In this brief audio (1:37) Br. David says the following about peak experiences and belonging:

“That plays a very important role in my own spirituality because there are moments in everybody’s life, our most blissful moments when we become aware of the fact that we belong. We are not orphaned. Most of the time we go around as if everybody else was in and we were out and why am I the orphan in the universe? But once in a while something breaks through, this universal love, that universal “yes” to belonging touches us and all of a sudden we come alive.

And if we live out of this power, out of this sense of belonging then we create a completely new future and a completely new world because our world is created out of a sense of alienation and it’s this dog-eat-dog world. And always the “others” and “we and the others.” When you catch on to the deepest intuition you realize there is not “they” and “we.” We are all one and as Thomas Merton said, “Even God isn’t somebody else.” It was one of his best statements.

“God isn’t somebody else.” As long as you think of God as somebody else you are totally on the wrong track. God is Yourself of your Self. As St. Augustine said, “God is closer to me than I am to myself.” And yet God is beyond the beyond because as Pascal said, “The real true human is infinitely deeper than the merely human.” And that’s in each of us and to live up to this potential, that’s the great challenge of our time.”


Br. David Steindl-Rast
Audio Clips
Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author

Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.