The Passion of the Mystics: A Contemplative Journey April 28-29, 2017
The mystics of all traditions claim that their love-encounter with the Holy One defies all description and yet their experience of longing and union pours out in the form of ecstatic, luminous and richly descriptive poetry and prose.
Friday, April 28, 7-9 PM
The Friday night lecture will draw on the works of the great Christian mystics, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Francis and Clare of Assisi, and Hildegard of Bingen, as well as Sufi saint, Rabia, Hindu poet, Mirabai, and others, to explore this love-encounter.
Saturday, April 29, 10 AM-4 PM
In the Saturday workshop, we will read short passages from the works of the great Christian mystics, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Francis and Clare of Assisi, and Hildegard of Bingen, as well as Sufi saint, Rabia, Hindu poet, Mirabai, and others, engaging these evocative words as objects of lectio divina (sacred reading). Then, grounding our encounter with the mystics in our own experience, we will respond to writing prompts to access our unique voice and deepen our personal journey. Inter-spiritual chanting and simple body practices will support and balance our contemplative readings and writing exercises.
Mirabai Starr, MA, is an author, translator of the mystics, and a leading voice in the emerging inter-spiritual movement. She speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on the teachings of the mystics, contemplative practice and the transformational power of grief and loss.
Mirabai is known for her revolutionary, new translations of Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross; The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by St. Teresa of Avila; and The Showings of Julian of Norwich. She also is the author of the six-volume, Sounds True series, Contemplations, Prayers and Living Wisdom; a poetry collection, Mother of God Similar to Fire, in collaboration with iconographer, William Hart McNichols; God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and most recently a memoir, Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation.
Formerly an adjunct professor of philosophy and world religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years, Mirabai also has served on the staff of the Center for Action and Contemplations 2015 and 2016 Conspire Conferences. She is known for building bridges not only between religious traditions but also between contemplative life and compassionate service, between cultivating an inner relationship with the Beloved and expressing that intimacy in community, between the transformational power of loss and longing for the sacred.
The Gerald May Seminar is offered in memory of the life and legacy of Gerald (Jerry) May. Jerry served on Shalem’s staff for many years and was our Senior Fellow for Contemplative Theology and Psychology. The Seminar is held every year to strengthen the great themes of contemplative understanding and practice that Jerry so valued.