Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world.
– Matthew 25: 34
Like the Magi, on this journey we are following the star to a land, at once unknown and yet strangely familiar as it unfolds. Along the way we encounter signposts, companions who have gone before us and companions still with us, and we encounter that most mysterious of places – our inmost being. This journey is lifelong, and it is daily. It requires all our gifts. And it is going somewhere. And where is this star that guides us to be found? The star abides in the silence and in a thousand micro signs borne of grace in ordinary life.
The updating and global accessibility of this program was one of Fr. Thomas’ last wishes. Before the program was launched, we interviewed him. His words were an assurance of graces yet to come:
“My motivation was first to realize that the Christian religion has a very deep and very rich tradition of spirituality and contemplative prayer. It’s not merely a moralistic religion or a set of rituals to express our relationship with God… It’s something that goes very deep, indeed into our psychic awareness and into our unconscious. So, having realized that the Christian tradition offers insights into the human condition, what we’ve tried to add is developmental psychology and the discoveries in the whole area of the human psyche and psychology that are being revealed as important accompaniments of the mystical wisdom of the ages. What the mystics have always envisioned is now available in many areas as a kind of ‘Contemplation 101’ you might say.
“The course that will be presented to you involves a certain openness to the wisdom of other spiritual traditions and to the discoveries of contemporary science – especially the oneness of human nature – the interconnectedness, the interdependence of all creation from matter all the way to the deepest spiritual capacities of the human soul.
“The main reason we put together this whole course or even courses in Centering Prayer and its conceptual background was to help us realize that Centering Prayer is a life to be lived, not just a method.”
– Thomas Keating, December 18, 2017
Yet just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so, shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty.
But shall do what pleases me,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
Yes, in joy you shall go forth,
in peace you shall be brought home.
– Isaiah 55: 10-12
“Love is a form of non-duality that has a personal quality. We belong to the human family and are developing and growing in breath of perspective and in relationship to God. Christian non-duality then is this increasing merging of all our interests of body, soul, and emotions into the Body of Christ, the New Creation, who through the Spirit has given us the guidance of the Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit. We remain a unique creation, but the limitations of a self at different levels of consciousness disappear into ever greater Oneness.
“…A true Oneness…involves the full participation of our humanity, body, soul, and spirit, distinct from the divine nature, but totally absorbed with the realization of God in the degree that God wills for each of us. A corollary of this is the importance of cultivating an awareness and conviction of the Divine Indwelling. That is really the source and root of the spiritual life. It is here so we do not have to become anybody. We already are all that we can be. When there is nobody to become, how free we will be! We only have to be what we are already, which is the creature and the beloved child of God.
“…It is a simple program, but hard to do. All you have to do is nothing. It does not mean that you actually do nothing. It means that you are empty of self-conscious motivation but open to God’s action, so that you do what God wants to do. Emptiness is not nothingness, but emptiness with an openness to becoming everything.”
– Thomas Keating, That We May Be One
- View the video “A Blessing” from the DVD series: God is Love: The Heart of All Creation which is about 9 minutes in length.
- Enter your inner room, reflect upon your time in this program and your original intention. Bring into awareness that the pattern for creation has been revealed in the selfless movement of the Trinity: there is no “my” anything. All is total self-giving love. What is being evoked in your heart at this time?