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Richard Rohr - 1979

Page updated: 4/29/20


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I am very grateful for the key role Richard Rohr - my spiritual father - has exercised in helping me see with wider vision. His wisdom and that of the others he’s introduced me to, have informed and transformed my life and that of my wife and son for over 40 years. His writing and experience were instrumental in introducing me to the much-needed wisdom of the 12 Steps. But even more profound has been his presentation of the life and example of the man called Jesus, as seen through the eyes of his spiritual father - Francis of Assisi.

Universal Restoration

At-One-Ment not Atonement


​Vulnerability - Even in God

Franciscan Alternative Orthodoxy: Weekly Summary (Sunday, February 2–Friday, February 7, 2020)

A Message from Richard about COVID-19: Love Alone Overcomes Fear March 19, 2020


Center for Action and Contemplation


Our Vision

Amidst a time of planetary change and disruption, we envision a recovery of our deep connection to each other and our world, led by Christian and other spiritual movements that are freeing leaders and communities to overcome dehumanizing systems of oppression and cooperate in the transforming work of Love.

Our Mission

Open the door for a critical mass of spiritual seekers to experience the transformative wisdom of the Christian contemplative tradition and nurture its emergence in service to the healing of our world.

The Eight Core Principles of the Center for Action and Contemplation

These principles were previously published in a pamphlet by the same name, which is now out of print. To read Richard Rohr’s reflection on each principle, click the link in parentheses following each statement.

  1. The teaching of Jesus is our central reference point. (criterion)

  2. We need a contemplative mind in order to do compassionate action. (process)

  3. The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. Oppositional energy only creates more of the same. (emphasis)

  4. Practical truth is more likely found at the bottom and the edges than at the top or the center of most groups, institutions, and cultures. (perspective)

  5. We will support true authority, the ability to “author” life in others, regardless of the group. (non-tribal)

  6. Life is about discovering the right questions more than having the right answers. (primacy of discernment)

  7. True religion leads us to an experience of our True Self and undermines my false self. (ultimate direction)

  8. We do not think ourselves into a new way of living, but we live ourselves into a new way of thinking. (praxis over theory)


The Living School Themes and Wisdom Lineage


The Living School curriculum and various educational offerings at the CAC are grounded in the wisdom that has guided our core faculty—the Christian contemplative lineage with an emphasis on its Franciscan heritage. Listen to Richard Rohr provide a brief synopsis of each element by clicking on the links below.

You may need to adjust your speaker to a comfortable volume. Please enable pop-ups in your browser, as these links will open in a separate window. [Tom's note to readers: I reset the links to open in the same window so they would operate like other links on this site. Separation is an illusion. : )))))]



These teaching themes are also explored in-depth in Fr. Richard’s Book Yes, And and CAC’s annual CONSPIRE conferences.

1. Scripture as validated by experience, and experience as validated by Tradition are good scales for one’s spiritual worldview (METHODOLOGY).

2. If God is Trinity and Jesus is the face of God, then it is a benevolent universe. God is not someone to be afraid of, but is the Ground of Being and on our side (FOUNDATION).

3. For those who see deeply there is only One Reality. By reason of the Incarnation, there is no truthful distinction between sacred and profane (FRAME).

4. Everything belongs. No one needs to be punished, scapegoated, or excluded. We cannot directly fight or separate ourselves from evil or untruth. Darkness becomes apparent when exposed to the Light (ECUMENICAL).

5. The “separate self” is the major problem, not the shadow self which only takes deeper forms of disguise (TRANSFORMATION).

6. The path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (PROCESS).

7. Non-duality is the highest level of consciousness. Divine union, not private perfection, is the goal of all religion (GOAL).


Wisdom Lineage

Core elements of the Christian contemplative wisdom lineage are also explored in Richard’s 2015 Daily Meditations.


The following are links to 1- to 2-minute audio introductions to each theme:

“Bible” of Nature and Creation

Hebrew Scriptures interpreted by the Prophets

Gospels, Incarnation, and Jesus

Paul as first Christian Mystic

Desert Fathers and Mothers

Patristic Period, particularly in the East

Early Franciscanism: Bonaventure and Duns Scotus

Non-dual thinkers of all religions

Orthopraxy in much of Buddhism and Hinduism

Unique witness of mythology, poetry, and art

Non-violent recovery of Gandhi and Martin Luther King

Much of the teaching of C. G. Jung

Scientific evidence from the Universe

12-Step Spirituality / American Pragmatism

Spiral Dynamics and Integral Theory


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