Last weekend I had the privilege and honor of meeting with Cynthia Bourgeault and eleven others whom Cynthia called together to deeply consider the Wisdom mandate in the face of the social and political upheaval occasioned by the election in November. Through the common intention to be open and receptive to the calling addressed to us both individually and collectively, we met in silence, prayer, practice, teaching, and conversation. Getting bearings from Teilhard, Gurdjieff, Wilber, and Fitzgerald—Cynthia’s teaching was never more brilliantly insightful. Through our time together we were both drawn more closely together in solidarity of heart and then dispersed out into the world to respond to our individual callings of prayer and action.
What I experienced last weekend was participation in one of many circles. Besides the Wisdom community, for me some of these circles have included a parish community, a havurah, the Round Table of Faith Leaders, InterFaith Works of CNY, participation with refugees, and on and on. What I would like to convey to you in this moment is that all of our circles are connected. We are all joined in commonality of purpose. And although our actions may run the gamut and include political demonstration, leverage and influence through community and political action, deep prayer and silence, or some combination of all of these and other actions—the most important thing to remember is that we are all connected in one heart.
And if I were to dare to name this common purpose, I would use the phrase, “the higher human collectivity,” and I would use the word, “love.” No matter what your spiritual path or religious background, no matter the descriptors our culture might use to identify you, no matter what your life situation might be—you belong to me and I belong to you. We are all integral parts of a greater Whole— this greater human collectivity. And we are all being called into action—whatever that action may turn out to be—because the fabric of our human collectivity is being threatened by power, greed, fear, and a sense of entitlement.
Please know that with all of my strength of being, I am with you; and I deeply trust you are with me. May the power of love that unites us overcome the darkness that now threatens.
The Reverend Bill Redfield recently retired as rector of Trinity Church, Fayetteville, New York, after nearly 20 years. An Episcopal priest, he is also a licensed clinical social worker. He has had a lifelong interest in the intersection of the spirituality and the inner life, and is the creative force behind the birth of Wisdom House, Fayetteville, New York. Bill was introduced to Centering Prayer by Cynthia Bourgeault 25 years ago and has been an advanced student of hers for nearly a decade. Bill leads Wisdom Schools with Sister Lois in the Northeast. You can learn more about Bill’s practice at Wisdom’s Work.