Amidst a time of confusion, change and disruption, we envision a rising up of young people who find their true identity and purpose. Fueled by a deep connection to each other and our world led by the life and teachings of Jesus we believe we can overcome this difficult time by practicing compassionate action for the healing of ourselves and our world.
Many equate it to prayer or meditation. You might be surprised, however, to discover that you can practice contemplation while mindfully washing dishes, singing, being with a friend, or walking in a park. Contemplation is simply being fully present—in heart, mind, and body—to what is in a way that allows you to creatively respond and work toward what could be.
Contemplation is both personal and communal, internal and external. It helps us let go of our usual, self-focused way of thinking and doing things so that our compassionate, connected, and creative self can emerge. Through contemplation we develop the capacity to witness our egoic motivations, bringing this awareness into our day-to-day actions and living with increased freedom and authenticity through deeper awareness of our self and God’s Self.
Contemplative prayer, remaining silently and openly in God’s presence, rewires our brains to think with compassion, kindness, and a lack of attachment to the ego’s preferences. We begin to move beyond language and experience God as Mystery. We let go of our need to judge, defend, or evaluate, plugging into the mind of Christ which welcomes paradox and knows its true identity in God.
The deepest truths can’t be grasped at the level of intellect. Christianity can’t just be based on beliefs. It only becomes authentic and transformative through experience and practice, when head, heart, and body are all open and receptive. From this open-hearted stance you learn to hold the tension of paradox, allow space for questions and unknowing, let go of unhelpful beliefs, and change the way you live in the world.
We want to take action and make a difference in our world. We are rooted in the Christian tradition that believes in seeking the good life and justice for all people no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Transformative outward action in our world requires a centered inner life. We center ourselves on the teachings of Jesus who we believe came to show humanity a new way to interact with the divine, a new way to live and love ourselves and a new way to include all people.
We do and teach acts of contemplation that help us learn to take a long loving look at the divine, at ourselves and at others. Everything we do is rooted in the contemplative, but it does not stay there. Looking at the love and inclusion of God should cause us to love and include our neighbor.
So, we also have compassionate action initiatives which help us to learn to love others and actually take action to love others on the university campus, in the marketplace and in the world.