Richard Rohr met with participants of a Center for Action and Contemplation 9-day internship program to respond to their questions and give a succinct teaching on the meaning and importance of contemplation in our everyday lives. This session was sent worldwide on a special simultaneous webcast.
Topics brought up in the question period include:
Why is it so difficult to be fully present?
How can one be present to another person while, at the same time, maintaining the "inner witness" or "observer"?
What is salvation?
Why is the word "and" so important in the name of your organization, the Center for Action and Contemplation?
How do we attract young people to contemplative prayer?
How do we overcome the internal blockages to awareness that keep us from seeing?
How do we deal with expectations?
What about Absolute Truth?
What is "liminal space"?
What is evil?
In the final section, Richard shares his vision of contemplation. He states that this is the heart of the matter, because it's the changing of consciousness, and changing how we enter into communion with God, ourselves, and with the present moment. Without the contemplative mind, all we say about social change and social justice will not happen. If we can't deal with the inevitable hurts, we will opt out. Contemplation helps us "opt in"; it is "thinking without thinking."
Production date: 2009.