Mystics and Non-Dual Thinkers: Week 5 Summary — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Mystics and Non-Dual Thinkers: Week 5 Summary

Mystics and Non-Dual Thinkers: Week 5

Summary: Sunday, August 9-Friday, August 14, 2015

“For [mystics,] contemplation and action are not opposites, but two interdependent forms of a life that is one—a life that rushes out to a passionate communion with the true and beautiful.” —Evelyn Underhill (Sunday)

“By virtue of the Creation and, still more, of the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. On the contrary, everything is sacred.” —Teilhard de Chardin (Monday)

Thanks to the generosity of many, the Center for Action and Contemplation is able to share my reflections free of charge every day of the year. Please take a few minutes to read a message from CAC’s Executive Director, Michael Poffenberger, about why this matters and how you can help. (Tuesday)

“Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come to being.” —Teilhard de Chardin (Wednesday)

“In everything which gives us the pure authentic feeling of beauty there really is the presence of God. There is as it were an incarnation of God in the world and it is indicated by beauty.” —Simone Weil (Thursday)

“I repose in myself. And that part of myself, that deepest and richest part in which I repose, is what I call ‘God.’” —Etty Hillesum (Friday)


Practice: Listening Silence

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Bengali polymath—poet, playwright, painter, musician—is yet another modern mystic whose art shows the intimacy between human and divine. For him there was no separation between sacred and secular. One could not know God simply by thought or analysis, but by experience. Tagore says, “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water” and “We live in the world when we love it.”

Find a few quiet minutes to listen to his beautiful poem set to simple chant (click here to listen to the audio):

Silence my soul, these trees are prayers.
I asked the tree, “Tell me about God”;
then it blossomed.

Now look around you, wherever you are, and find something of beauty. Sit in spacious silence, observing without words or judgment. Let this beauty teach you the mystery of Incarnation, of God’s indwelling presence in all creation. As Simone Weil says, “The beauty of the world is Christ’s tender smile for us, coming through matter.”

Gateway to Silence:
“If we go down into ourselves, we find that we possess exactly what we desire.” —Simone Weil

For Further Study:
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu
Ilia Delio, Christ In Evolution
Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork
Eric Springfield, ed., Simone Weil, Modern Spiritual Masters Series
“Non-Dual Thinkers and Mystics Timeline” (PDF)

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