Beginning Sunday, April 2nd at 8:00 a.m. with
Shantideva and the Way of the Bodhisattva
The format for Sunday Morning Contemplation was inspired and informed by contemplative traditions from the West and the East. The first, called lectio divina, has it origins in 6th century AD Europe. The practice unfolds in four steps or stages: reading, reflecting, responding, and silent abiding (lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio). The second, from the East, was first found in ancient Indian texts known as the Upanishads (6th-2nd centuries BC). This practice consists of three steps or stages: listening, reflecting, and meditating (śravana, manana, nididhyāsana or dhyāna).
Both of these forms of contemplation have thrived throughout the centuries and have even influenced each other beginning around the 10th-11th centuries. Our contemplative practice on Sunday mornings will embrace both of these approaches. The foundation for each Sunday Morning Contemplation will be a reading from a text that originated within either of these contemplative traditions.
The teachers and texts I have chosen have each played a significant role in my life, and I believe they have much to offer us today. During the Sunday Morning Contemplations I will read from preselected texts, slowly, with pauses between verses or quotes. The readings will be accompanied by gentle background music. To lessen distraction, I suggest participants close their eyes and listen. However the screen will display the text as it is read so those who are not comfortable with eyes-closed listening can either read along, or turn off the sound and read on their own.
Before the reading begins, I will provide a 10 - 15 minute overview of the chosen teacher's life, the origins of their text, and a brief explanation of the terms and language we'll encounter in the reading. If there is any time remaining after the reading has ended, participants can choose to either leave or stay a short while for discussion.
Finally, all of the readings used each week will be available online to read or download on this website.