An event every week that begins at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until December 31, 2020
With so many disturbing events swirling around us, contemplative practice can provide a much needed refuge for grounding ourselves in the divine source. In addition, by drawing on all the accumulated wisdom of the ages, our ongoing studies will seek ways that we as individuals and as community can bring peace, compassion, and transformation to a world in crisis.
Each week our sessions will begin by discussing (for approximately a half hour) an excerpt from a previously chosen text. For the month of July we discussed Thomas Keating’s classic text, “Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel.” As we progress, we will choose texts from Christian as well as other contemplative traditions.
The second half of each session is dedicated to contemplative practice. At the moment, we are spending twenty minutes in Centering Prayer (the silent prayer of letting go of all thoughts, feelings, and images as outlined in Keating’s book). As we proceed we plan to undertake a variety of contemplative practices. By exploring other traditions we hope to rediscover the ancient mystical teachings of our Christian faith. Following the Reformation and the Western turn to reason, these teachings fell out of favor. In the last half century, monastics, like Thomas Keating and Thomas Merton, turned to Western and Eastern traditions to recover what was for centuries, an integral component of the Christian faith experience.
For August we will read and discuss, “Meaning of Christ: A Mahayana Theology” by John P. Keenan. He presents “an approach to the basic Christian doctrines of Incarnation and Trinity that avoids the Greek ontological or ‘essentialist’ framework,” employing instead Buddhist themes such as emptiness and co-arising. Keenan is professor of Religion at Middlebury College and vicar of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Scarborough, Maine.
We invite you to join us Tuesdays at 4:00 PM on Zoom. To receive the Zoom link and password, please RSVP to Sue Wright at [email protected] or (315) 751-8015. The link is listed as “Centering Prayer” on the St. Paul’s Syracuse homepage: stpaulsyr.org