Updates from August, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 8:41 am on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    ‪ken wilber on eckhart tolle power of now part 1‬‏ – YouTube 

    Go to YouTube to hear the other Parts

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:54 pm on August 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Heart-knowing & detaching from intellect and learning 

    Spiritual insight and progress doesn’t come through knowing ABOUT but from knowing IN.

    When we quieten the mind, and let go learning and arguments, we can truly listen to our heart which is where God speaks to us.



    Breathing-in: I listen to my heart and

    Breathing-out: I let go all learning

    It seems that this understanding was taught in many traditions and down through the ages as these quotations show;

    Empty yourself of everything.
    Let the mind rest at peace.
    The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
    They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
    Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature. Lao Tzu

    • * * * * *

    You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. Franz Kafka

    • * * * * *

    …Where and when God finds you ready, he must act and overflow into you, just as when the air is clear and pure, the sun must overflow into it and cannot refrain from doing that. Meister Eckhart

    Relating to God Directly
    We often confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment. Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions. It is a matter of heart culture, of unmeasurable strength. Mahatma Gandhi

    • * * * * *

    By love He may be gotten and holden, but by thought and understanding, never. Cloud of Unknowing

    • * * * * *

    Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate. Huang Po


    There is also the Zen story of the professor who visited a Zen master but talked and talked and talked.  The Zen master  poured tea without stopping all over the cup, the tray the table until the professor said “Look what you are doing.”  The master then told him that he could show the professor nothing until he had emptied himself!


    The Lord was neither found on the exalted throne,nor is the Lord in the Ka’ba.

    The Lord was not found in learning and books, nor is the Lord in the prayer niche.

    He was never found swimming in the Ganges, nor met through countless pilgrimages.1

    SOURCE – Wonderful chapter from “Death Before Dying – The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu


    When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse his heart, which is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge….. CXXV  Gleanings Baha’u’llah


  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:48 am on August 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    ‪Quakers and other religions‬‏ – YouTube 

    Views from members of Watford Society of Friends.

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 11:42 am on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Insight (52 Meditations) 

    In-sight is the interior version of physical sight.


    It is a seeing into the reality of things – self, relationships, scientific problems – into reality as a Whole, or some part of reality.


    In-sights expand our space.  They expand the parameters.  They expand our sensibility.


    But they also re-order priorities and tweak life-perspectives.


    According to the teachings of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh




    In-breath:I ask my spirit
    Out-breath: light breaks forth


    Words from a spiritual master;


    “…while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit.
    In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit
    and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed.


    Words from another spiritual master;


    A lightning flash:

    between the forest trees

    I have seen water.

    Shiki Masaoka




    TAGS: Zen, insight, meditation, interspirituality, intermysticism, interbeing, Thich Nhat Hanh, Abdu’l-Baha, spiritual masters, reality, spirituality, spiritual development, spiritual federalism, interfaith, universalism,
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:25 am on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    “No single answer can hold the truth of a good heart.” ~ Roshi Joan Halifax 


    Joan Jiko Halifax (born 1942) is a Zen Buddhist roshi, anthropologist, ecologist, civil rights activist, hospice caregiver, and the author of several books on Buddhism and spirituality. 

    She currently serves as abbot and guiding teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a Zen Peacemaker community which she founded in 1990. Halifax-roshi has received Dharma transmission from both Bernard Glassman and Thich Nhat Hanh, and previously studied under the Korean master Seung Sahn. 

    In the 1970s she collaborated on LSD research projects with her ex-husband Stanislav Grof, in addition to other collaborative efforts with Joseph Campbell and Alan Lomax. She is founder of the Ojai Foundation in California, which she led from 1979 to 1989. 

    As a socially engaged Buddhist, Halifax has done extensive work with the dying through her Project on Being with Dying (which she founded). She is on the board of directors of the Mind and Life Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated in exploring the relationship of science and Buddhism.

    Videos about Joan, her work and the Upaya Centre are HERE

    Much more about Roshi Joan Halifax is to also to be found HERE
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 5:37 pm on August 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    20 Ways to get good karma – by the Dalai Lama 



  • Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  • When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  • Follow the three R’s: 
    –  Respect for self, 
    –  Respect for others and 
    –  Responsibility for all your actions.
  • Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  • Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  • Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
  • When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  • Spend some time alone every day.
  • Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  • Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  • For the full list click HERE
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 10:00 am on August 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    ‪The Lotus Sutra‬‏ – YouTube 

    On hearing this my heart made a connection with first-nation Australian people in their didgeridoo playing – listen to the intonations!

    Example: http://sunwalking.posterous.com/very-old-didgeridoo-played-by-a-modern-master

    Respect to both great forms of spiritual out-flowing!

