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church, faith, religion

Mysticism

Mysticism is the dimension of spirituality that goes deeper than belief, doctrine or dogma. It recognizes that spiritual reality cannot ever be fully comprehended by the limitations of human thought, language or logic.

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Contemplative Outreach

If you want to learn the Centering Prayer method of silently consenting to God’s presence and action in your life, explore the psychology and theology of such prayer, learn about related practices such as lectio divina, and find a community of like-minded persons who can support you in establishing and maintaining a daily silent prayer practice, then Contemplative Outreach is for you.

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Evelyn Underhill’s Historical Sketch of Mysticism

This essay originally appeared in Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness (1911). As that book is now in the public domain, and as this article is an excellent best brief summary of Christian mysticism, at least through the 18th century (with some consideration of non-Christian mystics as well), I’m publishing it here for the benefit of the readers of this site.

What is the Best Church for Christian Mysticism and Contemplation?

What is the best church for someone interested in contemplative practice? Is it better to be anchored in one tradition, or to resist affiliation with any one tradition, in the interest of maintaining an openness to God’s wisdom and guidance wherever it may arise?

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Discerning the Mystical Sense of the Bible

Origen of Alexandria, one of the earliest Christian mystics, suggested that the Bible needs to be read on three levels: the literal, the moral, and the mystical.

It’s important to understand the distinctions between these three approaches to the scriptures.

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Can You Combine Different Methods of Silent Prayer?

Do you think it’s possible to legitimately combine Christian Meditation (WCCM), The Jesus Prayer, and Centering Prayer into a single practice? I’ve been experimenting with this and wondering what your thoughts are.

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A Drop of Water is Not the Ocean (Understanding Mystical Union and Nonduality)

Borrowing a concept from eastern spirituality, in a Christian sense nonduality is the recognition that a profound spiritual unity exists between God and God’s creation, even though there is also a recognized distinction between Creator and creature. That may seem contradictory, although it’s more properly seen as paradoxical.

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What is the Best Method for Silent Prayer?

What advice would you have for someone who who wants to reboot their contemplative prayer practice? I flit between the Jesus Prayer and Centering Prayer.  I find Centering Prayer “easier” but I find The Jesus Prayer grounds me in Christ. 

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“For Darkness is as Light to You” — Why Mysticism Isn’t Afraid of the Dark

So if the Bible rather consistently offers this image of light representing good and dark representing evil, why then do we find writings in the literature of mysticism with titles like The Dark Night of the Soul (St. John of the Cross), The Darkness of God (Denys Turner), and A Dazzling Darkness (an anthology of mystical wisdom)?

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Latest Blog Posts

Why the Desert Mothers and Fathers Still Matter

In one of his daily emails, Richard Rohr once admitted that he has some issues with the sayings of the Desert Mothers and Fathers — the early Christian hermits and …

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Come to the Eternal Heart Publication Day Celebration — June 29, 2021!

Friends, you are invited to a special virtual event: the Eternal Heart Book Launch Celebration! We will gather via Zoom on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 from 7:30 – 8:45 PM (Eastern …

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What I look for when I read contemplative books

I often get asked to recommend “the best” contemplative books. I’m happy to do so (see this post for a recent attempt to list some of the better books), but …

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Take This One-Question Survey: Your Favorite Way(s) to Explore Contemplative Spirituality

Friends, could you take a half a minute and fill out this 1-question survey? I’m planning my calendar for the rest of the year, and I’m trying to gauge how …

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When You Pre-order a Book, It Makes a Difference (Here’s Why)

Please click on the button of your preferred retailer to pre-order Eternal Heart: If you have already pre-ordered Eternal Heart, I thank you. If you haven’t, please do so. I’m not …

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Why Julian of Norwich Matters to Me

I first “met” Julian of Norwich through reading Evelyn Underhill’s magisterial book Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. Underhill’s book changed my life, for a number of reasons: it …

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book, read, old

So Many Books, So Little Time…

Lately I’ve been posting on social media a “book of the day.” It’s a combination of new books that I find interesting (which I may or may not have read), …

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Even More (!) Advance Praise for “Eternal Heart”

In February I published the first words of endorsement that my forthcoming book, Eternal Heart, received, and then in March I published more words of support from authors like Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, …

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A “Top Ten” List of Christian Contemplative Books

A reader writes, Wondering if you have an updated list of top ten books about Christian contemplation? Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a fondness for publishing …

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