Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr O.F.M. (Author)

Francis of Assisi is one of the most beloved of all saints. Both traditional and entirely revolutionary, he was a paradox. He was at once down to earth and reaching toward heaven, grounded in the rich history of the Church while moving toward a new understanding of the world beyond.

Globally recognized as an ecumenical teacher, Richard Rohr started out—and remains—a Franciscan friar. The loving, inclusive life and preaching of Francis of Assisi make him a recognizable and beloved saint across many faith traditions. He was, as Rohr notes, “a master of ‘making room for it’ and letting go of that which was tired or empty.”

Francis found an “alternative way” to follow Jesus, one that disregarded power and privilege and held fast to the narrow path of the Gospel. Rohr helps us look beyond the birdbath image of the saint to remind us of the long tradition founded on his revolutionary, radical, and life-changing embrace of the teachings of Jesus.

Rohr draws on Scripture, insights from psychology, and literary and artistic references, to weave together an understanding of the tradition as first practiced by St. Francis. Rohr shows how his own innovative theology is firmly grounded in the life and teaching of this great saint and provides a perspective on how his alternative path to the divine can deepen and enrich our spiritual lives.

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (www.cac.org) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he also serves as Academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy–practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.

Fr. Richard is author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam’s Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love.

He has been a featured essayist on NPR’s “This I Believe,” a guest of Mehmet Oz on the Oprah and Friends radio show, and a guest of Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday. Fr. Richard was one of several spiritual leaders featured in the 2006 documentary film ONE: The Movie and was included in Watkins’ Spiritual 100 List for 2013. He has given presentations with spiritual leaders such as Rob Bell, Cynthia Bourgeault, Joan Chittister, Shane Claiborne, James Finley, Laurence Freeman, Thomas Keating, Ronald Rolheiser, Jim Wallis, and the Dalai Lama.

Look Inside

Are You Eager to Love?

Richard Rohr, OFM introduces his book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi in this excerpt from a longer talk, “Are You Eager to Love?” Both book and audio teaching are available from store.cac.org.

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, and Immortal Diamond. Visit cac.org to learn more about Fr. Richard and CAC.

Fr. Richard Rohr talks about his book, Eager to Love


Published on Jan 29, 2015

Fr. Richard talks about the bright spirit of St. Francis and how artists of his time were inspired by him.


The Christian Meaning Of Enlightenment, Father Richard Rohr


Father Richard Rorh
The Christian Meaning of Enlightenment
Science and Nonduality Conference, 2011, San Rafael, CA USA

Richard presents the similarities, the differences, and the complementarities between the Eastern and Western understandings of transformation. Some have called the goal enlightenment, some salvation, some ecstasy, nirvana, or heaven. What is the goal of the spiritual journey according to the main line Christian tradition? What Christian spirituality called the unitive way was often described as non-dual consciousness by Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Are we often seeking the same thing? How can we honor and respect each of these spiritual traditions?

Relationships and the Spiritual Path – Ram Dass


Published on Nov 3, 2015

Ram Dass describes the ways that we can use relationships on the spiritual path, with an an emphasis on the value of Truth within any dynamic. (11/18/1982 – Maui, HI)

“The interesting secret in the game of relationship is that if there’s something you don’t like, work on yourself. As long as you’re only identified with your separateness and your needfulness you are going to suffer, and the relationship is just going to be one continuous drama after another”

Please click the following link for additional teachings on Relationships:

https://www.ramdass.org/relationships…

Mauro Bergonzi: The Bottomless Pit Behind the Word “Consciousness”

Published on Nov 3, 2015

The common use of the word ‘consciousness’ easily tends to narrow its meaning only to the subjective side of the total range of our experience. Yet, since both non-dualism and some philosophical implications of Quantum Physics regard reality as an indivisible whole, the words ‘consciousness’ and ‘world’ are just two different descriptions of one and the same reality (respectively in terms of the ‘first’ or of the ‘third’ person), while the alleged separation between ‘subject’ and ‘object’ is nothing but an
illusory mental construct. Actually, a deep exploration of what we call ‘consciousness’ in our direct experience beyond words is tantamount to a free fall into a bottomless pit of awe and wonder.

Mauro Bergonzi is a Professor of Religions and Philosophies of India, University of Naples. Mauro Bergonzi has been teaching Religions and Philosophies of India at the Università degli Studi di Napoli since 1985. He is author of academic essays and articles on Oriental Philosophies, Comparative Religion, Psychology of Mysticism and Transpersonal Psychology. Since 1970, he has practiced meditation, always preserving a non-confessional and non-dogmatic approach. After a natural and spontaneous fading out of both seeking and the seeker, only a radical non dualism prevailed in him. In this respect, his long-standing familiarity with the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Tony Parsons has been crucial. In the last 10 years, he has been invited to give regular satsangs in Italy.

Is This My Dark Night of the Soul? Or just a case of the blues


illustration Credit: Glimmer by Amy Alice Thompson

I had wrestled with depression for 40 years. This was not depression.

Yes, some of the symptoms were the same: the lack of motivation, the boredom with hobbies, the never-ending fatigue. But the sadness was missing. So, in fact, was emotion of any kind. In its place were calm, stability, and clarity of thought that transcended feelings.

I wondered if I’d stumbled onto something that sages have written about for centuries: the dark night of the soul.

Today, many people use the phrase dark night of the soul to refer to an episode of depression. But experts who know both conditions take care to distinguish the two. John of the Cross, the sixteenth-century mystic, devoted a chapter of his classic Dark Night of the Soul to discerning the dark night from depression. Noted psychiatrist Gerald May, MD, has written extensively on the topic as well.