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 9:58 am on August 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    ‪Very old didgeridoo played by a modern master – unique!‬‏ – YouTube 

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 8:15 am on August 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    ‪Relax – Buddhist Meditation Music – Zen Garden – Kokin Gumi‬‏ – YouTube 

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 9:06 am on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , contemplative study, group study, group study process, holistic study, holistic study process, inner light, , , , , , spirit moves, , spiritual studies, spiritual study process, study process,   

    ‘The One Garden – many gateways’ project – in service of ‘Spiritual Federalism’ 



    The contemporary Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in his book Happiness (pp20-21) writes about an experience when he first came to feel a connection with ancient Europe through the sounding of church bells.  His description resonated with me because I also have been yearning for ways into ‘feeling at-one’ with major wisdom traditions.  Why?  Well in order to experience the oneness that I believe is at the centre of them all.

    In honouring the sweet simplicity of everything that Thich Nhat Hanh does and teaches, and imagining a large walled garden, I have decided to call it the ‘One Garden’ project – ‘One Garden; many gateways’.

    Thich Nhat Hanh is my Buddhist gateway to our One Garden.  The other gateways to the One Garden include Abdu’l-Baha, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, – see HERE for a fuller list.

    The project, and learning and teaching about it, is about encouraging realization of oneness – what the Baha’is call the ‘changeless faith of God’.  That oneness is to do with our being human – we are one because all people of goodwill recognize, through compassion, that all humans suffer, laugh, love and struggle to feed their families. That oneness is also to do with the inner oneness of all of the great wisdom traditions – even though men have done terrible things in the name of those traditions – everything from current wars, to the persecution of Baha’i and other minorities in Iran, to making hundreds of millions of people in India into sub-human ‘untouchables’.

    But misuse of the wisdom traditions is no reason to ignore the gems of wisdom they contain.  In one sense this is a humanist (small ‘h’) and humanistic project because it is looking for ways to best answer the ultimate question, ‘What is it to be positively and fully human?’.   This includes however looking beyond those horrors men have done in the name of religions to the jewel-like true teachings.

    PROCESS: we have evolved a study process that includes head, heart and action, left-brain and right-brain, mythos and logos etc

    Contemplative Study Process: head, heart and action!  (includes silence, contemplative reading & dialogue as preparation for better action)

    1 Short period of silence (just discovered 1 min = approx 20 breaths!)

    2 TEXT – experienced via ‘whole-person reading’ (based on lectio divinia & ‘looking & listening for the inner light’)

    a) Read text slowly

    b) Quietly absorb and ponder

    c) Listen to what it is saying to you by the text – express aloud if you wish but no dialogue

    d) Listen for your response, formulate it & express it – express aloud if you wish – but no dialogue until after Step 3

    3 Short silence – each can use, if they want, a choice of SHORT phrases from chosen text for repetition as a mantra –

    4 Dialogue – as per Prof Matthew Lipman’s philosophical inquiry system

    5 Final Short silence – only in silence are we truly at-one!

    One thing is missing from this study process and that is creativity.  Go create! – in whatever medium takes your fancy.  Thich Nhat Hanh recommends the writing of poetry as a practice in spiritual development, and as with everything, so far as I can see, he ‘walks the talk’’  But most other art forms can add that vital dimension to personal and group learning.

    PERSONAL PRACTICE: This is down to each participant.  We can’t do all the practices of all of the wisdom traditions – there wouldn’t be time to eat or sleep!  In any case this One Garden project isn’t yet another religion, but it does show that we can be a Spiritual Federalist i.e. be happy with our given or chosen tradition and also be at-one with the inner golden core of all of the great wisdom traditions (just as in a federal system like Germany has a person belongs to a region and to the nation as a whole.  However you can’t go far wrong if you start with Breathe; Smile and Go slowly – these simple three everyone can do.  They all bring us back to now and help us stay mindful and balanced.

    ACTION: It’s down to each participant.


    Perennial Philosophy is the structure of the spiritual journey we all take and a model of the universe in which we undertake that journey – seeHERE



    The metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being. – Aldous Huxley

    Perennial philosophy (Latin: philosophia perennis “eternal philosophy”, also Philosophia perennis et universalis) is the notion of the universal recurrence of ….. insight independent of epoch or culture, including universal truths on the nature of reality, humanity or consciousness (anthropological universals).


    Concerning Universalism I make the following distinction.

