In one of his talks Richard described an…

In one of his talks, Richard described an encounter with a monk who was living as a recluse at Thomas Merton’s Gethsemane monastery. They met on a pathway in the woods, and the monk said to Richard, “I have a message I want you to take to the people.” He pointed up at the wide expanse of blue sky. “Please tell them,” said the monk, “GOD IS NOT OUT THERE!”

Richard takes up Julian’s mystical vision and preaches about the intimate Abba of Jesus, a God whose love is always and everywhere available, closer to us than our breathing. It is also the mighty Yahweh of our Jewish ancestors, who forbade the name of God to be spoken outside the context of religious ceremony. “Once you think you understand the Great Mystery,” said Richard, “religion becomes idolatrous.”

He led a meditation which showed how the construction of the word ‘Yahweh’ embodies the Jewish understanding of the nature of God as both ultimate mystery and absolute presence. “There were people in tears as a result of that meditation,” said Annette, “it released something very deep within them.” For another participant, Richard’s demonstration of ‘YHWH’ (no syllables) as the ‘breath’ – our first, our last and our truest prayer – was a key to uniting the Eastern and Western contemplative traditions. (See below for audio clip of Richard on ‘Yahweh – breath of God’).

Richard’s simple but revolutionary gospel message is that God is with us, among us and, ultimately, deep within us. He reminds us, with urgency and authority, that we are invited to make the pilgrimage within in order to discover just how near the kingdom of God really is and, through the unifying power of deep, wordless prayer, to reintegrate the fractured spheres of society and self.

“That’s why,” said Liz, “it makes so much sense to meditate: to help you get inside yourself and find heaven on earth.”

SOURCE: http://www.norwichmeditation.co.uk/Articles/115286/Norwich_Meditation/Speakers/Past_Speakers/God_is_not.aspx

For more on Richard’s work and the Center for Contemplation and Action see
http://www.cacradicalgrace.org

Author: Roger - Dr Roger Prentice

Now I write, teach & coach mainly about interfaith as inter-spirituality - and how we can grow closer to our True Self. . As anyone who knows anything about IPF will realize my energy is curtailed - so I am concentrating primarily on 'inter-spirituality'. . In the past I would have said that: . 1) I run courses and give talks at conferences and in universities and colleges in the UK, China, USA, Canada, Scandinavia etc. . 2) I provide materials, outlines and lessons for Schools. . 3) My range of interests include personal development, learning and teaching, photography and film, the arts generally, spirituality and educational practice and theory. . 4) At the same time I continue developing the human-centred studies SunWALK PDS (People Development System) - a whole-person, high-achievement model for individuals, and for use in, NGOs, schools and other organizations. . 5) The key question that continues to animate me and my work remains, "What is it to be fully and positively human?" . Contact me via onesummit AT gmail DOT com (replace At with@ etc.). . All good wishes Roger (Dr Roger Prentice) . For those interested; My first degree is in English and Education. My masters is in Adult and Community Education. My doctorate presented a new holistic meta-model of education called SunWALK.

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