spiritual Paths Institute led by Edward W. Bastian who has earned a place as one of the pioneering teachers of InterSpiritual Wisdom and Practices.  

I have had the privilege of working closely with Ed for more than a decade along with several others who became what Ed called the Founding Mentors.  This would never have happened without the internet.

Let me tell you about Ed’s InterSpiritual Journey since my journey has been intertwined with for the past decade.  He worked for a while with Lowell Thomas, a legendary radio and television reporter and documentary film maker.  With Lowell Thomas, he went to India in 1970 where he met the Dalai Lama. This was long before most of us ever heard of the Dalai Lama. Unlike me, Ed’s Presbyterian upbringing did not satisfy his thirst for a solid spiritual foundation.  So he pursued the Buddhist path. The Dalai Lama introduced him to other Buddhist teachers in the Tibetan monastic community in exile in Northern India.  He stayed there and learned how to engage in a deep meditation practice.  Ed wanted a comprehensive knowledge of Buddhism and so he got a Ph. D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. 

Fast forward to the 1999 and 2004 and we find Ed in Aspen, Colorado where he was invited to represent Buddhism at Father Thomas Keating’s annual Snowmass Gatherings of Meditators.  This turned out to be a life-changing experience.  He sold his business, the Aspen Internet site, and started the Spiritual Paths Institute in Aspen. The first faculty included several pioneering teachers of InterSpiritual Wisdom and Practices: Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, Rami Shapiro, Kamir and Camille Helminski, Swami Atmarapananda.             

Now fast forward to 2008 and the economic downturn which led to an enrollment decline.  Also, Ed’s doctor advised him to move to sea level. So he moved into his sailboat in Santa Barbara harbor, wrote two wonderful books on InterSpiritual Wisdom and Practices. The first one, InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven-Step Process from the World’s Spiritual Traditions, was based on his and his colleague’s reflections during and after the Snowmass gatherings. Here is the S&P book review.

The second one, Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path: An InterSpiritual Process, was inspired by a vision he once had where he met spirit beings who showed him a Mandala with spokes for 12 spiritual styles, 12 spiritual questions and 12 wisdom traditions.  This is the format for the book. Here is the Goodreads page for the book.

These books became the basis for two e-courses offered by Spirituality & Practice. See above. I took both of them and I was hooked.  Ed then offered an InterSpiritual Meditation course and a Mandala course on the Spiritual Paths website with an engaging and comprehensive curriculum. In 2013 Omega Institute invited Ed to teach a seminar on InterSpiritual Meditation and the InterSpiritual Mandala. I went and met Ed there. He told me about his plan to offer a course for people wanting to become an InterSpiritual Mentor.  I signed up along with about 10 others.  6 of us graduated in 2017.  I would never have been able to do this without the internet.

Recently I have been blessed my continuing involvement with Spiritual Paths and with three wonderful groups close to my home in the Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York: Weaving Home, Lotus Heart Zen and the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica.  I have also continued to be active as a Presbyterian minister in a variety of ways at First Presbyterian Church, Utica and the Presbytery of Utica.      

++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are: 

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful Spiritual Paths course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by harnessing your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.”

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

Monday, May 22, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 22

This is the fourth post on Step Two of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE'S MANY GIFTS.

I am grateful that I have joined with other companions on the amazing journey of InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices.  Here is how one of the pioneering InterSpiritual teachers describes this journey:

To walk an interspiritual path is to travel through the wilderness with open hands and a courageous spirit. It is to navigate with the heart and a book of prayers from every faith tradition that ever uttered a sacred phrase in any language. To travel an interspiritual path is to drop to our knees in the presence of Love wherever we encounter it, and to disarm our hearts the minute we have the impulse to otherize a faith we do not understand. To take an interspiritual journey is to circle ever inward, to a place of holy silence and vibrant stillness, and then to surge back outward with the contemplative fruits we have gathered to feed a hungry world. An interspiritual life invites us to take our rightful place at the table of the Divine in many Holy Houses, and asks that we kneel at the altars of multiple traditions and drink from the goblet we are offered, and allow it to transform us. Interspirituality is about saying YES to the sacred in every form and no form, about moving beyond intellectual orientation to active engagement with various religions, about seeking and finding the Love that unifies all paths and affirms our essential interconnectedness. -- Mirabai Starr, from www.mirabaistarr.com

What a blessing it has become for me to be among more and more people devoted to this path.  May you be so blessed.  May you join me in gratitude for this splendid opportunity to create a new earth which reflects the abundance, compassion and freedom of heaven which is our birthright since we really are heavenly beings temporarily enjoying the unique experience of being human here on earth.  Let's enjoy this sojourn even more by embracing the cultures and rituals and wisdom offered by all of humanity.  We can become more and more grateful for the riches, the variety, the gifts found here on earth where we are for now.