The distinction even shows up in research. A 2010 study in Transcultural Psychiatry, which focused on 10 Spanish nuns, observes:

The nuns’ descriptions of the Dark Night of the Soul coincide with Font’s … observations of the ‘salutary’ religious depression, which he differentiated from ‘pathological’ religious depression which is the domain of psychiatry. Although this salutary depression may share some symptoms with the pathological condition, the depressive symptoms could be the healthy expression of a process of spiritual growth.

Indeed, the nuns saw the dark night as indispensable to their growth. One sister, whose dark night lasted 10 years, told the researchers:

Given the option, I would not have avoided those many years of spiritual void and dissatisfaction, as they enabled me to become who I am today. I got rid of lots of baggage … so many imperfections! … I came out of it completely changed … it made me grow in my faith.

So how do you tell which is which? Gerald May suggests several differences. People in the dark night, he writes, tend to retain their sense of humor and compassion for others. Many continue to be effective in their daily lives. They often sense the value of the experience even as they endure it. None of these “symptoms” are typical of depression.

Still, the distinctions are subtle. To make things even more difficult, depression and the dark night can occur at the same time. My own dark night took place after two years of one life crisis after another—a seriously ill child, a nightmare job, elder care, marital stress—and the severe depression that accompanied them. When the cloud of depression lifted, however, that calm clarity was still there.

For months I reflected on this. I kept on doing what I needed to do, despite the fact that it brought me little happiness. And something began to dawn on me: I could live this way. I could do what my work, my family, and my soul asked of me, without emotion, and it would be OK—even fulfilling.

What lessons might emerge? As part of her dark night, Mother Teresa learned to identify deeply with the desperation and emptiness of the destitute people she served. As part of my dark night, I learned how thoroughly I often confused my emotions with reality; the lack of emotion allowed me to see the difference. Moreover, it helped me to see how the most valued gifts of the spiritual life—love, joy, peace—are not transitory feelings but rather states of being, permanent, available to us whenever we need them.

This knowledge has made me much more resilient in the face of the ups and downs of my emotional life. As it turns out, the Spanish nuns discovered the same thing: they used the lessons they’d learned in the dark night to manage the other stressors in their lives.

Unlike depression, which calls for treatment and recovery, the dark night invites us to explore, pay attention, make meaning—or, rather, let meaning emerge. So the next time the darkness comes, ask whether it’s depression, or something deeper, or both. Get the right help, and if you can find the riches within the experience, mine them and savor them for all they’re worth.
How to Learn from the Dark

Over the years, I’ve encountered several steps that have proved useful in living with dark nights:

Seek help. This always bears repeating: because depression can be dangerous, it’s best to start with a therapist to treat or rule out mental health issues. Beyond that, a wise guide of your choice—a spiritual director, shaman, guru, or even a close friend—can “listen with you” to your experience.

Ask questions of the darkness. Where is the Universe, or God, or your Higher Power in all this? What wisdom might the darkness have for you? Holding these questions in mind during meditation can yield more insights than you might expect. Journaling can encourage them to rise to the surface. So can going on retreat.

Read about others who have endured the dark.
My go-to book was Come Be My Light, a collection of Mother Teresa’s letters, which chronicles her 50-year dark night and the priceless lessons she learned from it. Writings like these can help you explore aspects of your experience that you might not have considered. Even better, they provide the comfort of knowing you’re not alone.

Keep moving. The point is not to distract yourself from the emptiness. Rather, you keep moving because you can still be productive even without feelings.

By: John Backman ~ Spirituality&health

Songs of Silence: Poems to Accompany You on the Journey Home by Gregory Bondi (Author)

“All it takes is one small taste of Silence, and if asked, you would gladly SHOUT “YES” to this journey a hundred times over.” ~Gregory

Songs of Silence
Words and books have always been bound to particular times in history and fade in importance as society collectively evolves and changes. The great spiritual treasures of our time have first been recorded in metric texts and hymns – The Vedas, The Tao. Poems have a way of transcending time and space. They are in some ways eternal in and of themselves, Sat-Songs, and in so being, have the greatest potential to express That which is eternal and everlasting.

Songs of Silence
is a collection of teachings in verse. These poems are meant to serve as road signs pointing to the deepest Truth, a companion to you on the journey home. Follow them and return to your-SELF over and over again.

Gregory is a spiritual teacher and author. His teachings have been inspired by a profound love for mysticism that developed in a very early age and led him deep into Western Mystery Traditions, Native South American Shamanism, and much later, Vajrayana Buddhism. Influenced by the Advaita Vedanta lineage of Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj and Nisargadatta Maharaj, Gregory shares a strong affinity for clear and direct nondual teachings, seeing them as invaluable pointers to Truth and to the recognition of the freedom that can come from an absolute ‘knowing’ of Self.

Based in California, Gregory offers nondual teachings through books and online courses, mentoring, clarity consulting, and sacred poetry on Self-knowledge and Self-realization. For more information, please visit http://www.fireandemptiness.com.

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Songs of Silence Full-Length Book Trailer

Words and books have always been bound to particular times in history and fade in importance as society collectively evolves and changes. The great spiritual treasures of our time have first been recorded in metric texts and hymns – The Vedas, The Tao. Poems have a way of transcending time and space. They are in some ways eternal in and of themselves, Sat-Songs, and in so being, have the greatest potential to express That which is eternal and everlasting.

Songs of Silence is a collection of teachings in verse. These poems are meant to serve as road signs pointing to the deepest Truth, a companion to you on the journey home. Follow them and return to your-SELF over and over again.

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