Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body, director of the Refuge Meditation Group, and a featured columnist on Elephant Journal.

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality for Elephant Journal To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Benjamin Riggs is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and retreats. Fees are negotiable for nonprofits, churches, and dharma centers. Minimal travels expenses and basic accommodations are nonnegotiable. Please send all speaking and teaching requests to [email protected]

Benjamin Riggs's cover photo

Benjamin Riggs

City Council Regular Session February12th, 2019

City Council Regular Session February12th, 2019

[10/16/18]   "Heaven is not out there or later on. “They will not say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed,” Jesus observes, “the kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom is a new pair of glasses, a new “attitude and outlook upon life,” Wilson says. This attitude is simplicity and meditation fosters it.

The ordinary appears extra-ordinary through the lens of simplicity. Every chirping bird sings as it ought, every tree stands where it should, ornamented with not a leaf too many, until the moment one is discharged, falling to a spot seemingly chosen for it. We are one of these leaves; so are our friends and our enemies. The sun rises on the just and unjust alike in the Great Reality. Basic awareness adheres to that reality. In selfless awareness, all things have their place and that place is determined by where they are right now. There is no staging, no self-centered price of acceptance. Simplicity does not screen reality’s contents. It admits them, no questions asked. Simplicity punctuates each passing moment with a triumphant 'Amen!'" ~excerpted from "The Triumph of Principles: A Story of American Spirituality in Twelve Steps" (my upcoming book on 12-Step Spirituality)

[10/11/18]   "God dwells within us, but not as a nut inside a shell. The presence of God pervades our entire being. It is pristine and ever-present, but obscured by a veil of thoughts. We are parted from God-consciousness by the filmiest of screens. Interior prayer lifts this screen. It parses the endless stream of self-referencing thoughts that overlay God-consciousness. When these scales fall from our mind’s eye, consciousness receives a God’s-eye view. This transparent eyeball sees the world and its people as they are, not as ego would have them be. This is the vital principle from which the mind draws life. It is the breath, the spirit, the essence of sanity. Prayer restores sanity. " ~ excerpted from my upcoming book "The Triumph of Principles: A Story of American Spirituality in Twelve Steps"

[09/28/18]   "I believe something happened to Dr. Ford but not at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh" is the Republican line. Please don't let this go unchallenged. This line aims to discredit Dr. Ford and avoid voter backlash. Republicans want to have their cake and eat it too, but this is an entirely untenable position. Dr. Ford knew Brett Kavanaugh. He was not a stranger to her. Victims do not misidentify people known to them. Please share.

[09/15/18]   I am at Blue Sky Yoga in Monroe, Louisiana today. I am teaching a contemplative Christianity workshop. Anyone interested in enlarging their spiritual life will enjoy the material covered, which includes both prayer and meditation. This workshop aims to make God less of an idea and more of a direct experience, active and present in all of our affairs. If you are in the area, please stop by at 1 pm.

amazon.com

Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West

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amazon.com That we all want to live meaningful, happy lives is self-evident. The question is, how? Finding God in the Body answers this question with action, spiritual practice. Finding God in the Body draws from the wisdom of the world's traditions--Buddhism, contemplative Christianity, Judaism, and Twelve...

amazon.com

Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West

Finding God in the Body is $0.99 on Kindle today!

Please share the savings with your friends by sharing this post.

Running a promotion over the next 7 days where the price will increase incrementally until it returns to its original price. Get it now.

amazon.com That we all want to live meaningful, happy lives is self-evident. The question is, how? Finding God in the Body answers this question with action, spiritual practice. Finding God in the Body draws from the wisdom of the world's traditions--Buddhism, contemplative Christianity, Judaism, and Twelve...

refugegroupbr.blogspot.com

The Emerging Messianic Impulse of Evangelical Christianity

"When the throne of ultimacy is usurped by politics, the religious or spiritual impulse becomes an agent of the state or the party. Politics becomes a god or object of faith. This is communism and fascism—and I believe history will add to this list, Trumpism."

refugegroupbr.blogspot.com Faith is an indispensable component of the human experience. Faith can be religious or humanistic, spiritual or even political, bu...

[04/04/18]   "The rational mind is morally obligated to consent to the structure of being, which is revealed in the body. It has to be true to our Self, so to speak. This imperative is issued not by sages and saints, philosophers or prophets, though they all have announced it. The proclamation itself comes from our very soul, which issues consequences the moment we deviate from the path plotted by its expansion." ~ from my upcoming book "The Triumph of Principles"

amazon.com

Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West

Looking for a book that offers a modern view of spiritual practice with detailed instruction for meditation & contemplative prayer? My book "Finding God in the Body" is a free download on Amazon today only!

amazon.com That we all want to live meaningful, happy lives is self-evident. The question is, how? Finding God in the Body answers this question with action, spiritual practice. Finding God in the Body draws from the wisdom of the world's traditions--Buddhism, contemplative Christianity, Judaism, and Twelve...

