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Original Prayer: Teachings and Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus Audio, Cassette – January 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

If we could travel back in time to the ancient Holy Land -- and witness Jesus himself teaching the words of the Lord's Prayer -- what would we learn? On Original Prayer, acclaimed biblical scholar Neil Douglas-Klotz reveals the rich layers of meaning enfolded within the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic -- the language that Jesus and his disciples actually spoke. Includes 24 "body prayers" that reflect the actual devotions used by the first Christians to experience the Gospels as a living and breathing experience of God.

About the Author

Neil Douglas-Klotz is an independent scholar of religious studies, spirituality, and psychology. He holds a Ph.D. in religious studies and psychology from the Union Institute, and taught these subjects for ten years at Holy Names College in California. Other books by Neil Douglas-Klotz include Desert Flowers, and The Hidden Gospel.
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564557200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564557209
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,720,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz is an internationally known scholar in the fields connecting religious studies and psychology as well as a poet and musician. He is the author of:

*Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus (1990);
*Desert Wisdom: The Middle Eastern Tradition from the Goddess Through the Sufis (1995);
*The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spirituality of the Aramaic Jesus (1999);
*The Genesis Meditations: A Shared Practice of Peace for Christians, Jews and Muslims (2003);
*The Sufi Book of Life: 99 Pathways of the Heart for the Modern Dervish (2005)
*Blessings of the Cosmos: Wisdom of the Heart from the Aramaic Words of Jesus (2006)
*The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians and Muslims (2006, with Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Sr. Joan Chittister)
*Desert Wisdom: A Nomad's Guide to Life's Big Questions from the Heart of the Native Middle East (2011). Extensively revised from the 1995 edition with many new translations.
*'I Am': The Secret Teachings of the Aramaic Jesus (2012)

His audio sets from Sounds True include: The Hidden Gospel, Original Prayer (on the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus), The Healing Breath (on the Beatitudes in Matthew and Jesus' healing ministry) and 'I Am' (on Jesus's last teachings to his disciples in the Gospels of John and Thomas).

He is the past chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion and active in various international colloquia and conferences dedicated to peace and spirituality. He directs the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning (www.eial.org) in Edinburgh, Scotland. and co-founded the Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace, now in its sixth year (www.mesp.org.uk). In 2005 he was awarded the Kessler-Keener Foundation Peacemaker of the Year award for his work in Middle Eastern peacemaking. Information about his work may be found at the website of the Abwoon Resource Center (www.abwoon.com)

His personal biography follows:

I grew up in a multicultural family. My grandparents (both sides) were refugees from Europe with German, Jewish, Russian and Polish blood in their veins. They followed their track to the ethnic neighbourhoods of Chicago, where my parents met and married.

I was raised by Christian parents who were both devout and freethinking. They brought into my early life the impulse to worship and praise, as well as to question everything that constricted and opposed the injunction "love your neighbour as yourself." My father was a chiropractor, my mother a student of the health education of Edgar Cayce. They raised me with a respect for the body and the wonders of nature found therein, as well as a disdain for the superficial innovations of humanity that polluted both body and nature.

Hearing from childhood German, Yiddish and Polish in our home, raised on the stories and miracles of Jesus, taught the practical truth of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, I formed an interest in language, spirituality, the body and ecological justice early in life. In many ways, I have been pursuing these interests ever since.

After graduation from college in 1973, I pursued a career as a journalist in the fields of social justice, environmentalism and consumer protection for several years before turning to the following questions: Why do people change? What causes me to change? Is there a more powerful level of motivating change than that of ideas? In pursuing these questions, I returned to interests I developed in college that centered on: the body and changes of attitude and behaviour, mystical and "expanded" states of consciousness, and the early pre-religious roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

I pursued some of this study academically through the University of California, Berkeley. But most of it found me seeking out teachers from the native traditions of the Middle East, Pakistan and India who introduced me to the other modes and methods of learning as well as the body-oriented spiritual practices that accompanied this study. Beginning in 1976, I was very privileged to study with the early students of the American Hebrew/Sufi mystic Samuel L. Lewis, who introduced me to the body prayer meditations called the Dances of Universal Peace. One phase of this intense period of study led me on a three-month pilgrimage in 1979 to sacred sites and teachers in Turkey, Pakistan and India.

In 1982, I founded the International Network for the Dances of Universal Peace (now based in Seattle, WA), a multicultural resource center for those who chose this form of peacemaking through the arts as their forum for both peace "demonstration" as well as spiritual practice. Over the past 15 years, I have been actively involved in leading educational exchanges and citizen diplomacy trips with the Dances to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and to the Middle East.

From 1986 until 1996, I served as a faculty member of the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality and a member of the Core Faculty since 1990. During its "golden age," the ICCS was a gathering place for scientists, artists, educators and learners from many different cultural and racial backgrounds. Many of our students were non-US citizens and I enjoyed the opportunity to teach and learn across the differences and within a rich field of diversity. This diversity, at its best, provided a sort of "quantum field" of uncertainty in which real inquiry and learning occurred for us all.

In September 1993, I co-led a group of students from Europe, Australia, the U.S. and Canada on a citizen diplomacy/educational trip to Jordan, Israel and Syria. Serendipitously, this occurred exactly during the signing of the Israel-PLO accords. We were greeted warmly and were able to share discussions and artistic and cultural exchanges with many different people from all the varied sides of the confrontation. I continue work in this area, both individually, and collaboratively through the International Association of Sufism.

