Father Thomas Keating, Founder of Contemplative Outreach, along with several others developed the modern form of Christian contemplative prayer which they called Centering Prayer. A Catholic cleric, he is steeped in mysticism and offers wonderful insights in his many books. His life is a testament to being “in the world, but not of it.”
These are his words:
“Our contemporary world desperately needs persons of boundless generosity who dedicate themselves to great ideals and who wish to transform themselves and contribute to the transformation of the world. A great vision is what gives ordinary daily life its direction and invests it with purpose.
Seekers of Ultimate Mystery have to share in the agony of our time. Only trust can make this experience transforming for themselves and for others. “
If we are, in fact, “Seekers of Ultimate Mystery,” our contribution to the world requires us to return to the alignment of ourselves with that Ultimate Mystery, God, Infinite Invisible–whatever word resonates for you–with our human values and with ourselves.
There is only one way to return, and one name for it is “Soul Solitude.” When this book was published, G. Charles Andersen, and Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, authors of Soul Solitude: Taking Time for Our Souls to Catch Up, seemed to want to make the choices clearer. We can run as fast as we can, addicted to drama and trying desperately to live up to the expectations of others, or, we can slow down and actually get our feet under us, standing on a firm foundation of that alignment of vision, values, beliefs and purpose.
Take some soul solitude time each day–preferably several short times each day–to reflect on your alignment of vision, values, beliefs and purpose.
In the morning, remind yourself of those four things and agree with yourself that you will do your best to demonstrate them during the day. Are you able to focus more on being than on doing?
In the evening, reflect on your day. Acknowledge the moments, minutes or hours of alignment you enjoyed. Recognize the situations, relationships and ideas that may have removed you from expressing your true nature. Re-affirm your commitment to that expression.
That will help.
Become Everyday Mystics™ through your focused meditation, reading and contemplation. This Mysticism Blog brings you insights and inspiration for your journey.