The Institute for Contemplative Life is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501c3 organization (Federal I.D. # is 80-0272164) created by Dr. Fran Grace in 2008, as directed by her spiritual teacher. Inner Pathway is our organization’s trade name. We have an active Board of Directors and participants who come from diverse faiths and walks of life. Our purpose is to support the “inner pathway” of all who come to us.
OUR MISSION AND PURPOSE
We seek to inspire the “inner pathway” by sharing the teachings of verified* spiritual paths in a way that is of practical benefit to the people who come to us.
We do this by offering online classes, reading/sharing groups, retreats, a monthly in-person gathering, publication of unique books, podcasts, films, dream workshops, recovery groups, weekly meditation gatherings. We also offer private sessions in Spiritual Direction for those seeking one-on-one support for their Soul. Through these various offerings, a beautiful spiritual community has emerged among the people in our groups and classes.
The majority of people who are “attracted” to our programs are spiritually oriented by virtue of karmic grace, intention, and through their own study, self-exploration, and life experience. They have overcome major challenges in life and want to be of service in a meaningful way. They long to break free from the gravitational pull of the small self (ego), and to live in alignment with their True Self (aka Higher Power, the Beloved, the God of their understanding, etc.). They are looking for a spiritual community, infused with love, that will support this inner transformation process, which is sometimes referred to as the magnum opus of a human life.
We follow the traditions of “attraction, not promotion” and “when the student is ready, the teacher/ teaching appears.” Thus, we maintain a basic internet presence to announce our offerings, but we do not engage in fundraising or commercialism.
*”Verified” signifies that the teachings and the teachers whom we highlight in our classes and publications were calibrated for her by Fran’s teacher, Dr. David R. Hawkins, during the years that she worked closely with him. He laid out the “inner pathway” with rare grace and precision.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The inner pathway is open to all, with no requirements such as dues, membership, or oaths.
The inner pathway is free of dogma. It is the direct path to Truth, which lies within.
The inner pathway is innate to the human spirit, and yet it lies dormant until awakened—often by a revelation of beauty: A dew drop in the morning light; a line from a poem; a crescendo in the music; falling in love. Or just as often, it is a crisis that triggers the inner pathway: A heartbreak; hitting bottom with an addiction; an illness. In whatever way the catalyst comes, one’s soul “wakes up” and begins its “journey Home.”
The inner pathway is experiential (not intellectual). Therefore, our programs are experiential.
The inner pathway is not linear. There are many ups and downs. Perfectionism is an illusion. One’s difficulties are often the doorway to Grace and Freedom. Rūmī: “The wound is where the Light enters.”
Each person is unique and has their own timing and way to undertake the inner pathway. As stated in scripture: “Every creature has its own mode of prayer and praise, and God is aware of all that they do.”
It is a spiritual law that each soul is given what it needs for the journey, at exactly the right time for that Soul. Therefore, we do not interfere or impose upon the journey of another. “Every pilgrim takes a different way; and different spirits, different rules obey… No one knows the secret route by which another goes.” —Attar, Conference of the Birds, a classic text of the soul’s journey.
We travel from “the alone to the Alone” —no one can make the journey for us—and yet we do not make the journey alone. We need the help of others, just as a log burns best next to other logs in the Fire. “A log that rolls off the Fire quickly turns cold and fails to burn; but a log that stays in the Fire, next to other logs, maintains a strong flame and eventually becomes one with the Fire.”
Friends on the path are needed. The mystics of diverse traditions serve as guides and inspiration. A suitable teacher appears when the student is ready. “Do not take a step on the path of Love without a guide. I have tried it one hundred times and failed.” — Hafiz, Sufi mystic.
Some qualities of the inner pathway are humility, perseverance, self-honesty, gratitude, sincerity, lovingness toward life in all its expressions, sense of humor, forgiveness of self and others, inner discipline, appreciation of beauty, peaceableness, compassion for self and others, and willingness to surrender anything and everything.
Prayer is powerful.
(We do not offer editing services or accept unsolicited manuscripts.)