In this blog, based on the podcast, I want to talk about one of my favorite humans–Richard Rohr. First, a little about him:

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan friar, author, and speaker known for his work on spirituality. Born in 1943 in Kansas, he joined the Franciscans in the early 1960s and was ordained to the priesthood in 1970. Rohr is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he advocates for a balance between contemplative practice and social activism. His teachings focus on themes like the divine nature within every individual, spiritual growth, and “second-half-of-life” spirituality. Some of his notable books include ‘The Universal Christ,’ ‘Falling Upward,’ and ‘Breathing Under Water.’ He remains influential for his inclusive approach to faith and his challenge to traditional Christian frameworks.

Mysticism Beyond Boundaries

Richard Rohr is known in the mysticism world for his ability to reach people of various spiritual backgrounds. A Franciscan friar and respected author, he takes a distinctive approach to spirituality by focusing on the divine nature within each person and the transformative journey of the soul. In books like ‘The Universal Christ’ and ‘Falling Upward,’ Rohr encourages readers to deepen their understanding of faith and the divine. He emphasizes the importance of second-half-of-life spirituality, where embracing uncertainties and life’s paradoxes leads to growth. By promoting personal discovery and blending action with contemplation, Rohr breaks down religious divisions and encourages a shared journey that connects people to the sacred reality around them.

The Transformative Power of Contemplative Practice

Insights from the Living School

The Living School, founded by Richard Rohr, brings together prominent spiritual teachers like Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and James Finley. Their collective knowledge guides students through various practices that deepen spiritual awareness. From centering prayer and silent meditation to exploring sacred texts, their teachings provide different pathways for spiritual seekers, allowing each individual to find a practice that resonates with them.

Practices to Deepen Stillness and Awareness

  • Centering Prayer: A form of silent meditation where students are encouraged to gently focus their minds on the divine, helping them find inner stillness.
  • Silent Meditation: In guided sessions, students sit in silence to quiet the mind, encouraging greater self-awareness and clarity.
  • Studying Spiritual Texts: By delving into key spiritual writings, students reflect on timeless truths and apply them to their daily lives.

Cultivating Purpose and Connection

These practices create a calm space where people can step back from daily distractions and focus inward. This stillness often leads to greater self-awareness and compassion, helping individuals understand themselves and the world more deeply. Insights from these practices offer a renewed sense of purpose and connection that fosters empathy and nurtures a shared human experience.

Diverse Teachings for Personal Growth

The Living School provides a range of teachings to suit different spiritual seekers. Whether someone is looking for contemplative exercises, theological exploration, or ways to blend action with contemplation, the school’s inclusive approach allows individuals to find a practice that best supports their growth. Students are empowered to embrace practices that resonate with their unique spiritual journeys, promoting personal transformation and interconnectedness with others.

Embracing Diversity in Faith

Recognizing Spiritual Wealth

Embracing diversity in faith means recognizing the spiritual richness that exists across different beliefs, practices, and religious expressions. Each tradition offers unique insights into the divine and the human journey, providing valuable perspectives that can enhance our understanding of spirituality.

Challenging Us to Appreciate Differences

By welcoming diverse religious perspectives, we challenge ourselves and our communities to respect and value the wide range of spiritual experiences that shape human understanding of the divine. This approach fosters an inclusive environment where open dialogue and mutual learning can flourish.

Creating Space for Dialogue and Growth

When people feel safe to share and learn from different spiritual traditions, we collectively grow, deepening our respect for each other’s beliefs. This exchange creates space for personal transformation and builds empathy, helping us to see the common threads that connect us all.

Broadening Horizons and Promoting Unity

Embracing religious diversity broadens our spiritual horizons, opening us up to new ways of thinking. It nurtures unity and empathy in a world often divided by different convictions, helping us find common ground despite our differences.

Building a Compassionate Global Community

By honoring the unique contributions of various faiths, we pave the way for a more interconnected and compassionate global community. Embracing diversity fosters understanding and encourages us to celebrate the rich mosaic of spiritual traditions that enrich our world.

How do you feel about this sense of spirituality and community? Would you like to see it in other religious spaces? How could members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints bring in and experience more of this?

Additional Resources