Snowmass Conference Eight Points of Agreement

I was introduced to this by a daily meditation I received this morning from Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here is an introduction to that message...


In 1984 Father Thomas Keating invited a small group of contemplatives from eight different religious traditions—Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, Native American, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic—to gather at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, to engage in what he called “a big experiment.” [1]
The experiment was to see what would happen when meditators from different traditions meditated together and shared the spiritual insights they gleaned from their meditation. Within a few days it became clear to the attendees that while their religious vocabularies were different, their experiences were not.

  1. The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality, to which they give various names.
  2. Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.
  3. Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.
  4. Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality. Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.
  5. The potential for human wholeness—or, in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transcendence, transformation, blessedness—is present in every human being.
  6. Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.
  7. As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.
  8. Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life; yet spiritual attainment is not the result of one’s own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality. [2]

This is a set of principles I can agree with as a former Lutheran, occasional Buddhist pantheist. Without all the ornamentation and dogma this becomes remarkably simple. From this place I can find peace in my heart which is the ideal place within which to hold the frightened and hurt child who experienced such trauma. This is a spirituality I can embrace.
 
This came to me in the body of an email but I searched and found this link from the Center for Action and Contemplation, which was created by Richard Rohr. He's doing a series of meditations of the Perennial Tradition... good stuff.

 
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