In this excerpt from their full video conversation, Father Thomas and Cynthia explore their experience of spirit evolving in ways that are often hard to predict. Even in our darkest times, individually or culturally, the notion that spirit is up to something we don’t quite yet understand brings a new understanding to what is unfolding in the world.
In this case, it is the unexpected re-emergence of Christian contemplative method in the 1970’s within Catholic monastic orders. Father Thomas recounts his own journey, as the Chinese invasion of Tibet propels the interior teachings and practice of Tibetan Buddhism to the West. The work of Christian teachers like Thomas Merton and Father Keating, contemplative Christian prayer re-emerges particularly in young people looking for spiritual experience rather than dogma and liturgy of the traditional church. Christianity has a long history of interior practice beginning with Jesus and carried forward by Christian mystics. The reforms of Vatican II allows this interior practice to emerge and also gives permission for leaders like Father Thomas to engage in spiritual dialogues with other traditions like Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.