Sunday, May 29th, 5 PM
The Way of The Mystic: The Path of Contemplation
with Paldrom Collins and Randy Thomas
“The Mystic way is really the journey of every person who awakens to himself or herself- to the mystery, within, without and beyond us. Every one of us is a mystic. We may or may not realize it; we may not even like it. But whether we know it or not , whether we accept it or not , mystical experience is always there, inviting us on a journey of ultimate discovery. We have been given the gift of life in this perplexing world to become who we ultimately are; creatures of boundless love, caring, compassion and wisdom. Existence is a summons to the eternal journey of the sage-the sage we all are, if only we could see.” – Wayne Teasdale
“ Contemplation is not gratification and rest, but awareness, life, creativity and freedom. Creative, Dynamic, Loving Activity.” – Thomas Merton
These are the two themes we will be exploring in our Pathways gathering May 29th. The Mystic Way and the Path of Contemplation. The human experience of Mystery and the journey and yearning toward wholeness.
About our two presenters:
Though well known to our regular participants, you might not know the “deep background” of the paths Randy Thomas and Paldrom Collins have previously taken: Paldrom’s first introduction to religion was with her parents as a young child in the First Baptist church. But by the time she was in high school, her mother was studying Theosophy and her father had announced his agnosticism. She spent years seeking enlightenment first as a Tibetan Buddhist nun, then through the non-dual Advaita lineage of Ramana Maharshi. Now returning to her Christian roots, she continues to explore the truth held at the heart of all religions.
Randy has Methodist/Episcopalian roots. He has participated with 3rd Order Franciscans at San Damiano Retreat Center. He attended San Francisco Theological Seminary, undertaking 2 years in the Spiritual Direction Program there. He has attended the HESED Benedictine Urban Monastery in Oakland, and participated in the early formational meetings Of the United Religion Initiative. He helped organize and facilitate Interfaith programs at St John’s Parish, and attended Buddhists retreats and teachings presented by Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hahn, and Sogyal Rimpoche. He continues to engage in daily contemplative practice; following guidelines of centering prayer and contemplative outreach, including silence, solitude, stillness, solidarity, and service. He has been a member of Pathways since its inception.
Please RSVP if you can join us on May 29th!
Location: Bennison Residence – 2311 Walnut Blvd. Walnut Creek
Always a free event, open to everyone, but please RSVP: email@example.com Newcomers always welcome. The 2015 Calendar of Gatherings is here.
RECONCILING FALSE DIVISIONS
A Series exploring the Shared Abrahamic roots of Three Faith Traditions
Part I: Jewish Roots
A Presbyterian politician who wants to be the leader of the free world claims to have written a great book; second only to the Bible. He has promised to “protect Christianity,” and ban all Muslims outside the United States from entering. It remains unclear if he expects all radical Jihadists to self-profess at the border; instead of — say — swearing to be as Presbyterian as he is.
Beneath the superficiality of such political idiocy, an appreciative consideration of the shared Abrahamic roots of three great faith traditions might be helpful in finding ways to reconcile the false divisions that the most strident voices of ignorance seem to propagate.
This is the first in a series of commentaries that attempt in some small way to make such a modest attempt. It begins where it all began; with Jewish roots and the mythic Hebrew character of Abraham.
You can read more of what this might mean in this latest commentary Here.
In the last four decades, John Bennison has been a teacher, preacher, lecturer, trainer, carpenter, coffin builder, counselor, spiritual advisor, ethicist, writer and lyricist, musician and entertainer, assembly-line union worker, small business entrepreneur, residential real estate specialist, corporate cog and executive director of a faith-based non-profit organization.
He’s authored eight publications on faith and values, and as an ordained minister served as a parish pastor over 25 years. He earned his Doctorate from Claremont School of Theology, as well as his BA degree in philosophy and religion from Lake Forest College.
John contributes his leadership experience as Executive Director and Lead Teacher at Pathways, as he writes the Words & Ways commentaries and blogs on The Christian Progressive, engaging others everywhere in meaningful dialogue. He also volunteers as Director and President of the Mountain Shadow Film Society.
Meanwhile, John also continues to provide professional client services to buyers and sellers of residential real estate in the Bay Area area market (www.imaginecominghome.com).
Having raised two daughters, he resides with his spouse and golden retriever in Walnut Creek, California.