Introduction to Interspiritual Mysticism: Developing Interfaith Literacy
There are major differences in all of the great world religions. Conversely, in all of these religions each person seeks to find the universal truth. As seekers we long to understand more of the mystical facets at the core of each of our chosen traditions. At the heart of it all is where universal God-Centered presence resides. The foundational container that holds each path is a divine global illumination of love, eternal light, peace, faith, and hope. We all seek to know God despite what it is that we believe. Each faith possesses a mystical quality; for example, in Christianity we find Catholic spirituality, the Quaker tradition, Christian mysticism and Gnosticism. In Judaism we find the Kabbalah and Hasidism. In Islam there is Sufism, Sunni and Shia, in Buddhism mystics find Shingon, Vajrayana, and Zen, in Jainism we find Moska, and, in Hinduism there is Kriya Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and Kashmir. There are many other traditions that have familiar avenues to the inner path to God. Interfaith mysticism creates a path of unity; it is the spiritual process of understanding the many levels of who God is, at, and in the heart of all of humanity. It sheds new light on religious separation and conflict. Instead of working externally to find the resolution to religious struggles, this is an internal ‘heart-centered’ approach, which helps to alleviate those conflicts by offering a platform to better understand the mystical core at the root of all traditions. As Huston Smith puts it, “If we take the world’s enduring religions at their best, we discover the distilled wisdom of the human race.”
Offered on Saturday mornings during our autumn series, each class runs for about 90 minutes. We focus on group discussions or recorded video lectures on Buddhism by Professor Malcolm David Eckel of Boston University, on Hinduism by Professor Mark W. Muesse of Rhodes College, on Judaism by Professor Isaiah M. Gafni of Hebrew University, on Christianity by Professor Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory University, and on Islam by Professor John L. Esposito of Georgetown University. Dialogues include the mysticism of the five major traditions. In the spring of every year our discussions are on indigenous faiths such as the Native American and Yoruba, traditions many are not familiar with, as well as those that are complementary. The course is grounded in meditation, mystical readings, discussions, blessings, and prayer.
Current classes begin in the autumn of 2018. Syllabus with book suggestions are provided and discussed in our first meeting. Evidence to proceed: Some course materials and information from this class can be used in the class below.
A suggested love-offering of $10.00 per class to support the education programs of the Interfaith Center of Light is appropriate. Register here
Embracing Divine in this Lifetime
The book Mysticism and the Creed written by W.F. Cobb states that mysticism is the search of intimacy and identity of the sentient mindfulness of a definitive reality, theology, spiritual fact, or God, through direct experience, perception, constitution or discernment. Cobb continues to say that mysticism typically centers on spiritual approaches usually anticipated to cultivate those experiences. The mysticism of knowing and embracing Divine may be dualistic, which sustain variations between the self and the Divine, or may be a combination of both.
Experiencing Divine presence is a combination of touching, seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting. God appears in our spirit by first loving our God-self. In doing so, we can then be able to love others. The Divine also is who or what we see in the natural beauty around us. God also appears in what we are willing to hear; sometimes in a still small voice, in other moments through voices that are larger than our own personal space. In the smelling of a rose we experience God’s existence, and in the foods that are provided and prepared for us we acknowledge God’s love. But what if we can go deeper to touch, see, hear, smell, and taste the love of God beyond the physical senses? In this class we will briefly explore the teachings of many mystics such as Jesus, Rumi, George Fox, Mother Mary, Hafiz, Buddha, Krishna, The Prophet Muhammad, Mother Ann, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Lao Tze and Meister Eckhart just to name a few; to just “Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.” ~ William James
In this six week 90 minute per course, we study the Ten Commandments from a mystical and modernized viewpoint. We focus on two books for this class. We also engage in dialogues on what it means to do God’s work, whatever spiritual paths we hold. Class syllabus with book suggestions are provided and discussed in our first meeting. Introduction to Interspiritual Mysticisms is a prerequisite to this class. Classes begin in the spring 2018. A suggested love offering of $10.00 per class to support the education programs of the Interfaith Center of Light is very much appreciated.