The word basileia that we translate as “kingdom of God” can also be translated simply creation. That creation is the kingdom/queendom of God.

From Matt Fox, July 11, 2021

How readily we can forget that nature is a temple (or mosque) and that the divine dwells therein!  How, as Biblical scholar Krister Stendahl instructs us, the word basileia that we translate as “kingdom of God” can also be translated simply creation. That creation is the kingdom/queendom of God.

The Persian word for garden was also the word for paradise.

Richard Rohr, July 11, 2021:

Naked, undefended, and nondual presence has the best chance of encountering the Real Presence. I approach the theme of contemplation in a hundred ways, because I know most of us have one hundred levels of resistance, denial, or avoidance. For some reason, in our complicated world, it is very hard to teach simple things. Any “mystery,” by definition, is pregnant with many levels of unfolding and realization. That is especially true of the “tree of life” that is contemplative awareness.

I call contemplation the tree of life that promises access to eternal things (see Genesis 3:22), grows “crops twelve times a year,” and sprouts “leaves that are for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). It accesses the deep ground of God and the True Self. The contemplative, nondual mind is a tree of continual and constant fruitfulness for the soul and for the world.

We might also think of the diverse methods of contemplation as a tree of life as well. They are the many varied, fruitful, and life-giving practices and ways of praying that are nourished from the same root—the Sacred Presence. In my novitiate I was exposed to an early method of silent Franciscan contemplation called pensar sin pensar or no pensar nada as described by the Spanish Friar Francisco de Osuna (1492–1542). [1] (He was a primary teacher to Teresa of Ávila, as she says in her Vida.) I didn’t totally understand what I was supposed to be doing in that silence of “thinking without thinking” and probably fell asleep on more than one occasion. Yet it had the effect of moving me away from the verbal, social, and petitionary prayers I had been taught almost exclusively up to that time.

Prayer is indeed the way to make contact with God/Ultimate Reality, but it is not an attempt to change God’s mind about us or about events. It is primarily about changing our mind so that things like infinity, mystery, and forgiveness can resound within us. A small mind cannot see Great Things because the two are on two different frequencies or channels, as it were. The Big Mind can know big things, but we must change channels. Like will know like.

There are as many ways of accessing the naked now as there are individuals, so no exploration could possibly be comprehensive, even within our own Christian tradition. However, this week’s meditations on Doorways to Christian Contemplation will offer some modern descriptions of traditional contemplative practices. I hope something engages your heart and imagination enough to try it out for yourself.

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