Day 232, Morning
Today’s morning meditation is available below in audio and script formats. The audio version is also available for free download on the player.
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 Colorado, to engage in what he called “a big experiment.”
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. As one attendee put it:
“I enter into meditation as a slice of American cheese: thick and solid; my egoic self intact and feeling apart from both God and creation. I return from meditation as a slice of Swiss cheese: thin and filled with holes. I know myself and all others to be a part of God.”
During the first few years of the Conference, a series of agreements arose among the attendees. Father Thomas compiled the first eight and brought them to the group for consideration. With lots of conversation and some editing, the Conference Eight Points of Agreement came into being. (CAC)
The Eight Points of Agreement
The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality, to which they give various names.
Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.
Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.
Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality. Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.
The potential for human wholeness—or, in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transcendence, transformation, blessedness—is present in every human being.
Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.
As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.
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.
(BC) The Belgic Confession
(CAC) The Center For Action & Contemplation
(CD) The Canons of Dort
(CIB) Church In Bethesda Prayers
(DZ) Donna Z.
(HC) The Heidelberg Catechism
(MAO) Michael A. O’Sullivan
(NT) The New Testament
(OT) The Old Testament
(RP) Ryan Phipps
(TAO) The Tao Te Ching
(WC) The Westminster Confession
(WLB) Words To Live By
(WLC) The Westminster Larger Catechism
(WSC) The Westminster Shorter Catechism