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Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church/
Mysticism In The Church/ Contemplative Prayer

 

003whiteSection 10A The Contemporary Church   >   Doctrines of Demons     >     Mysticism   >   Contemplative Prayer

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 Contemplative Prayer... The Pioneers
Thomas Keating

Carol Brooks

"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock" Acts 20:29

    Index To The Pioneers - Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, and Thomas Keating HERE

    Index To All Seven Chapters on Contemplative Prayer HERE

    Bible1-Bar

    Thomas Keating. 1923 -

    Introduction

    Keating -  Blatant Disobedience to Biblical Instructions
    Keating and Eastern Religions -  Heresy Unlimited
    Keating and The Golden Sufi Center
    Keating and Kundalini
    The Snowmass Conferences
    Keating's Atrocious Self-Serving Theology
    Keating's Misquoting of Scripture


    Introduction
    The Trappist monk Thomas Keating was born in New York City and attended Deerfield Academy, and Yale and Fordham Universities. He entered the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance in Valley Falls, Rhode Island, in 1944. In April of 1958 Keating was sent to Snowmass, Colorado to help start a new monastic community called St. Benedict's. Three years later, in 1961, he was elected abbot of St. Joseph's in Spencer Massachusetts in which position he served for twenty years until he retired in 1981. He then returned to Snowmass, where he still lives.

    Keating is one of the pioneers of the modern contemplative movement. He is the spiritual guide and the Chairman of the Board of Contemplative Outreach - an international, ecumenical spiritual network that teaches Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina. The well over 30 books that Keating has written, to say nothing of his extremely active public life, has made him one of the strongest influences in the contemplative movement.


    Keating -  Blatant Disobedience to Biblical Instructions.

    The Bible says "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be SEPARATE," says the Lord. "and do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NASB)

    Yet, according to two separate sources including www.contemplativeoutreach.org that publishes and distributes Thomas Keating's teachings (All Emphasis Added) CP Keating 2

      During Fr. Keating's term as abbot at St. Joseph's and in response to the reforms of Vatican II, he invited teachers from the East to the monastery. As a result of this exposure to Eastern spiritual traditions, Fr. Keating and several of the monks at St. Joseph's were led to develop the modern form of Christian contemplative prayer called Centering Prayer" [01]

      During the twenty years (1961-1981) when Keating was abbot, St. Joseph's held dialogues with Buddhist and Hindu representatives, and a Zen master gave a week-long retreat to the monks. A former Trappist monk who had become a Transcendental Meditation teacher also gave a session to the monks. [02]

    Note that Keating himself described this period in one of his books. See Footnote I.

    After which, according to beliefnet.com, he

      .. asked the monks at St. Joseph's to search for a method rooted in Christian tradition that would make contemplative prayer more accessible to those outside the monastery. The novice master at St. Joseph's Abbey, William Meninger, found a simple technique in the 14th-century Anglican classic, The Cloud of Unknowing.

      Meninger called it the "Prayer of the Cloud" and began teaching the method to retreat participants at the abbey guest house. Another St. Joseph's monk Basil Pennington began teaching it to religious men and women. At the very first workshop given to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Pennington frequently quoted his friend and correspondent Thomas Merton who often used the term "center" when describing prayer in his writings. By the end of the workshop, participants were referring to the technique as "centering prayer." [03]

    Contemplativeprayer.net tells us a little more about Father William Meninger and The Cloud of Unknowing

      In 1974, Father William Meninger, a Trappist monk and retreat master at St. Josephs Abbey in Spencer, Mass. found a dusty little book in the abbey library, The Cloud of Unknowing. As he read it he was delighted to discover that this anonymous 14th century book presented contemplative meditation as a teachable, spiritual process enabling the ordinary person to enter and receive a direct experience of union with God. This form of meditation, recently known as 'Centering Prayer' (from a text of Thomas Merton) can be traced from and through the earliest centuries of Christianity. [04]

    Note: The Cloud of Unknowing widely regarded as a "hallmark of spirituality" and "a contemplative classic on the deep mysteries of faith was written by an anonymous English monk in the late fourteenth century and has inspired generations of mystical searchers.


