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An Interfaith Advent

Breaking Jesus out of the Box

Christians celebrate Advent as the season of the coming Light to the world. And yet Jesus has influence far beyond the Christian religion. Religions of all kinds celebrate Jesus as a spiritual teacher of wisdom.

Join this 4-week online Advent Celebration as we explore Advent and the coming of Jesus from the perspectives of:

  • Contemplative Christianity
  • Sufism
  • Judaism and
  • Buddhism

Perhaps Jesus is larger than the Christian story we’ve heard so often before!

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explore Jesus and the season of advent from an interfaith perspective

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Hosted By

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Keith Kristich, founder of Closer Than Breath

Keith is a contemplative teacher, community curator, and founder of Closer Than Breath, an online contemplative community that offers contemplative resources aimed at deepening one’s awareness of their True Self and connection with the Divine.

SUNDAYS

November 27 - December 4 - December 11 - December 18

Meet the Presenters

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Rev. Dr. Heiwa no Bushi

His Sacred Humanness (HSH) Heiwa no Bushi is a Buddhist-Christian monk and Abbot of the Thomasville Buddhist Center in Thomasville, North Carolina. He is a former Christian minister, having served in the Christian denominations of Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and Church of God (Anderson, IN). He has advanced degrees in philosophy & systematic theology. He also received training in both Mahayana and Daishin Zen Buddhism. Heiwa no Bushi places his teachings under the moniker of “BodhiChristo,” which means “enlightened Christ,” an amalgamation of the two rich streams of Buddhism and Christianity. Here he describes the arc of his journey until the present.

Rev. Dr. Heiwa no Bushi's Presentation:

Jesus The Human God: A Sacred Humanity That Envelopes Our Greatest Divine Aspirations

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Rev. Matthew Wright

Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition. He serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY and is a teacher for Northeast Wisdom and The Contemplative Society, non-profits rooted in the teaching lineage of Cynthia Bourgeault. Matthew lives with his wife, Yanick, alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY.

Rev. Matthew Wright's Presentation:

The Great Mother and the Birth of God: Reclaiming Mary in Advent

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Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Award-winning translator Carmen Acevedo Butcher has a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies. She teaches in the College Writing Programs at the University of California, Berkeley. Her translation of Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence is called “the new standard.” Her Cloud of Unknowing translation received a 46th Georgia Author of the Year Award, and is a Shambhala Pocket Series book and Audible book. You can hear Carmen on (Re)Thinking Faith, Messy Jesus Business, Encountering Silence, and more podcasts.

Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher's Presentation

Welcoming the Birth of Divine Joy in You: The Birthing Power of the Loving Presence Within You

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Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author of over two dozen books on religion and spirituality. He received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds a PH.D. from Union Graduate School. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami currently co–directs One River Wisdom School, writes a regular column for Spirituality & Health magazine called Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler, and hosts the weekly Internet radio show, How to be a Holy Rascal on Unity On-line Radio. His newest book is Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's Presentation:

Understanding Jesus as a God-Intoxicated Jewish Mystic

"I am drawn to the teachings of Jesus that arise from his realization of nonduality: 'I and the Father are one.' I believe Jesus is paradigmatic of what each of us can achieve. Each of us can, as Paul says, put on the mind of Christ and realize that we too are one with God, the Source and Substance of all Reality, that 'in Whom we live and move and have our being' . . . For me a good way to understand the Trinity is as ocean, wave, and the wetness of both."

-Rabbi Rami, Jesus and Me

The Weekly Themes

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Rev. Dr. Heiwa No Bushi

Jesus The Human God: A Sacred Humanity That Envelopes Our Greatest Divine Aspirations

Is Jesus uniquely one with God, or might we all share in that divine grace?We'll explore Jesus as the embodiment of the Enlightened Christ and how he shows the way of opening to our own divine nature as beings created to put on the Mind of Christ.

