Living the Creation Story

"In the later Christian tradition, the practice of living the creation story survived on the fringes of empire in the writings of Celtic and European Christian mystics like Pelagius, John Scotus Eriugena, and Meister Eckhart. The view of the creation story as an actual spiritual practice (rather than simply a decorative theme) takes absolute center stage in both Jewish and Islamic mysticism (Kabbalah and Sufism respectively). . . .

"I believe the actual practice of this meditation can prove just as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago, when people started to write it down in Jesus' time. It shows us an imminent rather than a detached divinity. It cultivates a sense of wholeness as opposed to separation. It can build a bridge of peace between the three religions of the Middle East. It can affirm a radically different view of life in a world that looks to save its ecosystem and rediscover an authentic connection to the sacred."
The Genesis Meditations: A Shared Practice of Peace for Christians, Jews, and Muslims


"When Western Christianity made the choices it did fifteen hundred or so years ago, it not only created theological creeds that limited the support for individual spiritual experience, but it also weakened the links between humanity, nature, and the divine. The tendency to limit diversity in spiritual experience also carried over to the limitation and control of the natural world, for the purposes of advancing what we call civilization. Now many of us have begun to question just what sort of civilization it is that has brought us to the brink of ecological disaster.

"From a Middle Eastern point of view, if the divine is truly 'Unity,' then the particular evolution of Western Christianity must have been for a particular purpose. This includes the difficulties it has had contacting its original, earth-based, Middle Eastern roots and the tragic results of these difficulties. Until now, the 'hidden Gospel' has lain buried deep within the Western psyche, perhaps awaiting just this moment to be discovered. As we unearth this real treasure, I believe we will discover the missing link to our collective Western soul and find the solutions to the problems that confront us in the world today."
The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus

Jesus and the Unexpected

"In many Sufi stories, a dervish shocks those around him into looking at life completely differently. The Sufis tell many stories like this about Jesus, whom they call 'the breath of God' and revere as a great dervish:

" 'One day Jesus was walking with his disciples when they saw a dead dog up ahead. The disciples wanted to pass on the other side, since the dog was considered unclean. But Jesus made them stop in front of it and look. Then he commented: 'Look how beautifully white its teeth are!'

"Here Jesus forces his students to ignore meaningless superstition and find something totally unexpected — the reflection of divine light — in what they would otherwise have avoided."
The Sufi Book of Life: 99 Pathways of the Heart for the Modern Dervish


"Center again in the heart. Any doorway into this pathway is a good place to start, but they all start and end in the heart. As you walk down the street, begin to look outside of your own envelope of concerns and to-do lists. Look around for things for which to be thankful, and people who are expressing their own unique melodies and fragrances in life. In this way, gradually enter the 'secret rose garden.'

"During a midday break, imagine your own heart as a garden of beauty and invite in the various forces of the inner self. As each enters, welcome and thank them. Then, with your feeling of your inner community united in the only 'I Am,' look outward and thank your friends, family, community and all beings."
The Sufi Book of Life: 99 Pathways of the Heart for the Modern Dervish