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Universal Order of Sannyasa

now known as the Community of The Mystic Heart

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Dedicated to spiritual life practice, selfless service and advancement of the interspiritual message

www.orderofsannyasa.org

www.communityofthemysticheart.org

CMH is proud to have been part of launching so much of the history of the Interspiritual Movement; CMH is dedicated to continuing to re-invent its work to serve that vision!

Brother Wayne envisioned this association in The Mystic Heart (p. 248). UOS was launched in 2010 by ISDnA in association with the Order of Universal Interfaith and the World Council of Interfaith Congregations.  A few months later its name was modified to the Community of The Mystic Heart, a Circle of Interspiritual Mystics and Contemplatives originally envisioned as The Universal Order of Sannyasa by Bro. Wayne Teasdale

to inquire about joining, email the Administrator:  kurtjohnsonisd@yahoo.com or go online at http://www.ouni.org/uos.html  

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History

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Brother Wayne (right) with Fr. Bede Griffiths at Shantivanum, India.  The "lineage" of Christian spiritual leaders who became trans-traditional pioneers when they met the spirituality of other world cultures can be traced back at least to the 1600's.  Here, its became all about the Heart and Love, not Creed or Dogma.

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Early photo with H. H. The Dalai Lama and Brother Wayne as a Sannyasa

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Brother Wayne taking his vows as a Christian Sannyasa before his Cardinal and other church representatives in Chicago, 2003

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More Photos of Founding of the Universal Order of Sannyasa, January 9, 2010

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All Souls Church, Washington DC

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Conclave and Sacred Readings

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Transmission Ceremony, Kurt Johnson and Dorothy Cunha

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InterSpiritual Ordinations Across Many Traditions

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Rev. Jean Leone, a Founder

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Honoring InterSpiritual Pioneers (Allyson Davis, immediately above, one of five including Huston Smith, Bro. Wayne, Fr. Bede Griffiths and Fr. Thomas Keating)

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Benediction by Rev. Dr. Thomas Downes, a Founder

A Universal Order of Sannyasa poster by Dr. Ernest Wachter

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Working from the saffron colors, art on this page is from "The Maha" paintings by Dafna Mordecai

The Universal Order of Sannyasa (now known as the Community of The Mystic Heart)

The Universal Order of Sannyasa was envisioned by Brother Wayne Teasdale on pages 248-250 of his classic book The Mystic Heart:   Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions.  He suggested it as a basic "institution" or "structure" to help carry and express The InterSpiritual Age. 

Bro. Wayne saw the initial founding of an "association" around his interspiritual vision (InterSpiritual Dialogue founded with Brother Wayne in 2002, later becoming InterSpiritual Dialogue in Action after his transition in 2005) as a first step in that direction.  But he always saw the "Sannyasa", the renunciates who could dedicate themselves to the 24/7 task of the evolving interspiritual message, to be the dedicated vanguard of this movement. 

The founding of the Universal Order of Sannyasa finally came about in 2010 advancing the following timeline of the Wayne-related work.

2002:    "InterSpiritual Dialogue (ISD)" founded with Brother Wayne

2004:    Program of ISD at Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona

2005:    Common Ground Tribute Event to Bro. Wayne at The Crossings; ISDnA founded, www.isdna.org website established

2007:    2nd Common Ground event at The Crossings

2008:    ISDnA partners with a New York interfaith seminary, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, to found Wayne-based education program

2009:    Joint ISDnA/ World Council of Interfaith Congregations presentation at Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne "The Call to Interfaith Ministry"

2010:    ISDnA launches "InterSpiritual Multiplex" website with strategic partners and founds "Universal Order of Sannyasa" in partnership with the Order of Universal Interfaith and World Council of Interfaith Congregations.  Order of Sannyasa website is founded at www.orderofsannyasa.org

A few months later the name was modified to become the Community of The Mystic Heart, a Circle of Interspiritual Mystics and Contemplatives originally envisioned as The Universal Order of Sannyasa by Bro. Wayne Teasdale.

Websitewww.communityofthemysticheart.org

 

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Dr. Kurt Johnson reading "Words of Bro. Wayne" at UOS Founding; left, Rev. Jean Leone, Secretary-General of Order of Universal Interfaith

 

Words from Brother Wayne at the founding of the Universal Order of Sannyasa, January 9, 2010

Assembled and delivered by Kurt Johnson, representing the Founders:

We are here to fulfill Brother Wayne’s dream of a Universal Order of Sannyasa, the part of his classic book The Mystic Heart (1999) to which, Wayne said, he received the most response worldwide.   

