E. Kent Rogers has lived in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains since 1999. A deep believer in meditation, nature, and prayer, he says, “In Kathmandu, you can get out into nature and soak in the patterns of peace and beauty from God which patiently wait to bless us.”
Rogers grew up outside of Philadelphia, Penn., and graduated from Swedenborg-affiliated Bryn Athyn College. Swedenborgianism (The New Church) recognizes God as one entity--Jesus Christ--not the Christian trinity and emphasizes good works as a path to Heaven. Shortly after college, Rogers journeyed to Kathmandu to start the New Life Children’s Home orphanage. He married a coworker, Shovha, in 2002, and together they act as surrogate parents to their young charges.
12 Miracles of Spiritual Growth: A Path of Healing from the Gospels, (Swedenborg Foundation Press, May; starred review in this issue), Rogers’s first book, is a non-denominational exploration of the spiritual message behind the healing miracles of Jesus and their application in everyday life. Rogers also explains the basics of meditation and hopes readers will be inspired to practice it.
RBL: What do you want readers to learn from 12 Miracles of Spiritual Growth?
Rogers: My hope is to facilitate a deepening sense of God as real, alive, infinitely loving, and intimately aware of the reader’s situation. On a more pragmatic level, the hope is to catalyze personal growth and healing in the reader to foster peace, joy, and goodwill. I believe that these two—the sense of God as immediately present and a personal increase in psychological and spiritual health—are intimately united, and one propels the other in an ever opening upward spiral.
RBL:Describe the benefits of meditation in your spiritual life.
Rogers: Meditation has profoundly increased my sense of God as real, present, understanding, and loving.Growing up, I always felt such a strong spiritual drive, which neither knowledge about God, nor an unknowing faith in God, was able to satisfy.Meditation, as I practice it, satisfies that need.
RBL: What has living and working in Nepal taught you?
Rogers: A Nepali’s sense of self is based on relationships to others as opposed to the U.S. where sense of self is derived from achievement. I find value in both. A more relational sense of being presents a much greater ability to accept life as it is, and Nepali people have an immense capacity for patience. On their modeling, I try to accept that reality unfolds according to its own schedule, which may not have anything to do with clocks. I have gained innumerable lessons from Nepali culture—the most important being to relax, enjoy life, and smile at those whom I meet.
RBL: Please explain the significance of Swedenborgianism for you?
Rogers: My Swedenborgian background and continuing keen interest in it shape my ideas. I am deeply indebted to the Swedenborg Foundation for publishing 12 Miracles.I am so grateful that the healing and pro-social messages in it now have the chance of reaching more people.
RBL:What is the most important thing you learned from writing this book?
Rogers: Knock and it will be opened. Ask, and it will be given. And after that, the realization that it isn’t me knocking, but God. God is knocking on the door, and if we open the door of our mind, he will come in and share fellowship with us as we journey through life, as described in [the Book of] Revelation.