Conversations of the Heart VST Summer School
Cynthia Bourgeault Wednesday 9-15 July 2007

The way to perceive the unity of the universe is to think deeper, to think from deeper, to reactivate the heart understanding through exchange.

Mercy = exchange. The nature of consciousness is relationality. Out of givingness mercy arises. As we participate in exchange, we see.

Listening is re-connection which picks up coherence of the universe by participating in it.

Inter-spirituality – all practices exist in every tradition, but with different theologies which put a different spin on the common lived experience of the practice.

What is the lived experience of saying “Jesus Christ is Lord”? Once we have named that, then we can ask what is the equivalent of that lived experience in another religious tradition?

Start with equivalence – what is the experience out of which statements emerge? Start experientially.

The 1969 picture of the earth taken from outer space changed everything. What unites us as human beings far exceeds what separates us.

The heart of Jesus’ teaching was the consciousness of a field of oneness in which things are giving themselves to each other in a continuous exchange. What got Jesus into trouble was his non-dual thinking. This violates radical separateness. Jesus taught from a different consciousness. We have to grasp the fullness from which Jesus came.

When we take non-dualistic religion and try to explain it in dualistic terms we always get distortion.

The word for “Single One” or “Singleness” in the Syriac-Aramaic language is “Ihidaya“, Jesus was the “Single One” – enlightened one, made whole by healing the gap of separation, seeing there is never any lack.

A teacher is one who is so full that he or she empowers you to see and feel your own integrity and the power of your own humanity.

Holy means intimate not remote.

The core experience in the Jesus experience is an encounter with a person so real, so whole, and so intimate that the encounter puts people in touch with their own wholeness.

Theology = bad love poetry seeking to preserve the original “Oh Wow!”

Christians tend to back off their own experience of Jesus for fear of hindering inter-spiritual dialogue. But to do this is to reduce Christianity to the lowest common denominator. Where is the mystery when you take away the sacramental visionary ultimacy of Jesus?

Jesus Christ is Lord – my master, my teacher, my destiny. Learn to claim Jesus is Lord without egoic doctrinal baggage that confuses ultimacy with exclusivity.

Need to go deep into our own lived contemplative experience and come back up with a religion framed in terms of ultimacy re-cloaked in unitive experience. Only contemplatives can do this, because access to the third eye comes through meditation practice.

Open deeply. Find a new way to hold and understand things and share your knowing unabashedly.

Thinking with the heart is not irrational but trans-rational.

The language of healing and reconciliation is going to happen at the non-dual level.

The Trinity mystically understood is the place where we find the Christian non-dual. It is the way persons relate through the act of self-giving. The Father pours into the Son, the son pours into the Spirit, and back into the Father.

Pouring is kenosis – giving is receiving. They are simultaneous motions.

Perichoresis – the dance around. The outpouring of kenosis creates perichoresis.

The Trinity is inter-abiding – one in the other and the other in the one.