In 1967, Thomas Merton traveled to Thailand, seeking to further the Buddhist-Christian dialogue that was his passion. This beloved Trappist monk and explorer of the inner life died unexpectedly that trip, but not before writing a final letter to his brothers at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. In the letter, Merton wrote that he now realized that everything he had been searching for could be found at his own hermitage, within the Christian tradition.
It is in this spirit, with respect for all faiths, that James Finley offers Christian Meditation, an audio retreat about the fundamental practices at the heart of Christianity's own unique meditation tradition.
Beyond the Closed Horizon of the Ego
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to.
Enter the Cloud of Unknowing
Beginning with an overview of the Christian contemplative tradition and its historical roots, and complete with step-by-step instructions about how to progress in your own practice, Finley offers a personal retreat experience for you to practice along with, at your own pace. In 12 complete sessions and more than seven hours of basic instruction with the beginner in mind, James Finley guides you along this path of awakening, in order to glimpse the infinite union that holds the secret of who we really are. This state of awakened consciousness, referred to by an anonymous Christian mystic as the cloud of unknowing, is held in common by the world's great wisdom traditions, both Eastern and Western.
Meditation has the power to reveal to us the surprising nearness of God, Finley teaches. As you expand your meditation practice, in concert with your faith, you will find that these divine moments come more often, until you are finally awakened to your own deepest self, one with Christ, with James Finley's Christian Meditation.
Learn more about:
- Christian meditation—its history, traditions, and root practices
- Where life's needless complexity comes from
- Faith in Christ—the foundation of Christian meditation
- Poverty of speech and the sacred silence of meditation
- The arenas of daily life, and how meditation can enrich them
- How to move beyond the tyranny of the past and change it to the truth of the present moment
- Vulnerability—its your key to attaining grace
- The present moment and the eternal now, beyond time
- Insights from the Christian symbols in William Faulkner's short story The Bear
- Awakening, suffering, and the Pearl of Great Price
- The three principles for a contemplative life, and how to practice them
- A way of seeing that sets us free from our egos
- Guidelines for correct posture, breathing, and getting started
- More than seven hours of teachings, practices, and meditations in the Christian tradition