    To subscribe to Perennial Philosophy you almost certainly will hold a ‘pan-religious’ and inter-faith position including some theological ideas such as pan-en-theism – which seems to hold the view that God is both immanent and transcendent – at one and the same time – which I take to be the case.  My favourite quotation that celebrates this idea is;

    “God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere.”   Empedocles/Anonymous, ‘The Book of the Twenty-four Philosophers‘ (12thC)

    On the other hand a universalist in my view however can have an open and respectful mind and an open and generous heart whilst staying with her/his cultural roots.  Such a person I call a ‘Spiritual Federalist’.

    Barack Obama (I hope) is one such example. More striking is the specificity of Abraham Joshua Heschel’s traditional Hasidic faith as compared to the Universalism of his heart and astoundingly deep insights into core mystical and eternal reality, and especially the nature of being human in the world – with others.

    Either way the world has no more desperate need than an increase in the ability of people to see the oneness in, and beyond, specific belief systems – whether they do it from a truly Perennial Philosophy position or as a Universalist cum Spiritual Federalist.

    In an earlier post I introduced the idea of Spiritual Federalism HERE and ‘One Garden – many gateways’ is my personal project in favour of Spiritual Federalism.


    NB The ‘one garden; many gateways’ metaphor is of course an alternative metaphor to ‘many paths: one summit’!

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 8:21 am on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Perennial Philosophy – the structure for discovering the golden core of all true faiths including your own! 



    I came to the conclusion that the inner core of all true faith traditions came down to three steps: Awakening; Detaching (reducing or eliminating egotistic self) and Service.  The three are not sequential – and they are journeys not destinations.

    Here I have set a structure of Perennial Philosophy within that three-step process.



    “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” Thich Nhat Hanh SL p504

    A) • There’s a reality beyond the material world:

    • Which is uncreated.

    • It pervades everything,

    • but remains (as a whole) beyond the reach of human knowledge and understanding.


    "A man is a slave to anything he cannot part with that is less than himself." – George MacDonald

    B) • You approach that reality by:

    • Distinguishing ego from true self

    • Understanding the nature of desire

    • Becoming unattached

    • Forgetting about preferences

    • Not working for personal gain

    • Letting go of thoughts

    • Redirecting your attention

    • Being devoted

    • Being humble

    • Invoking that reality

    • Surrendering

    C) • That reality approaches you through:

    • Grace

    • The teacher (s/he seems to appear whenever you need to move on up through the next stage)

    D) • You’re transformed – enlightened – so that you embody or reflect that reality by:

    • ‘Dying’ and ‘being reborn’ (i.e transformed and living more by the true higher self than the lower self!)


    "The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." – Albert Schweitzer

    E) . You then find (even better) ways to serve – realizing that all work done in the spirit of service can be ranked as worship.

    This structure is what has been used – more or less – whenever you come across one of that minority of great souls I have called Spiritual Federalists – see HERE

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 7:58 am on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Defining ‘Spiritual Federalism’ and introducing some of the great Spiritual Federalists 

    Spiritual Federalism is a term that I have started to use meaning ‘to have a faith but to also extend one’s love and respect into deep appreciation of other paths and the celebration of  the golden core of oneness shown in those other paths.Such people like citizens lucky enough to live in a federal democracy value and identify with bot their state and province and the country of which the state is an integral part – as in someone who says, “I am both a proud Californian and a proud American”. – and preferably they would also say, as Socrates did, that they are also proud world citizens.

    How many of such people are there?  Two per cent?  Two per cent of two per cent?  Who knows, but this small minority are very important.  Apart from anything else they are the spiritual equivalent of Maslow’s self-actualized human beings, or Baha’u’llah’s equivalent as in the one who knows ‘of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor’  – see His second Arabic Hidden Word he speaks of Justice as the best-beloved of all things..  They are the vision-creators for a more peaceful, united world.


    If one person has created an outline of the basis for Spiritual Federalism it is Brother Wayne Teasdale – see his book The Mystic Heart.  He didn’t use that term instead he coined ‘interspirituality’ and ‘intermysticism’.In this video he is in conversation with another great of Spiritual Federalist Ken Wilber;

    Chosen because they either lived the Spiritual Federalist life or helped us understand more about what Spiritual Federalism means.  Please tell me others who should be on the list.

    Brother Wayne Teasdale
    Huston Smith
    Shaik Kabir Helminski
    Abraham Jousua Heschel
    Brother Steindl-Rast
    Thich Nhat Hanh
    The following who named no specific ‘community of belonging’ for themselves but who have made extraordinary contributions to understanding the golden ore of oneness
    Eckhart Tolle
    Karen Armstrong
    Ken Wilber
    Of course Spiritual Federalism is a continuation of the Perennial Philosophy and Traditionalism and The Golden Rule ethic.  But SF honours people who wish to stay with the religion of their birth of of their choice – both possibly accidents of culture or geography – yet who have universal hearts that recognize that light is light regardless of the  the lamp from which it shines. Huston Smith seems to me to be a very clear example of a Spiritual Federalist.  His research and writing is voluminous in describing interfaith reality, but he has rested content with the Methodist Church in which he was brought up.  See Dana Dawyer’s article HERE

    SF also holds the (hopelessly?) vision that if all of the religions stopped trying to convert everyone and focused instead of discovering the golden core of their own and other religions the world might be in a happier place.   How about a 3 year trial for a start?

