Soul Food from the Banquet Table of Mystics
Note: Emphasis (boldface, caps or italics) in quotes or portions thereof may have been supplied.
Christian Mystics of the Pre-modern Era
Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours; yours are the eyes through which to look at Christ’s compassion to the world, yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good, and yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now. (St. Teresa of Avila)
We are all called to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born. (Meister Eckhart)
Do not look with fear on the changes and chances of this life. Rather look to them with full faith that as they arise, God — whose you are — will deliver you out of them… Do not anticipate what will happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. (St. Francis de Sales)
Joel S. Goldsmith (“The Infinite Way”)
Note: Book sources are cited whenever available. For more of Joel’s teachings please go to our “Infinite Way” Principles page.
As long as we are living in a material sense of world, we will think of supply as purely material, which always consists of something external to us to be acquired: money, a home, automobiles. But in the real world of Spirit, supply is not external to us, nor is it ever to be acquired, attained, or sought after, because in the spiritual realm supply is what I am: I am the bread; I am the meat, I am the water.
These things we perceive with the five senses are objects of mind, with no relationship to Truth.
All appearances are sense-objects — not of God, or Truth.
All that is objectively witnessed must be understood to be mental images or mind projections — never spiritual reality.
When you stop being frightened by the appearance of sin, disease, death, lack, or limitation, it does not frighten you. You know now that it does not exist out there. It exists in human belief, and if you want to nullify it you had better not accept it.
The secret of meditation is simple: you become what you meditate on. When you use an inspirational passage every day in meditation, you are driving the words deep into your consciousness. Eventually they become an integral part of your personality, which means they will find constant expression in what you do, what you say, and what you think. (Passage Meditation)
Video of Eknath Easwaran lecture on “Swimming Against the Current.”
Abbot Thomas Keating
The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from Him. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced. (Open Mind, Open Heart)
All true prayer is based on the conviction of the presence of the Spirit in us and of the Spirit’s unfailing and continual inspiration. (Open Mind, Open Heart)
Rest refers to interior quiet, tranquility, peace, rootedness of being one with the Divine Presence. Rest is our reassurance at the deepest level that everything is okay. The ultimate freedom is to rest in God in suffering, as well as in joy. God was just as present to Jesus on the cross, as on the mountain of the Transfiguration. (Reawakenings)
One of the things that contemplative prayer will affect is the intuition of the oneness of the human family, and indeed, the oneness of all creation. As we move into our own inmost being… We come into contact with what is the inmost being of every member of the human race and indeed the whole of creation. …This mystery of oneness enables us to develop a refined inward eye, and invites us to perceive the mystery of the Divine everywhere and in everything. …That which is hidden from our senses and intellect becomes more and more transparent as our consciousness is being transformed. (Thomas Keating)
All methods that lead to contemplation are more or less aimed at bypassing the thinking process. The reason is that our thinking process tends to reinforce our addictive process – our frenzy to “get something” from the outer world to fuel our compulsions or to mask our pain. If we can just rest on a regular basis for 20 to 30 minutes without thinking, we begin to see that we are not our thoughts. We have thoughts, but we are not our thoughts. Most people suffer because they think that they are their thoughts and if their thoughts are upsetting, distressing, or evil, they are stuck with them. If they just stopped thinking for a while every day as a discipline, they would begin to see that they do not have to be dominated by their thoughts. (Intimacy with God)
Marc of Contemplative Pathways
Absolutely nothing separates you from God. Absolutely nothing separates you from all that God is, because God is indivisibly one.
This then is how I see the twofold mystical life: It has two intertwining aspects — that of (1) a winding road, which we refer to as the mystical path, over which (2) a purposeful journey is made, known as the spiritual journey. It is a journey of changing awareness the soul takes, along a path or road that seems clear only with respect to where it begins or takes off but remains nebulous as regards its end or final destination. Many, if not all, who embark on the spiritual journey, do not realize the magnitude and extent to which they will be transformed. The transformation is monumental in scope, cosmic in origin, and truly epic in its proportions as befits a God desperately in search of Itself. (From Marc’s blog: “The Mystical Path of Life: The Self Contemplating Itself”)
There is definitely a relationship between our awakening to Truth and the dismantling of the false self system: Our deeper awakening to Truth brings about a further dismantling of the false self system; and the more we work at dismantling the false self system, the greater becomes the spiritual awakening. (From Marc’s comment to a response posted by Grace Padilla on the blog page “Mystical Oneness”)
It is not in My Being, but in Our seeing. (The Still Small Voice speaking within Me)
Our human fortunes are like wisps of smoke. Here one moment, then gone the next. The suchness of human existence. (From an email to a friend)
There is nothing to comprehend in the Void. No comprehension; only a knowingness. We think we comprehend that which we choose to see and believe (the tale of the elephant and the blind men), never what truly is. (From Marc’s comment to Josephine in the blog series: “No Reality to Darkness, Despite ‘Darkest Just Before the Dawn’”)