My InterSpiritual Journey began long before Wayne Teasdale coined the term sometime in the 1990s. I will share some highlights from birth to the end of the twentieth century in this post and I will share my 21st century highlights in a future post. Here we go:

I have been open to finding wisdom sources outside of the Christian Wisdom Tradition for as long as I can remember.  Shortly after I was born in 1947 I was baptized in a Presbyterian Church in Caldwell NJ.  When I was two, we moved to Denville NJ.  There was a big Presbyterian Church in nearby Dover and a small church in the Union Hill section of Denville which became Presbyterian in 1957.  The first pastor of that church, Theodore Blunk, was a new graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. He was a wonderful pastor who loved working with the youth of the area and there were many of us baby boomers to work with.  He would now be called a Progressive Christian.  He opened my eyes to the infinite possibilities available beyond the friendly but narrow confines of Christianity.

As a college and then seminary student in Boston (1965-1973) I found my way to Old West Methodist Church where I was blessed by very progressive pastors and very progressive professors. I opened my eyes even more.  Christianity worked for me and still does.  But, like Wayne Teasdale, I wanted to find meaningful experiences beyond those friendly but narrow confines.  I found meaningful wisdom and practices mostly through several books which I did not find in the seminary curriculum.  I hope that has changed.   

One of the pastors at Old West Church, Bill Hudson, introduced me to Nikos Kazantzakis.  I read several books by this great Greek writer.  He wrote about the great teachings found in the East as well as the West.  Concurrently I discovered The Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Kenneth Keyes, Jr.  I still find this book valuable.  He presents some of the great wisdom from the East in a way which makes sense to the Western mind.  He calls the seven chakras the 7 centers of Consciousness.  Going from bottom to top they are called the Security Center, the Sensation Center, the Power Center, the Love Center, the Cornucopia Center, the Conscious-Awareness Center and the Cosmic Consciousness Center.  The 12 Pathways to Higher Consciousness, which I memorized, is a profound tool for overcoming the security, sensation and power addictions.  I read a few more books in the 1970s from outside the Christian Wisdom Tradition including How to Meditate by Lawrence LeShan, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and Black Elk Speaks.  I also read books from secular sources, particularly Psychology, Sociology and Quantum Physics.

During the years I served as a pastor (1974-2002) I stayed mainly within the friendly but narrow confines of the Christian Wisdom Tradition. Nevertheless I did have a couple of life-changing experiences during those years. While I worked as a pastor in Dearborn, Michigan in the 1980s, I was led to John Biersdorf, a United Church of Christ Minister who was the Guiding Teacher at the Ecumenical Theological Center of Detroit.  He regularly taught many pastors and others to meditate with a Buddhist mindfulness approach.  In the 1990s I devoted quite a lot of effort to reading, understanding and practicing A Course in Miracles.  Also in the 90s a friend encouraged me to read several important books from outside the Christian Wisdom Tradition. Particularly The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley re-opened my eyes to the riches found in the East. More and more I sought wisdom from beyond the Christian Wisdom Tradition, particularly from the religions of the East but also from Shamanic and Indigenous wisdom. 

After I retired as a Pastor I had more time to pursue wisdom and practices and the Internet was exploding with it more and more and more.  I will continue sharing my InterSpiritual Journey in a future post. 

++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are: 

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful Spiritual Paths course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by harnessing your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.”

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

   


Thursday, May 4, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 21

+ This is the second post on Step Two of InterSpiritual Mediation: MAY WE BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE’S MANY GIFTS.

+ Here are some excerpts from Todd Rundgren’s “Healing,” an amazing song of meditation, contemplation and prayer found on his 1981 record album entitled Healing.  You can find several versions of “Healing” on Youtube.  

Listen to your heart
Tune into the rhythm
Listen to your heart
Beating with precision
Like the waves upon the seaside
It goes on and on
Like the spinning of the world
It goes on and on.



Look upon yourself
Only with compassion
Strip away the shell
Hiding your perfection.



Listen to the cry of a world that's calling to you
Listen to the cry of the helpless souls that need you
Though you may have trepidation, you can not refuse
You will find your own salvation in the path you choose.

You could not be closer to your maker
Never more or less alone
If you know thyself, there's nothing else to know
You are whole, you are whole

+ This song connects this ISM step with all of the others as only great artists can do.  I am grateful for the transforming energy of rock’n’roll throughout my life.  I love rock’n’roll and Todd Rundgren is not only a great rock musician but a great spiritual teacher.  This song can truly be viewed as an InterSpiritual anthem.  I am grateful for this song which makes me happy and motivates me to work to be whole, to be healthy, to be transformed as I reflect on its vision and values, to be more loving and compassionate, mindful through my breathing and body awareness, wise through going deep into heavenly realms as I meditate and coming back to my mission on earth to serve all beings.  That covers all seven ISM steps.

