Category Archives: 2014 Speakers

The Jesus teaching in a nutshell

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© Cynthia Bourgeault, June 2008 (excerpted from Chapter 8, “The Great Identity Theft,” of my book on Mary Magdalene, forthcoming from Shambhala Publications, July 22, 2010) As we set out to consider the teachings of Jesus as an integrated spiritual method, we are entering territory that is both familiar and unfamiliar. Most people growing up in the Western cultural stream will have had some exposure to these teachings (if only as ethical precepts), but the apparent familiarity of the subject matter can blind us to its radical strangeness and difficulty. Perhaps more than any other spiritual teacher, Jesus requires a real beginner’s mind, a willingness to unlearn what one already presumably knows and start with a completely clean slate. In …

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Third force-blind no more, no more

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By Christie Walkuski I’m so grateful to have heard Cynthia Bourgeault at ESR’s Spirituality Gathering, and to get to observe her quiet, unobtrusive presence during the day, and later at a dinner with other students and workshop participants.  There’s not one bit of pretension about her, from her calm, one-of-the-crowd presence, to her meal of spaghetti and meatballs.  I admire this.  You can tell a lot about a person from their inter-personal interactions. Bourgeault speaks about things that I don’t hear many other voices in the Church or in the academy talking about (Richard Rohr is another).  There are others I have been reading in my theopoetics class that are also thinking imaginatively about theology in similar ways–John Caputo, our own Scott Holland to name a couple (and …

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Learning to Fish

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By Cynthia Bourgeault There’s an old saying, “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a meal. If you teach him how to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.” When most of us begin the journey with Centering Prayer, it’s like being given a fish — “a small vacation from yourself,” as Thomas Keating humorously puts it. It feels like a place you go to — “my place of quiet refreshment” — and you tank up consciously in the face of life’s inevitable tendency to draw you down. But as you really begin to allow the letting go to work in you, you discover that it becomes “a place you come from“: a quiet knack for living in …

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Seven Quick Questions (and answers) on Co-Creation 2014

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Why is the church hosting Co-Creation? The church (Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church) and The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro hold that we are all called to be God’s healing Presence in our world—we are all called to be servant leaders or co-creators of a new loving future where all are welcomed and all respected. Why are the speakers who are coming invited? All three speakers are brilliant and at the “cutting edge” of contemporary spirituality. They bring together the wisdom of our Christian faith tradition and also contemporary and very old spiritual practices that help us usher in the Kingdom of God. What is the hope and goal of Co-Creation? We hope to provide a sacred …

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(VIDEO) Emergence Christianity

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Emergence Christianity

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(VIDEO) The Great Emergence

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The Great Emergence

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(VIDEO) Wortmann Interview on Fox

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Interview on Fox

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Bourgeault on InterSpiritual Wisdom

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Bourgeault is a proponent of InterSpiritual Wisdom where we meet “the shared mystic heart beating in the center of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions” The twenty-first century has been dubbed the “age of InterSpirituality” by Brother Wayne Teasdale, and the beginning of the second decade of this era is an especially good time to explore the fruits of this movement and to see what it offers each of us for our own spiritual life. InterSpirituality encourages people from different spiritual traditions to sit and meditate together, to enter into a deep dialogue of sound and silence, and to articulate the shared practices and experiences that are the foundations of their respective traditions. This is done not only in an attempt …

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Bourgeault The Gospel of Thomas

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The Gospel of Thomas is an ancient Christian sacred text whose contemporary re-emergence is changing the face of Christianity. “Missing” (some would say “banished”) for more than 1600 years, it was rediscovered among the trove of early Christian scriptures — popularly known as the “Gnostic gospels” — that turned up in the Egyptian desert near Nag Hammadi in 1945. It is by far the most important text in the collection and the scriptural cornerstone for the contemporary recovery of the Wisdom Jesus. The text consists of 114 short sayings of Jesus. About two-thirds of these are familiar from the canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.) The remaining third explore areas largely untapped in the canonical gospels but essential to …

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About Fixed-Hour Prayer

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By Phyllis Tickle Fixed-hour prayer is the oldest form of Christian spiritual discipline and has its roots in the Judaism out of which Christianity came. When the Psalmist says, “Seven times a day do I praise You,” he is referring to fixed-hour prayer as it existed in ancient Judaism. We do not know the hours that were appointed in the Psalmist’s time for those prayers. By the turn of the era, however, the devout had come to punctuate their work day with prayers on a regimen that followed the flow of Roman commercial life. Forum bells began the work day at six in the morning (prime, or first hour), sounded mid-morning break at nine (terce, or third hour), the noon …

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