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Mysticism is a part of Christianity that has become too often neglected and ignored.  In much of Western Christian expression, mysticism and the practices of deep spiritual meditation are regarded (and rejected) as practices of religions such as Buddhism.  Yet, one does not have to leave Christianity to find deeply mystical faith practices.  For example, the following is taken from Thomas Keating’s Open Mind, Open Heart:

Centering prayer is consenting and surrendering to God.  The spiritual journey does not require going anywhere because God is already present and within us.  It is a question of allowing our ordinary thoughts to recede into the background and to float along the river of consciousness without our noticing them, while we direct our attention toward the river on which they are floating.  We are like someone sitting on the bank of the river and watching the boats go by.  If we focus intentionally on the river rather than on the boats, the capacity to disregard thoughts as they go by will develop, and a general kind of attention will emerge which might be called spiritual attentiveness. (p. 20)

Often times, in practice, faith becomes more about naming and describing the boats that are carried along, rather than listening to the river that carries them.  A maturing spirituality should embrace and incorporate spiritual attentiveness to the God behind and flowing through all consciousness, rather than simply on the moral and doctrinal concepts of faith.  Bible study and vocal prayer are useful spiritual practices, but connection with God is the goal.  Spirituality should move us beyond the intellectual and emotional faculties of daily life to a deep connection at the core of our being.

Faith must be more than religious thoughts and values; it is a divine union that awakens one to the God who is as close as breath.


~ by eternaldode on 31 August 2009.

One Response to ““River””

  1. It’s alot easier to focus on the boats than on the river… Take it from a boat watcher.

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