During my sabbatical to finish my doctorate, I moved to Europe. It both allowed me to be nearer to my Middle Eastern connections and seemed more welcoming to the type of multicultural work we were both doing. I enjoyed the change from a bustling Northern California urban environment to the rolling farm fields of Thomas Hardy country in Dorset.

Since March 1999 I've lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, another multicultural arts and music center where I started the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning (www.eial.org). My fluency in German and some other European languages also enables me to continue educational exchanges and lectures throughout Europe. In 2004, I co-founded, with Mr. Neill Walker, the Edinbrugh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace (www.mesp.org.uk), which annually in March draws thousands of visitors to events across the city. It is supported by the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh. Since 2006, I've been married to Natalia Lapteva, a Russian therapist and coach.


Customer Reviews

I think it is too wordy.
Baby Jane
It provides many fresh and thought-provoking insights which are supported by Douglas-Klotz's solid academic research and his personal, inner reflection.
Gerald Cierpilowski, Ph.D.
I recommend this to anyone who is interested in truly hearing the meaning behind the words and teachings of Jesus.
Mary Axle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Cierpilowski, Ph.D. on September 28, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
Neil Douglas-Klotz presents his research and a view of the spiritual journey in a very gentle but authoritative fashion. His knowledge of the Aramaic used by Jesus, as well as of other ancient languages of that time and earlier, comes through with clarity. Yet his scholarship does not overwhelm his principal theme--that the "Lord's Prayer" or "Our Father," as presented in languages most familiar to us, limits our understanding of what Jesus was actually communicating. While not denigrating the more traditional forms we have learned, he points out how linguistic nuances and cultural flavorings greatly alter what is contained in the original language. He also takes the time to ameliorate what have become issues of gender discrimination in the sayings of Jesus.
For example, when Jesus begins his prayer with the words we have learned as "Our Father", Douglas-Klotz points out that the Aramaic expression has much broader and deeper meanings, such as "Divine Parent", "Father-Mother", "Divine Unity", or "Birther of the Cosmos." Or that the term "kingdom" is inclusive rather than exclusive and is actually linguistically feminine in the ancient Aramaic.
The presentation is pleasant, informative listening. It's not preachy in any way; his sincerity permeates the work. The chants and prayer forms he teaches during each of the twelve sessions are easy to learn regardless of one's musical ability.
This work is very useful for anyone interested in learning about the teachings of Jesus--Christian and non-Christian alike. It provides many fresh and thought-provoking insights which are supported by Douglas-Klotz's solid academic research and his personal, inner reflection.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on January 30, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Neil Douglas Klotz provides a 12 lesson, step-by-step, audio program to learn, not only the prayer in the Aramaic language, but also the full meaning.
I truly love Neil's approach to this prayer through his singing of each line and by having the participant feel the meanings through his body prayer methodology.
I play the tapes in my car during my long commutes and have learned enough to actually say the prayer as Jesus said it. My children, ages 5 and 8, happily sing along with Neil.
I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn the Aramaic pronunciations and FEEL the prayer.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Richard Pinckney on May 18, 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
If you read all of the reviews on this audio series you will notice a general positive trend, but at least on review which suggests that the author may have taken liberty with the pronounciations and interpretations. I think all these reviews may be true. The bible has existed in two forms - the mostly Greek and Latin version which has been protected by the Roman Catholic church and an Aramaic version which is possibly older and closer to the words that Jesus actually spoke. There are very few scholars who have tackled the latter version. Infact there are only two scholars who have achived significant recognition in this area: Dr. Rocco Errico and Dr. Klotz. As a result I am not surprised to see some disagreement about whose views are more accurate. I do know that Dr. Errico's work has undergone some scrutiny for basically being sloppy and Dr. Klotz's work has been scrutinized as being an overly liberal interpretation. What I like about this series by Dr. Klotz is that he is very open about where his interpretation comes from and only offers his concepts as one version of the truth. I think such comments come from a very insightful mind. I think over the next 20-50 years of scholarship in the Aramaic bible we will better understand where the truth is, but in the meantime this is a very inspiring series that has nothing less than changed my life for the better.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Cierpilowski, Ph.D. on September 28, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
Neil Douglas-Klotz presents his research and a view of the spiritual journey in a very gentle but authoritative fashion. His knowledge of the Aramaic used by Jesus, as well as of other ancient languages of that time and earlier, comes through with clarity. Yet his scholarship does not overwhelm his principal theme--that the "Lord's Prayer" or "Our Father," as presented in languages most familiar to us, limits our understanding of what Jesus was actually communicating. While not denigrating the more traditional forms we have learned, he points out how linguistic nuances and cultural flavorings greatly alter what is contained in the original language. He also takes the time to ameliorate what have become issues of gender discrimination in the sayings of Jesus.
For example, when Jesus begins his prayer with the words we have learned as "Our Father", Douglas-Klotz points out that the Aramaic expression has much broader and deeper meanings, such as "Divine Parent", "Father-Mother", "Divine Unity", or "Birther of the Cosmos." Or that the term "kingdom" is inclusive rather than exclusive and is actually linguistically feminine in the ancient Aramaic.
The presentation is pleasant, informative listening. It's not preachy in any way; his sincerity permeates the work. The chants and prayer forms he teaches during each of the twelve sessions are easy to learn regardless of one's musical ability.
This work is very useful for anyone interested in learning about, and experiencing in a different way, the teachings of Jesus--Christian and non-Christian alike. It provides many fresh and thought-provoking insights which are supported by Douglas-Klotz's solid academic research and his personal, inner reflection.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

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