Bernadette's Friends Blog - the tone is that Roberts feels her work has been Discussion of Bernadette Roberts in the Nonduality Salon, June 15 to June Bernadette Roberts1. Abstract. The focus on this paper will be on "Self as the cause of Individuation". What. I can contribute to this subject arises solely from my . Bernadette Roberts is one of the most extraordinary contemplatives of our time. The child of a devout Catholic family, Bernadette Roberts' contempla-.

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We are a few people who knew Bernadette Roberts for many years, having first met her at talks and retreats in the early eighties. After meeting her we were able . By Stephan Bodian. Bernadette Roberts is the author of two extraordinary books on the Christian contemplative journey, The Experience of. Bernadette Roberts (–) was a former Carmelite nun and contemplative in the . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.

Examples include: Watching your thoughts is of no use. You must experience the self fully—accept it, live it, exercise it—you must live it fully and completely before you can go beyond it to no-self.

To me, this equated to not only "polishing the turd," but gold-plating it for good measure! Look outside yourself for God. Looking inside draws more attention to the self, and there is not need to look inside the self.

Looking outside is beyond self. The ego has the ability to choose good over evil. We are born with free will to make choices. We are human beings with a free will. She said, "We have no choice that we came here, and no choice but to return to the Father. She would not answer my question, and would not give me the opportunity to speak about it again. When you receive the Eucharist, you have tangible proof that you are One with God—thus there is no need for self-analysis. Christ is the way—it is the means and the end.

You must focus your entire life on God and service to others. I thought the service-to-others-ego was just another mask.

Perhaps all of her views are good food for thought? If no belief is true anyway, what difference does it make, what we believe? And conflict is always good fuel for the fire, right? Here are other observations: Things she said that sounded very much like opinions of many TAT members. Things she said that were quite cool—an interesting spin on things.

You cannot make it happen. God will reveal himself when he wants No effort of your own will, will do it God can change everything in a mere heartbeat. Your practice should be a part of your life, like sleeping or eating.

You will find the time, and you would give up your life to know the love of God. You must keep going and you cannot stop.

It is not "we" who go on this path … the Hound of Heaven taps us on the shoulder. We don't choose Christ—he chooses us. But pursue God with all you have. Wear your mind out to the point of no-thought. Put all you have to the service of the Lord. At one point in her life, she said to herself, "I will push my mind until it gives out on me. This reminded me of Bob Cergol's admonishment, "If you want to see Some more of her TAT-like observations were about the ego, and about the role of the self when encountering "spiritual experiences": The flame is in you, and it is not yours—it belongs to God.

Just go about your business … do the dishes, watch the kids. Thinking it is 'yours' is just the self. Even feeling it in another is just the self again. Experience is not the thing in itself—which is unknown. Do not want for 'experiences' because they are of the ego, thus experience is self-serving.

It is the SELF that wants experiences. Focus your ego on God, for God is waiting for us to turn to him. Keeping the ego in check is the only way to the unitive state. We have to know the archetypes and see through, then past them.

In actual experience, God just takes away the ego—it is never transformed from ego into something else.

The most mystical experience is that of NO experience, because the self cannot get its hands on it. If you have perfect faith, you would have no need of [spiritual] experiences.

Mantra-chanting is bad, regardless of religion. Rose frequently stated that mantra-chanting will bring temporary peace and sleep. How do you find THAT? By removal of all things—God is not this, and not that. This is the negative way of darkness. She also said that the path is affirmative and that "it is impossible to do it without both positive and negative. It took her 10 years to find a way to live with no-self, but she said, "I was rid of the horrible, horrible burden of self.

When someone confronts you, don't go out in reaction.

Just be with it. It will burn the ego out eventually if you keep doing that. And finally, I thought her observations here were quite interesting: There is no such thing as nothing, because even nothing is relative to something. Thou art That is incorrect, because this assumes two! WHO can only be answered with a pronoun and postulates an answer of 'I' or 'me,' or some sort of self—thus the question assumes the answer. Prayer is a spontaneous relationship with God.

Buddhists say all is impermanent. But that means that even impermanence is impermanent! The word non-duality is dual itself. The nature of Grace is a 'push' and our response should be gratefulness. So, that is my take on the retreat. Am I glad I went? Would I go again? I left large segments of her retreat out, because a lot of what she talked about had to do with formal religion and traditions. She used a lot of visual aids and hand-outs to explain the relationships in and between Christ, Logos, Trinity, the Father, monotheism, religions, Eucharist, Communion, the Sacraments, Spirit, the Unnameable, etc.

And, I personally don't believe that the Truth is that complicated. If it is, I may just prefer to stay sound asleep.

Excerpts from Dan's Notes and Reflections: Coming back from the retreat, my notes were pretty unorganized, so I thought I'd organize them by the four questions I'd be wondering if someone else were reporting about their experience to me. Question 1: What was Bernadette like? Bernadette Roberts at age 17 Going there, my expectations of her were similar to my expectations of Shawn Nevins three years ago when going to a retreat where I would be meeting him for the first time—an ultra-egotistical, hair slicked back stereotypical New Yorker, who'll complain he's unappreciated because he didn't get Starbucks coffee.

