The Perennial Tradition

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM ~ Center for Action and Contemplation 


The things I teach come from a combination of inner and outer authority, drawn from personal experience and a long lineage of the “perennial tradition” as Aldous Huxley, Huston Smith, Ken Wilber, and many others have called it. I don’t believe God expects us to start from zero and reinvent the wheel of faith in our one small lifetime. Thankfully, we can each participate in the “communion of saints,” and draw upon the force field of the Holy Spirit. The Great Tradition, the perennial philosophy, has developed through the ages, and is an inherited gift.

The Perennial Tradition points to recurring themes and truths within all of the world’s religions. At their most mature level, religions cultivate in their followers a deeper union with God, with each other, and with reality—or what is. The work of religion is to re-ligio—re-ligament or reunite what our egos and survival instincts have put asunder, namely a fundamental wholeness at the heart of everything. My calling (and the CAC’s work in the last twenty-nine years) has been to retrieve and reteach the wisdom that has been lost, ignored, or misunderstood within the Judeo Christian Tradition. Any truth that keeps recurring and gathers humanity’s positive energy is called wisdom and most assuredly has to be from the One Holy Spirit.

Gateway to Silence:
Keep me in Your truth.

[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture As Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2007), 4. This is much of the theme of the entire book, in which I try to “connect the dots” pointing toward love.


Adyashanti ~ The Art of Listening

During one of his silent meditation days, Adyashanti leads this guided meditation that focuses on stillness, listening, and using your breath as a guide. By sitting down for meditation, you are accepting the commitment to just be still. As you rest into your being and your body rests into stillness, your mind can adjust to this new environment and relax into its true nature. From this depth of stillness and deep listening, your natural state of awareness is recognized as always available. Adyashanti invites you into this state of deep availability to notice the already existing stillness that underscores every moment.


Nothing is left but a blessing

This affirmation is one of my mantras: nothing is left but a blessing. This is the true meaning of forgiveness. See only what is beautiful and true and good. Release the negativity. Every moment becomes a sacred moment, every thought a sacred thought, every feeling a sacred feeling. Your whole life becomes a testimony to the presence of the Holy Spirit. The world is imperfect, but when you see it with the eyes of Spirit, you will see perfection, oneness and holiness in the heart everything. The eyes of the body see only the plane of duality, but the eyes of the Spirit see the plane of nonduality, the all-embracing and omnipresent unity of the Divine. All your past is gone, except its beauty. You do not have to be a genius to understand that. You do not have to be a morally perfect saint. You do not have to be a special and chosen person. Only one thing is required: your yes to the presence of love and your truthful surrender. Jesus said, “You are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48) But you cannot be perfect by your own performance and by your own terms. You can only be perfected through the work of the Spirit and his vision, his way of seeing that transforms you, that penetrates your soul and heart with the truth of Divine Unity. Come with all your brokenness. Come with all your so-called sins and mistakes.

If you have broken your vows a thousand time, come again. Come with your darkness, your fear and hopelessness, and give it to the light and love of the Spirit. He will translate every illusion into truth. He translates every curse into a blessing, every problem into a promise and every brokenness into wholeness. Wholeness is perfection is holiness and this is the gift of the Creator to you. Your true nature. The Spirit does not come to judge you, but to save you from the spell of illusion and to reveal to you your True Self: „You are My beloved Son. On You my favor rests.“ (Mark 1:11) this is his only message, his only song, his only dance, his only joy and bliss. Allow your true nature, your true and deepest self, the natural presence of awareness, to express itself effortlessly through you in alignment with the flow of the Spirit. Allow yourself to relax into forgiveness, peace and clarity.

© mark david vinzens

Seeds of Contemplation: “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come , come.” ~ Jalaluddin Rumi


The Loss of the Sacred and a Prayer for the Earth

By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Working with Oneness


When an individual loses contact with the light of their soul, when its embers are covered, almost extinguished, that person loses the opportunity for spiritual evolution. They remain imprisoned in their patterns of behavior, in their own ego or instinctual self. Life continues, but an essential ingredient that gives meaning is lost. And what happens to an individual could also happen to the whole planet, if we lose touch with what is sacred, if we no longer care for the planet with the love and prayers it needs, with the rituals known to our ancestors. Traditionally the individual is the microcosm of the whole, the lesser Adam to the greater Adam of the whole Earth. And just as we are called to look after our own soul, our own sacred self, so life calls us to be guardians of the sacred within creation. But for centuries we have been ignoring this calling, until our present time when we can hardly hear the cry of the Earth in its time of need.

And so the world is dying, dying both from our industrial exploitation, the toxins of our culture, the loss of species, and also dying from the loss of the sacred. This inner and outer devastation walk hand in hand into the abyss we are facing, even as we continue to forget. And while we can see the signs of our environmental plundering, the inner ravages of the soul and the world soul, the anima mundi, go unnoticed. We have forgotten how to read the signs—we have forgotten the language of the soul.

So I am left with the question that keeps haunting me: what will it take for us to awaken, and more important, what will it take for the world to awaken, for the song of creation to be heard once again? In that song all of life becomes alive in a new way, joy and meaning can return to the ravaged landscapes of the soul.

My own journey has taken me across many seas, to shores of light, landscapes of love. There mystery, beauty, and the sacred are part of what is natural, what is fully alive. Yet always I return to the physical world, to the ground under my feet. And I find myself with the simple question: how can we reclaim its wonder, this sense of the sacred? What pathways do we need to walk, what sacrifices do we need to make, to find again what is so essential? What is the prayer that is a real response to the cry of the Earth? If we can hear the cry of the Earth, feel this grief in our soul, then something in our heart opens. We are not separate from the Earth, her loss is our loss, her cry our cry. Our heart becomes the Earth’s prayer that calls, and love the response to that call. We are drawn back to the simple human values of love and care—love and care for the Earth and its myriad inhabitants. More and more I believe that small things with love are what are needed—acts rooted in loving kindness—because it is in these qualities that the soul is present, and only when the soul is present can miracles happen, can magic come alive, and prayers be answered.[2] And love is the greatest force in creation.

Only our love for the Earth can heal what we have devastated, redeem the inner and outer wasteland we have made through our greed and forgetfulness. It may seem too simple and idealistic, an inadequate response to the realities of ecological devastation. But love and prayer can reawaken the sacred within creation, make the ground under our feet both whole and holy. We cannot heal what we have ravaged only through science and technology, though they can help.[3] But first we need to remember and return to what is sacred, to the hidden music of creation—the heartbeat of the world. Only then will our actions be in harmony with all of life, its interconnected web, and so help both humanity and the planet return into balance. Then the Earth can reawaken as the living, spiritual being it really is, and begin the work of healing itself. It can share with us its deep wisdom. We will learn to work together with the forces within nature and life’s deepest purpose.

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Working with Oneness