I was 24 when Peter Berger published A Rumour of Angels. I think my High Church Anglican religious world was a supernatural world in which God ‘lived’ somewhere other than earth and could be communicated with through prayer and affected emotionally through worship. God could be apologised to in confession and seduced into liking us through sensuous liturgy. I live in a different domain now, the domain of sacred, holy, real presence in the here and now, a domain which has the powerful effect of taking me beyond my mundane, prosaic self and away from a conditionally-loving, judgemental God of heaven and hell, into another realm which is as real both here and now in the present moment and in the infinite elsewhere, in glory and beauty and the infusion of love.
I’ve compiled a list of the key essentials for the contemplative life which keep coming to me when I meditate. Elements that are important to me are usually missing from other people’s writings. These include the importance of the body (implicit in the incarnation) and of emotional and physical experience, and the importance of actively teaching people how to become aware of their intuitive contemplative self and nurture that self in ways that are so simple that people find it difficult to believe they really work – until they try.