Posts Tagged ‘Pilgrimage to the heart of the sacred’

What is discernment? And why does recreating an old newsroom bring thoughts of it up?

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What is the spiritual discipline of obedience truly about?

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Isn’t Communion or the Eucharist just a Christian thing? How does this spiritual practice speak to those outside and inside the church? What does it mean for my own journey?

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Jesus said, come as a child. Not being childish, but with all the wonder, honesty and curiosity of a child. What does this mean for our journey today?

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Spiritual journaling is more than simply writing out thoughts, it can be dynamic as you connect your creative soul to rational mind and discover the Holy Spirit’s direction and discernment in your journey.

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-Centennial Men’s Prayer Breakfast March 30, 2019


I Learned Spiritual Direction through College of Emmanuel & St. Chad, The streams of Nouwen & Vanier; through Franciscan and Jesuit formation. This morning I have adapted some techniques from my third book, Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred, that I have led retreats with, taught from at U of C, and Spiritual Directions. As well as hosted many contemplative and meditative services. This is not exhaustive, but rather a snap shot to move beyond rational to interior.

Body Scan Mindfulness




Coming out, look at the paper and colours in front of you, for the next three minutes let out whatever came through creatively through scribbling, doodling or drawing, do not stop moving the colours until asked to.

-2 minute discussion with table mates.

Lectio Divina, is the practice of hearing scripture 3 times, I mix it with visualizing prayer and narrative contemplation:

Close your eyes feel your breath slow, feel this room melt away, the chair disappear. The air shift and change as you travel  2000 years into the past, and across oceans, to an arid landscape, feel dust over your sandaled feet, as you watch a student and teach discourse, hear these words.

With this first reading what words or phrases resonate within you? Sit with those for a time and see what shifts within your soul:

Matthew 16:13-19 (ESV):

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[c] in heaven.”

-Give 1 to 2 minutes for quiet reflection-

With this second reading, what images or memories surface of keys you have been given to realize your true calling?

Matthew 16:13-19

-Give 1 to 2 minutes for quiet reflection-

With this third, and final reading, enter into Peter, can you feel his emotions? What resonates within you as these words are spoken in your search for path?

(read from Peter’s perspective) Matthew 16:13-19

Deepen your breaths once more, feel the chair come back around you the room become tangible. Rest in the peace of knowing the blessing you are in this world, life and adventure yet to come.

Now that you have the Keys to the Kingdom it is time to walk the Labyrinth to the Centre.

The Labyrinth-

Ancient story of the Minotaur

The point of a maze it to find its centre.

The Point of a Labyrinth is to find your centre

Winding through breathing slowly, on intake “Your will be done.” On Exhale “Your Kingdom come” as you slowly moves towards the centre. Sit in the centre with those thoughts, what rises to the surface. Take time to share at your table.

Before we close with a simple prayer of contemplation, one thing that is good to do while using prayer to reflect on scripture, is to rewrite the story from different perspectives to delve into what it is like in the midst of the story. A good story to start with, that is always challenging is the story of David’s murder of Uriah, and seizing/raping his wife Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. Over the next week re-write the story from David’s perspective, from Bathsheba’s so like a first person account, and see what is discovered on the journey.

Now we will close with a Franciscan prayer, let us pray:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is discord, union;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is error, truth;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.


O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console:

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved, as to love:

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

And it is in dying that we are born to

eternal life.


Judas Goat

A Judas goat is a trained goat used at a slaughterhouse and in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared. Judas goats are also used to lead other animals to specific pens and on to trucks.

Wild Wild Country (Netflix 2018) the last 3 episodes one begins to ponder as evidence mounts whether Sheela was Osho’s Judas Goat. A role designed as the movement/settlement began to be confronted by vitriol hatred, and violence as noted in the first reflection is what radicalized the movement. Where it was about drawing together, the confrontation and harassment, breaking of the laws of the land to root out that which was different undercut the principles of this new religion growing a city in the heart of farm country.

It is a series that can be used for personal or corporate discussion and reflection. Key questions to come during this time of Pentecost:

  • Welcoming of the stranger at your gates? (a theme out of J.S. Woodsworth’s writings of the social gospel).
  • Who is my neighbour? How do I love my neighbour as myself?
  • How do I respond to that which is different from my norm, but is not harming the disenfranchised?
  • Where do I stand when the wave of hate begins?
  • How does my own grief of loss of what was, shape my reaction to what is becoming?

The series is a winding road, of a 4 year span that has been exorcised from the story of Osho and the Rajneeshis. It is the loss of what was a time of tribulation, and raises questions around who was set up? Who knew what was happening in the darkness? What happens when dark responds to dark? When silence is broken, and it is not the message of love and acceptance that is vocalized, but pain, hatred and jealousy?

It also speaks to what happens to true believers as is seen in two of the members, Sheela and Philip Toelkes (a.k.a Swami Prem Niren; 2nd Mayor of Rajneespuram and lawyer of Osho). Two sides of a coin in their response to the whirlwind around them. Yet clinging to what they had learned on the journey and still living the core of the teaching after the accountability dust settles.

For the question in the early 1980’s Oregon (and before in India that drove the movement International) is what happens when the world responds to love with hate?

It is a microcosmic battle within each of us, in Islamic studies it is the Jihad, within Christianity it is Pentecost…will the Holy Spirit shine through or not in the moment of choice to reside an acknowledge the Holy Mystery? Yet as seen, it also is a macrocosmic struggle when the world interacts.


An individual whom sells out his/her friends for their own personal benefit

It is as the dust settles and the Osho International emerges, a Judas moment if you will, tracking through, you are left to ask the question:

  • Who betrayed the movement?
  • Who was the true Judas of the story?
  • Who held true to Love?

Sometimes the mirror held up to our own movements, institutions and journeys is through viewing and being the third party in a discourse about another’s pilgrimage to the heart of the sacred.