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Mysticism: Week 1 Summary

Mysticism: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, September 24-Friday, September 29, 2017

“Institutional Christianity has hardly contemplated the possibility that the consciousness of Jesus might be the consciousness of the Christian, that the whole point of the Gospel is that everyone may experience union with God in the same way as Jesus himself.” —Alan Watts (Sunday)

Jesus offered the world full and final participation union with God, union with neighbor, union with creation, union with oneself, and even union with enemy. The net and sweep of participation was total. (Monday)

We can now make use of the unique contribution of every era to enjoy intuitive and body knowledge, along with rational critique and deeper synthesis, thus encouraging both intelligent and heartfelt participation “with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.” (Tuesday)

“O Holy Spirit, you are the mighty way in which every thing that is in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.” —Hildegard of Bingen (Wednesday)

Building on a basic awareness of God’s participation and revelation in nature, Meister Eckhart believed humans have a special role in celebrating this gift of creation and adding to its beauty and diversity. (Thursday)

“The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me: my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, and one love.” —Meister Eckhart (Friday)


Practice: Being Fully Present

Only when heart, mind, and body are open—simultaneously—can we truly experience God. From childhood, we’re trained to protect ourselves by closing off one or more of these channels. Perhaps this was a necessary coping mechanism. But to develop a mature, holistic faith, we must learn to embrace and listen to each part in the safety of God’s presence. We each depend on certain areas more than others. It will take some “exercise” to develop the neglected muscle of body, heart, or mind. Below are some practices to nurture each area of being.

Heart: loving-kindness meditation, deep listening, community, journaling, creating art or poetry
Mind: lectio divina (sacred reading), writing, dialectic argument, study
Body: ecstatic dance, mindful breathing, yoga, meditative walking, chant, Tai Chi, or simply observing your body (from toes to head)

Gateway to Silence:
Practice being present.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate . . . Seeing God in All Things (Center for Action and Contemplation), CD, DVD, MP3 download
Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013)
Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2008)