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Your Comments to My Post-Apocalyptic Blog Post

I am still on low to non-existent solar power on Eagle Island, but I want you to know that I am moved, encouraged, and overjoyed by this outpouring of response. In proper Advent fashion, I'm pondering all of this in my heart, and will be back on this blogspot in the near future with further clarifications and musings. In the meantime, I can feel that the BODY of our presence is already out there, quickened, and that its presence on the scene is now already a reality...for which I give thanks from the depths of my heart. Blessings,

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My Post-Apocalyptic Blog

Dear Wisdom friends, I want to make very clear to all of you that the “keep calm and carry on” tone of my earlier (immediately post-election) post does not imply that I’m feeling sanguine about the course of events now facing our country and our world. Quite to the contrary, I believe over the next several months we’re in for some hard reversals, probably harder than most Americans born post World War II have ever seen in their lifetime. I’ve been out here on Eagle Island for a few days of Advent deep listening, trying to second-guess myself. But the premonition remains. And it’s still Wisdom’s hour. Because I believe that those of us seriously committed to walking the Wisdom path have something to bring to the mix which most of our culture—either secular or spiritual—is simply not going to be able to get at. And it’s the missing piece, I believe, where clarity and resolve are to be found, if at all. As you know, the two main influences on my overall metaphysical bearings are Teilhard and Gurdjieff. From Teilhard I get the reassurance that deep hope takes place over deep time. So much of our human terror and

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Post Election Reflection II

Ring out the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in –Leonard Cohen, 1934-2016   Dear Wisdom seekers, I’d like to share with you some reflections on what’s happening in this (post-) election cycle here in the United States. There has been so much pain and confusion these last few days, and at the same time I have felt an amazing upsurge of deeply grounded, newly energized, committed and emboldened hope, rising up through my heart as if from the heart of the earth itself--and I see it rising up and radiating out through so many others as well. I’m naming it an upsurge of “bodhisattva consciousness”--a deep and resolved commitment to work in the world for the liberation of all beings, and particularly for the most silenced and oppressed among us. After December 19th, when the Electoral College electors cast their ballots, it is almost certain that Donald Trump will be our president-elect. How did we get here, and what is happening? First, let’s scale way back and take the big picture, long-range view (or, at least, MY big-picture view!): this planet, this entire

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Lines of My Own Composed above Tintern Abbey

We’d arranged to spend a day of sightseeing on my most recent teaching swing through the UK, so the afternoon of November 7 found me in a car with my host Jackie Evans and my old friend John Moss, winding our way back to Bristol after a magical day of exploring some fabled holy sites and “thin places” in the picturesque Welsh countryside. Darkness drops quickly in November; the sun was already barely cresting the ridgeline when we rounded a bend in the Wye River, and suddenly there was Tintern Abbey. The sight does, literally take your breath away. There, nestled in the riverbed like a strange Gothic botanical, more growing out of the landscape than towering over it, stand the haunting ruins of a 12th century Cistercian Monastery, still largely intact. In 1536 it fell victim to Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries edict, his brutal initiative to disestablish the Roman Catholic Church in England. Monks were deposed or slaughtered, the building was sacked and vandalized, its treasures were confiscated for the crown. Three centuries of peaceful and compassionate striving in this “school for the Lord’s service” ended in an orgy of violence. Over the centuries, the old stonewalls

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Post Election Reflection

I want to thank you all for the beauty of the work you are collectively doing around this election. There have been torrents of words already, and I am loath to contribute to the stream, particularly so many of you have spoken so eloquently and succinctly about it. Honestly, I think Bob Sabath pretty much nails it in his short reflection: that combination of courage, openness, forgiveness, renewed commitment, and compassion that will be required of each of us as we pick up the pieces and move ahead. I am so grateful to be working with you all in this bandwidth, with the tools and perspectives we have been gradually developing in our wisdom work over the past years. From Teilhard we have the reassurance that evolutionary change flows over deep time. Events which, viewed at the wrong scale (i.e., too close up), look like devastating upheavals actually turn out to be relatively minor systemic adjustments. Beneath the surface ripples and rapids, the river itself is still flowing smoothly in its channel. Hope does not divert course. From Gurdjieff we have the Law of Three and a powerful set of tools for processing and applying ( a.k.a., invoking, channeling, mediating,

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The Way Forward: The Book of Lamentations as Teacher

