If all of Creation had been whispering the story of its own Spirituality for 13.5 billion years…we would call that story Creation Spirituality.
The entire Universe is fundamentally a blessing.
Our relationship with the Universe fills us with awe and gratitude. Every creature, every tree, every stone, every star and every human being is filled with the blessed spark of divine nature. We refer to this understanding as Original Blessing. Original Blessing is a core principle of Creation Spirituality. Other principals of Creation Spirituality point to the experience of the Divine in named and unnamable ways – present in history and beyond the limits of history. Both intimate and mysterious. The principles highlight the nobility of each person and recognize all of us as mystics, prophets and artists – compassionate creators of beauty and justice.
Creation Spirituality is the age old tradition of listening to the story of Spirit told by the creation that embodies it.
We listen through deep communion with Nature. We listen to the voices of mystics from all spiritual traditions — like Rumi, Jesus, Buddha, Hildegard, Black Elk, Rabbi Hershel and others who have been listened to the whispers of the wisdom of the cosmos since human consciousness began. We listen to our own deep wisdom that bubbles up from our personal devotion and spiritual practice. We listen to the needs and cries of the world that awaken our compassionate hearts and inspire us to take the action required to foster justice and peace.
Creation Spirituality is a marriage of Spirituality, Science and Creativity.
We draw from the deep wells of spiritual wisdom and integrate it with scientific knowledge of the Universe. This empowers us to act as co-creators , birthing acts of beauty and justice into the world. We hold a holy reverence for the miracle of our human being-ness in the context of a Universe which is 13.5 billion years old. With this miracle of life we are called to be compassionate to the entire community of life in all of its diversity.
An embodied spirituality.
Creation Spirituality is an embodied spirituality.
Creation Spirituality invites individuals and communities to engage their mind, body and all of their senses in their spiritual journeys and in their spiritual gatherings (churches, retreats, Cosmic Masses, small group gatherings). We live our lives in our bodies and so a full spirituality must include all of who we are. We move. We dance. We use all of our senses.
We open ourselves to appreciate and participate with creation in every form that has been given to us. By practicing an embodied spirituality we awaken our senses and participate fully in relationship with one another and the divine.
A well-developed form of embodied celebration is The Cosmic Mass. The Cosmic Mass (TCM) is a conscious effort to reinvigorate Western ritual by deconstructing forms of worship we have inherited from the modern era (such as sitting in benches and being read to, preached at, or reading from books – including song books). The Cosmic Mass, which follows the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, reconstructs these forms of worship by going back to the pre-modern practice of spiritual dance. Read more about the TCM http://thecosmicmass.com/
Creation Spirituality is practiced by individuals and in groups. There are mainline churches who integrate Creation Spirituality as part of the core of the church theology, Like Trinity Methodist Church in Austin Texas, and Tree of Life Community, A Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Dayton, Ohio. There are also independent Creation Spirituality Communities like Jubilee! in Asheville, NC. There are businesses that embrace CS, like C-SOURCE an on-line store and educational forum, and retreat centers like the Gaia Farmhouse in Ontario Canada. Click to CONNECT with creation spirituality Individuals, Communities and Businesses. Click to EXPERIENCE Creation Spirituality through mind and body.
Creation Spirituality is the thread of creation-consciousness running through every spiritual tradition Expressions of Creation Spirituality can be found in the poems of Rumi when he celebrates divine truth experienced in a wheat field. It can be found in the writings of Hildegard of Bingen as she praises the sun for the greening of the German countryside and likens it to God’s love. It can be found in chants and sacred circle dances of the Pagans and Celts, in the Psalms of David, in the dharma of the Buddha, the gods of the Hindi, and the teachings of Jesus.
Creation Spirituality may be celebrated by individual religious traditions such as a Christian Church, a Jewish Synagogue, a Buddhist meditation retreat or a Sufi dance. It may also be expressed in an interfaith gathering which may include a Native American chant, a Buddhist meditation, a Sufi poem, a Jewish circle dance, a Celtic incantation, and a Christian communion ritual. This is not haphazard eclecticism. This is a tapping into the deep truths shared by all faith traditions to strengthen an appreciation of our common spirituality which calls us to live into compassionate interconnection.
An interconnected spirituality
We are spiritually interconnected beings called into compassion.
Our interconnection with all beings extends beyond creatures that breathe to all forms of creation. All are an extension of the first flaring forth at the birth of our universe. As the universe expands, each of us continues to affect the other. The farther we are flung, the greater the longing to be whole.
