What we're about

There has been explosion of books on “Rational Mysticism” from Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now, Ken Wilbur’s Integral spirituality, Sam Harris’s Waking Up with the theme of empirical mysticism, and Contemplative Christian writers like Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, as well Buddhist writers like Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, and many others.

The aspiration of this group is to have regularly scheduled book discussions as well as safe place to check in and share about one’s own path. Over time, book or article selection will be selected by the group.

The scope is rational mysticism with some emphasis on experience and openness to different approaches. Occasionally this means diving into a particular religious mystical tradition and related areas in philosophy and science.

In this topic, there are many perennial questions: here are some. Hopefully participation in this group will augment your own particular inquiry and practise:

What is non-dual awareness ? Is perception ultimately a process that has no subject-object.

Who can experience mystical insight. How does mysticism relate to intuition.

How to engage with responsible judgement to mystical claims. Clearly there is some dubious mystical stuff, like “Mcmindfullness” or “mystical experiences” as a front to make money.

What are the limits to what is knowable by reason and science.Is there a place for mysticism.

What is spirit ? Perhaps it’s just word which points to something which ultimately intellectually unknowable.

What is the relationship between mystical insight and ethics ? For example, the claimed perception that we are all one at some level can have profound ethical implications.

What does rational mysticism suggest what reality really is.

I should come clean about my own perspective and connections as facilitator. I am loosely a Christian/Buddhist, practise centring mediation daily, and participate in a number of integrated spiritual groups: Stittsville United Church, a weekly Buddhist mediation group, Richard Rohr group and Inner Journey Canada. I have co-organized Plato’s Pub on meetup for many years, an inclusive philosophical club.

The location is in the upper room at Stittsville United Church and is provided unconditionally as nondenominational space under a new initiative ( "Spiritual Animation") to enable community spiritual activities like Buddhist mediation, Yoga, group painting, music jam sessions, and much more.

Please note the minimum requirement to join is interest, and hopefully the occasional attendance, understood as we all have multiple interests and commitments.

Upcoming events (2)

Sam Harris 'Waking Up'

Stittsville United Church

Sam Harris is known for criticism of what he labels as religious dogma (Buddhist, Muslim , Christian, etc,) and an apparent hardcore materialist, the book ‘Waking Up’ is quite the surprise.. He shares his long path into Buddhist mediation, and tries to make sense of his interior experiences in terms of neuroscience and modern psychology. Interestingly he sees consciousness and non dual experiences as central, and concedes that science has no clue how to explain how consciousness came to be. This tension is fascinating as well as the material on ‘No Self’, which invites critical discussion as well. Should note Harris view here is popular and shared by many other writers ( Robert Wright, ‘Why Buddhism is ‘true’ - here true in scientific sense as a working hypothesis, not dogmatic ‘The truth’). There is interesting overlap with other contemplative paths on the centrality of the experience of 'one-ness', sometimes called 'non-dual' awareness. For the first session, please read at least the first three chapters. The book is relatively short and actually very personable and readable. We may hold another session on this book if there is interest.

Sam Harris Waking Up

Stittsville United Church

The last session on Sam Harris. Agenda/suggested questions to be added later

Past events (2)

Rohr's The Universal Christ v2

Stittsville United Church

Photos (1)