A Concert with Yuval Ron and the Guibord CenterSaturday, October 19th, 2013, 7pm
St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles, California
Dialogue, Reception & Book SigningMonday, October 21st, 2013, 7pm
USC, Los Angeles, California
Seven Pillars’ founder and board member, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, recently sent a letter to Adam Bucko and Zachary Markwith, two individuals with “a deep sense of the sacred, but…quite different approaches to religion and tradition,” inviting them to participate in a dialogue about the relationship between religion and spirituality. Pir Zia was inspired to send the invitation after reading the recently published manifesto, “New Monasticism,” written by Rory McEntee and Adam Bucko. Both Adam and Zachary embraced the opportunity to discuss this question and the first installment of their correspondence is published herein.
For thousands of years the purpose of different civilizations was to look after the Sacred Substance of Creation through rituals, ceremonies, prayer, and sacred music—so that the souls of people could be nurtured, they could have a meaningful life and their souls could evolve. If this Sacred Substance becomes lost the soul will no longer find nourishment here. The worst-case scenario is the whole planet becomes a Hungry Ghost.
Middle Way Buddhism describes a dynamic synergy between its primary pillars of thought: emptiness and compassion. When we understand and experience our deepest, fundamental nature as empty and as interdependent intersections in this vast web of the universe, a natural tendency for compassionate action arises.
Sacred geography is where land and mind meet. Ancient and traditional peoples have found many different ways to invest their home territories with mythological or spiritual meaning. Such geographies could be small and intimate or cover large tracts of ground; they could be natural or constructed, or a combination of both.
For over 30 years I have been profoundly interested in the faiths, cultures, history and philosophies of ancient China. Most especially, I have been intrigued by that strange phenomenon, ancient Christianity in China. When I mention this deep interest, the most common response is a puzzled look and the question “What ancient Christianity?” Chinese Christianity dates from early in the Seventh Century, but it has been a closely kept secret, both for China and for Christianity. The tradition, as it developed, drew upon not only Christian imagery and philosophy, but also the wisdom of Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The texts that survive are few, but fascinating. My colleagues and I, in recent years, entered, through them, the conceptual world of these early Chinese Christians. Most marvelous of all, hidden in plain sight in China’s heart, we discovered the earliest monastery—adorned with the earliest Christian artwork—that still survives....