Wayne Teasdale Teasdale had found himself spiritually challenged by the political turmoil of 1960s America, having the effect of plunging him into a spiral of reflective turbulence which lasted three years. While a student at a small Catholic college, he started visiting St. Joseph's Abbey, a Cistercian monastery near Spencer, Massachusetts. Here he came under the spiritual direction of the then abbot, Thomas Keating, a founder of the centering prayer movement. Teasdale received a master's degree in philosophy and later, in 1986, a Ph.D. in theology from Fordham University. His dissertation was on the theology of the Benedictine monk Dom Bede Griffiths, who had lived much of his life at an ashram he had founded in southern India. Teasdale went on to teach at DePaul University, Columbia College, the Benedictine University, and Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where he lived for many years.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Teasdale had a long relationship with the Franciscan Brothers of the Good News, a semi-eremitic Franciscan community living in hermitiges the forests of the Berkshires in Cummington, Massachusetts. He frequented the hermitage and often dialogued with the Franciscans there while working on his dissertation on Father Bede Griffiths. Following a correspondence with Bede Griffiths, a founder of the Christian Ashram Movement, Teasdale decided to visit the Shantivanam Ashram in Tamil Nadu and for two years lived at an ashram nearby. Inspired by Griffit . . . more