Naropa University Oakland

Master of Liberal Arts Program in Creation Spirituality


CSP 603W                                                       Number of Credits: 1


Lecturer: Ana Perez-Chisti, Ph.D.                                    Email address:


Dates: Saturday April 3, Sunday April 4th 2004

Times: Saturday: Body Prayer 9:00-9:30, Seminar 9:30-noon and 1:00-3:00

Art as Meditation (John Parente)  3:30-6:30 p.m.)

            Sunday:    9:00-10:00 Process group

10:00-1:00 Seminar


Course Description:

(The Core Readings course covers the basic literature and themes of Creation Spirituality and Cosmology.  Basic texts include those of Matthew Fox, Thomas Berry, and Brian Swimme.  An exploration of the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality and the cosmological story enables a deeper understanding of the mystical and prophetic dimensions of spirituality.)

In the Spring 2004 semester, the Core Readings course focuses on A Spirituality Named Compassion.

This two-day seminar will focus on Matt Fox’s forceful and compelling view of Compassion as an awakened way of living which springs from the interconnectedness with all of creation. We will cover themes that deal with Sexuality, Psychology, Creativity, Science and Nature, Economics, Politics and Healing. Our spiritual understanding of Compassion will be expanded from an idea that is privatized and sentimental to one that is collectively responsive.

This seminar will introduce the Four Path System of Creation Spirituality which the Medieval mystics such as Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas, and Hildegard von Bingen understood and expressed in their spiritual exegesis. For those who already know the Four Paths system of Creation Spirituality, this seminar will be an applied review. For those students who are new to the Four Path system, this seminar will be a conscious discovery of ideas, images and symbols for our shared, deep, common experience.

Course Objectives:

1.        To deconstruct sexual mystification that has contributed to compassion’s exile.

2.        To remove the psychological controls that block compassion.

3.        To explore the fears that stifle creativity and how these fears keep compassion away from one self.

4.        To question the old Newtonian scientific paradigm that sets up obstacles toward developing a compassionate relationship to the earth.

5.        To envision how we can economically live simply so that others may simply live.

6.        To reconstruct politics as a just sharing rather than an elitist, ladder-like power-over model.

7.        To uncover methods of healing the split of body-soul, self-others, we-them, types of dualistic consciousness.


Required Text for this weekend Seminar will be:

Matthew Fox’s, A Spirituality Named Compassion. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1979, 1990.

ISBN 0-06-254871-9

Please read the entire text before class meets.

Final Paper: A short integrated, well referenced paper (referring to text) on the subject of “Responsible Compassion.” Describe an action or basic desire to want to do something for others without a selfish motive. Length-5 pages.  Due: April 19

Art as Meditation:  (Saturday 3:30-6:30 p.m.)  Drawing as Compassion Practice (John Parente)

Every spiritual tradition accents the need to awaken from our dulled existence, telling us not just to look but to SEE.  Drawing offers us a disciplined meditative practice in SEEing.  This art-as-meditation wil focus on SEEing more deeply and not on what appears on the paper.  This practicum will surprise you by how well you can draw and how compassion deepens when one truly engages in SEEing.