6-10 July 1998 – “Essentials of Benedictine Spirituality” Vancouver School of Theology

The wisdom tradition says we just have to be there, hearing and absorbing what God is saying through the experience of our life.

We need to let life go deeper than just words and thoughts.

Body, mind and spirit need to be fully developed in order to be able to experience wisdom.

Receive –We prepare ourselves to receive manna daily, moment by moment. We can’t bankroll it or save it up. We need to be willing to come as beggars/virgins to receive. We come empty-handed.

Recognize – We need to learn to see. Something continues to niggle at us. How do we develop inner trust to recognize these holy moments?

Reflect – Being available. We need to get the ego out of the way. When we are open, vulnerable, empty, and welcoming, grace will fill our lives. We don’t have to work at it.

It is all a matter of right presence – how we are at each moment. Being present to God allows being present to our neighbour; being present to our neighbour allows being present to God.

The inner flows out to those around us.

We find a balance between our mind and our emotions through:

Prayer alone / Prayer together

Work alone / Work together

In everyday life we work out of our “ordinary” mind/self (the boom box). Left alone we will work out of our “ordinary” self. But behind this “ordinary” mind there is spiritual awareness.

Normally we are so preoccupied with the “ordinary” self that we are not aware of the spiritual self. We need to turn down the boom box.

The mind does not help us know our true self. We need to live from our spiritual self (the flute).

Bede Griffiths – in meditation we move the centre of our self to a different place.

Meditation is not done to make us feel better.

In meditation we are making an investment in an unknown person – a different me and a new me which I don’t know yet.

More and more it becomes a place we come from rather than a place we go to.

Creativity comes from mindfulness interspersed with meditation. It emerges naturally from loving attention and silence, not from daydreaming and wandering thinking.

If we take away contemplative prayer, we stop the process of the spiritual journey. We need silence, space, and reflection which open us to a new kind of knowing that is not sentimental but very rich.

The Psalms allow us to relate the personal with the transpersonal. The psychological process needs a framework. As personal unloading occurs, the Psalms give us a foundation upon which to rest. They are a comforting hand along the path.

Our body provides windows to teach us.

The spiritual life is about finding balance in our three centres: the intelligent centre, emotional centre, body (movement) centre.

We need to ask ourselves where we are drawing our energies from. Silent meditation is a way of drawing energy that is not related to the ego.

The ego can never be satisfied. We need to let go of the ego.

When the ego ceases to be our motivation, our actions will become reflections of compassion absolute.