When I wrote the Seraphic Manifesto in 2005, I through the practice of Deep Ecumenism, pulled from the wells of Creation Spirituality, Buddhism, and Judaism to form the heart of the Seraphic Church.
Creation Spirituality gave me the tools to understand my Catholic Faith in a way that was meaningful to my life.
Buddha, who is celebrated in the Roman Martyrology on November 27th, in the Orthodox Church on August 26th, and the Russian Orthodox Church on November 19th, taught me how to deal with my interior life.
Judaism taught me how to practice my faith with the same integrity as Jesus.
We proclaim the Seraphic Threefold Creed:
I bear witness to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the one triune God, until all is reconciled to the Divine.
I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, until all souls are brought to enlightenment.
I walk the middle way between the four holy paths until I reach my journey’s end: salvation through Christ Alone by Grace Alone through Faith Alone for the Glory of God Alone
What does that look like in faith and practice?
The essential message of our Faith is a fourfold truth:
The essentials of our Practice is a fourfold Truth:
- There is Ignorance and Error in the world concerning the nature of the transcendent.
- The Cause of Ignorance and Error is the Limit of human understanding in that we are incapable of defining the transcendent in words.
- The possibility of illumination (enlightenment/wisdom), the end of Ignorance and Error exists.
- Illumination (D'vekut/Unity with God) is gained through Living God through the ten hanhagot (spiritual practices):
- Dukkha (Suffering/Craving) is a real part of our conditioned existence.
- Dukkha is caused by attachment and aversion.
- Nirvana (Wellbeing/The End of Suffering) is a real part of existence.
- Nirvana is attained through the noble eightfold path:
- Avodah Be-Bittul/Meditation
- Musar (Inspirational Reading)/Lectio Divina (Divine Reading)
- Kavvanah/Attention, Tefillah/Prayer)
- Gemilut Chesed/ Loving-Kindness and Brachot/Daily Recitation of 100 Blessings
- Pitron Chalomot/Dream Interpretation
- Eco-kashrut/Ethical Consumption
- Liturgy: Shabbat/Sabbath and Holy Days
- Samma-Ditthi (Complete or Perfect Vision/View/Understanding)
- Samma-Sankappa (Right or Perfected Emotion/Aspiration/Thought/ Attitude)
- Samma-Vaca (Right/Perfected/Whole Speech)
- Samma-Kammanta (Right/Integral Action)
- Samma-Ajiva (Right/Proper Livelihood)
- Samma-Vayama (Complete/Full/Right Effort/Energy/Vitality/ Diligence)
- Samma-Sati (Right/Complete/Thorough Awareness/Mindfulness)
- Samma-Samadhi (Full/Integral/Holistic Samadhi/Concentration/ Meditation/Absorption/One-pointedness of Mind)
I know I said four truth things, but these are two different ways of saying the same thing.
There is Ignorance and Error in the world concerning the nature of the transcendent, and no matter how much we learn, it is not enough. We are not satisfied. Nothing we attain in this life can satisfy our craving. Answers breed more questions. All is impermanent, containing both form and emptiness.
The Cause of Ignorance and Error is the Limit of human understanding in that we are incapable of defining the transcendent in words. We crave the words, or we are turned away by them. This is true of every experience we have in this life. We can never express the words we need.
The possibility of illumination (enlightenment/wisdom), the end of Ignorance and Error exists. Nirvana is the extinguishing of craving and aversion, wisdom is rejoicing in the questions, enlightenment is the joyful participation in the mysteries and sorrows of the world.
The eightfold path are the principles that underpin the specific practices Rabbi Rami Shapiro taught in Minyan.
These are the the four true things. Truth is found in action, not in books, beliefs, or doctrine.