This is a hybrid presentation being conducted both in person at The Center for Contemplative Living in Denver, CO and Online via Zoom videoconference. Breakfast snacks and a light lunch will be provided for in-person participants. In-person participation is limited to 100 people and is subject to COVID requirements listed below.
What do Father Keating’s teachings have to offer us in the 21st Century? In an initial talk, Adam Bucko will set the stage for our time together by first looking to the past. How can we understand Centering Prayer’s connections to the historical structures and frameworks of the Christian tradition, and what do these structures of contemplative spirituality have to offer us today? Looking forward, what might we need to add or subtract from these structures to develop a robust contemplative life in the 21st century? How do the challenges we face today differ, as well as overlap, from those in the past? And how can Centering Prayer address the challenges of a broken world in which our contemporary journeys are embedded?
Rory McEntee will follow up Adam’s talk with reflections on interspiritual dimensions of Father Keating’s teachings and contemplative life. How might the two major projects of Fr. Keating’s later life, the Centering Prayer movement and the interspiritual “Snowmass Conferences,” come together? What might be gleamed for the Centering Prayer movement from this other half of Fr. Keating’s (inter)spiritual work in the world? Is an openness to other ways of being spiritual and/or religious necessary for contemplative lives in the 21st century? If so, what is a proper way of orienting ourselves within such openness? Answering such questions leads us beyond tolerance for other religious traditions towards an abiding love for them, as Fr. Keating often spoke of. For some, it may even lead to a deep engagement in our contemplative lives with those outside the boundaries of traditional Christianity, even while remaining anchored to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In a final session, Adam and Rory will lead a dialogue around “new monasticism,” engaging one another as well as the audience. They will look back at their co-authored book from 2015, The New Monasticism: An Interspiritual Manifesto for Contemplative Living, and discuss what still feels relevant, and what has changed since then. As new monasticism aims to translate practices from monastic and other contemplative traditions into modern lives, as well as broaden ideas of what ‘total commitment’ to a contemplative life looks like, it resonates strongly with the Centering Prayer movement. Our hope is this discussion will lead to a robust Q&A dialogue with conference participants around the most pressing questions in our contemplative journeys today.
About Rory McEntee, PhD
Rory is an author, scholar, educator, and contemplative activist. As a close friend and mentee of the late Brother Wayne Teasdale, Rory helped to found the Interspiritual Movement, traveling and participating in dialogues with world spiritual leaders, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis. Rory served as administrator for the Snowmass InterSpiritual Dialogues—a 30-year project convened by Father Thomas Keating, engaging contemplative leaders from multiple faiths in intimate dialogue and contemplative practice.
As a leader in the new monastic movement, Rory is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Charis Foundation for New Monasticism & Interspirituality, which supports various projects in interspirituality and new monasticism, including the “Future of Religion and InterSpirituality” Dialogues, Charis Circles, Charis Meditation training, HeartFire Festivals, the Thomas Keating Interspiritual Seminars, and Charis InterSpiritual Formation Program.
As a scholar, Rory has done doctoral work in Applied Mathematics at the University of Southern California and has a PhD in Theological and Philosophical Studies in Religion from Drew University. His current research and writing concentrates on questions of democracy, contemplative spirituality, university life, religion, decolonial practice, and social justice. Rory also has interests in evolutionary theory, the nature of language, mysticism, consciousness studies, and philosophy. Rory teaches at Drew University, facilitates contemplative retreats around the U.S. and internationally, is co-author of The New Monasticism: An Interspiritual Manifesto for Contemplative Living (with Adam Bucko, Orbis Books, 2015), and has published many essays on interspirituality, new monasticism, and the academic discipline of “theology without walls.” In the past, Rory served as a teacher, department head, and vice-principal in secondary education. You might catch him snowboarding, traveling the globe, playing basketball, or meditating on any given day.
About Adam Bucko
The Rev. Adam Bucko has been a committed voice in the movement for the renewal of Christian Contemplative Spirituality and the growing New Monastic movement. He has taught engaged contemplative spirituality in Europe and the US and co-authored two books: Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation and The New Monasticism: An Interspiritual Manifesto for Contemplative Living. Committed to an integration of contemplation and just practice, he co-founded an award-winning non-profit, the Reciprocity Foundation, where he spent 15 years working with homeless youth living on the streets of New York City, providing spiritual care, developing programs to end youth homelessness and articulating a vision for spiritual mentoring in a post-religious world. He currently serves as a director of The Center for Spiritual Imagination at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, New York, and is a member of “The Community of the Incarnation,” a ‘new monastic’ community dedicated to democratizing the gifts of monastic spirituality and teaching contemplative spirituality, in the context of hearing and responding to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth.
Recording Note: All registrants will receive a copy of the Zoom recording link for a period of 30 days. This recording will be available within 2 weeks of the event. A professionally edited audio or video recording will be available for permanent purchase from Broadlands Media beginning May 1, 2023. More information will be provided when available.