Wisdom Lineage Summary—Weekly Summary — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Wisdom Lineage Summary—Weekly Summary

Wisdom Lineage Summary

Summary: Sunday, December 20-Saturday, December 26, 2015

The work of religion is to re-ligio—re-ligament or reunite what our egos and survival instincts have put asunder, namely a fundamental wholeness at the heart of everything. (Sunday)

If we can remember that we all came from God and are headed back to God, whatever circuitous route we take, I think it will help us be more humble and patient with each other. (Monday)

Whatever tradition you claim, be open to letting it change you even as you challenge your church or community to grow in maturity. (Tuesday)

It is the force field of the Holy Spirit that you and I continue to be a part of whenever we are living, writing, and praying in loving union with God and God’s work in the world. (Wednesday)

Jesus consistently ignored or even denied exclusionary, punitive, and triumphalist texts in his own Jewish scriptures in favor of passages that emphasized inclusion, mercy, and honesty. (Thursday)

Jesus came to reveal and resolve the central and essential problem—humanity’s tendency toward fear and hate. (Friday)


Practice: Contemplation

A practice of contemplation can rewire our brains for love. It seems to me that meditation makes it almost inevitable that your politics are going to change, the way you spend your time is going to be called into question, and your snug socioeconomic perspective will be slowly taken away from you. When we meditate consistently, the things that we think of as necessary ego boundaries—giving us a sense of our independence, autonomy, and private self-importance—fall away, little by little, as unnecessary and even unhelpful. This imperial “I,” the self that the West thinks is the only self, is not substantial or lasting at all. It is largely a creation of our own minds. Through contemplation, protecting this relative identity, a persona (“mask”), eventually becomes a trivial concern. “Why would I bother with that?” the True Self asks.

As we end a year and look forward to a new one, I encourage you to commit to a contemplative practice. There are many different ways to do this, for example:

  • Meditative prayer with breath awareness, repeating a mantra, or Centering Prayer (I’ll give a brief introduction to Centering Prayer next Saturday.)
  • Chanting or listening to music
  • Mindful movement such as walking, yoga, tai chi, or ecstatic dance
  • Creating art or poetry

Additional contemplative practices and experiences can be found on The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s website.

As you daily watch your False Self fall away and receive a vision of your True Self, listen for the ways in which you are called to live compassionately in your relationships, community, and world. As you experience how you are held in union with Love, let this identity flow outwardly in actions of justice and peace.

Gateway to Silence:
Keep me in Your truth.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer (Paulist Press: 2014), 13-14.

For further study:
Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer
Richard Rohr, Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus’ Use of Scripture (CD, MP3 download)

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