The teachings at the Center are drawn from the mystics of all the major religious traditions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism). To help guide our own practice, we have distilled these teachings of the mystics into Five Fundamentals which express their essence in more generic terms:
- CONSCIOUSNESS ALONE IS ABSOLUTELY REAL
The appearance of an objective world distinguishable from a subjective self is but the imaginary form in which Consciousness Perfectly Realizes Itself.
- IGNORANCE OF THE REAL IS THE ROOT OF SUFFERING
From ignorance is born the delusion of self; from the delusion of self, desire for the world; from desire for the world, attachment to worldly forms; from attachment to worldly forms, all forms of suffering.
- THE END OF SUFFERING COMES BY THE WAY OF GNOSIS
or the Sacrifice of ignorance through the Grace of a Perfect Realization that Consciousness alone is Absolutely Real.
- THE WAY OF GNOSIS IS THE WAY OF SELFLESSNESS
cultivated on the basis of Love (boundless compassion) and Truth (profound insight). It may be seen as a path unfolding in Seven Stages:
1. Awakening of faith
2. Investigation of teachings
3. Unification of self
4. Purification of mind
5. Illumination of heart
6. Exhaustion of will (Kenosis)
7. Sacrifice of Ignorance (Gnosis)
governed by Four Principles:
reflecting Seven Virtues:
and embodied in Four Disciplines:
- THE WAY OF SELFLESSNESS IS THE VERY WAY IN WHICH CONSCIOUSNESS PERFECTLY REALIZES ITSELF
Thus, the Way of Selflessness constitutes not only the Perfection of human life, but of the entire world as well.
Following are some books and articles by Joel Morwood, the spiritual director of the Center, that illustrate how the teachings at the Center draw from the mystics of all traditions, expressing them in contemporary terms that are relevant to our modern lives. You may also explore the teachings of the mystics on The Mystical Core of the Great Traditions section of this website.
- Through Death's Gate: A Guide to Selfless Dying by Joel
A guide to selfless dying containing spiritual practitices to prepare for death.
- To Practice or Not to Practice by Joel
Are you ready to give up all practices?
- The Gate of Unknowing by Joel
Surendering what commonly passes for knowledge to enter the Unknowing that opens the way to Gnosis.
- Facing Fear on the Path by Joel
The role fear plays on the spiritual path, and advice on how to face it.
- Coming to Terms with God by Joel
The significance of God from a mystical perspective.
- Never Underestimate the Ego by Joel
Dissolving resistance and seeing through the deceptions of the ego.
- From Form to Formlessness by Joel
An experiential inquiry into the nature of form and formlessness.