Bernd Leygraf

What was it that first called you to train as a OneSpirit Interfaith minister? I was about to get married within what was considered not a spiritually recognised union by the Church. I did not find this acceptable and searched for a more inclusive form of spirituality. While being immensely grateful for the spirituality that the Church had nursed in me for 50 or so years. Religions too have spirituality, and have had for a few thousand years!

In which year were you ordained?    2010

What is your minister’s vow, and your relationship to it?

This feels too personal for me to write about in a questionnaire form. What I can say is that I did not vow anything, my statement was a prayer to “you” – my community and my maker.

What was the most important thing that changed in your life as a result of the training?

I gained a deeper appreciation of the streams of Life which are historically consigned to the scrapheap in academia, in religious and spiritual expressions…

How does your ministry or your life’s purpose manifest in the world now?

In my constant desire to challenge our own separation between ‘them’ and ‘us’, religion and spirituality, inner and outer, dogma and creative expressions. On a more practical level I aim to set up an Interfaith community with its own Rule, aligned to Westminster Abbey, to recognize the One at the heart of the nation. The rest is faculty work – and it is hard work !

What main sources of inspiration or guidance do you draw on for your continuing spiritual journey?

I have carried the Jesus prayer in my in- and out-breath for many years, and it now prays itself. The relationships I am part of at OneSpirit — most notably faculty friends — and at Naos, my own organization. Ramana Maharshi remains a great teacher, also Amma, Babaji, my Muslim friends, Fr Augustine Hoey OSB, Fr Roger Schutz and my partner Jaap.

Where is your ‘edge’ currently — what most challenges you on your path?

To tolerate others who are closer to the beginning of their spiritual and theological enquiry; and my own loneliness in seeking peers.

How do you envision your ministry developing in future?

I want to devote less time to cleaning up in other peoples houses, and more attending to my own. To stand in awe of the Great Silence that lives in all of us.