It is important to understand that this dream is the culmination of the dreams of many, in all the traditions, and a part of the evolution of the world’s spiritual paths into a recognition of the one convergent path they have always been, leading as Wayne said to the possibility of a civilization based on the Heart.  To understand this, and to make this endeavor together, we need to refresh some of the reminders and pointers which Wayne provided.   He said: 

“We are at the dawn of a new consciousness, a radically fresh approach to our life as the human family in a fragile world”.  “This journey is what spirituality is really about”.  “We are not meant to remain just where we are.   We cannot depend on our culture either to guide and support us in our quest.  We must do the hard work of clarification together ourselves”.  "This revolution will be the task of the Interspiritual Age", he wrote, "The necessary shifts in consciousness require a new approach to spirituality that transcends past religious cultures of fragmentation and isolation".

"We need to understand, to really grasp at an elemental level", he said "that the definitive revolution is the spiritual awakening of humankind".

Of our balanced attention, Wayne also wrote:  “If transformation is only a matter of consciousness, then there is always the risk that the change many never touch the deeply hidden intentions of the heart.  If the will is not involved in the radical change the spiritual process initiates, then the resultant “enlightenment” is only partial.  Clearly, if the mystical process is to be complete, it must include a profound transformation in the will.  Achieving the ultimate awareness of the way things are is simply not enough.” But, instead to "forge a common ground and actual impetus toward realization of this dream of a new civilization grounded in the “mystic Heart.”   

 “This new paradigm must be able to accommodate all human experience, knowledge and capacities” “built both on intellectual integration and direct experience”  and “make available to everyone all the forms the spiritual journey assumes”. 

"It will take enormous vision and courage to walk this path in history.  It brings to mind Christ's words: "Unless a grain of wheat fall into the earth and dies, it remains only a single grain, but if it dies it yields a rich harvest".

“Spirituality, finally, is awareness and sensitivity, and sensitivity is itself awareness-in-action.  It is this quality that we most require in our time and in the ages to come, but it is a quality refined only in the mystic heart, in the steady cultivation of compassion and love that risks all for the sake of others.  It is these resources that we desperately need as we build the civilization with a heart, a universal society capable of embracing all that is, putting it to service in the transformation of the world.  May the mystics lead the way to this rebirth of the human community that will harmonize itself with the cosmos and finally make peace with all beings.” 

"The Interspritiual Age will require institutions and structures to carry, express, and support of it. I suggest that a fundamental institution should be an interspiritual order of monastics or contemplatives open to all people -- men and women, married and single, young, middle-aged, and old, confused or clear, adherents or not, with faith or agnostic -- united in their desire for a deeper, more meaningful life. This would be a truly universal society of sannyasa, an order that welcomes as members individuals from all the world's religions and even from no tradition at all.”

"The term sannyasa, referring to renunciation, refers to all those saints, seers, sages, ascetics, and yogis over thousands of years who have renounced the world and made possible something beyond the comprehension of religion, something that transcends religion, because it is infinite and ineffable. Ite eludes the capacity of any concept or doctrine to express or contain it. Sannyasis transcend religion because they seek integration with the absolute, which is infinitely beyond our spiritual institutions and all our conceptual and theological formulations. Sannyasa is a call to the mystical life."

"A universal or intermystical order of sannyasa, of contemplatives or  mystics, would act as a meeting point for all traditions. It would also democratize the spiritual life as a state in which people could help one another, sharing their insights and spiritual resources. Sannyasa would be an existential place of encounter, free of the doctrinal differences that divide the traditions. Sannyasa is from the various religions could then join together in collaborative efforts to reverse the negative habits that produced the ecological crisis, countelss wars, and the many forms of injustice, oppression, and inequity.  The interspiritual society of sannyassa would also provide a forum for the further exploration of the mystical journey in all traditions, and in the emerging universal tradition as well. Teachers could be trained in the order in a universal vision, formed in the commitment.”

 Nearing the end of his earthly life, Bro. Wayne said of his core teaching:  “The Divine is infinite sensitivity.”  And, of the Dream of the Univeral Order of Sannyasa. Wayne said “We must believe that extraordinary people will step forward and establish extraordinary relationships.” 

We are privileged to be here today to work together toward the fulfillment of that dream.

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Wisdom Keeper Dorothy Cunha correographed the founding ceremony based on the Pachakuti Mesa tradition, consistent with that traditional also hosting ceremony for the 2005 Bro. Wayne Tribute Event in Austin, Texas

 

Activities and Mission of the Universal Order of Sannyasa (now known as the Community of The Mystic Heart)

The central mission of the Universal Order of Sannyasa is in keeping with Brother Wayne's call to advance the message of interspirituality.   Teasdale on pages 248-250 of his classic book The Mystic Heart:  Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions.   He suggested it as a basic "institution" or "structure" to help carry and express The InterSpiritual Age.

In a nutshell, Bro. Wayne defined "interspirituality" as the kind of spirituality that is so heart-centered, so centered on the recognition of everyone and everything as the interconnected Divine, that any divisive considerations of belief, creed, concepts, dogmas, exclusive claims, etc. are not only secondary concerns but, at worst (as in fundamentalism), a kind of immature or even pathological spirituality.

