The Christian mystic and Catholic priest, Thomas Keating, who lives
in the high mountains of Colorado, has for 20 years held annual meetings
with spiritual leaders from many denominations. He had dialogues
with them trying to find what united them. Here is his list of what
he found common to all of them:
Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life; yet spiritual
attainment is not the result of one's own efforts, but the result of
the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality.
- The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate
Reality, to which they give various names: Brahman, Allah, Absolute,
God, Great Spirit.
- Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.
- Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.
- Faith is opening, accepting and responding to Ultimate Reality.
Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.
- The potential for human wholeness (or in other frames of reference
—enlightenment, salvation, transformation, blessedness, nirvana—)
is present in every human person.
- Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious
practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and
service of others.
- As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from
Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness