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Tag Archives: monasticism

Silence, Mindfulness, and the Buddhists

I recently attended a seminar on mental health/personality disorders in which the leader taught about the need to teach patients “mindfulness.” She defined it as stillness, openness, and silence, leading to the ability to radically love others. She then proceeded to share how her “profession” has learned this from the Buddhist tradition. While she is an atheist, she commented, a number of mental health professionals have converted to Buddhism as result. Sadly, she didn’t think of Christianity as the originator of silence and solitude (e.g. Ps. 37:11, Ps. 46:10, Luke 10:38-42, Elijah, John the Baptist, Moses, Jesus). She also did not associate Christians with “radical acceptance” and love. We have forgotten that other religions and movements may benefit from God’s truth, but it all belongs to Him! (What is really tragic is when Christians mistakenly say that an emphasis on silence and solitude as spiritual practices is New Age or Buddhist). Research with Buddhists. Read more.

Silence, Mindfulness, and the Buddhists

I recently attended a seminar on mental health/personality disorders in which the leader taught about the need to teach patients “mindfulness.” She defined it as stillness, openness, and silence, leading to the ability to radically love others. She then proceeded to share how her “profession” has learned this from the Buddhist tradition. While she is an atheist, she commented, a number of mental health professionals have converted to Buddhism as result. Sadly, she didn’t think of Christianity as the originator of silence and solitude (e.g. Ps. 37:11, Ps. 46:10, Luke 10:38-42, Elijah, John the Baptist, Moses, Jesus). She also did not associate Christians with “radical acceptance” and love. We have forgotten that other religions and movements may benefit from God’s truth, but it all belongs to Him! (What is really tragic is when Christians mistakenly say that an emphasis on silence and solitude as spiritual practices is New Age or Buddhist). Research with Buddhists. Read more.

Learning to Lead from the Margins

We need a radically different kind of spiritual formation of leaders in the 21st century. Rosy Kandithal, an assistant pastor/contemplative artist on our New Life staff team, is taking a year to learn at a monastery in Wisconsin. Why? To deepen her being and her roots in Jesus, to learn hiddenness with God, to learn to pray. She is going to learn Christian leadership from the margins. Scott Sunquist, Dean of Fuller’s School of Intercultural Ministry and one of the great historians of global church history of our day, writes:”from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries, Christian mission was kept alive not from the ecclesial center, but from them margins…The rise of monasticism was in part a missional renewal movement: to tear the church away from its early captivity to worldly power and riches.” In the famous School of the Persians at Nisibis, for example, over a thousand students lived in monastic cells. Trained. Read more.

Top 10 Quotes from Benedict's Rule: Part 2

The “Rule of Benedict” (RB) is considered one of the classic works of Western literature. More importantly, it challenges the result oriented, numbers-driven, “strategic” leadership models that surround us. Again, I invite you to prayerfully let God speak to you his insights: 1. “The fourth step of humility is that in this obedience under difficult, unfavorable, or even unjust conditions, his heart quietly embraces suffering and endures it” (RB 7:35). 2. “Our holy Fathers read the full psalter (all 150 psalms) in a single day. Let us hope that we, lukewarm as we are, can achieve it in a whole week” (RB 18:2-25). 3. We must know that God regards our purity of heart and tears of compunction, not our many words. Prayer should be short and pure” (RB 20:3). 4. “Sleep clothed. Thus the monks will always be ready to arise without delay when the signal is given; each will hasten to arrive at. Read more.

Taize and Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday night this week, at 7 pm, New Life will host a Taize, Ash Wednesday service. I have been praying and pondering this possibility for over eight years. In the summer of 2004, Geri and I, along with our four daughters, spent a week in Taize, France with a monastic community of about 90 men. About 5000 young people from Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic backgrounds also participated.  I learned3 simple, powerful truths that week: 1. There is only one church and it consists of people from all three main branches of Christianity – Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant. Brother Roger, a Lutheran pastor, founded Taize during World War 2 to be a prophetic sign in the midst of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians killing each other on an unimaginable scale. What unites us is a personal faith in Jesus Christ and a commitment to Scripture as outlined in the Nicene Creed.  This. Read more.

Church History & Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

I am finding that I need to speak more frequently about why a proper understanding of our church family history is paramount for growing spiritually. (click to see a larger version) I emphasize three critically important, major truths: 1. There was only one church for the first 1054 years. The first major split happened between the Eastern and Western church then. This was followed by the split of the Roman Catholic church in 1517 when Protestantism was born. Since then we have had over 200,000 other splits with countless Protestant and independent churches. So my particular tribe (evangelical) is finds itself far up into the upper right of the above chart. This is not a bad thing but I/we come from a family genogram. We are not the whole church by any means. And the church did not start with Luther, Calvin and the Reformers. 2. We need to learn from other traditions of. Read more.