5 December 2024

Fr Laurence Freeman OSB, ‘Cleansing the Doors of Perception: Perspectives on Sacred Space’

Advanced studies’ seminar on sacred space hosted by Eric Parry Architects, 5 December 2023. With Fr Laurence Freeman OSB:

00:00:07 Fr Laurence Freeman OSB – Keynote presentation
00:39:50 Eric Parry
00:40:35 José de Paiva
01:03:43 Peter Carl
01:13:22 Christian Frost
01:24:20 Eric Parry

Online talks on sacred space:
Presence, Person, Beauty

This series brings contemporary authors to reflect on some of the most primary questions for theology and philosophy as well as the history of art and architecture. From divine dwelling in the Old Testament to its Christian understanding, the question of divine presence in the visible world has been at the heart of the community of the faithful. From the ancient search for the face of God to the traditional understanding of person, the question of personhood and its myriad implications have challenged our understanding throughout history. They have also guided our understanding of what it means to live together and build our world. And yet, in our contemporary lives, we often seem oblivious to the natural goodness and beauty of the created world in which we dwell and build; even in today’s sacred art and architecture, the word beauty is scarcely, if ever, used. These online seminars on presence, person and the theology of beauty – of the created world, of art and architecture – explore these topics in a way that is by no means exclusive to the sacred, but hopefully provocative in the best sense of the term.

Synopsis: Experience in space and time is conditioned by how we perceive. The story of humanity’s ascent through stages of consciousness is reflected in each life-story and development. They are felt not just in what but in how we see. In every act of perception perspective plays a decisive role. The perspective on interiority and the perspective of seeing others as they truly are come together when the eye of the heart is open. When we are ‘pure of heart’ we see the sacred in space, in time and in what lies beyond. If this sounds too heavenly, meditation shows it is actually very down to earth!

Laurence Freeman OSB: Of Irish and English parentage, Laurence Freeman was educated by the Benedictines and studied English Literature at Oxford University. Before entering monastic life, he worked with the United Nations in New York, in Banking and Journalism. He is Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) an inclusive contemplative community. He is a Benedictine monk of the Congregation of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Italy. He now resides at Bonnevaux, the WCCM’s international home in France, and a centre for peace where meditation is practiced and taught as a way to personal and social transformation. Bonnevaux draws on a rich tradition of contemplative wisdom which our times demand. Fr Laurence is a prolific author. His books include Light Within, The Selfless Self, Your Daily Practice, Jesus: The Teacher Within, First Sight: The Experience of Faith, Web of Silence, and Good Work: Meditation for Personal and Organizational Transformation. He has collaborated with the Dalai Lama on many dialogues and the groundbreaking book The Good Heart. In addition to his work for the contemplative renewal of Christianity, he leads dialogues and peace initiatives, seeing meditation as opening the common ground of all humanity. He was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of his work for interfaith dialogue and the promotion of world peace. His Daily Wisdom, quarterly spiritual letter and other regular teachings online, and his retreats and conferences are sources of inspiration for many worldwide. www.wccm.org