The Day after the Presidential Election After a fitful sleep interrupted by phone calls and texts from worried and distraught friends, I awoke this morning to the grim reality of the day. How could this possibly be? How could we have turned backwards toward hate, racial prejudice, sexism, and xenophobia? So many of us have been actively working toward a culture that could embrace the marginalized. And what about the fate of our earth, our island home? Have we just taken a giant step backward? For me it was a morning for grief and lamentation. Not surprisingly, I found the Old Testament reading from Joel in the morning office exactly on target: 15   Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16   gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. 17   Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, “Where

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Beatrice Bruteau Archive to Reside at Emory University

Big news, all you Wisdom Seekers. Thanks to the incredible persistence and deft touch of Wisdom student Joshua Tysinger, the priceless collection of unpublished writings by Beatrice Bruteau has come to live at Emory University—alongside comparably priceless collections by such luminaries as Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is an amazing coup, and a blessing for us all. Beatrice Bruteau—scholar, nondual Christian teacher, and interspiritual pioneer par excellence—died in November 2014 at the age of 84. Many of you already know of the extraordinary spiritual friendship that developed between Josh, at the time a first-year student at Wake Forest Seminary, and Beatrice, living out her final days behind a thickening veil of dementia. Partly caregiver, partly spiritual son, Josh sensitively helped her navigate the horizontal axis while in return she conferred on him the full luminosity of her spiritual being and wisdom. Josh recounts this remarkable journey in his essay on Beatrice in Personal Transformation and a new Creation (Orbis, 2016). If you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss it! And yes, I put Josh onto the assignment of keeping an eye on the voluminous archive that Beatrice had left behind her (she and Jim

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“TWO become one…”

Last Tuesday, July 12, the massive granite sculpture named “Two” by its creator, Maine sculptor Roy Patterson, took up its new home on my front lawn. Instantly it looked like it had been here for eons. I’m still in a bit of shock at what could have led me to shell out what from my perspective is an astronomical chunk of change for this assemblage of granite blocks. And yet there was something so compellingly right about it—so natural—that I could only keep moving ahead with this decisionless decision that seems to have emerged from some intentionality deeper than my own. So when my friend Lindsay Bowker pressed me a bit further on this point in preparation for an article on its installation she’s cooking up for the local paper, I put my thinking cap on, and this is what I came up with… ….From the moment I bought the little house on School Street in Stonington, I knew I was placing myself in a very public location. Everything I did here would be on display. That’s the nature of the site. I was also aware that I was assuming a profound gift and responsibility from Michie O’Day, the former

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The Heart of the Heart – A young mother’s reflections on the first family-friendly Wisdom School

I was an exhausted young mother of two in 2014, a first year student at the Living School for Action and Contemplation, and after reading OF so many of my grey haired cohorts’ luxurious prayer sits and long walks in nature, I had HAD it. “Where is the icon of the mystic with one baby on her hip, one hand stirring a pot on the stove, and the toddler crying at her feet?!!!” I wailed. Being a young mother is tough business. Being a young mother seeking to integrate the contemplative path into every day life, is particularly tough. That is, unless you have teachers like Cynthia Bourgeault and Jim Finley to set you straight. In one session with Jim I asked him how I could keep from being angry at the non-stop interruptions of my life. “How can I possibly have solitude and my prayer practice when I’m surrounded by needs?” He looked at me and said: “here’s the thing. God is so moved by your love and devotion, that he can’t help but interrupt you and run into your arms as your children. Can you not see that God is interrupting you in the shape of your very

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Planetary Pentecost – Part 3

(This post is a continuation of “The Planetary Pentecost - Part 2” We’ve been exploring the idea that we are in the midst of a Planetary Pentecost: the arrival of a new church that is as big as the cosmos. We’ve also been challenging the perception that rising generations lack an interest in God, but may instead be (as Teilhard describes) “unsatisfied theists.” Humanity, it seems, is ready for a larger, more inclusive, and dynamic language of God. The fact that this past Sunday was Trinity Sunday illustrates an apt progression in our Teilhardian explorations of a Planetary Pentecost: the Trinity, representing Divinity as a dynamic and creative interdependent community, points us in the direction of how we might begin thinking of world religions in this dawn of the Second Axial age. If the language of God doesn’t need to be thrown out, but instead evolved, what role – if any – does religion have as we continue toward unification in this Planetary Pentecost? Do we ditch existing religious paths and form a new, global trans-religious amalgam? Or are we being invited into a deeper understanding of the unique role of each spiritual tradition? This was precisely the topic of

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