Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rohr Again

Wednesday night's session was a continuation of Monday's talk on healing and wholeness. Richard spent the first session recapping his theme, and giving us a little more detail. After a period of silence and a coffee break, he returned to an hour of questions. This was by far the most interesting part of the evening (apart from the people who really didn't ask a question but seemed to only want to make statements and have Richard agree with them...)

He addressed topics of Hell, Letting Go, Ecumenism across Religions, Feminism and God, the Healing process, and a few other issues I have now forgotten!

And we sang that awful song again, and Matt, Coralie and I got the giggles watching the 70 and 80 years old sway to the music....

Here's what I noted down from last night:

  • Belief in things doesnot transform. Love does.
  • A mystic is simply one who knows by experience.
  • You must stand in love in order to see the love in others.
  • Our failure to learn from our "sins" is the largest sin of all
  • We need to learn to find the divine image in all things or we will find it in nothing.
  • Life is not about me. We need to stop self referencing every experience to the "I"
  • Demons are the addicitive behaviours we have
  • Faith is not long term fire insurance.
  • It is heaven all the way to heaven, or hell all the way to hell!
  • Jesus cam to earth to take us back into the divine dance. (He spoke alot about the trinity as a dance of love)
  • God does not adore us, he loves us.
  • You a little s .. t, but also the dwelling place of God!!

Bless you all


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Richard Rohr in Perth - Monday night

Six of us, four community members, good mate PT and Minister (to some of us officially, some un officially...) Malcolm, went to the first of franciscan Richard Rohr's evening lectures on wholeness and healing.

It was a topic I had heard him speak on before, but it was great to see and hear the man "In the flesh" as it were. He speaks effortlessly and engagingly, easily incorporating quotes and examples from patristic, biblical and theological sources. One of the things I love about Richard's teaching is the way he weaves these sources together to help you understand what he is discussing in the physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions, of our beings.

Some of what I remember he discussed was:

  • God sees sin as suffering/pain
  • YAHWEH - the sound of the breath in (Yah) and out (Weh) breath. God in and out. As close as our breath.
  • We have to move downward, not upward, in our spiritual life to gain wisdom. This avoids the dualistic mind of in/out.
  • Jesus starts with our suffering not our sin ( our woundedness not conversion?)
  • We are spiritual beings seeking to be human, in all its fullness.
  • Perfection is the incorporation, not the exclusion, of imperfection

But he may not have meant anything of this - it is just what touched me last night.

A great night all up. It ended with all the crowd standing together, holding hands and singing Leonard Cohens Hallelujah, which I have to say was a little bizarre....

More after Wednesday nights lecture.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Binding Us together

In my darker moments I sometimes wonder what brings us together.
We come from such different backgrounds, spiritualities, lifestages, educations etc.
Michelle maintians that this what binds us - the sense of belonging inspite of our differences - it becomes a true exercise in ecumenism and communion.

Here's some of the different expressions of faith that we have been involved in over the years:

Liturgy of the Hours Taize Everyday With Jesus Tea Ceremony Anglican Catholic Quaker Pray as you Go Benedictine Flame Contemplative Evangelical GFS

Not a bad staring list actually ...

Friday, November 03, 2006


Last night I took the kids to their first swimming lessons. To cut a very long story short - one is a very confident swimmer and the other one thinks that water is of the devil. And I don't say that lightly!

The experience of course brought up all of the concerns, issues and worries that all parents have when something doesn't go right - I am a bad parent, what could have I done differently, and the killer - what will these other parents think of me?

All of this got me to thinking about protecting my kids, and comparing it to the monastic physical and spiritual concept of enclosure. In a monastery the enclosure is the physical space which is off limits to guests. Only the community may go there. It often over looks a courtyard and provides a safe, peaceful and beautiful place to live the majority of your life.

I believe monastics also live in the spirit of enclosure.
Guarding and keeping a safe place within as well as without.
Having a safe place within yourself you are able to return.
Knowing your limits and when to say enough.

I suppose as a parent, part of role is to provide a sense of enclosure in the home.
But, as witnessed by the swimming yesterday, helping my children to leave their own personal enclosure and take a risk is also a skill I can teach them.

I am still struggling with my own sense of enclosure - finding that safe place within me, but that spurs me on to teach my children, once again, what the monks taught me!