New Arising Index: Recording Quaker Chants with Paulette Meier

On my way to Ohio last weekend I had a layover in Philadelphia. My first flight had been delayed and with about 12 minutes to get from E terminal to B terminal, I got off the plane and took off sprinting. Not altogether the serene mystical picture I had conjured to begin a four-day trip to record a Quaker chant album with the incomparable Paulette! But that’s when I ran right by our friend Jeanine Siler-Jones, God bless her. As I was flying from one gate to another I looked over and there she was. Without slowing down I kept looking at her and then she glanced up and our eyes locked across the concourse and we burst into waving and laughing smiles and I knew the whole shindig was already well-in-hand.  I’ve never been to Ohio and I admit I thought it was a long flat stretch of farm from one end to the other. But then Nick Weiland picked me up from Columbus airport (I made my connection!) and took me on a drive through a beautiful rolling countryside down wooded country lanes to the beautiful property he and his wife Molly keep, tucked deep into a forest.

Continue reading...

Meditations on a Death Transmission

For my beautifully steadfast mother, Adele Teague: Thank you for helping me cross over the many arduous death-wombs that could have swallowed me whole (Jeremiah 1:5).   Death comes to us all. It’s the great equalizer. No, it is the great begetter of the mysterious unknown - uniting both you and me. We may not logically frame it so, but we sense death everywhere. Throughout everything, its siren call emerges. Decomposing matter remains the arbitrary awe and function of our everyday existences. Life is fleeting and therefore trivial; this is what they say. Death turns us into the waste of what we might have known and the people we may have yet become. If only things were different. If never we’ve accepted the immaculate grace of love in this one and only world we know, then surely the earth swallows us up into its disintegrating pit of sod and soil. Six feet under. Oh, how it loves to recycle us! We bend to the forcible will of an impermanence that cares not for how we cling to relative personal comforts for our illusions of immortality. In legacy building and the overall minutia of our perceived accomplishments, we erect vanity monuments

Continue reading...

The Law of Three as Spiritual Practice

In January of this year, twenty-two of us gathered in Bethlehem PA, for a Law of Three as Spiritual Practice Wisdom School. We came together from Colorado, Indiana, Florida, Toronto, Vermont, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Held in a rhythm of a traditional Wisdom school, this Wisdom School offered a very 'practical teaching' of the Law of Three with daily break out times for small groups to explore how to apply the Law of Three within our own lives. Working with an experienced 'anchoring facilitator', each group of three or four people engaged current life happenings, working together with the map of the Law of Three as the lens. In 2013 Cynthia Bourgeault published The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three: Discovering the Radical Truth at the Heart of Christianity. The following year Marcella Kraybill- Greggo attended a Wisdom School where Cynthia unpacked her book, highlighting key teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff. The “Law of Three” refers to an assertion that every phenomenon is a new arising that comes into being through three distinct lines of action. The first force is holy affirming, the second force holy denying, and third force holy reconciling. This teaching posits that the Law of Three is

Continue reading...'

A Call to Prayer as a Wisdom Collective: A South Bend Parable

Dear Wisdom Community, I feel like I am caught in what a member of my Law of Three group called “a Parable”. I wonder if others might be called to meet me here in service of, oh, maybe nothing less than …Wisdom in our nation. Call it the South Bend, Indiana Parable, which this week is a story of a police shooting, white on black, that occurred right down the street from where I live. And, this HAPPENS to come in the middle of our mayor, Pete Buttigieg's, booming presidential campaign and thus it becomes a national story, which of course it already is. Our local story=our national story. For background see my blog of this morning, Violence, Racism, and Presidential Politics. My Law of Three group helped me see the triangle, and with the triangle, the possibility of “new arising.” Affirming force: the cries, the screams for justice. Denying force: the FUTILITY of all efforts so far on the part of the mostly white establishment at correcting either overt or underlying problems and so the violence (white on black, black on black etc.) keeps happening and even escalating. I told the Law of Three group that the only thing

Continue reading...

Bruno Barnhart’s Movement IV: The Global (Postmodern) Turn

I loved this chapter!—particularly the way it weaves together and synthesizes the voices of Teilhard de Chardin, Ewert Cousins, and Karl Rahner—each of them pointing in their own way (planetization, a 2nd Axial age, and the "world church") to a truly universal, incarnate, global understanding of Christian spirituality.  Wow!  I’ll share a few words by way of summary here, before our Zoom book study group meets this Friday… but know that they're rushed and inadequate to the wonders Fr. Bruno actually unfolds in these final pages. In this fourth movement, Fr. Bruno explores Teilhard’s vision of a coming human unity: in Teilhard’s words, “there is only one way in which the tide can flow: the way of ever-increasing unification”… the present “social in-folding” is simply an extension of the “process of cosmic in-folding which gave birth to the first cell and the first thought on earth.”  Barnhart points to the ways in which large scale human tragedies and disasters (the two World Wars, for example) “rather than fracturing and dispersing humanity, have forced it more tightly together.”  We can only hope our current climate crisis will do the same.  There is an insistence here that there is no ultimate going

Continue reading...