Posts tagged practice
Participatory Mystical Awakening

Discovering and Practicing Mysticism – Part Two

So, how do we practice mysticism?  

Once we’ve cleared up some of the common misperceptions about mysticism, we find that we can approach mysticism from a trans-rational perspective, believing that it is real and something we participate in, experienced in connection to our Higher Self, and deeply connective to others. You can read more in depth about those distinctions in Part One.

Getting past some of those mental hurdles, we now can step into our participatory practice. This is a co-creative process that we engage in with our whole being. While mystical experience can be received in many different forms and ways, we can practice our active engagement into the process by cultivating mystical awareness, learning to sense emergent mystical realities, then interplay dynamically with them and one another in convergent communion.

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Can Anyone Be a Mystic?

Discovering and Practicing Mysticism – Part One

Pew research from 2009 revealed that 49% of Americans say they have had a religious or mystical experience, defined as a “moment of sudden religious insight or awakening.” 10 years later, that number is most likely higher. It has been climbing up steadily from only 22% in 1962. The numbers may be even higher considering that many may have had such experiences but wouldn’t want to put the term “religious” on it for a variety of reasons.

Have you had a mystical experience?

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The Drama Triangle: When Groups Go Wrong

Getting Back to Heart Connections

Sometimes we shy away from group settings because they can be quite messy. Who hasn’t sat in a group and experienced it devolving into something painful? We’d like to believe that spiritual groups devoted to love and prayer don’t have this problem, but we all know that isn’t the case.

This quite often comes from a drama with three different roles that we and others tend to play. This is called the Drama Triangle which reveals dysfunctional interaction originally described by Stephen Karpman. I learned this from him in a workshop forty years ago. It has served me greatly to explain the cycles and patterns of behavior I saw unfold in so many groups and conversations. It also indicated what we should do to get off the Drama Triangle! There are more nuanced approaches for the professional, but I will give the basics here.

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Evolving Collective Spiritual Practice

Why We Need the “We” – Part Two

Last week we explored the shift from shoulder-to-shoulder to heart-to-heart, focusing specifically on practice with just one other person. This week we’re going to broaden that out to a community context. Not only do we need to expand our spiritual practice beyond the confines of individualism, but we desperately need to evolve how we gather and practice together.

We also emphasized the importance of the need to further reflect oneness in our spiritual practice. If we seek the experience of oneness with all, and with one other person, what would it look like to seek this experience in a group? And wouldn’t such a group practice be reflective of a more evolved approach to our spiritual gatherings?

How do we get there? 

Let’s start with a very simple picture. Imagine a group of people sitting in rows of chairs (or pews) looking up at a person on a stage. Now picture a circle of chairs with people sitting, facing one another. What difference do you feel? Where in your body do you feel it? Stay there for a moment.

Now picture a glowing heart radiating from each person in the circle. See the spiritual energy and love flowing out of them. As the waves expand out, everyone’s spiritual energy fields are overlapping and engaging with one other, creating a palpable collective field where love, wisdom, encouragement, and much more can emerge. Is this a spiritual reality?

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How to Experience the Universal Christ – Part One

Whole-Body Awakening in Six Practices

Theologian Ramone Panikkar, says that Christ is “the Christian symbol for the whole of reality.” Panikkar further points out that the “whole of reality” consists of three seamlessly connected dimensions: (1) the divine (2) the human, and (3) the material. Here is a basic set of six Whole-Body Awakening practices leading to the immediate experience of all three dimensions of the Universal Christ. This week and next we present six practices to awaken the divinity, humanity, and materiality of the Universal Christ in us. The first three this week will focus on each center of our personal, individual movements, while next week will integrate these into our outward, communal movements.

Practice One: The direct experience of
the human dimension of the Universal Christ

START WITH YOUR HEART

Start with the heart because the heart leads. It holds the power to heal our self-centeredness—to open us to all people, our sisters and brothers in humanity. The heart is our body’s most powerful source of divine/human love, and the easiest to access. Here are the steps: 

1.    Drop down from your head space to your heart space. Most of us begin by thinking, just like you are doing in reading this. Therefore we must consciously move our awareness from head to heart. You can place your hand on your heart to help you aim for the target. If you need more help, you can tap on your head on down to your jaw, and then to your heart. Tap there until you sense you have moved to knowing from your heart felt-sense rather than your conceptual head thinking. This is not thinking about your heart, but dropping the awareness that was previously in your head down to your heart.

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