Any Christian Mystics Out There?

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Mike Knapp, modified 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 4:27 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 4:19 PM

Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
Hey Fellows,

I'm wondering if we have any yogis out there who are interested in or are actually practicing any forms of Christian mysticism of the sort described by Saint John of the Cross, Saint Theresa of Avila, Saint Ignacious of Loyola, etc.?

I've had a spiritual experience recently with an entity I choose to call God. This is a little surprising since my background is in Zen and Vipassana.

The Christian mystical traditions seem to be where God and insight meditation kiss (so to speak).

I'm looking for some general guidance, input, comments, whatever on this topic. Thanks, Everybody!
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 5:57 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 5:56 PM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to comment on this:

Mike:
I've had a spiritual experience recently with an entity I choose to call God. This is a little surprising since my background is in Zen and Vipassana.

It may not be so surprising if you consider that what you "choose to call God" can also be conceptualized, without resorting to anthropomorphization, as all manner of different religious or spiritual metaphors. "God" is just one label, albeit a rather pervasive one in spiritual models, for an experience which could be characterized as "unitive", "holy", "divine" or other such descriptions depending on one's background, religious upbringing and social conditioning.

Regardless of how impactful or important this experience may seem at present, stay with what's happening in the same way as you would when doing vipassana; attentiveness seems to be a common thread between all traditions, regardless of the belief systems which support them. Don't hang onto things, use it as something to push your practice on and strengthen your resolve to attain whatever it is that you're aiming for.
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Mike Knapp, modified 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 6:16 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 6:16 PM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
I appreciate that feedback, Tommy! I agree with your observations regarding the labeling of (essentially a continuum of) spiritual experiences as "God" the pit-falls of clinging to/rejecting what that label "applies to." Thanks for the advice and encouragement and, everybody else: keep it coming if you're so inclined.
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Jeff Grove, modified 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 9:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/29/12 9:35 PM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Hi Mike

Anthony De Mello was a Catholic priest (deceased) his insights were wonderful check out his book "Awareness" . Enligtenment does not belong to any one tradition but is something open to every human being.

His talks of the same name Awareness can be found on youtube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y3Q7H2urto&feature=PlayList&p=EC25151943DE0F35&playnext_from=PL&index=0&playnext=1

40 Texts on watchfulness - Philokalia, Volume 3 St. Philotheos of Sinai

Writings of Brother Lawerence (c1614-91) who was a lay brother in a Camelite monastery.

Fr Thomas Keating

Centering Pray

Thomas Merton

Cloud of Unknowing

Gnostic Traditions

Contemplation of the Gospel of Thomas

Bernadette Roberts

Daskalos & The Researchers of Truth

Eucharist

There is a rich tradition in the west of contemplative and mystical practices. Interested to hear about your experience.

cheers
Jeff
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Bailey , modified 10 Years ago at 5/30/12 11:05 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/30/12 11:05 PM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 267 Join Date: 7/14/11 Recent Posts
"I've had a spiritual experience recently with an entity I choose to call God. This is a little surprising since my background is in Zen and Vipassana. "

Not suprising at all! As you get purer all sorts of beings might try to contact you.

Even gods pay tribute to monks ;)

Enjoy the experience and carry on

"The Christian mystical traditions seem to be where God and insight meditation kiss (so to speak). "

Bernadette Roberts is a good example of a highly attained Christian mystic. It's also extremely clear that Mother Theresa is attained.

http://bernadettesfriends.blogspot.com/

-d
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 10 Years ago at 6/1/12 2:52 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/1/12 2:52 AM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
You might find this interesting:

God and the Brain - The Persinger 'God Helmet', The Brain, and visions of God.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eid6fiAj8WY&list=UU1ix4FL830QV7od5wBDFkUA&index=4&feature=plcp
Morgan Taylor, modified 10 Years ago at 6/13/12 6:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/13/12 6:11 PM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 71 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Hi Mike!

