NOTE: The Response to our altered weekend format a few days ago was so positive that the DM team has made the decision to extend the new format to weekdays as well. Thus, beginning today, we will have shorter essay meditations from Matthew Fox and longer video sharings. We hope you like this new format. And feel free to spread the word!
Yesterday we meditated on the role of creativity in our deepest or most noble selves. Meister Eckhart emphasizes that reality almost non-stop in his writings. To be god-like is to give birth—“What does God do all day long? God lies on a maternity bed giving birth,” he teaches. And “God is always needing to be born.” What we give birth to is nothing less than the Godself, the Christ, the image of God, what can also be called the Buddha nature.
Giving birth, as most mothers can attest to, is not an easy task. Not only are there many months of gestation that are often inconvenient and trying, the actual birth can be an excruciating ritual. But, as Jesus observed, the suffering gives way to the joy of birthing a new being in the world.
Shamans know this same rhythm, how death and woundedness can give birth to breakthroughs and new awareness and new powers. The shaman becomes, then, a wounded healer.
We might pose the question today: Might the deep suffering of our world today—the coronavirus, climate change, extinctions and threats of extinctions, the disappointments of democracies—be gestations our species is going through in anticipation of a new birth? A wake-up call for humankind? Is this why prophets like Thomas Berry say we need more shamans today (and fewer priests and fewer professors)?
With these questions in mind, Buddhist scholar and teacher of shamanism, Isa Gucciardi and myself are offering a Teach-In on Shamanism in our respective traditions this weekend. Hope you join us! See below for details.
See Matthew Fox, Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart;
and Matthew Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart
and Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet
and David Chethlahe Paladin, Foreword by Matthew Fox, Painting the Dream: The Shamanic Life and Art of David Chethlahe Paladin
Banner Image: “Shamanic Journey” Collage by Angela Marie Henriette on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you sense a deeper purpose afoot in the sufferings and challenges of our time?
Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet
Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow. Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Living in Sin
Painting the Dream: The Shamanic Life and Art of David Chethlahe Paladin
By David Chethlahe Paladin, Foreword by Matthew Fox
A glimpse into the remarkable life and visionary artwork of spiritual artist and activist David Chethlahe Paladin. Looks at the spiritual traditions surrounding the images that Paladin features in his art. Discusses the importance of Paladin’s shamanic history in the creation of his artwork. Features commentaries by Matthew Fox and others on Paladin’s life and art.
Join us for a Virtual Teach-in with Isa Gucciardi and Matthew Fox, hosted by Rev. Cameron Trimble.
August 13-14, 2021 (Fri-Sat)
Shamanism in Buddhism and Christianity
Session 1: Friday, August 13 at 4pm-6pm PT
Session 2: Saturday, August 14 at 9am-12pm PT
Session 3: Saturday, August 14 at 12:30pm-2:30pm PT