Hope Rising

DAY 22: Benjamin Riggs

Music is a melodious stream; or, one might say, strategically placed moments of silence. These gaps allow the music to flow, and without them, there is nothing but clamor. And so it is with the stream of life. To live is to die. To pass from one moment to the next, we must shed the skin of the previous, and it is emptiness that allows for this process to unfold.

Growth is dependent upon space, or room to grow. This space is the strategically placed point of nothingness at our core. It is the poverty in which we all share, and it is in this poverty that we find God.

The unconscious wants to be made conscious; the formless given shape; potential yearns to be realized, and our True Self incarnated. If the Gospel’s say anything - anything at all - they say that God longs to be born into this world and that we are his midwife.

Entering our poverty is braving the wilderness. It is answering the call to adventure. Poverty manifests in the life of some as emotional insecurity and for others as financial hardship, but at its core it’s that point of nothingness: the womb from which God is born.

In our poverty we suffer the pains of childbirth, but not for naught. Each push exposes the artifice of ego, bringing us closer to the indwelling presence of God - the ground of meaning that substantiates our life. This the great mystery swaddling our lives: suffering is redemptive and poverty a source of great wealth. The struggles and hardships encountered along the spiritual path are not obstacles. They are the path, and narrow is the path that cuts through the wilderness in route to life; so narrow, in fact, that only in our poverty can we pass. For to live, we must first die. This is the “Sign of Jonah.”

Benjamin Riggs is the author of “Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West.” He is also a featured columnist for Elephant Journal, host of the Finding God in the Body podcast, and director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA. Ben has studied Buddhism and Contemplative Christianity for the past fifteen years in both Christian and Buddhist monasteries in India and the U.S. He lives in Shreveport, LA with his wife and son.

[03/09/18]   "Faith is pejoratively described as believing a claim that lacks evidence. I would say (with William James) that faith is the capacity to act where doubt persists. This capacity is also called courage and willingness; faith is just its religious moniker. If we lift faith from its religious context, this capacity is revealed to be essential.

Imagine life without faith. What domain of life is immune to doubt? We hardly ever engage life armed with the sum of relevant facts. If action is precluded by doubt, life becomes gridlock. The capacity to act in the face of uncertainty is, therefore, as necessary to daily living as honesty and love. The propositions that inspire leaps of faith become beliefs when those leaps prove reliably beneficial. Beliefs are ideas that lack the evidentiary basis of facts, nevertheless routinely inform our actions because, by way of faith, they have proven themselves tried and true. In this sense, faith and belief function much like a “working hypothesis.” They bridge the gulf of doubt separating reason and the imperative to act.

The constellation of beliefs that guide an individual’s actions is commonly called their belief system. The mechanism of faith remains essential, but particular beliefs have a shelf life. Healthy beliefs inspire acts that lead us in the way of meaning. Inherited beliefs are useful only if they successfully navigate the present terrain. Beliefs expire when the problems of meaning they were adopted to address change. The beliefs we inherit from our ancestors are, for this reason, often outdated. This is why faith is so essential. It enables us to form new belief systems, draw fresh maps of meaning.

Doubt is chaos. It is a field of diasporic details, often conflicting, never cohesive, which breeds indecision and inaction. This is the obstacle faith overcomes. It leaps from one shore with no assurance of landing on another. When it finds dry land, belief builds a bridge. Belief mythologizes the gap, lending rhyme and reason, which serve as the basis for future passages. This rhyme and reason is an internal logic. It is a subjective truth, not a tapestry of objective facts. Faith and belief are not antithetical to reason. They paint a picture that maps onto reality, only that reality is our life, not the cosmos. Therefore, faith and belief appeal to an inner authority.

Hope dawns when chaos is transformed into order. In this moment the way forward is revealed. The frustration of being stranded is replaced by excitement and anticipation about the adventure ahead. This is the quintessence of the sensational variety of spiritual experience. At their core, these experiences are loaded with meaning. Faith takes the expeditionary leap. Belief then provides the internal rationale to bring the conscious mind along. Suddenly, a missing portion of our map is unlocked. An area of our life that was once a source of confusion now makes sense, which is to say, warrants action.

The internal spark that validates belief is the experience of meaning. This experience brings our beliefs to life. It animates them, moving us to vigorous action. And it is to this authority that our beliefs must appeal. Not religion or science, but meaning." ~ excerpted from "Triumph of Principles" (my upcoming book)

[02/07/18]   "Seldom does a shared mind stream the undiluted desires of its affiliates. Healthy relationships require compromise. The group conscience aims to strike a bargain that reflects the common interests of its partners, which necessarily meets both individual and collective needs. Ego’s struggle with concessions because they get hung up on what they lost in negotiations. They fail to see the gains “we” made because they see everything through the lens of “I.” This is why solitude is key to a healthy relationship. The maintenance of the group is dependent upon the maintenance of the individual. The shared mind is selfless only if its affiliates are selfless, which brings us back to spiritual practice. The rhythms of a meaningful life include seasons of silence and reflection. As far as relationship is concerned, prayer, meditation, and self-analysis are just as essential as communication."
~ excerpted from my upcoming book "The Triumph of Principles"

[02/03/18]   "Spiritual principles are abstractions until they are professed in the details of daily living. The person who fails to enter the arena, dispels of those details, rendering their moral pronouncements un-true⸺not false, but not yet made real. It is in the details that ideals are tested, tempered, and proven. It is in the run of life that principles become tried-and-true. Relationship is the arena. It is where spirituality unfolds.

