Contemplative Spirituality Comes to Modern Day Christianity

Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but is often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

How did this non-biblical practice enter the evangelical church?

In the mid-seventies three monks wanted to bring contemplative prayer to Christianity. This is how they did it.»

"They invited to the abbey ecumenically oriented Catholic theologians, an Eastern Zen master, Joshu Roshi Sasaki, who offered week long retreats on Buddhist meditation, and a former Trappist, Paul Marechal, who taught transcendental meditation. The interaction between these Christian monks and practitioners of Eastern meditation helped distill the practice of Christian contemplative prayer into a form that could be easily practiced by a diverse array of "non-monastic" believers: priests, nuns, brothers and lay men and women." by Joseph G. Sandman (America Magazine 9/9/00)

For the whole story, click here.

Also see a meeting that took place in 1977.

The Gethsemani Encounter 1996

The Gethsemani Encounter II (2002)

Unity? ... At What Cost?
In Richard Foster's Streams of Living Water, he says the following with regard to his vision for "a great gathering of the people of God:"
"I see a Catholic monk from the hills of Kentucky standing alongside a Baptist evangelist ... I see a people." The "hills of Kentucky" is the Gethsemane Abbey.

Buddhism: Doorway to Contemplative Spirituality

The Gethsemani Encounter

In July of 1996 Buddhist and Christian leaders, teachers and practitioners met at the Abbey of Gethsemani in the Kentucky Hills to participate in dialogue on the spiritual life. The Gethsemani Encounter included dialogue from Christians and Buddhists attending. The Dahli Lama wrote a book about this encounter called Spiritual Advice for Buddhists and Christians.

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