To Wayne, conventional "Interfaith" was a level of consciousness and heart that, on the one hand, recognized that, yes, the different spiritual experiences of the world (and their organized religions) should search for dialogue, tolerance, understanding and peace, but on the other hand were still caught in the unnecessary trap about "who is right?".

Beyond Interfaith, Wayne saw a "trans-traditional spirituality".  This was a deeper spirituality-- a spirituality more interested in the gifts and riches of all the experiences, statements, celebrations and faiths. He noted that this spirituality was less concerned about the divisive question of "who is right?" but could still not ultimately put that concern aside.

In "Interspirituality", however, Bro. Wayne saw a level of consciousness and heart that was so aware of the interconnectedness (or Oneness) of all that the historical questions of "who is right?" in dogma, creed, or belief became irrelevant.  This is why "interspirituality" is so closely related to what is also called "awakened awareness" or "enlightenment"-- ultimately experienced as a complete dropping away of any sense of separation.  Of course "Oneness" and "interconnectedness" may be comprehended only mentally at first.  That is a first step.  Our ultimate nature, however, is to comprehend and embody it fully.  

It is useful to point out that in 2005 when Wayne and ISD planned their program on Interspirituality for the Parliament of the World's Religions, few had even heard of the word.  However, when you Google "Interspirituality" today you find countless references.  The mission of those connected to Bro. Wayne has always been to aid this evolution.

As of 2010 the discussion of what the Universal of Sanyasa can "Be" and "Do" is a wide open question, under discussion by the emerging membership.

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Rev. Timothy Miner (right) and other co-founders of WCIC

 

Structure of the Universal Order of Sannyasa (now known as the Community of The Mystic Heart)

The key word in Brother Wayne's visioning of the Universal Order of Sannyasa was "Universal".  As you can see in his words above, such an "Order" would need a big "sliding scale" to accommodate the life circumstances not only of persons from many traditions but persons busy with all the demands of life, work, family etc.  Yet, Bro. Wayne realized, as he said, that there would be among these, many wanting to give and serve in a major way regarding the unfolding of the interspiritual vision.  Swami Vidyananda, in her "Welcome" to the UOS from members of the more traditional Sannyasa, recognized this as well.  She provided some profound pointers on what it means to answer the mystical and service related "calling" of sannyasa in a modern setting. 

Accordingly, the structure and governance of the UOS is constantly under discussion to accommodate a modern vision.  

Currently, both members and non-members of the UOS participate in an overseeing "Advisory Council" for the Order. This Council is particularly anchored by friends and associates of Bro. Wayne whose goal is to help UOS "get it right".

It is likely there will be levels of participation and commitment to the Order.  The first step, for all of us, is to be an "Aspirant"-- one who wants to join in the endeavor.  There will also probably be a level of "Intentional Membership", for people who support the vision of the Order but are not free to engage fully in its activities.  We also envision a "Foundational Membership".  These would be persons who join the UOS in its intention, vision, and some activities, but simply have life circumstances that-- right now-- don't allow them to make a  rigorous commitment to daily practice, sacred activism, and service to advancing the interspiritual message.  But they would be involved in UOS nonetheless. 

The other level would be "Pillar Membership".  Pillar members might likely be persons whose life circumstances actually allow a more 24/7 commitment to the interspiritual message and all that it implies.   This includes spiritual teachers, leaders, and retired persons who can now turn there energies completely toward this endeavor.

Ordination in the UOS is possible through UOS's affiliation with the Order of Univeral Interfaith, a duly constituted Religious Order under the laws of the District of Columbia.  Accordingly, ordination is possible as an "Interfaith and Interspiritual Minister and Cleric" or, for indigenous paths, "Wisdom Keeper".

 

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Rev. Dr. Thomas Dowes, right, a founder of ISDnA, UOS and OUnI speaks at the Sannyasa founding.  At left, are Revs. Timothy Miner and Jean Leone of the Order of Universal Interfaith

to inquire about joining see more at

www.orderofsannyasa.org

www.communityofthemysticheart.org

email the Administrator:  kurtjohnsonisd@yahoo.com or go on line at http://www.ouni.org/uos.html

 

   ___________________________________

InterSpiritual Dialogue 'n Action (ISDnA, est. 2002) & Broadband Contemplative Alliances Network (bcan.ws, est. 2004) with Brother Wayne. Multiplex Maingate is www.isdna.org; Multiplex Visitors Center is multiplex.isdna.org.   All rights reserved for original materials first published here; thanks to many associates for linked and associated materials.  ISDnA's educational partner is One Spirit Interfaith (www.onespiritinterfaith.org), ISDnA is a founding member of The Order of Universal Interfaith (OUnI www.ouni.org), World Council of Interfaith Congregations (WCIC, www.ouni.org), The Coalition for OneVoice (www.coalitionforonevoice.org) and the Universal Order of Sannyasa (originally envisioned by Bro. Wayne, www.orderofsannyasa.org).  Administrator Contact kurtjohnsonisd@yahoo.com

INTERSPIRITUAL MULTIPLEX / INTERFAITH MULTIPLEX