An Exploration of Love

For Saint Valentinus Day, I led an online workshop about the many meanings of love in spiritual life – hosted by St Teresa of Avila Gnostic Community in Brisbane. Click the image at the bottom to get to the recording on their YouTube channel.

It’s now also available as audio-only on The Lectern podcast.

In our tradition, we use February 14 to remember one of the most significant figures of early Christian gnosticism – Valentinus. His teaching was so influential, it let to a whole school in early Christianity with its own scriptures (like the Gospel of Philip) and several other influential teachers.

One of the central themes in Valentinian teaching is love – not cool, charitable compassion – passionate, erotic, human love as a central symbolic reflection of spiritual life. This theme echoes through countless saints over the last two thousand years.

So, on Sunday (a few days after Valentine’s Day), I’m hosting an online discussion about love and the spiritual journey. Why is it such a significant theme? What are its dimensions? What does it mean to you?

(Click the image to get to the YouTube recording)

Stations of Faith

This is a recording of a workshop from AJC Conclave in 2012 exploring James Fowler’s developmental model of faith. I use Ken Wilber’s notion that any stage in the faith journey can become a station, at which a person stays for the remainder of their life.

James Fowler’s popular book “Stages of Faith” outlined for a general audience the results of a long-term study of how one’s faith – one’s holistic orientation to and relationship with the universe – develops through life. Fowler’s model of faith development provides a framework for guiding and companioning each other as our faith shifts and changes. This session outlines and explores Fowler’s model through a sequence of experiential exercises, drawing participants recalling and reflecting on their own journey of faith and that of the people around them.

The Practice of Christian Mysticism

This is part two of a workshop about spiritual practice – drawn chiefly from the teaching of Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault. The first part (not recorded) was a short workshop on the practice of Centering Prayer and this second part is a talk about the other key practices.

Building on the Centering Prayer session, this workshop explains three other classic practices in the Christian mystical tradition: psalm chant, lectio divina or sacred reading and the eucharist or holy communion. Christians all over the world sing, read the Bible and attend services – attending to the stillness within these everyday activities reveals a powerful system of transformation practice.