1.) Jesus came to this planet as a master of the transformation of consciousness – he’s all about demonstrating and calling people to a new & higher degree of heartfulness; a deeper understanding, a more intimate, global, and non-divisive way of seeing a world held together in tender love.
2.) This evolutionary consciousness must be carried by the heart; you can’t do it with the mind alone. The great maps we have these days of human consciousness, ie Wilber, are mind-centered. Not everything is mental. We need a whole new operating system to kick into our being; this system is carried – metaphorically and literally – in the heart. Brain/heart entrainment opens up the Third Eye. (“If your eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light.”)
3.) The most important, main-stream way, of accessing/engaging the heart, dropping the mind into the heart, is through the practice of kenosis, or letting go. AKA a radical non-clinging or detachment. (See the Philippian hymn) Take the things we ‘want/need/have,’ and learn to have an open-handed (and open-hearted) approach
4.) Centering Prayer practices, in meditation form, are daily & active practice in kenosis – a decoupling of fixation and attachment. This is why Centering Prayer has provided, unbeknownst to itself (!), the experiential key to unlock the heart of Jesus’ teaching. Of all the hundreds of meditation options out there, this one is closest to the heart of Jesus’ teaching, giving us the physiology and emotional disposition to do the Jesus path – not just out of imitation, but because you derive it from inside out.
“Christianity isn’t a failure; it just hasn’t been tried yet” – G.K. Chesterton.
We need to stop beating up on ourselves, and the Church at large. Christianity’s failure is not a failure of nerve, or belief, or strategy, but of physiological readiness. If you can’t see what Jesus sees, you can’t do what Jesus did. If you see a world of scarcity & threat, of course you’re going to lock up your church at night. Of course you’re going to lock away your savings in a 401k instead of give to the poor. This isn’t because you’re a hypocrite. It’s because you need to slowly build the brain/heart synapses that allow you to see from abundance. Otherwise, you can no more adopt the heart of giving-ness at the core of the Jesus program than a three year old can compose Mozart-quality music!
By means of a strange, random miracle 30 years ago, a group of Christian monks uncovered and popularized a Christian meditation form that – unbeknownst to them – gives us the keys the unlock a body of transformational knowledge that will enable us to not only worship Jesus but to become Jesus.
It’s a process of incremental change, slow growth. Give yourself a lifetime to learn the technology of heart renovation, and you will see results.
To be continued…to see where Cynthia’s going with this, I highly recommend her books The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, and The Wisdom Way of Knowing.
In this series:
The Way of the Heart – Cynthia Bourgeault Part 1: What IS the Path of Jesus?
The Way of the Heart – Cynthia Bourgeault Part 2: See What Jesus Sees; Do What Jesus Does
The Way of the Heart Part 3: Cynthia Bourgealt’s Four Proposals – Beyond ‘The Imitation of Christ’
The Way of the Heart Part 4: Heartfulness Practice Transcends & Includes Orthodoxy
The Way of the Heart Part 5: Upgrading Our Operating System
The Way of the Heart Part 6: A Rorschach Blot for the Mind
The Way of the Heart Part 7: When 20/20 Hindsight Becomes Blindsight
The Way of the Heart Interlude: Kenosis Hymn
The Way of the Heart Part 8: Heart Surgery