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 9:32 am on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    singing bowl 

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 3:31 pm on July 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    100 Top Spiritual Teachers as selected by Watkins Review 

    *The Watkins Review magazine (published by and available from Watkins Books at £4.99 or as a subscription) not only offers reviews of all the latest releases in the Mind, Body, Spirit field, but also features articles and interviews with leading authors. The Review is published three times a year and has a readership of over 30,000 people worldwide.

    Read about the Top 10 people in the Watkins 100 Spiritual Power List >>

    List at a glance:
    1. Eckhart Tolle 34. Joseph Alois Ratzinger 67. John Bradshaw
    2. Dalai Lama 35. Krishna Das 68. Jeff Foster
    3. Dr Wayne W. Dyer 36. Drunvalo Melchizedek 69. Patrick Holford
    4. Thich Nhat Hanh 37. Sai Baba 70. Andrew Cohen
    5. Deepak Chopra 38. Jack Kornfield 71. Vladimir Megre
    6. Louise L. Hay 39. Pema Chödrön 72. Thomas Cleary
    7. Paulo Coelho 40. T.K.V. Desikachar 73. Daniel Pinchbeck
    8. Oprah Winfrey 41. Esther & Jerry Hicks 74. Jonathan Goldman
    9. Ken Wilber 42. Dan Brown 75. Sonia Choquette
    10. Rhonda Byrne 43. Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi 76. Seyyed Hossein Nasr
    11. James Redfield 44. Diana Cooper 77. Mother Meera
    12. Neale Donald Walsch 45. Ram Dass 78. Barefoot Doctor
    13. Doreen Virtue 46. Andrew Weil 79. Richard Bandler
    14. Alejandro Jodorowsky 47. Satya Narayan Goenka 80. Robert Bly
    15. Richard Bach 48. Jon Kabat-Zinn 81. Adyashanti
    16. Alex Grey 49. Alan Moore 82. Sogyal Rinpoche
    17. Byron Katie 50. Dan Millman 83. Li Hongzhi
    18. Masaru Emoto 51. Bruce Lipton 84. Sri Bhagavan
    19. Nelson Mandela 52. Peter Kingsley 85. Rupert Sheldrake
    20. Bernie Siegel 53. Karen Armstrong 86. John & Caitlín Matthews
    21. Caroline Myss 54. Judy Hall 87. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
    22. Brian Weiss 55. Colin Wilson 88. Kenneth Grant*
    23. Mantak Chia 56. Joscelyn Godwin 89. Stanislav Grof
    24. John Gray 57. James Lovelock 90. James Hillman
    25. Gregg Braden 58. Satish Kumar 91. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
    26. Stephen R. Covey 59. Shakti Gawain 92. Stephen Levine
    27. Marianne Williamson 60. Elaine Pagels 93. Candace Pert
    28. Desmond Tutu 61. Kyozan Joshu Sasaki 94. Barbara Ann Brennan
    29. Mata Amritanandamayi 62. Gary Zukav 95. Coleman Barks
    30. Philip Berg 63. Erich von Däniken 96. Robert Thurman
    31. Ervin Laszlo 64. David Deida 97. B.K.S Iyengar
    32. Andrew Harvey 65. Oberto Airaudi ‘Falcon’ 98. William Bloom
    33. Don Miguel Ruiz 66. Stuart Wilde 99. Lynne McTaggart
    (for full details read the 100 List in the Watkins Review #26) 100. Marion Woodman

    Interesting statistics:
    Male: 76%
    Female: 24%
    Median age: 67 years
    The oldest: 104 years, Kyozan Joshu Sasaki
    The youngest: 30 years, Jeff Foster

    *88. Kenneth Grant passed away on January 15th, 2011. His extraordinary influence will continue to be felt.

    Do you agree with their choice – of the Top 10 for example? Shaikh Kabir Helminski would be in my Top 10.

    Their criteria seem a bit thin:

    1) The person has to be alive
    2) The person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale
    3) The person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, and highlighted in throughout the blogosphere

    They say;
    It’s interesting to think about the amount of times that a person is googled; in a sense, being googled is a form of digital voting, and illustrates just how often someone is being sought out.

