Bill Epperly is a spiritual director living in Chicago and a longtime friend of Contemplative Light. His website is integralawakenings.com
In his own words: "My story begins in New Providence, NJ, where I grew up a member of the Methodist Church. My Christian roots run deep, but from an early age, I was troubled by the idea that Christianity is the only true religion. By age 12, I was an agnostic and might have stayed one were it not for a reintroduction to spirituality in 1985 through participation in a 12 step group. Then, in 1987, I had a spontaneous and powerful “peak experience” of oneness with everything while attending a talk by Br David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk. In that moment of illumination, my story took an unexpected turn. I lost interest in my graduate studies and became a spiritual seeker. I began formal study of the Christian contemplative tradition and took up contemplative prayer. My interest in world religions grew strong and I read up on the lively interreligious dialogue between Buddhist and Christian monastics. This led me to become curious about zen and Zen Buddhism, which seemed the antithesis of theist Christianity. Encouraged by early experiences with Zen meditation, I decided to take up formal study of Zen, initially as a new Christian prayer form. My experiences of God and community life were so positive that I undertook three years of residential training at Zen Buddhist Temples in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Chicago. I left that community in 1993, but elements of that time of practice and community living continue to inform and enrich me. During those years I was introduced to Ken Wilbers integral approach and I have worked to create an integral approach to spirituality that draws on Zen Buddhist, Christian Contemplative, and modern psychologically-based spiritual approaches.
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