Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, August 1, 2015


I think I experienced what Dr. Benner is speaking of 

below when I looked at this picture of one of my 


Not so much the texture as it was moving from 

my mind to my heart. Maybe heart isn't the 

right word. Maybe "becoming one with" would 

be a better way for me to put it.

But then I went back to his picture and truly felt 

with my eyes the textures.

It seems to be an expereince of embodying.

Maybe even an experience (using Rohr's word) 

of oneing.


Awakening always involves leaving our minds and coming to our senses. Awareness is the dynamic engine that drives this process. Awareness draws us into our bodies, puts us in touch with inner and outer realities, and mobilizes us for action, not simply reaction.
In ordinary consciousness our awareness is primarily focused on our thoughts. These form the core of the intermediate world that exists between ourselves and reality. This is the world of our prejudices, pre-judgments, categorizations, and biases and it is through the filter of these things that we view the world beyond us. But experiencing the world through this filter is not the same as experiencing things as they actually are. It is experiencing ourthoughts about the world, rather than directly experiencing the world. The distance this provides from the raw reality of things as they truly are may keep us comfortable but it always leaves us out of touch with reality.
This is the state of being asleep that spiritual teachers in all traditions urge us to awaken from. Our senses are a portal through which we can begin that awakening process. Suddenly they bring us into immediate and direct contact with reality. They bring us into our body and they put us in immediate contact with our environment.
But full sensory awakening doesn’t just happen in a moment. It needs to be cultivated. As we begin to leave our mind and come to our senses we begin to notice that eyes do not just see, they can also feel – just as fingers can see and noses can taste. Look carefully at the above picture – letting your eyes touch it, not just see it. Feel the textures. Slowly let them guide you across the surfaces they present. Feel them with your eyes. And notice what you experience in your fingertips as you do.
The world is full of textures, harmonies, wafting aromas and presences, subtle changes of temperature and energy, and an infinite variety of tastes. Don’t be content with what you think you already know about the world. Dare to open your senses and engage the world afresh each day. This was what Jesus was encouraging when he repeatedly urged his followers to listen, keep watch, and be vigilant. And what is it that you should be watching for? The possibilities of new and renewed life that is within and all around you.
Prepare to awaken and see the world through new eyes, the eyes of your heart. Prepare to see new places where Divine is incarnate in the world which you have failed to notice. And prepare for the new birthings within you that always accompany fresh awakenings.
Dr. David G. Benner

Sunday, July 26, 2015


There are those who are close to me who would say to you that I live a small life. "Small" is my word. I find myself lately observing and contrasting my activity to those around me. Again I am reminded of a call I felt many, many years ago: 

"you will be a monk in the world".

I continue to try and live that call out in my daily life, even when I am percieved as quite boring by some. I can only smile inside. 
My life is not boring.
To me my view is vast.
Keeping my life small allows me to see with different eyes. And sometimes what I see is useless activity and useless striving.

I am happy in this small place.

I can see.

No apologies.


Sunday, July 19, 2015


How does transforming energy and not giving it back in kind take sin out of a community? Here is how a civil rights worker who endured racial hatred and violence while working for justice describes what happened to him. This is part of an interview with him:

 “Isn’t that dangerous work you are doing?” “It’s true,” he said. “The hatred is vicious, and the punishment is violent.” “Have you ever been hurt yourself?” “Yes, I’ve been spit upon, beaten with fists, with pipes, with chains and left a bloody mess.” “But you are pretty big. Weren’t you able to protect yourself sometimes, to fight back?” “Yes. At first I did fight back. I made some of them sorry that they had attacked me. But then I realized that by fighting back I wasn’t getting anywhere. The hatred coming at me in those fists and clubs was bouncing right off me back into the air, and it could just continue to spread like electricity. I decided not to fight back. I would let my body absorb that hatred, so that some of it would die in my body and not bounce back into the world. I now see that my job in the midst of evil is to make my body a grave for hate.”

Rolheiser, Ronald (2014-03-11). Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity (p. 166). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

This is a much better undersanding of what it means to "...take away the sins of the world."
This does not imply a passive stance. There are certainly things we must stand up for, come against in some responsible way.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Delio, Ilia (2011-11-09). The Emergent Christ


The key to evolution is openness to the environment. Open systems can be influenced by the environment and change in relation to the environment. Closed systems cannot evolve, because they cannot be influenced by the environment; thus they seek to preserve their resources within. The systems theorist Erich Jantsch wrote that "to live in an evolutionary spirit means to engage with full ambition and without any reserve in the structure of the present, and yet to let go and flow into a new structure when the right time has come." 3 Do we as Christians live with an evolutionary spirit? It is my belief we do not; rather, we live in two world systems. In our everyday world we are open to the changes of culture in consumerism and technological progress (we have no problem keeping up with the latest technological gadgets), but in our theology and ecclesiology we live in the closed system of a pre-scientific, medieval church, the world of Plato, Aristotle, Dionysius, and Thomas. On the whole we Christians are more comfortable with scholastic thought and Aristotelian philosophy than with process theology or chaos theory. Jesuit scientist and mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was suspicious that Christianity makes its followers inhuman— that it becomes a series of rote doctrines devoid of life, pointing believers to a starry heaven away from the world. Christians are not conscious of their divine responsibilities, he claimed, but see Christian life as a series of observances and obligations, not the realization of the soul's immense power. 4 This leads to a static Christianity, a mechanization of Christian life whereby the language, symbols, and metaphors of theology and ecclesial life resist growth and change. As a result Teilhard said, Christians lose consciousness of their divine responsibility, which, in his view, is to evolve.

I can't say that I have a good intellectual grasp on Chardin, Plato, Aristotle, Dionysius and Thomas. I have never studied them formally or personally, just read quotes.

I do have a grasp on what it means to remained closed theologically.

Enough said.

A Good Sabbath to All.


Sunday, January 25, 2015








Sunday, September 21, 2014

So last week I applied for my medicare card. Got it in the mail this week and put it in my billfold this morning.

Is this a beginning or is this an ending?

Thanks to the spiritual work I pick up and put down, for me it feels like another beginning, another transition.

Nothing permanent.

As Peter Mayer says in his song,

Everything is holy now!