I have been inspired by this song since 1981.  As recently as 2010 he took all of the Healing songs on the road.  You can find it on Youtube.  One of the venues was in Morristown, NJ, only a few miles from my childhood home in Denville.  There he was joined by some delightful young singers which you can see and hear in the Youtube videos. 

My gratitude is for all artists who get us in touch with ultimate reality and what we need to be and do to make ourselves, our families, our communities, our planet more heavenly.  For me, many rock’n’roll musicians have been instrumental in making me aware of Ultimate Reality.  More recently I have found Celtic music to do that for me as well.  Other kinds of music work too. What artists and musicians have impacted you over the years and particularly recently?

Here are links to the Healing videos on Youtube and a few other Todd Rundgren songs and links:

·        The Original Recording of Healing

·        Healing Part 1 (live) via HarryRunt danu subscription  | lyrics part 1

·        Healing Parts 2 & 3 (live) via HarryRunt danu subscription | lyrics part 2 | lyrics part 3

·        Healing Part 1 (live) via Noragon subscription | lyrics part 1

·        Healing Parts 2 & 3 (live) via Noragon subscription | lyrics part 2 | lyrics part 3

·        Healing wiki

·        Compassion (live)

·        Healer (live)

·        Love is the Answer

·        Interview and concert clips

·        Youtube Search for Todd Rundgren

·        todd-rundgren.com

+++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are:  

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful Spiritual Paths course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by harnessing your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.”

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 20

+ This is the second post on Step Two of InterSpiritual Mediation: MAY WE BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE’S MANY GIFTS.

To all my teachers,
I beseech,
Please stay near
and help me teach.

Your wisdom helped me
To find my way,
For constant blessings
I will always pray.

To the natural world
That sustains my living
I honor her
For always giving.

My many faults
I now confess,
And clear them all
Through forgiveness.
-- Edward Bastian

The grateful heart sits at a continuous feast.
-- Proverbs 15:15

The more we are steeped in gratefulness,
the more it absorbs us until we start to radiate it from within.
-- Tim Roberts

Gratitude places you in the energy field of plentitude.
Perceiving life in a consciousness of gratitude is
literally stepping into another dimension of living.
Suddenly the seeming ordinariness of your days takes on a divine sparkle …
Glow with gratitude and see how awe and joy will make their home in you.
-- Michael Bernard Beckwith

Gratitude is a celebration of love.
-- Br. David Steindl-Rast

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
-– Melody Beattie

+ Ed Bastian’s first two verses for this step -- “To all my teachers, I beseech, Please stay near and help me teach. / Your wisdom helped me To find my way, For constant blessings I will always pray.” – emphasize gratitude for teachers. I invite you to remember and honor all of the teachers in your life who have opened the doors of your mind, heart, body and soul to that “energy field of plenitude,” to the heavenly realm of abundance, joy, wisdom, beauty, love, truth, peace, justice and freedom.

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are:

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.net. The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Spiritual Paths teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. Another wonderful course which is always available and periodically taught via Zoom is the InterSpiritual Mandala Course. It is designed to “Create your Spiritual Practice and Path by Harnessing Your Spiritual Styles to Find Answers to your Spiritual Questions.”

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

Monday, April 24, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 19

+ This is the first post on Step Two of InterSpiritual Mediation: MAY WE BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE’S MANY GIFTS.

 With gratitude we invoke and honor our teachers, mentors, and great spiritual role models.

We invite these great beings to remain present and pray that they guide us.

We remind ourselves about the blessings of friends, family,

and the environment that nurtures and sustains us.

-- Edward W. Bastian

+ Please ponder the abundance of gifts in your life beginning with teachers, mentors and great spiritual role models.

++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I am offering reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are: 

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”


+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.net.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Spiritual Paths teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. 

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

 

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 18

 

+ This is the sixteenth post on Step One of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY.

 My hope for all of us is that 'the miles we go before we sleep' will be filled with all the feelings that come from deep caring--delight , sadness, joy, wisdom--and that in all the endings of our life, we will be able to see the new beginnings.

-- Fred Rogers

 

+ Definitely one of my favorite fellow Presbyterian Ministers.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 17

 + This is the fifteenth post on Step One of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY

Joy is the happiness that doesn't depend on what happens.
-- Brother David Steindl-Rast

+ Some people distinguish between JOY and HAPPY. I’m not so sure that they are really different but the point they make is valid. Happiness can be short-lived, based on events which don’t last forever or even for a minute or a day. But Brother David is reminding us that there is another kind of happiness which is always available deep within us. Buddhists say it comes with Mindfulness. Muslims say it comes from Remembrance. Christians say it comes from Unceasing Prayer. I’m sure that other wisdom traditions have practices which get to the source of true happiness. What works for you?