    Keating and Eastern Religions -  Heresy Unlimited

    The Bible says

      Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be SEPARATE," says the Lord. "and do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NASB)

    Yet,

    Since the reforms of Vatican II Fr. Keating, like his spiritual predecessor Thomas Merton, has been "a supporter of and core participant in inter-religious dialogue"

       He helped found the Snowmass Interreligious Conference, which had its first meeting in the fall of 1983 and continues to meet each spring. Fr. Keating also is a past president of the Temple of Understanding and of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. [05]CP Keating 3

    Additionally, and again following in Merton's footsteps, Keating has met and spoken with the Dalai Lama on several occasions - both of them participated in a Buddhist-Catholic interfaith symposium at the Naropa Institute, a Tibetan Buddhist graduate school in Boulder, Colorado. 

    Keating is also spiritual advisor at the Garrison Institute, housed in a renovated former Capuchin monastery. The purpose of the institute is to "convene and support those who are exploring the wisdom, values and insight gained through contemplative practices... blah! blah!blah!. Unsurprisingly, the grounds boast a labyrinth and an enthroned Buddha sits on what was once an altar. SEE

    A book co-authored by Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington says (Emphasis Added)

      We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and "capture" it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible (One reason given is "that we might be prepared to enter into intelligent dialogue with Eastern spiritual masters") ... Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM, and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to give inner form and meaning to the resultant experiences. [06]


    Keating and The Golden Sufi Center
    On May 2 – 3 of 2008, Thomas Keating was one of two speakers at a one-day seminar at The Golden Sufi Center in Inverness, CA. The very purpose of the center is to make available the teachings of this branch of Sufism. These Sufis

      "are known as the "silent Sufis" because their practices are done in silence. They practice a silent dhikr and the silent meditation of the heart - God is the silent emptiness and is therefore most easily reached in silence. They also attach great importance to dreams, which they consider to be a form of guidance along the Path. The central focus of The Golden Sufi Center is the meditation groups. At meetings, silent meditation is followed by spiritual discussion and dreamwork. [07]


    Keating and Kundalini
    CP Keating Kundalini
    Keating wrote the foreword to Philip St. Romain's book Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality (pictured on left). In his introduction, Philip St. Romain defines some of the Sanskrit terms used. 'Chakras', that he relates to the English word circles (A 'chakra' is actually a wheel or disc), are "energy centers in the astral body, roughly corresponding to the spinal plexuses. Most texts speak of seven chakras, five of which are located along the spine; the sixth is located in the center of the forehead, and the seventh atop the head". [08]

      In his book, Philip St. Romain describes Kundalini as a

        "very powerful form of psycho-spiritual energy that is curled, or coiled, at the base of the spine in the first chakra. When awakened through the disciplines of yoga, this energy uncoils and moves up through the spinal canal (the sushumna nadi), piercing the chakras and eventually entering the brain. Great energy, power, and insight accompany the experience of kundalini in the brain. For many, this is a short-lived experience: after entering the brain, kundalini slowly begins falling, eventually coiling again in the first chakra. It is said that yogis have the ability to keep the kundalini current flowing up to the seventh chakra, giving them experiences of extraordinary knowledge, power, and bliss". [09]

      However, Keating obviously believes that the awakening of kundalini energy is possible in "a purely Christian context" He describes it as "an important contribution to the renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition" and says it "will initiate Christians on the spiritual journey into this important but long neglected dimension of the transforming power of grace".

      He also calls kundalini "an enormous energy for good", neglecting to point out that uncontrolled kundalini can drive a person insane or even kill them. However, I find it extremely find it extremely alarming that although Kundalini is conceptualized as a coiled up serpent - a concentrated form of prana or life force, numerous articles on kundalini refer to it as an 'intelligent force'.

        The unique perspective of Siddha Mahayoga is that because kundalini is an intelligent force it will, upon awakening, naturally direct the practice of the student. All that is required is that the student completely surrender to this force. As a result of kundalini's unfoldment spontaneous purifying movements, called kriyas will occur. [10]

      An interesting excerpt from kundalini-teacher.com. Emphasis is mine however "She" is capitalized in the original writing.

        The title of Shaktipat Master, is a little misleading... Nobody really "Masters" Shakti. She does as She pleases, and we just try to stay out of the way. The Shaktipat Master is a vessel for transmission, Goddess is the source... I do not care for the term "kundalini Master", because it suggests mastery of Goddess, ... control of it, and that is an ego illusion. One does not Master kundalini, one steps aside and allows it to do its work through you, as the vessel. [11]

      What is even more alarming is that although kundalini is awakened by asanas (yogic postures), mudras (hand positions), and pranayama (breath-control exercises)", the shortcut to an awakened kundalini is through a Guru, or so called holy man, who can transmit energy to an aspirant and awaken the kundalini, which brings about an expanded states of consciousness. This is often done by touch to the ajna chakra or the disciple's third eye

      You did get that?

