Michael Bernard Beckwith is the American New Thought minister and the founder of Agape International Spiritual Center. He became known to the wider audience as one of the teachers of the Law of Attraction in the documentary The Secret (2006).
Life and Career
Michael Beckwith was born in 1956. He left his native Methodist and Congregational church at 16 because, as he later said, “it just wasn’t feeding me. I liked the teachings of Jesus, but I didn’t see people practicing what he said.”
According to the official website of his community, Agape, in the 1970’s Mickael Beckwith began an inward journey into the teachings of East and West. He founded the Agape International Spiritual Center in 1986, in Santa Monica, California, after his “inner vision revealed a world united on an ethical basis of humankind’s highest spiritual and social development”.
Today the ministry is in Culver City, California.
Agape is a trans-denominational community which today counts a membership of 9,000 people, and 1,000,000 friends worldwide who study and practice “New Thought–Ancient Wisdom”. Beckwith said that, when he founded the community, he envisioned it as:
(…) a movement that would take a stand for love, for peace, for being a beneficial presence on the planet. That’s why it was named “Agape,” which in Greek means unconditional love. Agape’s vision is fueled by the love of God, the One, indefinable yet unmistakable Presence whose vehicle on earth is the human heart and soul. My aspiration is that every individual who is touched by the vibration of Agape is inspired to cultivate a heart of love as wide as the world.
The outreach programs of Agape community feed the homeless, advocate the preservation of the planet’s environmental resources, serve incarcerated individuals and their families, and build and support orphanages for the survivors of AIDS.
Beckwith is a sought-after meditation teacher. He also teaches affirmative prayer and speaks at conferences and seminars. He is married to a musician Rickie Byars Beckwith, with whom he co-authored a catalogue of over 120 songs performed in many parts of the world, popularly known as the Sound of Agape.
He also appears in his own PBS special, The Answer Is You.
Teachings and Philosophy
As a founding member of Association for Global New Thought in 2000, whose mission is to create a spiritual transformation of the Earth as a whole, Michael Beckwith’s work is dedicated to promoting peace and forgiveness. He puts an emphasis on the shared nature of all life and the abundance that is everyone’s right.
He practices the Law of Attraction through meditation and affirmative prayer, and he believes that these practices help people discover themselves as instruments of God, capable of love, peace and transformation:
I realized all these historical, cultural and philosophical influences, with silent prayer and meditation, are ways to align with the presence in the universe we call God. This is not new age, this is ‘new thought’ combined with ancient wisdom.
In this interview he gave for gaiam.com, he talks about happiness, saying that “happiness and joy are qualities that are intrinsic to us as unique expressions of the Universe and of God”. He explains that happiness is a spiritual quality, it’s waking up to what’s in us, and only when we’re aware of it can we be of service:
You cannot give from an empty cup. If you are bitter, unhappy or depressed, then you have nothing to give to the world. But if you have tapped into the source of that inner enthusiasm, that inner generosity, that inner light, that inner happiness … now you have something to give so that you can live the life that Jesus emulated.
As far as God and religions are concerned, Rev. Beckwith says:
We’re not here to tell God what to do or to ask God for things but to absolutely be available for what God is already doing, to open ourselves up to catch what’s already happening. (…) Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, young, old, rich, poor- we cut across all lines to reach what is true.
- Forty Day Mind Fast-Soul Feast
- A Manifesto of Peace
- Spiritual Liberation
- Inspirations of the Heart
- Living from the Overflow
A person all wrapped up in themselves makes for a mighty small package.
There is a lie that acts like a virus within the mind of humanity. And that lie is, ‘There’s not enough good to go around. There’s lack and there’s limitation and there’s just not enough.’
The truth is that there’s more than enough good to go around. There is more than enough creative ideas. There is more than enough power. There is more than enough love. There’s more than enough joy. All of this begins to come through a mind that is aware of its own infinite nature.
There is enough for everyone. If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. That’s the truth.
You can start with nothing. And out of nothing and out of no way, a way will be made.
In the video below, Michael Beckwith and his wife Rickie talk about soul:
- Official website of Michael Beckwith’s ministry is at www.agapelive.com.
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