Learn more about “Teresa of Avila as a Guide for our Times”
Overview of Teresa of Avila as a Guide for our Times
What makes the writings and wisdom of mystics, such as Teresa of Avila, Francis of Assisi, Rumi, and Buddha, relevant to us century after century? And why would their teachings, and in this case the writings of Teresa of Avila, be significant to your modern, busy, chaotic life?
It’s not a complicated matter to understand: People have always and will always search for the sacred. Though we continually evolve in our understanding of the Divine – and even question whether we believe in God – what remains the same within us is our need, in ordinary language, to find meaning and purpose in life. A mystic would describe that deep gravitational pull to find purpose as the desire to hear the Divine, “call us by name”. It is inconceivable to us that our lives are just random events. And devoid of a sense of inner direction, we often experience depression or anxiety. Teresa of Avila recognized this inner suffering as a spiritual crisis, just as it should be explored today. The line between a spiritual and psychological crisis is remarkably thin, as will be discussed in this series.
The genius of Teresa of Avila is especially significant to our times for so many reasons, not the least of which is that she was renowned for charting a map into the interior journey of the soul. She had a profound understanding of the fundamental spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs of human beings. Her insights and teachings are perhaps even more relevant today, as we are now driven to understand our inner self, our emotional and psychological health, and our place in the greater scheme of life. She taught that self-knowledge – the pursuit of the power and authority of your inner nature – was the way to truly understand the mysteries of what makes you who you are and what gives your life meaning. Everyone requires guidance to truly know their interior self.
The inner journey has always been a complex one, but today that interior sojourn is even more essential because we are confronted with a world that is on fire. Our world is changing faster than we can comprehend. This personal and global transformation that is underway has been in the works for decades, but we have also had more than seventy-years of out-pouring of spiritual and mystical teachings from all traditions, directing us to awaken our inner resources as our most trusted navigating skills. What are these tools? And how do you utilize your spiritual and intuitive resources? In this workshop, I will share the genius of Teresa of Avila in a contemporary way, offering her work in a way that serves your everyday life.
Teresa of Avila, who was a sixteenth century Spanish Mystic (and a favorite teacher of Caroline as well as me) had a vision of the soul as a magnificent palace and saw that the work of our lives is to make our way through each chamber to the center of our true Self. She identifies seven universal features of this inner terrain and teaches us very specifically how to identify each station and progress to the next.
Rather than a vertical trajectory of ascension, taking us up and out of our human experience, she invites us to fully inhabit our humanity, with loving awareness and uncompromising courage.
From the importance of contemplative prayer to the power of humility, through the challenges of cultivating spiritual discipline and the refuge of intimacy with God, Teresa teaches us how to know ourselves deeply and use that knowledge to uplift and empower others.
Contemplative Prayer, Humility and Self-Knowledge
Messages from the Universe and Cultivating Discipline
Dropping from Head to Heart and Resting in God
The Beautiful Wound and Compassionate Action
About Mirabai Starr
Mirabai Starr is an award-winning author of creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss.
Her latest book, WILD MERCY: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, was named one of the “Best Books of 2019” by Spirituality & Practice. Mirabai is on the 2020 Watkins List of the “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People of the World.” She lives with her extended family in the mountains of northern New Mexico.