I've found that using the Jesus Prayer throughout the day can be a simple, contemplative practice that has a powerful effect. The prayer goes back to the Eastern Orthodox spiritual fathers, whose collection of texts, The Philokalia, outlines many mystical practices used by hermits of the early church.
To my knowledge, an Integral and Unitive exposition of St. John of The Cross's poem, The Dark Night of The Soul has never been done. The last five stanzas were never explained by St. John. I offer it here, using the perspectives of Evelyn Underhill and Ken Wilber, and living it as a write it.
By definition, original sin implies that our faculties for knowing sin are inherently impaired with sin also. Perhaps our capacities for truly knowing anything are intrinsically skewed, and the fall in Genesis 3 leaves us completely blind when it comes to seeing divinity. Going forward in blind faith, then, implies that we cannot see the path ahead, or, at least, cannot see it very well.
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.
Chris and Clint discuss the fields of awareness on the path of meditation. This episode focuses on listening, hearing, silence - the auditory field. Or, aural, as Chris likes to say.
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.