    Click on link to read the full article

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 2:58 pm on July 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amy Winehouse, , Frankl, Logotherapy, ,   

    Would sufficiently deepened meaning have saved Amy Winehouse? Dr. Viktor Frankl part I‬‏ 

    I recall a woman suffering from agoraphobia was able to march and be a public speaker because the meaning of supporting striking miner’s came into her life.

    Could deepened meaning, that enabled Frankl to survive the death camps and subsequently produce his Logotherapy, be sufficient as an antidote to self-destructive addiction?

    What was accessible to Amy Winehouse was clearly not sufficient.

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 8:02 am on July 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Eckhart Tolle and Christianity – is Tolle the Anti-Christ or an enhancement for Christian practice? 


    Richard Rohr Franciscan friar and author.

    There is so much vilification of Tolle from extremist Christians that is was 'sweet water' to come across a wonderful article by Richard Rohr –
    Franciscan friar and prolific author and speaker.  

    The article contains much much more, but about Tolle he says;

    What Tolle Is Not:

    1. Eckhart Tolle is not a Christian theologian or teacher.
    2. He is not teaching Christian contemplative prayer or Christian prayer at all.
    3. He is not teaching any dogmas or doctrines as such.
    4. He is not presuming or teaching that there is a personal/relational God (but neither is he denying it).
    5. He is not a proponent of the social, communitarian nature of religion. 

    What Tolle is Doing:

    1. Eckhart Tolle is teaching a form of natural mysticism or contemplative practice.
    2. He is teaching a morality and asceticism of recognizing and letting go of "the self that has to die" (Matthew 16:25), which he calls ego and Jesus calls the "grain of wheat" (John 12:24) ; so that another self can be born, which he would call "consciousness" and we would call the person born again in Christ, or something similar.
    3. He is giving us some practices (Similar to how John Wesley gave "methods" or Ignatius gave "exercises") whereby we can be present to the grace of the moment and stop the "passions," the "egocentric mind," or the "prideful self" which keeps us from true goodness (or God, as we would call it). Each tradition uses different language for what is to be overcome, but it is always some form of "un-love" and selfishness (which he calls ego). TOLLE IS NOT ASKING YOU TO BELIEVE ANYTHING. HE IS ASKING YOU TO TRY SOMETHING! You will know if it is true, if you try it, and you will not know if it is true or false, if you don't try it. No point in arguing it theoretically or in the abstract.
    4. He does assume and imply a worldview that is foreign to many, if not most Christians. For Tolle, Being, Consciousness, God, Reality are all the same thing, which is not all bad, when you come to think of it. Of course, his very point is that you cannot think of it at all, you can only realize it. I would not call him pantheistic (all things are God) as much as panentheistic (God is IN all things).
    5. His brilliant understanding of the "pain body," as he calls it, is actually very close to the Catholic notion of Original Sin, and does give a corporate, communitarian, mystical understanding to religion. We are all in this together, and share one another's pain. I'm not sure he makes clear how we share one another' joy, except that he tends to create very "low maintenance" people who can relax and enjoy life.

    Inspiring stuff for me – what do you think?

    To read the full article go HERE

    Find out more about Richard Rohr HERE

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:36 am on July 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Interfaith, Christian angst & is proselytizing tacky? – Rev. Dean Snyder 



    Sermon Series: Christianity Without Easy Answers


    “Is it a Problem if I Like Buddha and Shiva, Too?”

    Sunday, March 1, 2009



    Amos 9: 5-7
    I Corinthians 15: 21-28


    Rev. Dean Snyder

    Christians are all over the road map when it comes to other religions, aren’t we?


    There are those of us who believe Christianity is the only true religion and there are those who believe that one religion is pretty much as good as another. There are those of us who believe that the chief calling of Christians is to bring people of other religions to Christ and those who think “proselytizing” is tacky. There are those of us who think Christianity is incompatible with other religions and those who practice other religions while remaining Christian. The great scholar of world religions Huston Smith finds his spiritual nourishment in Vedanta, philosophical Hinduism, even though he attends his local Methodist church faithfully and considers himself a Methodist.[i]


    No wonder our friends are confused about what we as Christians think about other religions and some of us might be as well……….

    NB To read the Rev. Dean Snyder's sermon click HERE

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 5:49 am on July 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    “Huston Smith, the man who took religion seriously” by Dana Sawyer 

    In 1958, Huston Smith first reached national attention by literally writing-the-book on the world’s religions, publishing The Religions of Man (currently titled The World’s Religions), which went on to become the most assigned textbook ever written on the subject, now having sold nearly four million copies. In that book Huston did something entirely new, describing the religions in ways that their adherents would not only find accurate but validating. 

