NB – the 52 Meditations are gradually being written and are HERE
Take Heart: nurturing your soul’s life-journey in 52 weekly meditations
INTRODUCTION: Inspirations to release your inner wisdom
Take Heart: nurturing your soul’s life-journey in 52 weekly meditations provides 52 short chapters each a meditation around a life-transforming insight. To in-spire is to take in spirit, the breath being the bridge between the physical and the spiritual. Here are 52 key inspirations sufficient for a year, or a lifetime. Drawn from great teachers in the world’s wisdom traditions each on its own has the potential to be life-transforming – work with them and you have a one-year life -transforming programme. They worked for me – my sincerest wish is that they work for you!
Most importantly the teachings of the great teachers have the power to release your own innate wisdom, light and love. Enlightenment from our own innate wisdom is personally empowering – not to mentioned the happiness, joy & ecstasy!
Each key phrase, meditation and related question provides the reader with a lesson through which to gain further illumination on her or his life-journey – inspired by great teachers from today and from humankind’s treasure trove accumulated over the centuries.
To allow for varying degrees of busy-ness I have provided easy-to-memorize key-phrase, or mantras, and simple practices – for when there is insufficient time for longer meditations.
Major inspirational teachers include: Abdu’l-Baha, Thich Nhat Hanh, Brother Wayne Teasdale, Vedic sources/Eknath Easwaran, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Quakers various, Deng Ming-Dao – but the voices of many others are also included. These are the teachers and wisdom traditions that have figured most in my life-journey so far,along with a nod to the various branches of philosophy.
The Wisdom traditions include: Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Vedic/Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Quaker, Taoism – & indigenous?
THE PROCESS: Start today and see your transformed life-journey unfold over the next 52 weeks.
The key process is mindfulness. Mindfulness as in the deceptively simple trio of practices taught by the great Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh – Smile; Breathe and Go slowly.
DEDICATION: The course is dedicated to that extraordinary minority of universal-hearted women and men who I call Spiritual Federalists.
These include Brother Wayne Teasdale whose life and teachings gave us the key ideas of interspirituality and intermysticism – a way way to realize the level of oneness above our own particular belief system, a way to overcome the curse of exclusivity and ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ – and that ultimate curse fundamentalism.
Along with Brother Teasdale there are a range of others including Karen Armstrong, Eckhart Tolle, Ken Wilber, Brother Steindhl Rast, Thich Nhat Hanh, and a range of other illumined women and men. They don’t need to convert, they simply live the life that we are supposed to be living. They teach through being and doing, not through mindless repetition of pre-digested doctrine. They point to the oneness that is shattered by those who proselytise. Above all they are people who, though they are happy in the cultural world-view they have, nevertheless reach out to humanity as a whole because they have universal hearts and a vision that is world-embracing. Each generation has a small number of such Spiritual Federalists – Universalists, followers of the Perennial Philosophy. Often in the past they have been persecuted by the narrowed-minded and often exploitative who run the mainstream religions. Mysticism in Christianity for example really only flourished for about a century. Sufism has survived much more successfully, as well as preceding Islam, with which it is now identified. I would also associate the universal heart with world citizenship as well as with Universalism and Perennial philosophy;
Socrates – “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”
Above I suggested that those who run the mainstream religions are narrow-minded, but is much worse than that, they have (deliberately or stupidly) confused those they lead via ‘churchianity’ living the true spirituality to minorities, usually mystics, Sufis and similar minorities. Karen Armstrong commented “I say that religion isn’t about believing things. It’s ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you
intimations of holiness and sacredness.” —Karen Armstrong. John Hick the theologian (1981 p.423) says:
Mystical experience…..does not seem to me to be anything other than first-hand religious experience as such. This is, however, the core of religion.
Most religions aren’t primarily about the experientiality of first-hand untive religious experience. True spirituality, which may or may not be in the context of a religion, is about the experience of awakening and the process of integrating the shadow side of our egos and learning to be other-centred via service – Awaken: Detach: Serve. And of the process none has more profound simplicity than Thich Nhat Hanh’s Smile; Breathe; Go slowly. It is the way to achieve happiness as in Abe Lincoln’s ‘Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be’.
NB To those who are allergic to the term ‘God’, wholly understandable given the hypocrisy of such religion, you might prefer’ Ultimate Reality’ or’ the Whole’ instead – whenever the term is used.
METAPHORS FOR the 52 MEDITATIONS course
Week by week you can visit the oasis, caravanserai, the banquet, the well of sweet water.
There you can rest a while at the ‘way-station’ of at-one-ment.
At each oasis visit you can generate inspiration for a week, month, year or life-time.
Use the meditations, mantras and questions to bring out your own innate wisdom, and enjoy insights from the great teachers of today and from past ages. Start today!
Please send constructive criticism or feedback to me – Roger Prentice – onesummit AT gmail DOT com