The Path of a Modern Mystic

A contemplative’s path is one of longing for and realizing communion or oneness with what we might call God, the divine, ultimate reality, conscious awareness, or spiritual truth. This path is one of contemplation and investigation, while simultaneously developing a deep relationship with one’s Self. It is the complete surrender to one’s own wisdom; embracing humility and beginner’s mind and letting go of fixed identity. This journey requires discipline, commitment, and a willingness to hold both light and shadow.

Many people wonder what it means to have a “mystical” experience. A mystical experience goes beyond conceptional understanding. It is a direct experience, intuition, or insight; unmistakable, at times intense, other times quiet, almost silent. The mystic knows deeply and remembers her ever-present oneness with divinity while being embodied and connected with others. She lets experience come and go while letting her reality be informed by it.

The direct experience of the divine is often believed to be an experience for the privileged or Saints, however, it is available to anyone, is always present, as it is part of our human tradition and spiritual heritage. Mystical experiences can be overpowering visions and states described by mystics such as Theresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, or C.G. Jung. Though for many it is those simple moments of connectedness when heart and mind are in sync. Many of us experience those moments while being in nature, holding a new-born, or being in love. (more…)





Silence is my deepest prayer, my longing,and my monastery.
Silence has been my companion, my trusted friend.
She walked beside me in the forest and the busy streets of NYC.
She brought comfort, in times of pain and deep confusion.
She offers her refuge, always.
In silence I feel one with God.

Silence is more than the absence of sound or physical movement. Silence is a place within us, deeply personal, allowing us to contemplate our lives with great awareness. We are invited to drop into a place rich and nourishing. In silence we meet our Self, our true nature, the divine, God. Silence is awareness, truth, and consciousness. In silence our minds are quiet and we simply are; as R.S. Thomas puts it so beautifully, “the silence holds with its gloved hand the wild hawk of the mind.” In silence there is no “other,” no separation, only deep listening and letting go.

To find those moments of interior silence in our daily life, to contemplate, pray, and meditate helps us to center and connect with the home within. It takes spiritual discipline to awaken and cultivate those moments of stillness and silence.

And yet once we have established a practice of silence we can reconnect with ourselves and the divine independent of outer circumstances. To pray in silence, to be still and listen deeply allows for the awakened heart to emerge and the whispers of the divine to be received.

Silence offers her refuge at all times, how come we so rarely accept her invitation?