      The fastest, easiest way to awaken kundalini is with a touch to the forehand, or the recipient's 'third eye'. Does that sound at all familiar to you? I strongly suggest you read Part IV of ‘Slain’... By What Spirit? in which I have gone into much more detail than I can here.

      But, rushing in where angels fear to tread, Keating goes on to say

        "In order to guide persons having this experience, Christian spiritual directors may need to dialogue with Eastern teachers in order to get a fuller understanding. [12]

      There are, quite obviously, no short supply of ravenous wolves in the so called 'Christian' world, and no end of people led astray by them.


      The Snowmass Conferences
      The Bible says

      Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be SEPARATE," says the Lord. "and do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NASB)

      YET

        "In 1984, Father Thomas Keating invited a broad range of spiritual teachers from virtually all of the world's great wisdom traditions - Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Indigenous, Islamic - to gather together at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado". [13]

      The group met to engage in interreligious dialogue about the differences and similarities between their 'paths of wisdom'. These meetings continued for approximately twenty years. Participants included Fr. Thomas Keating, Roshi Bernie Glassman, Swami Atmarupananda, Dr. Ibrahim Gamard, Imam Bilal Hyde, Pema Chödrön, Rabbi Henoch Dov Hoffman, and many others. To encourage openness and honesty, no audio or visual recording was made of, and no articles were written about, the encounter. However, a book did eventually follow in which Keating wrote

        For twenty years, a group of spiritual seekers from many religious traditions met in various places around the United States under the rubric of the Snowmass Conferences to engage in the deepest form of interreligious dialogue. The experience was intimate, transformative, and inspiring.

        To encourage openness and honesty, no audio or visual recording was made of, and no articles were written about, the encounters. When these encounters came to an end, it was agreed that reflections on what had happened emotionally, spiritually, philosophically , and theologically during the Snowmass dialogues should be written down.

      The result was the book The Common Heart An Experience of Inter-Religious Dialogue, a report of the first meeting and several subsequent ones with the same group. Common Heart was edited by Netanel Miles-Yepez, cofounder of The Sufi-Hasidic Fellowship.

      The foreword to Common Heart was written by Ken Wilber, and says in part that "every now and then, you find profound points of agreement between all of them (world religions). And anytime you find something that all of the world's religions agree on, you might want to pay very, very close attention... "

      Certainly there are a few points that the world religions agree on. However, this neglects to mention that most religions disagree with each other on MAJOR issues, which discounts the possibility that all of them are right. However it does NOT discount the possibility that ONE OF THEM is right. - that one of them contains absolute truth. [Also See Religious Pluralism - Part 2 of Choose Life That You Might Live]

      However, Ken Wilber is an acknowledged Buddhist and can think whatever he pleases - It is the wolves in the Christian sheep pen that should concern us. The fifteen spiritual leaders arrived at a consensus on what the principles of inter-religious dialogue are. They call these principles the "Guidelines for Interreligious Understanding." As outlined by Thomas Keating, these guidelines are (All Emphasis Added)

        1) The world religions bear witness to the experience of the Ultimate Reality to which they give various names: Brahman, the Absolute, God, Allah, (the) Great Spirit, the Transcendent.

        2) The Ultimate Reality surpasses any name or concept that can be given to It.

      Since the term 'Ultimate Reality' can be used quite loosely, I have absolutely no idea whether they are referring to the common man's idea of God. Since, as far as I know, no one has had a cosy tête-à-tête with God, or managed to interview Him, virtually everything we know about God and the spiritual world comes from the pages of the Bible, i.e. what He has told us about Himself. In Scripture, the names God uses to describe Himself are, for example, Elohim (God) in Genesis 1:1, Yehovah Elohim (Lord God)  in Genesis 2:4 , El-Shaddai (God Almighty) in Genesis 17:1-2 etc.

      When people refer to Allah or Brahman or the many other names they have conjured up, they are referring to the endless array of false gods, not the God of the Bible. See God and His Bible. The Reliability of The Old Testament. Additionally, the Scriptures repeatedly refer to God as "Father". This is too long a subject to be adequately dealt with here. See Feminism and The Bible. Part I

        3) The Ultimate Reality is the source (ground of being) of all existence.