She who lives in quiet isolation, though her hours may be spent in prayer and meditation, never submits to the challenges of patience and tolerance that relationship has in store for her. She knows much of spiritual latitude, but nothing of longitude. He who passes the days cloistered may emerge from his hermitage on occasion to distribute insights and wisdom gleaned from solitude and countless pages read, but he never dares to test that insight and wisdom in the trials of relationship, so it is disembodied⸺brilliant, no doubt, but lacking the common sense and mettle forged by the fire of mutual responsibility."
~ from The Triumph of Principles (my upcoming book)

Contemplative Light

I had a great conversation with Ben Riggs on the latest podcast episode. Hope you enjoy. It is also available on iTunes if you prefer to listen through your iPhone app.

https://www.contemplativelight.com/podcast/the-contemplative-light-podcast-episode-eight-ben-riggs-on-the-12-steps-and-contemplative-spirituality

[11/10/17]   Finding God in the Body seamlessly interweaves Buddhist and Christian themes to outline a contemplative spirituality that enables us to a happier, more fulfilling life. Order on Amazon: amazon.com/Finding-God-Body-Spiritual-Modern/dp/0692760229

amazon.com

Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West

Many affirm the existence of God but fail to practice the presence of God. Finding God in the Body outlines a modern path of spiritual practice that invites God to be born into the world through our lives. This book offers clear instruction in the practices of contemplative prayer, meditation, and self reflection. Order on Amazon today.

amazon.com That we all want to live meaningful, happy lives is self-evident. The question is, how? Finding God in the Body answers this question with spiritual practice. Finding God in the Body draws from the wisdom of the world's traditions--Buddhism, contemplative Christianity, Judaism, and Twelve-St...

[10/03/17]   Worth considering, especially in times like these: "Human character evermore publishes itself. The most fugitive deed and word, the mere air of a thing, the intimated purpose expresses character. If you act you show character; if you sit still, if you sleep, you show it." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

amazon.com

Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West

Looking for a book that outlines a modern view of spiritual practice? A path of meditation and prayer that reconnects you with the body where God is experienced as an intimate, intensely personal, and deeply affecting presence? Checkout Finding God in the Body. Available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback. Order below:
https://www.amazon.com/Finding-God-Body-Spiritual-Modern/dp/0692760229

amazon.com That we all want to live meaningful, happy lives is self-evident. The question is, how? Finding God in the Body answers this question with spiritual practice. Finding God in the Body draws from the wisdom of the world's traditions--Buddhism, contemplative Christianity, Judaism, and Twelve-St...

[09/16/17]   I'll be in Longview, TX today for a Finding God in the Body workshop at Longview Yoga Studio. Starts at 11:30 am.

[08/31/17]   An infinite God is coextensive with all that is because it is the Isness of all that is. The only fact, so to speak, that is ever present is being. Every “thing” that has being participates in God by virtue of that being. If some ‘thing’ is true, which is to say, actually exists⸺then it has being. It derives that being from the ground of being, God.

Just as God is not a being but Being-itself, God does not exist, but is Existence-itself⸺to state otherwise is to beg the cause of God’s existence, thereby disqualifying it from consideration of the title “God.”

The revelation of being is inextricably linked to the possibility of experience; if we “is,” then Isness is reverberating at our core. In other words, if we are alive and awake, so too is the possibility of experiencing God here-and-now. In any given moment⸺whether at ease or stressed out and afraid⸺we need only relax down into silence of the Body and reconnect with the immediacy and vitality of God’s indwelling presence.

This is the function of prayer and meditation.

[08/29/17]   Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

[08/18/17]   "And what greater Calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship? Then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple to haunt the senate or the market. Literature becomes frivolous. Science is cold. The eye of the youth is not lighted by the hope of other worlds, and age is without honor. Society lives to trifles, and when men die we do not mention them. And now, my brothers, you will ask, What in these desponding days can be done by us? The remedy is already declared in the ground of our complaint of the Church. We have contrasted the church with the soul. In the soul then let the redemption be sought. Wherever a man comes, there comes Revolution." --Emerson

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City Council Regular Session February12th, 2019

Location

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Address


857 East Stoner
Shreveport, LA
71101

General information

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality for Elephant Journal To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Benjamin Riggs is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and retreats. Fees are negotiable for nonprofits, churches, and dharma centers. Minimal travels expenses and basic accommodations are nonnegotiable. Please send all speaking and teaching requests to [email protected]
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