Non-duality and the importance of contemplative practice

Franciscan Father and contemporary mystic, Richard Rohr, was recently quoted as saying that contemplation will save our Church. I would argue that not only will it save our Church, but it will save the world.

The ultimate purpose of contemplative practice is to unite ourselves with God, with the Divine Light that permeates all things. When we meditate we move away from our ego-mind, the place where we deduce, categorize, and make distinctions between ourselves and everyone else. Meditation grants us the opportunity to experience oneness of being and oh, Lord, how we desperately need that.

In my own experience I have witnessed a Church divided, a Church so committed to maintaining the status quo that it often dismisses the actual teachings of Jesus. The teachings of radical and transformational love. The teachings of turning the other cheek, and the last shall be first. Instead, we’re time and time again stuck in the mindset of this not that and us not them. This is not Christianity. This is living with dualistic thinking as your guide, not Jesus.

The problem with dualistic thinking is that it will never get us to God, it will always drag us further away because God is whole – always everywhere and in everything, we just don’t know how to recognize Divinity. Until we realize this, that we’re the problem (i.e. not the other person), we’ll be reaching for an unattainable goal. This is why Jesus says “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Mt:37).

So why are we averse to doing the work? Because it requires us to change and who wants that? Unfortunately my dear friends, it is the only way.

But don’t forget, the harvest is plentiful! Do not fear the work, it is for your benefit.

For those who are willing to join me in transforming ourselves into vessels for Love, this is the practice:

  1. Be kind and merciful, always.
  2. Spend time alone in meditation (don’t overthink this, just sit down and be for some time everyday).
  3. Spend time in nature.
  4. Sing songs and read poetry.
  5. Move your body in a way that results in joy (e.g. dance, yoga, walking, etc…)

These practices are bound to bring you a deep sense of contentment and who knows maybe you’ll meet God 😉

So much love,


The Purpose and the Practice

Who am I, Lord? What is my purpose?

I have such a deep desire to help others in some grand way while all along I know that I must first put forth that effort into myself. I must prepare myself to be of service.

The best help I can be to others is to be example. To live the message, to live the hard work, to try and fail and try again, to keep emptying myself and allowing the love that is God to fill me until one day it is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives through me. To be this example, I must discover my gifts and hone them (as you must yours) – you MUST hone them, and this dear friends, requires discipline. 

The whole practice of honing involves stripping away excess with a blade. The process is violent and painful – this is truth. If you want to live closer to perfection, closer to your ideal, you will sacrifice – you will sacrifice wants (which sometimes even feel like needs), you will sacrifice comfort, you will sacrifice pleasure, etc… 

In the beginning, it will likely feel as though you are moving farther from others towards loneliness. But trust me sweet people, the closer you get to the Divine the more joy you will know. Joy does not come from others, it does not come from relationships, it does not come from children, it comes from God and God alone. It is the gift of honing, it is the result of using the skills, the talents you were born with to do the work of loving.

We cannot love unintentionally, Love is intentional, otherwise it is tainted with our humaneness, with our poverty, with our flaws. True love comes from deep conviction and effort. Yes to love is work, to love demands you to change, you to bend, you to concede – never the other. This is what is meant by “turn the other cheek,” “the first shall be last and the last shall be first,” “it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” You are not to be comforted or to feel comfortable, you are to LOVE!

This is why it is hard, very hard, if not close to impossible to truly live the Catholic faith. Our culture is all about the self, about getting what you need and holding on tight. Whereas, the Church’s purpose is to turn us into saints and saints are all about their neighbour. The whole point of honing your talents is to give yourself as a gift to others. It’s about taking responsibility for the state of this world by preparing yourself to serve in the best way possible.

People get so hung up on all the rules of Catholicism because they don’t want to change, they don’t want to be transformed into saints because it is really hard and requires a rejection of the ego (who is always telling us that self-preservation and satisfaction is the most important thing). This is the same reason why the Church won’t adapt to the ways of the world – the Church is not meant to make our lives easier, it is meant to show us the way to Christ-consciousness. All of the teachings are our opportunities to chisel ourselves into our best versions. Jesus very clearly tells us in John 15: 1-17 (The Vine and the Branches) that he wants us to know joy – everything he’s trying to teach us is so that our joy may be complete. This is not about suffering, Christianity is not about suffering – it’s about honing us into the joy-filled beings we are meant to become.

To be Catholic is to learn to die to yourself and be raised as an instrument of love. If everyday I’m choosing how to live and proclaiming what matters to me (consciously or not) this seems like a pretty good option. And, who knows, if it’s all true I’ll end up as joyful as can be and if not I’ll have made a bunch of other lives more bearable – either way I’ll have mattered, and isn’t that all any of us really wants?

Love, love, love,