The Divine Companion
Chris Hyde's Previous Presentations
Embracing the Divine Companion (with Nicholas Amato; weekend retreat at the Jesus House; Wilmington DE)
This retreat explored the inner landscape of a person as home to a person and the indwelling Divine Companion who seeks to embrace you and be your partner in the adventure of life, in both challenges and opportunities.
Enneagram (two formats presented at the Jesus House; Wilmington, DE: one was day long retreat and the other was presented in two evening sessions)
These talks began with exploring the Enneagram idea of each person having a dominant orientation to life. This starting point was merged with the concept of spiritual growth as a movement from an ego-led life to a spirit-led life. The purpose of life is to move from a dominant Enneagram type to a more balanced approach to life that supports increased devotion to your indwelling Divine Companion that your own autonomy.
Monday Evenings at The Jesus House (evening presentations) Eleven didactic presentation of a certain person's ideas combined with experiential ways of entering into that person's perspective.
January: Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle
Explored the overlap between Teresa's metaphor for our inner world--the Interior Castle that can be either well explored or neglected and unknown--and Richard Schwartz' metaphor for our inner world of an Internal Family struggling for harmony.
February: Thomas Keating: Two Selves. Explores different metaphors for appreciating two aspects of ourselves: the True Self and the False Self. Both aspects are useful and valuable but are best when we include our spiritual endowments in all parts of ourselves.
March: Quaker Discernment. Explore how the example of some people with much spiritual insight can be a guide to developing our own discernment. Discernment addresses two things: What is the character of God? What should I do with my one precious life?
April: Gerald May and the Importance of Desire. Explores the writings of Gerald May, a psychiatrist who, early in his career, treated people with addictions (desires gone awry) and, at the end of his career, was a central part of Shalem where he wrote about spirituality.
May: Kin-dom Connections. Explores the word, Kin-dom, coined by Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, A Cuban born nun who felt excluded on two levels: being a woman and being an immigrant. Her word emphasizes our commonality (kinship) rather than dominance.
June: Couples Therapy for the I-Divine Companion relationship. Applies the principles of Couples Therapy developed by Harville Hendrix to your inner relationship with your Divine Companion. A core principle is developing an accurate image (Imago) of your partner that isn't contaminated by erroneous ideas or prior unhealthy relationships.
July: Parables and Personal Stories. Explores how parables (metaphors) can help us understand spiritual concepts that are just beyond our grasp. Explores how your personal story (Who do you think you are? How to you get and give love?) shape how you live your life.
August: Attunement, Attachment and your Divine Companion. Explores how attachment between people might give us ideas about our inner connection with our Divine Companion. Develops the concept of attunement, deeply understanding another person, in terms of being attuned to your Divine Companion.
September: Marcus Borg: The Heart of Christianity (Spirituality). Explores Marcus Borg's five core aspects of all religions: "Something/Someone More" a sacred path, a discipline or practice, compassion and wisdom. These common elements of religions of the world are used as a lens for seeing and appreciating the elements of our inner world.
October: Martin Buber on Relationships. Explores Buber's well-known concept of the I-Thou relationship with his less well-known idea of the inner I-Eternal Thou relationship; explores how our inner life shapes our relationships in the outer world.
November: Overlap between Teresa's Interior Castle and psychological maps of the inner world.
Explores how spiritual and psychological perspectives provide complementary ideas about our inner world: includes Teresa of Avila, psychodynamic, Internal Family Systems, and Buddhist views.
Integrating the Ideas of Teresa of Avila and Thomas Keating (day-long retreat given for
Contemplative Outreach of New Jersey)
Teresa of Avila described our inner world as having some aspects that are mainly human and some aspects that are capable of being receptive to the indwelling Beloved. Thomas Keating described our inner world as having an Own-Made Self (his later term for the False Self) and the True Self. Combining their descriptions can enrich our understanding of our inner world.
The Holy Partnership
Explores how our sense of our inner world can lay the foundation (or create obstacles) to forming a holy partnership with our Divine Companion; explores the Divine Dance that
involves one inner step of reverence and one outer step of service.
Centering Prayer and your Inner World.
Talk given to Centering Prayer groups in Seattle and Port Townsend that highlights the complementary aspects of Thomas Keating's teachings and the view of the inner world as described by mystics and psychologists.
Romancing the Divine Indwelling. Talk given to a New Jersey Centering Prayer group that looks at Thomas Keating's teachings in terms of how we can foster a deeper intimacy with the Divine Indwelling (also called the Divine Companion).
Compassio: Bernie McGinn on Compassion. Bernie McGinn spent most of his career collecting and translating the writings of mystics over the past 2000 years. He concluded that any authentic inner encounter with God led to a significant increase in compassion for those who are struggling or excluded from the main of society.
God and You: Sacred Tandem (GYST)
Two ecumenical presentations in which a person from a faith tradition gives a TED-like talk about their faith's perspective on a topic, such as compassion. After these presentations, members from each faith community formed mixed groups with other faith traditions and shared how their faith tradition helped them be more compassionate. The event concluded with a panel discussion highlighting how each tradition can benefit from the gems of other faith traditions.
GYST1 Ecumenical discussion of a faith tradition's perspectives on compassion. Faith traditions represented at this meeting were Mennonite, Sikh, and Lutheran.
GYST2 Ecumenical discussion of faith tradition's perspectives on compassion. Faith traditions represented at this meeting were Presbyterian, Anabaptist, and Jewish.
Sunday afternoons at the Jesus House (Wilmington, DE)
These meetings presented some topics and thoughts as a springboard for discussions about the spiritual aspects of our inner world.
The Magnificat: What do we magnify (increase in awareness) and what do we let recede into awareness (allow it to lose its hold over us)? Winnowing as spiritual discernment. A model of will as a corollary to basic neural functioning.
Identifying what are critical core issues in your life. Teresa of Avila's perspective on values in the inner landscape, dialoguing with your Divine Companion. Weaver and Rippers from a spiritual perspective.
David Brooks: Two Mountains metaphor for two major approaches to life. Shallow and deep choices. If there is a dark triad of psychopathy, what might the light triad of authentic spirituality look like? Eben Alexander. Natalie Batalha: astronomy always brings me back to love. Claudia Rankin: Groupism, exclusion and inclusion.
April The Epic Journey as a Parable of the Spiritual Life. Jung described the possibility of living life as an epic journey; he didn't say, but he implied, that the default option is to live life as a trivial journey concerned mainly with material ease and comfort. Comparing various myths with the inner journey of the mystics. Possible framework for a leaderless group that focuses on spirituality and the inner world.
Spirituality and Psychology: Two adult education talks given at Westminster Presbyterian Church (Wilmington, DE). How our maps of our inner world can either restrict us to a mainly secular life or open us up to much larger spiritual vistas. How merging a psychological perspective of a person with a spiritual perspective of the inner life can create a broader "psyche+spirit" view of ourselves.