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Rev. Matthew Wright

The Great Mother and the Birth of God: Reclaiming Mary in Advent

Join us in an exploration of Mary the mother of Jesus in ancient and contemporary spirituality. We will look to Mary as a model of an integrated social justice and contemplative path, a contemplative elder in her final years, and finally as a face of the universal Great Mother. We'll explore how Mary's traditional title of Theotokos, or God-bearer, can relate to each of us, and to all creation, as we strive to give birth to God in our lives.

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Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Welcoming the Birth of Divine Joy in You: The Birthing Power of the Loving Presence Within You

How can Love become incarnate in us? How can we make it a practice to see the sacred in everyday life and live from that calm, joyful perspective? The Cloud of Unknowing’s author Anonymous in the 14th-century and Brother Lawrence in the 17th-century teach us practical ways to live out an everyday mysticism that is for everyone, everywhere, at anytime. Rather than focusing on becoming spiritual beings, what if we focus on becoming human beings in the holy wholly mundane ways of each day, starting wherever we are?

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Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Understanding Jesus as a God-Intoxicated Jewish Mystic

As a God-intoxicated Jewish mystic, Jesus knows “I and the Divine are One” (John 10:30). In this examination of the Jewish Jesus, we explore the nature of God as Ehyeh/YHVH (Exodus 3:14), what it means to be one in the One, and how the Jewish Jesus offers a Way to be followed rather than a Christ in whom to believe.

Optional Debrief Gatherings

As an added bonus, in addition to the presentations themselves, you are welcome to join our debrief session on:

Wednesdays: 7:00PM - 8:30PM ET

Rev. Dr. Heiwa no Bushi's talk - November 30, 2022

Rev. Matthew Wright's talk - December 7, 2022

Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher's talk - December 14, 2022

Rabbi Rami Shapiro's talk - December 21, 2022

‎ *‎ Facilitated by Keith Kristich, host of An Interfaith Advent.

***NOTE: this is an optional time for more community conversation.

Our guest speakers will not be present for these community gatherings.

Our guest speakers will be live on Sunday November 27, December 4, 11, & 18

Come Live - or - Watch the Recordings

You won't miss a thing

*ALL PRESENTATIONS ARE RECORDED*

Bonuses

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Perennial Philosophy 101 Course: Wisdom Overflowing

Join An Interfaith Advent and get the Perennial Philosophy 101 course taught by founder of Closer Than Breath, Keith Kristich and explore:

  • Interfaith vs interspiritual vs perennial philosophy
  • The Harmony of world religions
  • Exoteric vs esoteric religious expressions
  • Healthy & mature ways of approaching interspirituality

Join us live on Monday, October 24th, 7:00-8:30pm Eastern Time

** Receive the recording after live event

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A Different Kind of Darkness, December Contemplation Day with Tia Norman

Join the monthly Closer Than Breath Contemplation Day with Tia Norman titled "A Different Kind of Darkness".

Explore the practice of Centering Prayer and how embracing darkness, the unknown and the great mystery of God can open us to the light of advent.

Join us live on December 3rd, 10:00-11:30am ET.

** Receive the recording after live event

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don't have the resources to pay?

At Closer Than Breath, we are avid believers that there should be no financial barrier to spiritual formation. Simply email [email protected] with the subject line "scholarship" and we'll be in touch!

Are the gatherings recorded?

Each of the 90 minute gatherings with our guest speaker will be recorded and released the day after the presentation. To ensure privacy of personal sharing, our optional community gatherings will not be recorded. All presentations will be recorded.

How long does the event last?

This is a four-week event taking place on Sundays. Each session is recorded and you will have lifetime access.

Who is this event *really* for?

If you are looking for a fresh & new ways of celebrating Advent, then this is for you.

If you are interested in interfaith spirituality and Truth outside of Christianity, then this is for you.

If you feel like other religions are a threat to your religious practice and tradition, then this may not be for you. Or, it may be especially for you- to help open to God beyond religion!

Join for $125

(To buy for 10 or more people, email [email protected])

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