      It certainly doesn't take twenty years of inter-religious dialogue to figure that out.

        4) Faith is opening, surrendering, and responding to the Ultimate Reality. This relationship precedes every belief system.

        5) The potential for human wholeness -- or in other frames of reference, liberation, self-transcendence, enlightenment, salvation, transforming union, moksha, nirvana, fana -- is present in every human person.

      Sadly all the terms above are vague beyond belief. As an example, in the Buddhist tradition, nirvana is described as the imperturbable stillness of mind which is the result of extinguishing the fires (of attachment, aversion, and ignorance) that cause suffering. When the fires are extinguished, suffering comes to an end and complete peace is experienced. However, there is, apparently, no consensus of opinion as to what this stillness of mind is. Additionally, Buddhist philosophers have long debated about whether Nirvana is absolute cessation or an ineffable transcendental state.

      Note that 'ineffable' is simply another word for 'indescribable', and transcendental can mean superior, mystical or supernatural, or even beyond common thought or experience.

      In sharp contrast  the Bible's description of the kingdom of God (also called heaven) that Jesus said He was sent to proclaim (Luke 4:43) is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there', but matches, in every respect, the world most men and women would choose to live in. a place of peace and safety, where there is no crime, hunger and disease, war and above all... no death. Far from being outdated, out of touch, and largely irrelevant to modern society, Christianity promises exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of. Unless, of course, your idea of paradise is "an ineffable transcendental state" See The Message of The Bible ...The Kingdom Is at Hand

        6) The Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships and service to others.

      The Ultimate Reality is a Being quite separate from us and not to be "experienced" by anyone who has learned a technique or two and has a few minutes to spare. See Contemplative Prayer

        7) The differences among belief systems should be presented as facts that distinguish them, not as points of superiority.

      I am afraid that God's offer of everlasting life right here on earth where people live free of conflict, hunger, disease, and the fear of death is far, far superior to incomprehensible and pompous jargon (spiritual gobbledygook), that tells us absolutely nothing. While this seems to make people feel very spiritual, the fact is, we do not need a 'way of life' or a philosophy. We do not need abstract theories and complicated, confused, and rambling rigmarole. We need answers in plain black and white. We need to know, in very simple terms, who we are, what we are doing here, and where we are going.

      Thankfully our God is far more practical than these so called spiritual teachers who offer nothing more than nebulous phrases and temporary good feelings.

      Incidentally, Thomas Keating's guidelines are quoted in Your Soul's Compass by Joan Borysenko, a staunch New Ager. She wrote

        In the light of the globalization of life and culture now in process, the personal and social ethical principles proposed by the world religions in the past need to be re-thought and re-expressed. [14]

      Read more about Joan Borysenko and the Hoffman Process HERE.


      Keating's Atrocious Self-Serving Theology
      Man Is Fundamentally Good

      In his book Open Mind Open Heart, Keating makes three points

        1. The fundamental goodness of human nature, like the mystery of the Trinity, Grace, and the Incarnation, is an essential element of Christian faith. This basic core of goodness is capable of unlimited development; indeed, of becoming transformed into Christ and deified.

        2. Our basic core of goodness is our true Self. Its center of gravity is God. The acceptance of our basic goodness is a quantum leap in the spiritual journey.

        3. God and our true Self are not separate. Though we are not God, God and our true Self are the same thing. [15]

      I guess he must never have read any of the verses that talk about the evil in the heart of man. For example,

        "The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done."  (Genesis 8:21 NASB). And

        "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 NASB)

      Additionally, Christ Himself taught us to speak to the Father in a relational way as someone apart from ourselves and the Bible tells us that we have been adopted as children of God. Yet, once again, borrowing from Buddhist and New Age philosophy, we think we can find Him in the center of ourselves.


      What Separates Us From God?
      According to Keating, (Emphasis Added)

        The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from Him. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced. We fail to believe that we are always with God and that he is part of every reality. The present moment, every object we see, our inmost nature are all rooted in Him.  But we hesitate to believe this until personal experience gives us the confidence to believe in it. This involves the gradual development of intimacy with God...

        God's presence is available at every moment, but we have a giant obstacle in ourselves - our world view. It needs to be exchanged for the mind of Christ, for His world view. [16]

      According to Isaiah, it our sins that have separated us from God..

        Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness. (Isaiah 59:1-3 NASB)

      So you tell me, which of these two man, who flatly contradict one another, has the most God given authority and is to be believed? Note that Isaiah also gives us a couple of examples of what constitutes sin.. false witness, violence and murder, speaking wickedness, and the fact that no one calls for justice.

      Sin, the words sin or sins appear well over 600 times in the Bible. There are some 200 occurrences of iniquity or iniquities, and who knows how many occurrences of words like transgression etc which should tell us how important the subject is.. Yet, Keating mentions the word sin a mere five times and original sin about four more. But here is the kicker - in regard to sin, he instructs the reader to "cultivate a basic acceptance" of themselves and

        "Have a genuine compassion for yourself, including your past history, failings, limitations, and sins. Expect to make mistakes". [17]

      Keating has even managed to so redefine the ridiculous, unbiblical doctrine of original sin that even the most dyed-in-the wool Calvinist probably wouldn't recognize it. In his words, original sin is "A way of explaining the universal experience of coming to full reflective self-consciousness without the inner conviction or experience of unions with God". [18]

      See what the Bible says about Sin and Salvation on THIS page

      And articles on Original Sin HERE


      Keating's Misquoting of Scripture
      Denying Our Inmost' Selves?
      In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart Keating writes (Emphasis Added)

        Our participation in this educational process is what Christian tradition calls self-denial. Jesus said, "Unless you deny your inmost self and take up the cross, you cannot be my disciple. Denial of our inmost self includes detachment from the habitual functioning of our intellect and will, which are our inmost faculties." [19]

      What Jesus actually said was

         And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:34-36 NASB)

      The word 'inmost' is conspicuous by its absence.

      So the question being was Jesus referring to "detachment from the habitual functioning of our intellect and will" or denying "what we are most attached to, namely our inmost thoughts and feelings and the source from which they come, our false self" as Keating says on Pg. 124. Or, as so many commentators claim, does cross bearing necessarily have anything to do with a person carrying his own cross on his way to the place of his execution?

      The answer is neither one!

      If you read the context (there's that pesky word again) it is quite plain that Jesus' words have everything to do with not putting the world ahead of the Father and not setting ones mind on man's interests, rather than God's - as Peter did in the preceding verses. 

      People then and now tend to largely focus on themselves and their rights - the newest buzzwords in our modern world being self image, self esteem, self gratification, self empowerment, embracing one's self etc. etc. However, while there are many circumstances in which we are justified in demanding our rights, our faith demands a different mindset... it demands a willingness to deny ourselves, make sacrifices and often forgo our "rights". Becoming a disciple of Christ means to totally surrender to His will and cause - being willing to relinquish all that this world has provided, and can provide, in order to serve Him.

      Throughout His entire life our Savior demonstrated the meaning of cross-bearing. He willingly waived His rights for a lowly birth, a life of poverty continuously opposed by the religious leaders of the day.  He rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and endured the deepest shame of not only being crucified between two thieves, but actually becoming a curse. His life was essentially and definitively marked by self-denial, a willing renunciation of his rightful claims as the eternal Son of God

      Jesus and 'Psychic Energy'
      In his book Invitation to Love, Keating refers to the time Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs to preach the Gospel. In his words,

        "When they arrived back from their journeys, they exultingly proclaimed, The demons are subject to us in your name (Luke 10:20). They expected to be patted on the back. On the contrary, Jesus said,

        "Do not get excited about that kind of success. Anybody can work miracles with a little psychic energy and the divine assistance. What you should rejoice over is that your names are written in heaven." That is to say, "You have the destiny to enter the kingdom of God and to transmit the values of the kingdom to the people you love and to whom I am sending you".. [20].

      The words "psychic energy" are, quite obviously, nowhere to be found between the covers of the Bible.

      And there is more. I don't know about the disciples "destiny" to enter the kingdom, but Jesus certainly didn't commission them to transmit the values of the kingdom. Sadly, the average person thinks Jesus' main message was about love. While it is true that love figured prominently in His message, it was not the core of his proclamation and certainly wasn't what got Him crucified. Not only did Jesus never stop talking about the "kingdom of God" (a phrase is used over 50 times in the four Gospels alone), but He even said that the proclamation of the Kingdom was the reason He was sent to earth.

