August, l996 Volume VII, Number 8
AUGUST DAY OF RECOLLECTION
Inspired by the Many Faces of Spirit conference, we found our discussion at
the planning meeting for SGN was full of energy, and especially so when we
began to talk about what was going to emerge as a new paradigm for the future.
We all had different ideas about its basis and how religion fits in. Upon
reflection, we felt that the topic is important; we have ideas but no one
finalized theory. We know some pieces of the puzzle and are working on other
parts. Many authors have written whole books on the subject of paradigm shift.
Many think that the time is right for just such a world wide process. They
point to the advances in technology, the awareness of limitations in resources,
restructuring of value systems, and the multiplicity of problems facing us to
support their point of view. Many feel that we will have to approach religion
differently, both our own tradition and others, if we are to change in a
positive direction. We felt that a retreat was the best place to share our
differing thoughts on the subject. But in order to begin this discussion we
needed to think or rethink some basics. So here is our topic for consideration
on our August Day of Recollection. We will follow our usual format of some
presentation, journaling, and sharing in small groups.
What is "spiritual", and how does one "grow" spiritually? We will
consider in depth our ideas/feelings/experiences relative to these concerns;
and as usual share our discoveries. If you think you already know about this -
you may be surprised. If you don't have a clue - you may be enlightened! Come
and see for yourself.
We will meet on Saturday, August 24th, at the home of Pascal Baute, 6200
Winchester Rd., (off Lofgren, at mile marker 19, nine miles from New Circle
Rd.). We begin at 10AM, and end at 3PM.
Bring your lunch, (we'll eat together at noon), and paper and notebook for
What is "spiritual", and how does one "grow" spiritually? We will consider in depth our ideas/feelings/experiences relative to these concerns; and as usual share our discoveries. If you think you already know about this - you may be surprised. If you don't have a clue - you may be enlightened! Come and see for yourself.
We will meet on Saturday, August 24th, at the home of Pascal Baute, 6200 Winchester Rd., (off Lofgren, at mile marker 19, nine miles from New Circle Rd.). We begin at 10AM, and end at 3PM.
Bring your lunch, (we'll eat together at noon), and paper and notebook for journal work.
The event began with a concert on Friday night. This was organized and produced by Third Millenium Music, a multimedia company based in Lexington, KY. Its mission is "to restore music's ability to uplift and heal, expand opportunities for musical education with an active outreach to a new audience, and integrate the world's music into a singular performance vehicle for the benefit of listeners worldwide." We were pleased to listen to music and poetry with the visual projection of slides as a backdrop. Music represented classical, American folk, African, Rock, New Age, and Spiritual traditions.
The keynote speech to the conference was given by Wayne Teasdale. (See notes below.) Unfortunately the sound system was not back together from the concert, and he spoke without a microphone. Although we was not a dynamic speaker, his ideas and compact presentation of how the world religions might come together were fascinating.
The main part of Saturday was the opportunity to participate in four
workshops from a list of twenty eight. These were from the areas of Theology
& Religion, Meditation & Body Work, Literature & Film, Community
& Health, Psychology, Music & Art, and Education & Environment. I
have included the list from our wonderful program. All the presenters of these
workshops donated their time and experience, truly a spiritual gift to those
Read the newspaper article published in the Lexington Herald-Leader 7/20/96:
400 gather for 'Faces of the Spirit'
The keynote speaker at the conference was Wayne Teasdale. He has a doctorate in theology and is an adjunct professor at DePaul University and the Illinois School of Psychology. A trustee of the Parliament of World's Religions and an advisor to Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (a Roman Catholic association of North American monastics), He is also a Christian Sannyasi, a lay monk in the Hindu tradition, having studied with the late Bede Griffiths, O.S.B., in India. A soft spoken thinker, he titled his talk, "Working through the Community of Religions toward a Universal Spirituality".
One idea that he stressed was that we were not competing religions but rather were a community of religions. If one comprehends community as people living together, having interests in common, then one begins to drop the attitudes of intolerance which have plagued human kind and led to so much strife. Religions are most often concerned with morality, kindness, and living with heart. We have different approaches to spirit, different views and doctrines; but we have much in common. This is as a community should be for diversity builds perspective and we enrich each other. He noted that each tradition leads to spiritual maturity, and in most cases this is an engaged spirituality connected with the world.
Teasdale also spoke of the similarities of mystical, or inner traditions. Religion affirms consciousness. It affirms it at all levels of our inner experience, and in all that we consider to be outer reality. Religion affirms union. We note this in I-Thou relationships, in communion, and in meditative peace. While we have intuitions of unity, we may find it in a personal or transpersonal way. He felt that relational models are theistic, and that non-relational models favor realization and may not be theistic. Religions are practical, giving guides for life.
This practical side of religion shows the many congruences different traditions have. A strong moral or ethical basis for living is endorsed. One also finds a deep non-violence and a solidarity with all life. Spiritual practice is recommended, and if followed will generate a mature self knowledge and increasing levels of awareness. The more one progresses on a spiritual path, the more there is a simplicity of life style. There is a `yes' to needs, but a `no' to greed. The slogan, "Live simply that others may simply live", strikes home to a heart opened by compassion. This may also be developed in selfless service, for this is one response which makes compassion active and not theoretical. Another response involves speaking out on issues of justice.
The talk helped us to think about dialogue and being with each other, before
the workshops of the conference began. It brought us one vision of a new
paradigm by which religions relate to each other.
A Sourcebook for Earth's Community of Religions, ed. Joel Beversluis, Grand Rapids, CoNexus Press 1995
A Parliament of Souls, ed Michael Tobias, Jane Morrison and Bettina Gray, San Francisco, KQED Books, 1995
The Other Half of my Soul, ed. Beatrice Bruteau, Wheaton, IL, Quest Books, 1996
The Community of Religions: Voices and Images of the Parliament of the World's Religions, ed. Georgher Cairns and Wayne Teasdale, N.Y., Continuum, 1996
DAY OF RECOLLECTION|
August 24th, Saturday 10AM to 3PM
At the Home of Paschal Baute, 6200 Winchester Rd., Lexington
Theme: "What is Spirituality"