    Prior to Huston Smith, the modern mind's view of religion was that it was a waste of time or worse. Freud had said that religion is a delusion we create to comfort ourselves in an uncertain world. We, based on an "infantile model," project a cosmic father or mother onto an indifferent universe so that we can have someone to plead to for help when matters get beyond our control. Marx, to cite another modernist disparager of religion, argued even earlier that "religion is the opiate of the masses," a drug fed to us by our oppressors to keep us in check, distracting us from launching the revolutions that would bring social equality and justice, by feeding us pretty lies that placate us in our misery. In short, by the 1950s, the job of most professors of religion, in most colleges, was largely to explain religion away, as something quaint and outdated, something we'd be better off without. It was the fifties after all, and high time we outgrew our non-scientific ways of making sense of the world. 

    But Huston changed all that…………………………………………


  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:55 pm on July 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Discernment and levels of development Fr Richard Rohr 

     Fr. Richard Rohr speaking on the relationship between discernment and levels of development.

    Recorded on October 9, 2009. 
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 7:21 pm on July 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Stories of Compassion – CAN (Compassionate Action Network 

    <p>Stories of Compassion from CAN on Vimeo.</p>

    In 2008, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama attended a five-day event in Seattle called Seeds of Compassion. Two years later, the community recorded personal stories of compassion for a follow-up report to the Dalai Lama. This 15 minute video with five personal stories is an excerpt from the report.
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:30 pm on July 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    BBC News – Today – Do atheists need their own bible? 

    Participants Take Part In A Non Stop Reading Of The King James Bible

    In the beginning was the word and the word was… good? Four hundred years after the publication of the King James Bible, philosopher AC Grayling has written a book which offers atheists a “bible” of their very own.

    In The Good Book, Professor Grayling attempts to whisk together in one tome the wisdom of Ancient Greek philosophers, Confucian sages, medieval poets and the discoveries of modern science.

    Without any reference to gods, souls or afterlives, it aims to give atheists a book of inspiration and guidance as they make their way in the world.

    In place of the more well-known Ten Commandments, his atheist principles are: “Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous.”

    Professor Grayling, the president elect of the British Humanist Association, is unambivalent about the biblical mission of his work.

    “The point about the religious bible is that it purports to give us some direction. It contains the commands of a divinity wishing us to live a certain way,” he says.

    click on link to read this article


    Grayling’s humanist version of the Ten Commandments: “Love well; seek the good in all things; harm no others; help the needy; think for yourself; take responsibility; respect nature; do your utmost; be informed; be courageous.”


  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 7:25 am on July 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    POEM: Let be the realization 

    LET BE THE REALIZATION – for Bob, Margaret & Jenny


    Let be.

    Let be
    the realization
    that you are
    life’s longing;
    shaped as
    a wave formed
    upon our one infinite sea.

    Let be
    the open secret that
    makes this light-reflected moment,
    this one, here, here,
    or this hiss of wind and
    rustle of leaves
    this child’s smile,
    all that ever is, and was and shall be.

    Let be
    the home-coming,
    the welcome stranger
    who turns and shows you
    with the flash of a wry smile
    your true face, and now see

    that all journeying was
    to here,
    right now – just this:

    just this
    out of which
    all forms arise,

    just this
    the Mystery
    at the centre of and
    beyond all things

    just this – the
    beneath the hiss of the breath
    breathing you, breathing me.

    Let be.


    ~ SunWALKer – (Roger Prentice)

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:07 pm on July 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    ‪Thich Nhat Hanh- Mindful Movements‬‏ – YouTube 

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 10:17 am on July 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Is mindfulness ‘staying aware’? 



    Recently a friend asked me what is mindfulness.  I don’t think my answer was all that clear or memorable.  Here is an attempt to do better – although the only way to know it really is to do it – Smile, Breath, Go slowly/consciously. – are all the practices you need to develop mindfulness.

    From the notes below I’ve made a working definition for myself;

    In interiority i.e. the heart-mind (consciousness) mindfulness is;

    staying aware

    or more fully

    maintaining non-judgemental, witnessing, awareness – as thoughts, sensations & feelings come into consciousness

    NB Conscious breathing enables us to return to the now, in which to experience mindfulness.

    Q. What do you say if an unwelcome thought arises?
    A.“Welcome, good-morning, thank-you, goodbye!”


    Mindfulness from WikiPedia refers to a psychological quality that involves;

    bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis

    or involves

    paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally

    or involves

    a kind of nonelaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is.

    Bishop, Lau, and colleagues (2007) offered a two component model of mindfulness:

    The first component [of mindfulness] involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment.