I had a very similar experience, which shocked me as well, since I was a total atheist!!! I later learned that it was basically A&P (sublime rapture, infinite love and all that), and now I feel that all the different experiences of God have their equivalent labels in Buddhist meditation. Often I feel that these labels are a little too dry or clinical, and it's more fun for me to think of them as God. Thich Naht Hanh brings up God every now and then. Not sure if this is to "translate" his ideas to a western audience accustomed to the concept or if that's really how he thinks of it as well.

I got really into Christian mysticism--especially The Cloud of Unknowing (that book is AMAZING; would recommend that one above all others; pretty sure it's available online; it's from the Medieval period). I returned to my Catholic roots and started going to church and everything. I really enjoyed it, but ultimately all the mythology stuff started bugging me and I couldn't get past it. To me, the story of Jesus is just too far afield, too cloaked in metaphor of the raw experience of God, which is really all I wanted. So I stopped, but still enjoy readin the mystics.

Before my foray into Christian mysticism, I actually posted on this board asking what the equivalent labels in Christian mysticism were for stream entry, enlightenment, etc; if they called them anything. Turns out they really don't. St. John of the Cross has his "ladder," but his descriptions seem to me so vague and intertwined with the mythology that I didn't find it very useful. The Cloud of Unknowing seems to call stream entry something like "being one with God," or "fully experiencing God," but he doesn't seem to distinguish the different paths. Maybe "perfection" sort of pertains to full enlightenment.

Thanks for bringing up this topic! ^_^ What are you thoughts/readings about it?

-M
steve d, modified 10 Years ago at 6/14/12 5:58 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/14/12 5:58 AM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 22 Join Date: 10/2/11 Recent Posts
Hello mike, if your interested in the modern day practise of christian mysticism I would definately recommend checking out http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/frm/f/18910625.

If you can get past the obvious theological language and biases, Ive found the discussions within an absolute goldmine of information regarding christian mystical experience of Kundalini, dark nights, enlightenment, non dual consciousness and so on. Its basically the christian version of the DhO emoticon !

A few notable discussions to check out are:

Non Duality:
http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/18910625/m/3544055718
http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/18910625/m/23210506

Loss of the Affective ego (equanimity?)
http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/18910625/m/22610875

God dimension of human experience:
http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/18910625/m/877305644

Journey on
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Coyote, modified 10 Years ago at 6/15/12 10:05 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/15/12 10:04 AM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 9 Join Date: 3/22/12 Recent Posts
You might try reading the works of Simone Weil (1909-1943), a French philosopher, activist, and Christian mystic who fought in the Spanish Civil War and starved herself to death. Albert Camus called her "the only great spirit of our times" and others have called her the patron saint of outsiders. She was raised by agnostic Jews and studied many religions (not to mention philosophy, mathematics, and other subjects) but ultimately leaned Catholic, despite refusing baptism. She was clearly a brilliant, complex woman and her work radiates with intensity.

Gravity and Grace or Waiting for God are good places to start if you are interested.

"Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer." -Simone Weil
Morgan Taylor, modified 10 Years ago at 6/15/12 11:40 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/15/12 11:40 AM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 71 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Hey ac, thanks for the referral on Simone Weil. I'd never heard of her. What a genius--and how tragic that she died so young. :'C
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Coyote, modified 10 Years ago at 6/16/12 3:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/16/12 3:39 PM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 9 Join Date: 3/22/12 Recent Posts
Morgan Taylor:
Hey ac, thanks for the referral on Simone Weil. I'd never heard of her. What a genius--and how tragic that she died so young. :'C


Glad to hear she resonates with you!
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Mike Knapp, modified 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 12:28 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 12:28 PM

RE: Any Christian Mystics Out There?

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
I just wanted to say thanks to everybody who's responded in this thread. There is a very rich tradition of Christian mysticism out there that I was completely unaware of. The pointers and comments y'all have given me are really appreciated. I'm enjoying exploring this aspect of meditation. So thanks everybody!