When become conscious of our connection to other persons and open ourselves to the experiences and emotions of others, compassion rises in us. In Creation Spirituality this compassionate connection is regarded as a sacred extension of divine compassion. We understand our interdependence calls us to social and ecological justice. We consider our efforts to create justice to be our sacred work in the world.
Creation Spirituality appreciates the blessing of diversity inherent in the magnificent natural world – including the diversity of humans.
We are people from many cultures, sacred traditions, sexual identities, and ages, who find connection to Spirit through the ways and wisdom of Creation. Creation Spirituality moves beyond contrary opinions and comparisons that separate us to the place we meet as one. We practice a grace that regards life as a whole. Moving beyond dualism makes the crucial shift from separation and competition to the active practice of interconnectedness.
The Four Paths of Creation Spirituality
– a spiritual practice for communities and individuals.
The backbone of the Creation Spirituality tradition is its naming of the spiritual journey in the Four Paths, which parallel the cycles of the four seasons. This tradition invites us to be participants in the circle of life—being filled with awe and wonder, feeling our pain and losses, exuding creativity, and persisting as justice makers. The Four Paths also address the question: Where will the experience of the Divine be found in our time? Creation Spirituality responds: the Divine will be found in the movement between these paths:
The Path of Awe ( the Via Positiva) — in the awe, wonder, beauty, joy, blessing and mystery of nature and all beings, each of whom is as Hildegard of Bingen put it a “word of God,” a “mirror of God that glistens and glitters.”
The Path of Release (the Via Negativa) — in the beauty of darkness and nothingness, in mystery, in the silence and emptying, in the letting go and letting be, and in the pain and suffering that constitute an equally real part of our spiritual journey.
The Path of Creativity (the Via Creativa) — in our generativity we co-create with God; we trust our images (poems, paintings, inventions, ideas for peace and justice-making, businesses, creative parenting, etc.) as divine inspiration and courageously birth them into existence.
The Path of Transformation (the Via Transformativa) — in the individual transformation made possible through practice and grace, in the relief of suffering, in the combating of injustice, and in the celebration that happens when persons struggling for justice and trying to live in mutual respect come together to praise and give thanks for the gift of life.
Principles of Creation Spirituality
The universe is fundamentally a blessing. Our relationship with the Universe fills us with awe.
In Creation, God is both immanent and transcendent. This is neither theism (God out there) nor atheism (no God anywhere), but panentheism, God in all things. We experience that the Divine is in all things and all things are in the Divine.
God is as much Mother as Father, as much Child as Parent, as much God in mystery as the God in history, as much beyond all words and images as in all forms and beings. We are liberated from the need to cling to God in one form or one literal name.
In our lives, it is through the work of spiritual practice that we find our deep and true selves. Through the arts of meditation and silence we cultivate clarity of mind.
Our inner work can be understood as a four-fold journey involving:
– awe, delight, amazement (known as the Via Positiva)
– uncertainty, darkness, suffering, letting go (Via Negativa)
– birthing, creativity, passion (Via Creativa)
– justice, healing, celebration (Via Transformativa) We weave through these paths like a spiral danced, not a ladder climbed.
Every one of us is a mystic. We can enter the mystical as much through beauty (Via Positiva) as through contemplation and suffering (Via Negativa). We are born full of wonder and can recover it at any age.
Every one of us is an artist. Whatever the expression of our creativity, it is our prayer and praise. (Via Creativa).
Every one of us is a prophet. Our prophetic work is to interfere with all forms of injustice and that which interrupts authentic life (Via Transformativa).
Diversity is the nature of the Universe. We rejoice in and courageously honor the rich diversity within the Cosmos and expressed among individuals and across multiple cultures, religions and ancestral traditions.
The basic work of God is compassion and we, who are all original blessings and sons and daughters of the Divine, are called to compassion. We acknowledge our shared interdependence; we rejoice at one another’s joys and grieve at one another’s sorrows and labor to heal the causes of those sorrows.
There are many wells of faith and knowledge drawing from one underground river of divine wisdom. The practice of honoring, learning and celebrating the wisdom collected from these wells is Deep Ecumenism. We respect and embrace the wisdom and oneness that arises from the diverse wells of all the sacred traditions of the world.
Ecological justice is essential for the sustainability of life on Earth. Ecology is the local expression of cosmology and so we commit to to live in light of this value: to pass on the beauty and health of creation to future generations.