    The second component involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance

    In this two-component model, self-regulated attention (the first component) involves consciousawareness of one’s current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, which can result …. in metacognitive skills for controlling concentration. Orientation to experience (the second component) involves accepting one’s mindstream, maintaining open and curious attitudes, and thinking in alternative categories (developing upon Ellen Langer‘s research on decision-making).

    Training in mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices, oftentimes as part of a quiet meditation session, results…. in the development of a Beginner’s mind, or, looking at experiences as if for the first time.


    The exquisitely clear and simple Thich Nhat Hanh  teaching ; –

    “I breathe in, and I know I am breathing in – that’s the practice of mindful breathing.” – in ‘Peace is Every Step’


    Thich Nhat Hanh in answer to the question, “Why is mindfulness the key to happiness?” said;

    Mindfulness brings concentration.

    Concentration brings insight.

    Insight liberates you from your ignorance, your anger, your craving.

    When you are free from your afflictions, happiness becomes possible.

    How can you be happy when you are overloaded with anger, ignorance, and craving? That is why the insight that can liberate you from these afflictions is the key to happiness. There are many conditions of happiness that are present, but people don’t recognize them because they are not mindful.

    When body and mind are together, you are fully present. You are fully alive and you can touch the wonders of life that are available in the here and the now. So you practice not only with your mind but with your body. Body and mind should be experienced as one thing, not two. On that ground, you see that everything you are looking for is already there. Whether it is enlightenment, nirvana, liberation, Buddha, dharma, sangha, or happiness, it is right there. In fact, that is the only place, the only moment, where you can find these things.


    If you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is memory.
    When you then become aware that you are remembering your second-grade teacher that is mindfulness.
    If you then conceptualize the process and say to yourself, “Oh, I am remembering”, that is thinking. – Ven. Henepola Gunaratana


    Mindfulness …. is the opposite of grasping, or attachment, or identification. – Jack Kornfield


    Also from Wikipedia;

    Ten forms of mindfulness

    In the Āgamas of early Buddhism, there are ten forms of mindfulness. According to the Ekottara Āgama, these ten are:[17]

    1. Mindfulness of the Buddha
    2. Mindfulness of the Dharma
    3. Mindfulness of the Saṃgha
    4. Mindfulness of giving
    5. Mindfulness of the heavens
    6. Mindfulness of stopping and resting
    7. Mindfulness of discipline
    8. Mindfulness of breathing
    9. Mindfulness of the body
    10. Mindfulness of death

    According to Nan Huaijin, the Ekottara Āgama emphasizes mindfulness of breathing more than any of the other methods, and teaches the most specifically on teaching this one form of mindfulness.[18]

    Continuous mindfulness practice

    In addition to various forms of meditation based around specific sessions, there are mindfulness training exercises that develop awareness throughout the day using designated environmental cues. The aim is to make mindfulness essentially continuous. Examples of such cues are the hourly chimes of clocks, red lights at traffic junctions and crossing the threshold of doors. The mindfulness itself can take the form of nothing more than taking three successive breaths while remembering they are a conscious experience of body activity within mind.[19] This approach is particularly helpful when it is difficult to establish a regular meditation practice.

    There is also a very interesting Zen criticism of the idea of mindfulness;  

    Zen criticism

    Some Zen teachers emphasize the potential dangers of misunderstanding “mindfulness”.

    Gudo Wafu Nishijima criticizes the use of the term of mindfulness and idealistic interpretations of the practice from the Zen standpoint:

    However recently many so-called Buddhist teachers insist the importance of ‘mindfulness.’ But such a kind of attitudes might be insistence that Buddhism might be a kind of idealistic philosophy. Therefore actually speaking I am much afraid that Buddhism is misunderstood as if it was a kind of idealistic philosophy. However we should never forget that Buddhism is not an idealistic philosophy, and so if someone in Buddhism reveres mindfulness, we should clearly recognize that he or she can never be a Buddhist at all.[20]

    Muho Noelke, the abbot of Antaiji, explains the pitfalls of consciously seeking mindfulness.

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:05 am on July 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Be still and know that I am God 

    Be still and know that I am God

    Be still and know that I am

    Be still and know

    Be still


  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 5:24 am on July 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: e e cummings, , , spider's web,   

    Letting Go – poem – image juxtaposition 




    Letting Go
    let it go – the
    smashed word broken
    open vow or
    the oath cracked length
    wise – let it go it
    was sworn to
    let them go – the
    truthful liars and
    the false fair friends
    and the boths and
    neithers – you must let them go they
    were born
    to go
    let all go – the
    big small middling
    tall bigger really
    the biggest and all
    things – let all go
    so comes love


    ~ e. e. cummings ~
    (Complete Poems 1904-1962)
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 4:55 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Prize-winning animation of Plato’s cave 

    An excerpt from Plato's Republic, the 'Allegory of the Cave' is a classic commentary on the human condition. It is a story of open-mindedness and the power of possibility.

