History 2017-05-05T08:31:11+00:00

Brief History of the Spiritual Paths Foundation

The Spiritual Paths Foundation was founded in Aspen, CO in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) tax deductible not-for-profit organization. Its mission and programs were inspired by Dr. Ed Bastian’s thirty-year work as a Buddhist scholar, filmmaker and student of world religions. It was most directly influenced by his participation in Father Thomas Keating’s Snowmass Conference for Inter-religious Dialog at St. Benedict’s Monastery. It was here that Ed met with great teachers of meditation and contemplation from many religious traditions as they shared each other’s practices and discussed openly and deeply their methods and insights.

These contemplative participants at St. Benedict’s Monastery were modeling a new inter-spiritual paradigm wherein participants shared the profound depths of their diverse contemplative practices.  This new approach went deeper that the previous model of polite interfaith gatherings that fostered friendship, tolerance and respect.  But here at St Benedict’s Monastery, Ed experienced the emergence of a new inter-spiritual paradigm that permeated the shared experience of each meditator.  In his journal he wrote: “Like many pebbles simultaneously dropped into a still pond, the ripples from each individual’s consciousness seemed to overlap and join with one another. It is an InterSpiritual Consciousness.  Once we are joined at this level of our being, we can never again see the other as the other.  Truly, this is the foundation for world peace.”

The goal of the Spiritual Paths Foundation has been to expand this new paradigm and to offer InterSpiritual programming to the public at large through retreats, classes, books, videos and e-courses. Over the past fifteen years, we have held dozens or programs throughout North America wherein over 40 esteemed contemplative teachers and many hundreds of students from many major traditions have found common ground for forging shared wisdom that enhances communal and individual spiritual development leading to greater peace and justice, and a healthier environment. Our educational programs are helping to create a universal, non-sectarian InterSpiritual Wisdom that can be a unifying and healing force in the world.

Building on these programs, we developed a two-year, masters-level certificate training program on InterSpiritual Wisdom graduated twenty-two students in 2010. This program was co-developed and taught by Rev. Cythia Bourgeault, Shaikh Kabir and Shaikha Camille Helminski, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Swami Atmarupananda and Ed Bastian.  Educationally and experientially it was a great success.  However, to sustain it financially would have required us to double our tuitions or make up the difference through donations.  Since neither option was viable, we turned to the next chapter.

With deep gratitude for the combined wisdom gained from of our great teachers, our public programs and our 2-year certificate program on InterSpiritual Wisdom, Ed began dedicating his time to completing books, workbooks and video talks on InterSpirituality that are now the basis for our present online courses, retreats and private mentoring.

Past Programs

Following is a partial list of previous Spiritual Paths InterSpiritual classes, weekend retreats and programs.

2012

InterSpiritual Meditation Weekend Retreat, La Casa de Maria, Feb. 10-12, 2012.

Sept. 29 – Oct. 6, Leading From Within: Using the Spiritual Paths Mandala and InterSpiritual Meditation to Create Your Personal Path and being in service to others. Click here for more information.

Oct. 5-7, Crestone, Colorado (tentative), InterSpiritual Meditation. More details coming soon. Click here for more information.

2011

January 30 – March 9: InterSpiritual Meditation – an e-course with Spirituality and Practice.

April 4 – May 23: Buddhist from the Inside Out – an eight week course on Monday nights led by Ed Bastian at La Casa de Maria.

July 11: Inter-religious Association on Linn County hosted a day long seminar on InterSpiritual Meditation in Cedar Rapids, IA.

July 22: IONS CONFERENCE – InterSpiritual Meditation Seminar – a full-day seminar led by Ed Bastian.

July 24-29: ESALEN INSTITUTE – InterSpiritual Meditation Seminar – a five-day seminar led by Ed Bastian at The Esalen Institute.

Sept. 11-16: ASPEN CHAPEL – InterSpiritual Meditation seminar each morning for three hours, Thursday-Saturday. Course overview will be given on Wednesday, 6 – 7:30 PM.

Sept. 26 – Dec. 4, Certificate Online Course on InterSpiritual Meditation.

2010

InterSpiritual Meditation, Fall, 2010
Ed Bastian led a seminar at La Casa de Maria based on his book: “InterSpiritual Meditation.”

“Program on InterSpiritual Wisdom,” Spring Intensive on “Global Vision & Personal Commitment” with Cynthia Bourgeault, Rami Shapiro, Kabir and Camille Helminski, Swami Atmarupananda, Ed Bastian.

InterSpiritual Wisdom: Shared Thoughts of Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist Meditation January 31, 2010, Miami, Fl. with Rami Shapiro, Kabir and Camille Helminski, Swami Atmarupananda, Ed Bastian.

InterSpiritual Wisdom: Practicing Together from the Heart of the World’s Religions,” Feb 27-28 San Francisco, United Lutheran Church
with Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Shaikh Kabir and Camille Helminski, Dr. Ed Bastian, Swami Atmarupananda

“InterSpiritual Wisdom: E-Course” a partnership with Spirituality and Practice, with Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Shaikh Kabir and Camille Helminski, Dr. Ed Bastian, and Swami Atmarupananda

“Self Emptying,” January, 2010, La Casa de Maria with Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, and Dr Ed Bastian.