        But He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose." (Luke 4:43 NASB)

      There can be no doubt that the disciples continued Jesus' work - announcing the 'kingdom of Heaven' and instructing people as to how to get there.

      Unfortunately, most people, including most Christians, are absolutely in the dark about what the Scriptures mean by the phrase kingdom of God/Heaven. Even Christians who believe they will spend an eternity in "heaven", seem to have little or no idea where this heaven is, what it will look like, or what they will do there. Apparently Keating is equally uninformed See The Message of The Bible.


      Footnote I - Thomas Keating, Zen Masters and TM

      In chapter 1 of Thomas Keating's book... Intimacy With God [Pgs. 11-12], he says [Emphasis Added]

        The historical roots of Centering Prayer reach back to St. Josephs Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, where I was abbot from 1961 to 1981. This was during the time of the first wave of the renewal of religious life after the Second Vatican Council, where many questions were raised for the first time and inter religious dialogue was encouraged by the Holy See. Several of us at Spencer became acquainted with groups from other spiritual traditions who resided in our area. We invited several spiritual teachers from the Eastern religions as well as some ecumenically skilled Catholic theologians to visit and speak with us. Fr. Thomas Merton was still alive at this time and writing extensively about his researches and exchanges in inter religious dialogue. He was one of the most articulate pioneers from the Christian side in the dialogue among world religions.

        In a similar spirit we entertained a Zen master who wished to visit our monastery. We invited him to speak to the community and later to give a sesshin (a week long intensive retreat). For nine years after that, he held sesshins once or twice a year at a nearby retreat house. During those years I had the privilege of making several sesshins with him. On the occasion of his first sesshin held in our monastery, he put on the Cistercian habit and ate with us in the refectory. We have a picture of him on his seventieth birthday eating a piece of cake while sitting in the half lotus position. [Spelling of sesshin in original]

        We were also exposed to the Hindu tradition through Transcendental Meditation. Paul Marechal, a former monk of Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia, A daughter monastery had become a TM teacher and offered to instruct us in the practice. Many in the community wanted to experience it. [PLACE IN TEXT]]


      End Notes - Thomas Keating
      [01] Contemplative Outreach. Fr. Thomas Keating. http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/fr-thomas-keating

      [02] Rev. John D. Dreher. The Danger of Centering Prayer. https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=234

      [03] How Centering Prayer Began. http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/1999/12/how-centering-prayer-began.aspx

      [04] Be Still And Know I Am God - Psalm 46:10http://www.contemplativeprayer.net/

      [05] Contemplative Outreach. Fr. Thomas Keating. http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/fr-thomas-keating

      [06] M. Basil Pennington,  Thomas Keating, Thomas E. Clarke. Finding Grace at the Center Publisher: SkyLight Paths; 3 edition (March 1, 2007).. Pg. 31

      [07] The Golden Sufi Center. http://www.goldensufi.org/index2.html

      [08] Philip St. Romain. Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality. Introduction.. Publisher: lulu.com (October 9, 2012)

      [09] ibid.

      [10] Siddha Mahayoga FAQ. Version 2.0, May 1996. Copyright Kurt Keutzer, 1996.
      http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~keutzer/kundalini/siddha-mahayoga.html

      [11] John Percyval. Shaktipat. kundalini-teacher.com/initiations/shaktipat.php

      [12] Thomas Keating. Foreword to Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality by Philip St. Romain. K. Publisher: lulu.com (October 9, 2012)

      [13] Foreword to The Common Heart—An Experience of Inter-Religious Dialogue. September 20, 2006. http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/show/144

      [14] Joan Borysenko. Your Soul's Compass: What Is Spiritual Guidance? Publisher: Hay House (October 1, 2008) Pg. 5

      [15] Thomas Keating. Open Mind Open Heart -20th Anniversary Edition. Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 20th Edition edition (November 1, 2006). Chapter 12.. Guidelines for Christian Life, Growth and Transformation.

      [16] Thomas Keating. Open Mind Open Heart -20th Anniversary Edition. Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 20th Edition edition (November 1, 2006). Pg 33.

      [17] ibid. Pg 168

      [18] ibid. Pg. 189. Glossary of terms

      [19] Thomas Keating. Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition. Pg. 13.

      [20] Thomas Keating.. Invitation to Love. 20th Anniversary Edition.. Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum; 20 Anv edition (June 28, 2012).. Pg. 151

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