The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Quote for today


Well, besides my usually short quote…let me quote today, from the CAC newsletter…of Roman Catholic priest Richard Rohr:

Practice: A Long, Loving Look

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. —Romans 12:2

Be renewed in the spirit of your minds. . . . —Ephesians 4:23–24

Nondual or contemplative consciousness is about receiving and being present to the moment and to the Now, exactly as it is, without splitting or dividing it, without judgment, analysis, negative critique, mental commentary, liking, or disliking; without resistance; and even without registering your preferences.
In other words, your mind, heart, soul, and senses are open and receptive to the moment, just as it is. That allows you to say, “Just this,” and love things in themselves, as themselves, and by themselves, regardless of how they benefit or make demands on you. Is there any other way to really love anything?

You gradually learn to hold everything—attractive and non-attractive alike—together in one accepting gaze. This is divine seeing. Contemplation has been well-described as “a long, loving look at the Real.” Contemplata in Latin means to gaze at something eagerly or with intense interest. Note that it is a deep looking more than a knee-jerk thinking (which is not really thinking at all, but usually narcissistic reacting).

Contemplative consciousness is a whole new mind! It is a different “software and processing system” than most Westerners typically develop on our own, so we must be taught how to see in this way.

Contemplation is another word for prayer, a kind of prayer that doesn’t seek to fix, control, or explain but surrenders to Presence and synthesizes the full reality, “warts and all.” Contemplative practice is an exercise in humiliation as we come to see the repetition and power of our thoughts. We realize that our thinking brain can’t help us understand or experience the deep, significant things in life like love, suffering, death, infinity, or God.

The mystics of all the world’s great religions understood that what I call the “calculative” or dualistic mind cannot access God. Contemplative consciousness leads to compassion and loving, which is the way to God. Here’s how the Muslim mystic Shams-ud-din Mohammed Hafiz (1320–1389) put it:

Pulling out the chair
Beneath your mind
And watching you fall upon God—
There is nothing else for Hafiz to do
That is any fun in this world! [1]

[1] Daniel Ladinsky, inspired by Hafiz, “Laughter,” I Heard God Laughing: Poems of H
ope and Joy (Penguin: 2006), 65. Used with permission.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Just This (CAC Publishing: 2017), 29-30; and Contemplation and Action: An Informal Session of Questions, Responses and Teachings, disc 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2009), MP3 download.

Image credit: Dancers in Green and White Dresses, Vinicius Vilela.

For Further Study:

Cynthia Bourgeault, The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice (Shambhala: 2016)

James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (HarperSanFrancisco: 2004)
Barbara A. Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church, 2nd edition (Fortress Press: 2017)

Thomas Keating, From the Mind to the Heart (Temple Rock Company: 2017)

Richard Rohr, Contemplation and Action: An Informal Session of Questions, Responses and Teachings (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2009), MP3 download

Richard Rohr and Laurence Freeman, Transforming the World through Contemplative Prayer (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2013), CD, MP3 download


“The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.”-- Dudley Moore


“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow-


This is from today’s Sunil Bali Blog.

At the age of 21, Todd Rose was a high-school dropout struggling to support his wife and two small children. He was on state benefits and had worked his way through ten minimum wage jobs in two years.


Todd remembers his report cards at school which had a common thread and read, “He’s a little hyperactive and finds it difficult to fit in.”

One day when he was at a very low ebb, blaming his school and teachers for his misfortune, Todd’s father – who had worked his way up from tea boy and floor cleaner to mechanical engineer – gave him some life changing advice:

“I’ve lived with you for 21 years Todd. You’re not lazy or stupid. You’re just fine the way you are, you don’t need fixing . You just need to find something that really interests you and someone to teach it to you.” His dad’s words hit home so he enrolled in a series of human biology classes at his local college.

Todd found the psychology classes gripping, not least because he realized that school had not worked out because he was outside the range of the average, normal student and as such, not catered for.

The reality is that no one is actually completely average and has at least one skill or talent, be that as yet undeveloped, which is well above average.

In a world that has perpetuated the cult of the average and valued sameness, conformity is losing its grip on the reins as authenticity and exceptions rule.

There’s one thing that you’re a world champion at. No one does it better than you. You’re the best at being you. And when you’re being your best self, your world will transform from a round hole to the shape of your square peg.

Ps. Todd is now 42 years old and Professor of Education at Harvard.


Dear Zombie: I appreciate your quotes and this story (why don’t you post it on the story link as well)>>>hint, hint.

“Grace doesn’t sell; you can hardly even give it away, because it works only for losers and no one wants to stand in their line.” - Robert Farrar Capon-


I can take a hint! Consider it done! :smile:

“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”-- Barbara Hall




“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”-- Claudia Ghandi


“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.”-- Bob Hope


"It’s not about us inviting Jesus into our hearts.

It’s about us coming to see that He’s already included us in His."


How do you make God laugh?


Tell Him your plan.

Are our broadest hopes broad enough? Shall there be a nook or abyss, in all the universe of God, finally unlightened by the Cross? Shall there be a sin, or sorrow, or pain unhealed? Is the very universe, is creation in all its extent, a field wide enough for the Son of God?


“Give them not hell, but hope and courage. Preach the everlasting love of God.”– John Murray

"The fact remains—we are God’s offspring, created from a foundation of goodness that has gone wrong. History since the Garden is the gradual story of how God is slowly putting that wrongness right…and will continue to do so. " – Michael Phillips

“For myself I can say, that if there is a God, and he is such a being as [the Universalist] describes, I can bow before him and give him all my heart. He says God is love, made the world in love, and in perfect wisdom, and well adapted to serve the divine purpose. He then made a family, all of them have sinned, and some of them have fallen very low, but God is determined, according to [the Universalist], to stand by His family, every one of them, let come what will come, till he makes all of them respectable. This standing by His family, as every true Father ought to do, is what I like in [the Universalist’s]idea of God. But if there is a God, and he has created a family and will at last turn against most of them, and in burning wrath cast them into Hell forever, as [traditional Christianity] describe(s), I should hate him—he is not as good as I am, for I propose to stand by my family and every member of it for as long as I live. It is an insult to ask me to love and worship a God who is guilty of doing what we would detest in an earthly father.” – Robert Ingersoll


“Learning to love yourself is like learning to walk – essential, life-changing, and the only way to stand tall.”-- Vironika Tugaleva


Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re blocking your own blessings by holding onto the past or thinking negatively. Start letting go."-- Author Unknown


A Zen master was transiting to the other world, the disciples wanted her to say her parting message to the world, she said thrice, Attention, Attention, Attention, and then left her body. If this electronic age has taken away anything from us, it is attention. We have too many things to do, too many devices to juggle with, too much information to digest and too much vain thinking to do. But the nectar of life is to be found only through attention which is the very heart of meditation, to be born to the moment and enjoy every little chore of life as a soulful celebration.~~Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari


“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” -A.W. Tozer-


“We change the world not by what we say or do, but as a consequence of what we have become.”-- Dr. David Hawkins


“In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!”-- Mehmet Murat ildan


“Salvation is not just something God gives you that is going to bless you after you die, it is having the presence of the Lord now.” -John G. Lake-


“What we do in the crisis always depends on whether we see the difficulties in the light of God, or God in the shadow of the difficulties.” -G. Campbell Morgan-