Don't know why I'd go to a spiritual retreat by someone like that What I knew about her was that she had the highest rating on Shawn's site SpiritualTeachers. As for what I think of her now, I don't know for sure she's not had a superior realization. I didn't get the intuition she had, but this doesn't mean she hasn't. As for her personality, she is super confrontational, has lots of energy, and struck me as having no ego in the sense that things that would normally cause an affliction or an ego-boost didn't have this reaction on her, or at least she didn't physically manifest any reaction.

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She seemed all business, so to speak. Also, I wish I could remember exactly why, but I remember feeling at one point during the weekend she reminded me of Jim Burns. I liked her but was very intimidated because she was so confrontational to people with even just slight deviations from a solely Christian path. I don't feel like I'm on a Christian path at all, so I was just imagining what was going to be in store for me.

I wanted to ask her a few questions, eventually worked up the courage at lunch, and as I began talking with her, she became very un-confrontational, which was nice since I was so nervous.

So she was trying to work with people, not just act like a teacher. Question 2: What was the retreat like? It was held in Ohio in early May, and its structure was similar to a TAT meeting—it started Friday night and ended Sunday afternoon, and consisted of six 2-hour sessions with break periods in between.

The break sessions would either be a meal or an optional prayer session or church service on Sunday. I never attended any of the breaks except the meals, so I don't really know what these prayer sessions were like.

In each 2-hour session, Bernadette would start out by handing out a sheet on the topic for discussion and then spend the rest of the time reading off the sheet without commentary, and people would interject with questions which she'd then respond to. You do get more out of her reading off the sheets than you would if you tried to read them on your own, because if you were by yourself, you might think "I don't believe she really believes this. Unfortunately, though, the questions the participants were asking were generally not helpful, and I found myself constantly hoping nobody would speak up.

They were usually of an "are you sure it's that way? I wrote during the retreat: "Main misunderstanding so many questions seem off seems to be about lack of thought in the same direction. It'd be interesting to see her with people who get her framework. There were about 30 other workshop participants the first day, and 20 the second.

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A lot decided not to return for day two. The participants struck me as pretty similar to TAT members. They seemed relatively sincere about the search and were unusually honest generally. Most were not Christian-only seekers in the way Bernadette would have preferred. During the introduction and later talking with people, my impression was maybe as many as half the participants were into Buddhism or Hinduism to some degree or another.


I thought I'd give a brief overview of the things she said during the retreat, organized according to the six sessions we had and what is on the sheets she handed out in each respective session. My impression is, if you wanted to do her system, there is enough in those six papers to get you started. Maybe even enough to meditate on for two years. Each of the six sheets has info on both sides, and since she basically just read off the sheets, you can get a good sense of what the retreat was about by just what's on these handouts.

The first sheet, the front side had the title "Define Terms"—she wanted to make sure everyone was starting out on the same page.

Bernadette Roberts

The back of this sheet is titled "Characteristics of Revelation," containing an interesting list of 8 characteristics and giving more reasons you can't separate religion and mysticism.

I didn't believe this message, that mysticism can't go without religion, even during the session as she read off the sheet. She never has an argument for why she believes they are inseparable, only examples of what has happened when people try to do them separately, so it seems she figures the audience will pick it up. I wanted to highlight something she has on this sheet, not that it epitomizes it, but that I thought was an interesting perspective.

Under "Religion Defined" on the first side, she writes: "Man includes everything that is lower than himself, but not what is higher than himself. Because man cannot go beyond himself, what is beyond must reveal itself to him. Because God is beyond man, man cannot touch God, he can only be touched by God.

I tried to look over it to see what the most important points were, and I thought they were the unique characteristics number 4 and 5 out of Defines our relationship to God. Love resides in the will, not in the emotions, sentiments or feelings. Love is the means and the end. One thing I wrote down she said in response to a question was: "if you want to see your center of will, try to lift a piano She goes on further in number 5 to say you have two teachers, a personal teacher and a universal teacher.

She is married, and had four sons. She attended again, reaching S2 degree in education, then taught at a high school. Meanwhile, she still running role as housewives.

So life went on for 20 years. Every night she remained in meditation, entered into a "still-point", "united with God. Twenty years later there was a tremendous event, which was not expected and it never occurred to the minds of Bernadette. Remember, she was a Catholic, she never read the books of an Eastern spiritual or mystical Buddhist, Hindu, etc. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. The purpose of Catholic mysticism in both books is "union with God.

One night, when she will enter into the "still-point", she could not find that "still-point". Instead, she saw only a kind of "black hole" in her mind.

The "Black hole" is getting bigger, filling the whole himself, and then erupted like a balloon. She was like dropped from the elevator that broke the chain as high as floors down.

Arriving at the "bottom", she opened her eyes, and see everything around her, in her room, no one changed.

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But there is one major change: she could not feel her inner self! No emotion, no self-feeling, as the center looked around. No more me, a subject, which deal with the object. Everything is an object, even her own body was seen as an object, which is no different than bodies of others.

No subject, who was at the center of its existence. No emotion, no pleasant feeling, happiness, and no sense of grief, suffering.

The body exists, there is physical pain, but no longer feel suffered because of physical pain.Add another edition? Thinking and Receiving by Bob Fergeson "Businessmen and merchants will not enter the places of my father. She seemed all business, so to speak.

To understand what happens next, we have to keep cutting larger holes in the paper, expanding the center until only the barest rim or circumference remains.

You can't separate the search from religion, and since Christianity is the only one with the Trinity, it's the only religion with a valid core.

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