What You Will Learn in Each Lesson
The Nondual Jesus
“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” As familiar as this teaching may be to many Christians, the heart of its meaning can be much more elusive. In this lesson we will consider the basic historical context in which Jesus lived and out of which his teachings arose. We will explore the relationship between the Kingdom of Heaven as Jesus taught it and nondual consciousness, an awareness that sees no separation—not between God and humans, not between humans and humans. An understanding of this awareness will form the foundation for our further explorations in the course.
Jesus didn't teach “practices,” per se but the principle of kenosis, or “letting go.” Kenosis is the tie-rod connecting everything. In this lesson we will explore what kenosis means, connecting it to the classic nondual practice of “nonattachment.” We will also examine a sampling of selections from the Gospel of Thomas and consider the Trinity as an icon of self-emptying love.
In this lesson, we will explore what “indwelling presence,” or “living remembrance,” means with regard to Jesus’s own teachings in the Gospels of John and Thomas, the Eucharist, and the Resurrection. We will examine the history of Christian contemplative practice around this goal, including the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and Benedict’s “School for the Lord’s Service.” This lesson builds on what we’ve learned and guides us toward the lessons to come, in which we will be looking at four core wisdom practices that we can work with here and now to awaken or deepen our connection to wisdom.
Meditation is one of the most ancient and universal of all spiritual practices, and it is the cornerstone of the wisdom encounter with Christ. In this lesson we will explore centering prayer—kenosis in meditation form. You will learn the basic practice of centering prayer and receive guidance for incorporating it into your personal practice.
The practice of lectio divina—sacred reading—is based on the wager that scripture is a living word—not just history, not just facts and figures you can read in a book, but a source of ongoing personal guidance that can speak in your heart here and now, offering insight and uncannily timely assistance. In this lesson we will take a dive into this simple yet profound way of praying the scripture that transcends mental processing in favor of a deeper form of spiritual ingestion.
Sacred Chanting and Psalmody
Chanting is at the heart of all sacred traditions worldwide, and for very good reason: it is fundamentally a deep-immersion experience in the creative power of the universe itself. In this lesson we immerse ourselves in the three core elements out of which the earth was fashioned and through which all spiritual transformation happens—breath, tone, and intentionality—and explore chanting and psalmody as a personal practice.
In this lesson we will explore the welcoming prayer, a more recent addition to the collection of Christian wisdom practices. When performed correctly, it demonstrates beyond all doubt that the kenosis Jesus taught and modeled, far from being passive or spiritually indifferent, is in fact a pathway of vibrant spiritual strength and creativity connecting us to energetic fields far beyond our own finite resources. Through our willingness to work in the same way that Jesus did, we are able to ground-truth his being in our own lives.
This final lesson of the course brings us back to the wellspring inspired by the instantaneous, mutual recognition of hearts: recognition energy. This capacity to ground-truth a spiritual experience in one’s own being is what drew Jesus’s disciples to him millennia ago and it is available to each us, right here, right now.