Tag: Thomas Keating

Confessions of a Failing Mystic

Since roughly puberty, one of my life’s struggles has been intermittent bouts of depression. Maybe it’s inherited, maybe it’s just my portion, or maybe it’s connected with long-time sleep issues. Whatever its source, in daily life, I work hard to counterbalance the onset of periods of low energy, negative thoughts, and aimlessness with contemplative practices, spiritual readings, exercise, music, family, and meaningful work. Or as much meaningful work as I can muster.

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Awakening And The Little Metanoia

One of the challenges of the contemplative life is understanding the relationship between the contemplative dimension of life – the cultivation of an interior silence that radically changes how we perceive the world and the self-in-the-world – and the bare facts of the practical lives we find ourselves in.

Philosophers call it the phenomenal world.
More poetically, Eastern traditions have called it the ten thousand things.

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The Burning

It’s been a trying time. Within my own extended family in the past couple months there has been a failed adoption, several trips to urgent care, a surgery, and a layoff. A line from Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing keeps coming to mind: “Doomed enterprises divide lives forever into the then and the now.”

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An Unexpected Benefit of Studying the Mystics

For some reason, I’ve always been interested in sources of inspiration and creativity – the guy behind the guy in a sense. So if someone is an influential musician, say, I want to know who had influenced them. In college I dug into some of the inspirations for artists like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles, going back into the catalogue of early 20th century masters like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, and so on. I wanted to hear that originating source.

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A Checklist for Resurrection

Traditionally, on Easter Sunday, we identify closely with a person who suffered, died, and rose again. In the Christian tradition, Christ’s resurrection is kind of the whole point.But often we turn it into a mental story of something out there. We think of it mechanically in a sense, it’s something that happened and if I respond thus and so it means I don’t have to die or go to hell when I die or however we conceive of that. It’s as if a fact we either accept or reject, and that determines our afterlife.

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