++++++++++++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I will offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are: 

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.net.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. On April 5, 2023 live zoom sessions on Mandala: Creating an AuthenticSpiritual Path: An InterSpiritual Process will begin and continue for 8 weeks. This has been a very informative, illuminating and inspiring experience for me as I have done this course several times and there's always more to learn about our InterSpiritual wisdom and practices. As in Ed's book, the course focuses on 12 important spiritual styles, 12 important spiritual questions and 12 important wisdom traditions.

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.


Saturday, March 25, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 16

+ This is the fourteenth post on Step One of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY

Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experienced the loss of soul. Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves. -- Gabrielle Roth

I am so glad she included “finding comfort in silence” as an essential universal healing salve along with dancing, singing and “being enchanted by stories.” We can sure find a path to the oneness of all creatures in these salves.  We can be inspired by these salves.  We can be motivated, transformed, revived, renewed, made whole as we go deeper and deeper into realizing our unity through these healing salves.

Here is the first paragraph of the Spirituality & Practice Remembering Spiritual Masters Project for Gabrielle Roth: “Gabrielle Roth was an author, internationally renowned theater director, philosopher, recording artist, and dancer. She is best known for creating The 5Rhythms, her own form of ecstatic dance, a poetic and practical practice that directly addresses the divorce of body from heart and heart from mind by tapping into the natural rhythms of life.”

Many of us ignore the importance of the movement of our bodies. The adventure of life is enhanced dramatically by welcoming and appreciating all that our bodies offer.  Prayer can be dance.  Maybe prayer needs to be dance. 

I invite you to grow in your body wisdom by reading books by Gabrielle Roth or watching videos or reading some wonderful quotes and taking them to heart.

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I will offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are: 

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.net.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation.  A comprehensive e-course on Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process is also available. This course will be offered with live zoom meetings beginning on April 5, 2023 and will continue for 8 weeks. This has been a very informative, illuminating and inspiring experience for me as I have done this course several times and there's always more to learn about our InterSpiritual wisdom and practices. As in Ed's book, the course focuses on 12 important spiritual styles, 12 important spiritual questions and 12 important wisdom traditions.

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 15

+ This is the thirteenth post on Step One of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY

Many persons have a wrong idea of 
what constitutes true happiness. 
It is not attained through self-gratification 
but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
-- Helen Keller

+ This is such powerful wisdom from a great teacher who overcame physical limitations which most of us would not be able to overcome. But forget the teacher for now and concentrate on the message. This is one of those teachings which gets to the heart of what Step One is all about. Take a moment right now. Pause. See if you can become more deeply aware of a worthy purpose in your life and renew your commitment to it.

+++

+ This is a series of posts on InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. I am an InterSpiritual Mentor certified by SpiritualPaths Institute which Ed established. In these posts I will offer reflections of mine and others on each of the steps which are:

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process Drawn from the World’s Spiritual Traditions and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to consider taking a comprehensive e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation offered by Spiritual Paths.net.  The course is always available but periodically it is taught via Zoom by Ed and other teachers as an 8-week course with group participation. 

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices and other topics.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

INTERSPIRITUAL MEDITATION -- 14

 + This is the twelfth post on Step One of InterSpiritual Meditation: MAY WE BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY

+ Howard Thurman was a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr and many others who found his guidance immensely gratifying.  Here are four of my favorite Howard Thurman quotes and several links including a link to a page with ideas of his and wonderful videos including a 2 hour interview with him (first link):

+++

+ This is one of a series of posts on InterSpiritualMeditation: A Seven Step Process created by Dr. Edward Bastian. In these posts I and others offer reflections on each of the steps which are:

1. Motivation: “May we be Happy and Healthy.”
2. Gratitude: “May we be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts.”
3. Transformation: “May we be Transformed into Our Highest Being.”
4. Compassion: “May we be Loving and Compassionate.”
5. Mindfulness: “May we be Mindful through Our Breathing.”
6. Wisdom: “May we Become Wise through our Meditation.”
7. Service: “May we be in Service to All.”

+ I invite you to purchase and read Ed's wonderful books including InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven Step Process and Mandala: Creating an Authentic Spiritual Path -- An InterSpiritual Process.

+ I invite you to join The New Faith for the New Earth Facebook Group where I and group members post and comment on InterSpiritual Wisdom & Practices as well as other topics.