    We have adapted and brought it to life by shooting thousands of high-resolution photographs of John Grigsby's wonderful clay animation. To learn more, visit http://platosallegory.com

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:08 am on July 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    GUIDED MEDITATION: I Am Chi Flow and Heart Center Meditation – Gorakh Hayashi 

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 7:33 am on July 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    The mantra and how to meditate – a Christian perspective 

    From Laurence Freeman OSB, “Letter Twelve,” WEB OF SILENCE (London: DLT, 1996), pp. 132-134.

    Anyone who has ever sat down to be still immediately engages the first level of consciousness a little below the immediate surface of the mind’s daily functioning awareness. It is a rude awakening to the degree of indiscipline and restlessness in our monkey minds. St Teresa compared it to a ship whose crew has mutinied, tied up the captain and is chaotically taking turns to steer the ship. Some days may be better than others in terms of distractedness but even that only proves how wayward our surface mind is, how dependent on external conditions, how uncentered we are. . . ..

    “Therefore I bid you put away anxious thoughts about food and drink to keep you alive, and clothes to cover your body. Surely life is more than food, the body more than clothes” (Matthew 6:26). We aim to be in the present moment, which is the only moment of reality, of encounter with the God who is “I Am.” Yet within seconds we are thinking thoughts of yesterday, making plans for tomorrow or weaving daydreams and wish-fulfillment in the realm of fantasy. “Set your mind on God’s kingdom and his justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not be anxious about tomorrow, tomorrow will look after itself” (Matthew 6:33).  [. . . .]

    The discovery of our surface distractions is humbling. So it helps to remember that it is a universal discovery–why else did John Cassian recommend the mantra (he called it a “formula”) sixteen hundred years ago?  . . . . At this discovery it is easy to be discouraged and to turn away from meditation. “It is not my kind of spirituality. I am not the discipline kind of person. Why should my prayer time be another time for work?”

    What we need above all at this . . .stage is an insight into the meaning of meditation and the thirst arising from a deeper level of consciousness from the one we seem stuck at. It is here right at the outset, therefore, that we encounter, although we may not yet recognize it as such, the prompting of grace. It comes from outside us in the form of teaching, tradition, spiritual friendship and inspiration.  From within, it comes as the intuitive thirst for deeper experience. Christ, who as Spirit is no more within us that outside us, seems to push from outside and pull from within.

    It helps to understand clearly from the beginning what is the meaning and purpose of the mantra. It is not a magic wand that blanks the mind or a switch that turns on God, but a discipline, “beginning in faith and ending in love,” which brings us into poverty of spirit. We do not say the mantra to fight off the distractions but to help us remove our attention from them. Simply discovering that we are, however poorly, free to place our attention elsewhere is the first great awakening. It is the beginning of the deepening of consciousness, which allows to leave the distractions on the surface, like waves on the surface of the ocean.

    Meditate for Thirty Minutes. Remember: Sit down. Sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer phrase "Maranatha." Recite it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently, but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything spiritual or otherwise. Thoughts and images will likely come, but let them pass. Just keep returning your attention – with humility and simplicity to saying your word in faith, from the beginning to the end of your meditation.

    After Meditation, from Ken Wilber, “The Self in Transcendence,” NO BOUNDARY (Boston: Shambhala, 1985), p. 129.

    If you persist at such an exercise, the understanding contained in it will quicken and you might begin to notice fundamental changes in your sense of “self.”  . . .This . . .“center of the cyclone,” will retain its lucid stillness even amid the raging winds of anxiety and suffering that might swirl around its center.  The discovery of this witnessing center is very much like diving from the calamitous waves on the surface of a stormy ocean to the quiet and secure depths of the bottom. At first you might not get more than a few feet beneath the agitated waves of emotion, but with persistence you may gain the ability to dive fathoms into the quiet depths of your soul, and lying out-stretched at the bottom, gaze in alert but detached fashion at the turmoil that once held you transfixed.


    The newsletter is from The World Community for Christian Meditation

    NB Maranatha means 'O Lord, come!'  or 'Our Lord has come!' – see HERE

  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 9:17 am on July 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    We are all energy – and star-stuff made conscious! 

    In this video there is a fine statement about the whole universe being just interlocking energy systems.


    As someone else said we also are 'star-stuff made conscious' – I always liked that – X billion years of development in 3 words!


    I wonder what the great wisdom traditions say about us, and the world as a whole – as energy systems?

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