Any spiritual journey is, if authentically embraced, a journey towards truth. Significant truths often come to us in pieces, rather than all at once – and that is what is happening with me when I consider a question recently posed.
It was an autumn afternoon at Vassar College. I had stayed up the previous night writing a paper. I turned the paper in at an office across campus and began walking back to my dorm room, eager to rest. Soon, it would be nightfall. The cold wind blew across my face. Leaves fell along my path. Gothic architecture merged into the shadows. Tombstones in the nearby cemetery reflected the last vestiges of sunlight.
Going into deeper states can reach a point, and usually many points, where our own "mental picture" of God starts to seem as if it is in need of a new architecture. In fact, this is central to the journey of contemplation, for we are traveling through spaces within God and through God, and yet, as the old saying goes, it often appears that we live "without God" too. One of the gifts of the contemplative journey is the increased presence of the indwelling Spirit in our daily lives.
Shadow is an essential component to God's Kingdom, but unfortunately too many Christians avoid it. The Shadow doesn't care. It crawls on.
The Contemplative Light Podcast
The Contemplative Light Podcast releases AT LEAST one new episode each week. It is a warm and candid conversation between friends. Sometimes, it is Contemplative Light regulars; sometimes the guest is a surprise. You can subscribe on iTunes, and you can also check it out below.
The hosts discuss the stages of Christian Mysticism, using the models of early Desert Father John Cassian and 20th Century Anglican writer Evelyn Underhill. This episode is rich in explaining some of the traditional models used in the mystical tradition that has always been in Christianity, throughout history, even if not often discussed in churches. The hosts also often candid feedback as to how (and if) these models apply to the modern Westerner trying to balance contemplative life with a hyper-stimulated socio-economic culture.
Marc and Clint discuss an article by Ilia Delio that responds and (intelligently) critiques the theology of Richard Rohr.
In this episode, Chris Luard and Clint Sabom discuss using the breath and body in meditation.
Do some meditations work better than other? Is contemplation compatible with this hectic world? What about the physical? Fitness and exercise? Managing time and contemplation is not easy.
Clint talks with Chris Luard about various meditation techniques, mindfulness, and the meditation instructions and practices that Chris uses with his own students.
In this episode, we discuss shame, moralism, difficulties adjusting to religious models and dualistic worldviews. We offer open and vulnerable experiences from our own lives. This is a good episode to listen to for those who enjoy personal sharing and opening up.
The first episode of our newly revitalized and renamed podcast
Integral theory is a meta-theory pioneered by philosopher Ken Wilber. It is an attempt at a "theory of everything" that draws across all major disciplines, including religion, psychology, philosophy, and the sciences. Integral Spirituality serves as a central part of the teachings of many contemplative Christians, such as Richard Rohr, Thomas Keating, and Cynthia Bourgeault. Contemplative Light employs Integral Theory in hopes that its framework can facilitate a greater connection to God for every spiritual seeker. Below, we have made some introductory outlines of Integral thought.
Introduction to Ken Wilber, Integral Theory, and Stages of Mysticism.