Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith
Founder and Spiritual Director
Dr. Michael Beckwith’s life is a living testament to building spiritual community. In the 1970’s he began an inward journey into the teachings of East and West, and today teaches universal truth principles found in the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality. Gifted with a vision of a trans-denominational spiritual community, in 1986 he founded the Agape International Spiritual Center upon his faith in that original vision.
In a personal letter to him Coretta Scott King wrote, “I greatly admire what you are doing to bring about the Beloved Community, which is certainly what my dear husband worked for and ultimately gave his life.”
Recently described in “What Is Enlightenment?” magazine as a “non-aligned trans-religious progressive,” Dr. Beckwith shares his powerful conviction of creating the Beloved Community through his participation on international panels with other peacemakers and spiritual leaders including Dr. T. Ariyarante of Sri Lanka, and Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He is co-founder of the Association for Global Thought, an organization dedicated to planetary healing and transformation.
Dr. Beckwith is the originator of the Life Visioning Process, which he teaches throughout the country along with meditation, scientific prayer, and the spiritual benefits of selfless service. He facilitates retreats, workshops and seminars. His books include: “Inspirations of the Heart”, “Forty Day Mind Fast Soul Feast”, and “A Manifesto of Peace”.
Dr. Beckwith’s achievement as a humanitarian and emissary of peace have been widely acclaimed. In 2003, his activities were enumerated when he was written into the Congressional Record of the 107th congress. He is the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, some of which include: The 2004 Africa Peace Award, Thomas Kilgore Prophetic Witness Award, Howard Thurman Stained Glass Window Award by Morehouse College, a commissioned oil portrait for Morehouse’s prestigious Hall of preachers, and the Humanitarian Award of the National Conference for Compassion and Justice.
Thousands gather weekly to receive inspiration from Dr. Beckwith at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California. Together, Drs. Michael Beckwith and Rickie Byars Beckwith have written lyrics and music performed by the Agape International Choir in concert venues worldwide. Always in demand, their performances inspire peace and goodwill in the global community. They share their lives with their four adult children and six grandchildren.
Agape’s Purpose Statement
As a spiritual community our purpose is to be an environment for
individuals to realize that they are unique emanations of God,
the Love-Intelligence governing the Universe.
We embody not only a theoretical understanding of our oneness with
God, we consciously practice this truth in our everyday lives.
Through the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom teachings and
the energy of unconditional love, we are committed to individual
transformation and to being a beneficial presence on the planet.
SIMPLY – WE ARE HERE FOR GOD.
Agape’s Mission Statement
The Agape International Spiritual Center is a global community dedicated to
recognizing, honoring and nurturing the dignity and uniqueness of all peoples.
Through devoted practice of universal spiritual principles embodied in the
New Thought-Ancient Wisdom teachings, we are agents of transformation.
As a transdenominational community, we serve within all levels of society to
reveal the underlying perfection and harmony of the Universe.
We embrace the transformational and evolutionary impulse of the planet
through our spiritual practice, sacred service and unconditional love.
|Spiritual Principles and Practices of the Agape Movement
The following five principles form the core teachings of the Agape Movement and its founder, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith. Reflecting the perennial wisdom of the ages, these principles are found at the heart of the world’s spiritual traditions. When embodied and integrated into our daily spiritual practice, they are a pathway to self-realization, a conscious state of oneness with Spirit.
1 – God is Good, therefore Life is Good. Absolute goodness is the substance, the source and the supply of all existence. This aspect of the Godhead is always in integrity with itself, which means that it cannot contradict its own laws, nature, and relationship to its creation.
2 – God is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and omniactive. All Existence is the manifest form and activity of Spirit. -This Presence is equally present in all space, time, places and in all persons, as well as beyond time, space, and manifest creation. Ours is a holographic Universe in which every part—that which is seen and that which is unseen—is an emanation of the unmanifest whole.
3 – Every person is an individualized expression of God. Every person is made in the image and likeness of God and is capable of awakening to this realization and giving expression to the qualities of unconditional love, compassion, wisdom, bliss, peace and creativity.
4 – Every person is responsible for their own evolution. Every individual has been given the power of free choice and is therefore self-responsible for their evolution following a path suited to their individual state of evolving consciousness.
5 – The Universe, being infinite, is in a constant state of evolutionary expansion. We live in a non-static, ever-evolving Universe, which is the source of our individual evolutionary impulse and capacity to expand into our fullest potential.
The following seven spiritual practices form the matrix of individual spiritual evolution. While there are many adjunct practices that assist in the expansion of consciousness, it is these seven that have proved themselves to accelerate spiritual awakening of practitioners of the world’s wisdom traditions.
1 – Meditation. In meditation practice the practitioner pays undistractible attention to Reality. All meditation techniques share a common purpose: to awaken awareness, another word for self-realization. Meditation stills the mind, increases the capacity to intuitively receive the guidance of Spirit, and opens the heart’s desire to serve as a beneficial presence on the planet.
2 – Affirmative Prayer. Affirmative prayer grounds the practitioner in a solid awareness of oneness with Spirit. The power of affirmative prayer sets in motion a process of healing false beliefs that prevents an individual from fully realizing their spiritual inheritance. Prayer is an intimate communion with the Spirit in the language of one’s own heart.
3 – Life Visioning. The Life Visioning ProcessTM, originated by Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, is an intuitive process for opening and sensitizing consciousness to receive the Spirit’s vision for one’s life which is one of wholeness, joy, prosperity creativity and generosity of heart. Visioning is applicable to all aspects of life—spiritual, professional, relational, communal and financial.
4 – Sacred Service. Service is meditation in action. As the realization of oneness with all beings is awakened, an organic, natural desire arises to be of service in such a way that nothing is asked in return because serving is its own blessing. Being of service is a freewill offering to the One that has become the all.
5 – Spiritual Study. At every stage of growth and development on the spiritual path it is important to maintain a “beginner’s mind.” Remaining teachable acknowledges that spiritual truth is limitless, so there is always the opportunity to rise to a more profound level of understanding, wisdom and practice through spiritual study.
6 – Spiritual Community. Committed participation in a spiritual community accelerates our spiritual evolution. When individuals gather together to meditate and pray, their united consciousness contributes to the spiritual progress of each individual. The community also offers the opportunity to cultivate patience, humility, compassion and selflessness. When we need encouragement on the path, the community is there to hold the high watch for us.
7 – Tithing. As we mature in our understanding of the law of circulation, it becomes obvious that the sharing of our financial resources, our talents and skills is at the heart of tithing. And, in grateful recognition of the teachings and teachers who have been and are our spiritual benefactors, we tithe to them to support the dissemination of their teaching and mission.