2009

“InterSpiritual Wisdom,” Semester 3 Intensive “Applied Spirituality,” Aspen Colorado
with Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Dr. Ed Bastian, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Shaikha Camille Helminski, and Swami Atmarupananda.

“InterSpiritual Wisdom,” Semester 2 Intensive “Maps of Transformation,” at La Casa de Maria with Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Dr. Ed Bastian, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Shaikha Camille Helminski, and Swami Atmarupananda.

2008

“InterSpiritual Meditation and Contemplation: Forging Deep EcoSpirituality,” February 8-10, 2008, La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, CA,

2007

“A Call to Healing: Returning to the Source of our Practice”A Program for End-of-Life Caregivers, January 19-21, 2007, La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, CA, with Dr. Michael Kearney, Fleet Maul, Richard Groves, Ed Bastian, Ph.D.

“Spirit & Nature: Spiritual Resources for Sustainable Living,” September 14-16, 2007, La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, CA, with Don “Four Arrows” Jacobs (Native American), Pravrajika Vrajaprana (Hinduism), Prof. Mike McGinnis, PhD & Sharyn Main, Ed Bastian, Ph.D.,Congressperson Hon. Lois Capps, Michael Potts, CEO, Rocky Mtn. Institute, Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Ph. (Christianity), Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Ph.D. (Judaism), Shaikh Kabir & Shaikha Camille Helminski (Islam & Sufism)

“Spirit & Nature: Spiritual Resources for Sustainable Living,” October 5-7, 2007, Aspen Chapel, Aspen, CO, co-sponsored by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies with Randy Udall (CORE), Michael Potts (Rocky Mountain Institute), Rev. Sally Bingham (Interfaith Power and Light), Gary Gardner (World Watch Institute), Loya Cesspooch (Ute Indian Elder), Nanna Borchert, (RMI).

2006

“The Path of Love and Compassion,” Feb. 3-5, La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, with Bikshuni Tenzin Kacho, Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Dr. Ed Bastian, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Shaikha Camille Helminski, and Swami Atmarupananda.

“The Path of Love and Compassion,” Feb. 24-26, Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY, with Father Thomas Keating, Tara Brach, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Shaikh Kabir and Shaikha Camille Helminski.

“Spirituality and Health,” July 29-31, Aspen Chapel, Aspen Institute, Aspen, with Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Dr. Elliot Dasher, Tina Staley, Ed Bastian, Ph.D., cosponsored by Spirituality and Health Magazine.

“Wisdom and Spiritual Practice,” Sept. 8-10, La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, ??Pravrajika Vrajaprana (Hinduism), Chief Jake Swamp (Native American), Shaikh Kabir and Shaikha Camille Helminski, Rv. Cynthia Bourgeault (Christianity).

2005

“The Way of Contemplation and Action,” Feb, 4-6, La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, with Father Thomas Keating, Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi, Shaikh Kabir and Shaikha Camille Helminski, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Dr. Ed Bastian.

“Living Fully: Preparing for the End of Life,” June 10-15, Hollyhock, Cortez Island, BC, Canada, with Ven Ajahn Sona (Buddhism), Ven. Koten Benson (Buddhism), Shaikh Kabir and Shaikha Camille Helminski, Rv. Cynthia Bourgeault (Christianity), Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Dr. Ed Bastian.

“The Path of Relationships,” July 7-10, Aspen Chapel, Aspen, with Prof. Judith Simmer Brown (Buddhism), Rev. Lauren Artress, Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Dr. Ed Bastian, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Shaikha Camille Helminski.

2004

“Living Fully, Preparing for the End of Life and Beyond,” July 9-11, Aspen Chapel, Aspen, with Rabbi Zalman Schachter, Roshi Joan Halifax, Dr. Ira Byock, Mother Tessa Bielecki, Dr. Marilyn Schlitz (IONS), William Cathers (Aspen Institute), Tina Staley (Path Finders), Dr. Ed Bastian.

2003

“The Way of Contemplation and Meditation,” May 9-11, Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY, with Father Thomas Keating, Swami Atmarupananda, Rabbi Miles Krassen, Sharon Salzberg, Shaikh Kabir and Shaikha Camille Helminski, Dr. Ed Bastian.

“The Way of Faith and Devotion,” Aug. 22-24, Aspen Chapel, Aspen Institute, Aspen, with Sister Jose Hobday (Native American), Sister Bramaprana, Sharon Saltzerg, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Shaikha Camille Helminski, Dr. Ed Bastian.

“The Way of the Mystic,” Sept. 19-22, La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, with Carol Lee Flinders, Prof. Judith Simmer Brown, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Dr. Ed Bastian, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Shaikha Camille Helminski

2002

“The Way of the Mystic,” Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado, with Father Thomas Keating, Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Rabbi Lea Novick, Sarah Harding, Ed Bastian, Ph.D.,

“The Way of Contemplation and Meditation,” Aspen Chapel and Aspen Institute, Aspen, with Father Thomas Keating, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Ajahn Sundara, Swami Atmarupananda, Dr. Ed Bastian.

Programs with Other Organizations

The following partial list does not include programs taught by Ed Bastian at such places as Esalen, Omega, the InterSpiritual Center in Vancouver, BC.