Neil Douglas-Klotz is an independent scholar of religious studies, spirituality, and psychology with a specialty in the Aramaic Christian, Jewish mystical, and Sufi traditions. He is the author of Prayers of the Cosmos, The Hidden Gospel, and The Genesis Meditations. On this top-drawer audio retreat, seven and one-half hours on six CDs, he discusses the meaning and healing powers of the Beatitudes as taught and enfleshed by Jesus.
In twelve sessions, Douglas-Klotz enables listeners to connect with this native mystic of the Middle East whose use of Aramaic gave "the Beatitude Way" special significance beyond the ideas and ideals we usually connect with the King James Version of these sayings. The Beatitudes are more than just nice aphorisms, they reveal Jesus' way of doing embodied prayer. According to Douglas-Klotz, breath, sound, and movement were always part of his openness to "Alaha" Sacred Unity, the ground of reality. While listening to these sessions, the listener can try 24 body prayers that give further access to the Beatitudes and their healing powers.
In a six-page study guide, Douglas-Klotz presents more information on the words of Jesus, connecting with the consciousness of Jesus, a note on pronunciation, and much more. For the CD sessions, he identifies a theme in each of the Beatitudes: the first is about finding one's home in the breath; the second, working with grief and confusion; the third, receiving the healing strength of nature; the fourth, welcoming home the exiled voices; the fifth, a rebirth of love; the sixth, following your passion; the seventh, planting peace with each footstep; the eighth and ninth, the challenges of being healed. Along the way, there are plenty of illuminating discussions of such diverse material as the worldview of Jesus' time, the meaning of the soul, Jesus as Sophia or Holy Wisdom, meditations on peace and on the Cosmos, catching the "prophetic spirit," and the reward of heaven that can be savored here and now.
This audio program is an extraordinary devotional experience. It is highly recommended for all those who are yearning for a fresh exposure to Jesus that incorporates meditation, chanting, music, and song. Anyone familiar with Sufi spiritual practice will be pleased that Douglas-Klotz has integrated some of the stories and rituals from this mystical path into The Healing Breath, making it a multifaith masterwork.