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Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality and the Sacred

"What I learned that day and through all the other days over these last thirty years is that our common spirituality — our global spirituality — is forged together by the prayer of love that transcends religions. It is not a reality that is conceived and constructed by the mind, but a state of consciousness we discover is already present by surrendering ourselves to or sinking down into the spiritual core of life. Global spirituality is an affair of the heart that begins deep within one's soul and is the soul's active expression of the unity of creation that sustains diversity and difference rather than marginalizing those differences. Global spirituality is not solely concerned with the coming together of different religions, but with following a divine call to love in a new way, to be holier. It is a sacred experience on the human horizon that is drawing people toward a mystical, rather than religious expression of faith. For in the mystical traditions, the heart is not primarily the seat of emotions and feelings, but the place that draws us inward and helps us to dwell in our spiritual center. "

"Not confined to religions, global spirituality is predicated on the faith that a new breaking in of the Divine is available for all of the human community today. While we cannot fully comprehend its vastness or nature, we are granted a precious opportunity to offer our own beings as the birth place of a new spiritual life. This breaking in of divinity frees us from elements in our collective religious heritage that are oppressive, socially unconscious, or institutionally self-absorbed. We are challenged to rethink our religious stories, reevaluate our notions of God, cocreate new practices and traditions; and discover new dimensions of reality unknown or unexplored. Global spirituality dwells in the silent spaces that take us back to the beginning, to the structures of consciousness that have given rise to diverse religious worldviews over these many centuries. It provides new practices and ways of being and knowing that lead to the creation of spiritual traditions for our time. "

"Global spirituality seeks to actualize the promise of all the religions of the world — that we can achieve spiritual harmony on earth. It recognizes that this task cannot be accomplished through a collective consciousness that still perceives God, the Real, as separate from the person or creation, or as a punishing, vengeful force. A global spiritual perspective requires a shift in orientation to a God of peace and nonviolence; and from a distant, unfeeling divinity to an experience of the Divine as intimacy itself, immeasurably close to our hearts. It emphasizes that the Divine is the source of benevolence and unification, and is the force of liberation of the heart. It also opens up the individualized and communal consciousness of axial and tribal religions to a multidimensional consciousness. This multidimensional awareness probes the wholeness of things through an interpretive stance that takes into account personal and social (including political, cultural, gender, and racial) differences, the fate of the earth, and the sacred realities that impact on our spirits and on the flourishing of life on earth. "

Rated One of the Best Books of 2007 by Spirituality & Practice Journal

"Beverly Lanzetta is a powerful voice for those who find truth and beauty in a global spirituality.
Emerging Heart presents us with her journey toward spiritual nonviolence and engages the reader with the core ideas of such spiritual teachers as Ewert Cousins, Raimon Panikkar, Mohandas Gandhi, Thomas Merton, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and the Dalai Lama. Readers should be put on notice that this book may well change the way they see the world."

–Harold Kasimow, George Drake Professor of Religious Studies, Grinnell College

"Beverly Lanzetta starts Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality and the Sacred with a vivid account of one of her own mystical experiences. This description is worth the book alone. Lanzetta’s description is moving to the point of breath-taking. One gains a sense of the place of mystical unity, intimacy and total benevolence that she describes as the core of all religions."
–Margaret Riordan, Professor of Sociology, Everett Community College

"Emerging Heart is Lanzetta's most personal and most profound book. She weaves together a
tapestry of personal narrative, inter-religious reflection, and spiritual insight with eloquence and force. This book heralds – and helps to catalyze – the emergence of a global spiritual wisdom grounded on interfaith exchange, contemplative practice, and creative participation in Mystery."
–Jorge N. Ferrer, Associate Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies