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An Institute for Contemplative Studies, Practice and Living

By David G. R. Keller


You show me the path of life

Hebrew Scriptures Psalm 16:11

The path of life begins in our hearts. As we continue to discover meaning and purpose in our lives, it is essential to be honest about where we are headed and seek fellow travelers who will guide us along the way.

Where is your path leading? Discern the physical context for the path of human life.

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Is physical reality all there is?

Recent research shows us that “what we see” and experience is only five percent of what exists in the universe. The rest is mysterious. We observe its influence indirectly, so cosmologists have named it “dark matter” and “dark energy.” Trillions of galaxies, our Milky Way galaxy and its billions of stars, and our solar system are next to nothing in this vast universe. Earth is a tiny blue and white orb floating in a vast black sea of space, reflecting the light of our sun. 

This is the physical context for human life. It is one way of seeing and describing what we call reality. We are indescribably small and surrounded and influenced by matter and energy we do not yet fully understand.


Where do we fit into this vast physical context? Consider a spiritual dimension that complements "what we see."


The desert will lead you to your heart where I will speak

Hebrew Prophet Hosea 2:14 (paraphrased)

The desert can be anywhere, but it is always a place where we are stripped of self-reliance. Solitude creates a space for listening and discovering our reason for being alive.

A spiritual context for human life

Among the world’s religious traditions, the Jewish heritage provides a unique spiritual context for human life that complements and completes the vast physical context of our lives. It sees reality as the sacred creation of a divine being. It is a very “down to earth” vision that became tangible in the life of a devout first-century Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus’ Jewish heritage was firmly based in experience of God rather than theological reflection. The context for Jesus’ life combined the richness of his Jewish heritage with the daily lives of people he encountered. 

Discover more about Jesus' life.

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A Christian vision of human life

"...hearing all that Jesus was doing, they came to him in great numbers."

The Gospel of Mark 3:8

That was then . . .  Why would anyone be attracted to Jesus now?


If you believe that compassionate involvement in the lives of other people is needed in our world, then getting to know Jesus may be a worthwhile experience. He invites all of us to have hospitable souls. A hospitable soul is like a home that is always open to the presence of God and our neighbor.

Jesus’ intimacy with God was the source of his compassionate involvement in the lives of people around him. He ate meals with dishonest tax collectors and sinners and gave healing touch to the sick and blind. He reassured persons in his society who had been shamed and marginalized that they had integrity because they were loved by God.  Being a lover of souls was Jesus’ highest priority. For him, it was beyond words. The way Jesus lived was his message. That is what attracted people to him and convinced them to follow Jesus.

Explore ways to follow Jesus today.

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There are many ways to follow Jesus today.

In Jesus’ first century culture there were many local teachers with disciples. They were well educated in the Hebrew Scriptures and the written and oral Torah. The disciples learned by experiencing the life of their teacher. Learn more about Jesus as a rabbi.


Jesus primary mission during his lifetime was to proclaim that the reign of God was breaking into the lives of the people of Israel. He invited people to share what God was doing through his teaching and compassionate engagement in people’s lives. Learn more about Jesus and his passion for the reign of God.

Learn about four aspects from Jesus' life to guide our walk along the Christian path today.

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Four aspects from Jesus’ life will guide our walk along the Christian path today.

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Quiet Listening

As we develop disciplined patterns of quiet listening to God in some form of contemplative prayer and meditation, we will enter the mystery of Jesus’ risen presence today. This internal and mutual experience opens an unconditional stream of love and intimacy with God that will influence our words and actions. 

Are you ready to explore more about Walking the Christian Path?

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Review booklets, essays, and recorded talks by David G. R. Keller.

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