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The spiritual path takes us from preoccupation with self to perceive as part of a universal whole

From Cynthia Borgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault has studied and taught in a number of Benedictine monasteries in the United States and Canada. An Episcopal priest, she is well known as a retreat and conference leader, teacher of prayer, and writer on the spiritual life. She is the author of a number of books, including Mystical Hope.

4 months ago

The spiritual path takes us from preoccupation with self to a capacity to see as part of the universal whole.

Some discussion starter questions
  • What is oneness for you?
  • ...

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Video transcript

I believe that the real journey of the contemplative or the transformational, the spiritual journey, in whatever path we do it, by whatever religious root: Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Sufi, you name it. It takes us from preoccupation with self, that kind of narrow introverted way, to a capacity to see and perceive and feel as part of a universal whole.
And to ask your "normal" kind of person who's neurotic, preoccupied, called in their story, stressed out, to perform out of a compassionate oneness for humanity is about the same as asking your old underwood typewriter to run the Internet. It can't do it! The wiring isn't there yet.
That shift is not as mysterious as it's made out to be. It's not like abracadabra and sometimes I see. But this patient practice through surrender and free attention, of rewiring not just as attitudes, but in the brain heart circuitry. When we become ready, when we gather enough of that collected reservoir of attention, that allows you to move out of your operating system, your little mental operating system that sees you as separate and disconnected and on a journey and very special, it allows you to move out of that into with that vast perceptive field of the heart, absolutely seeing plain as the nose on your face: the connectedness of all of humanity. And to feel in that connection the life blood of compassion and forgiveness.
When our heart becomes surrendered enough and our attention becomes stable enough, then we've essentially plugged the energy leaks and are able in a very very deep way to run this other program of heart seeing which sees from oneness.

Director's note

When we gather enough of that collected reservoir of attention we can move out of our own operating system and start to see from the vast perceptive field of the heart...
This has the potentiel to change a lot of our interaction with each other...
Make sure to also watch the bonus video from Andrew Newberg about his study of oneness through neurotheology.

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