“As the barriers separating the religions and cultures of the world are collapsing, a new model is emerging, an intermystical, interspiritual paradigm that permits people from various traditions, or from no tradition, to explore the spiritual dimensions of any religion. More and more people find themselves rooted in one tradition while seriously investigating another.” ~ Wayne Teasdale in A Monk in the World
Today, the Community of the Mystic Heart is two years old. It began its incarnation as the Universal Order of Sannyasa, inspired by the vision that Brother Wayne Teasdale shared in his exquisite book The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions. Brother Wayne was a Catholic lay brother and in addition was a vowed renunciate (Sannyasin) in the Hindu tradition, ordained as such by his teacher/guide Fr. Bede Griffiths.
In the Mystic Heart, Brother Wayne calls for the “the creation of a civilization with a heart” through the practice of Interspirituality, which he defined as “the sharing of ultimate experience across religious traditions.” He wrote that “Interspirituality is the religion of the third millenium. It is the foundation that can prepare the way for a planet-wide enlightened culture, and a continuing community among the religions that is substantial, vital and creative.”
Lest the red flags begin unfurling, let me allow Brother Wayne to continue: “Interspirituality is not about eliminating the world’s rich diversity of religious expression. It is not about rejecting these traditions’ individuality for a homogenous superspirituality. It is not an attempt to create a new form of spiritual culture. Rather, it is an attempt to make available to everyone all the forms the spiritual journey assumes. Interspirituality as a world-changing force is made possible by the openness of people who have a viable spiritual life coupled with their determination, capacity, and commitment to the inner search across traditions.”
I’ll do another post later (or many more!) on InterSpirituality, but today I just want to remember the birth of the Community of the Mystic Heart; the upwelling and outpouring of open-hearted energy that coalesced that day into a brand new form; the coming together of a group of individuals who all hold in their hearts a resounding Yes to the call of creating a civilization with a heart and were willing to make vows to do that. May each of us find a way to respond to this call that is uniquely ours, exquisitely tailored to the gifts and longings of our own particularity as instances of the One Being made manifest. And may the Community of the Mystic Heart continue to unfold in all ways True, Good and Beautiful, in service to Life.