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A Joyful Path, Year Three – Week 11: Every One Of Us Is A Mystic — Story: Am I A Mystic Too?

For Classroom or Home School

 

Week 11: Autumn
Lesson 9: Every one of us is a Mystic

I can connect directly to God within.

Getting to the Heart of the Lesson

As humans living our most full life, we are invited to experience the entire continuum of divine connectivity. We are called to be prophets, people who seek truth, speak truth and embody truth through our actions. And we are called to be mystics, people who have the capacity to fall in love with beauty, mystery, and compassion. While all of us may experience both of these things, many of us feel a certain familiarity with one of them more than the other. In Lessons 17 and 18, we will explore ourselves as both Mystics and Prophets by honoring the lives of two individuals who have given a great deal of thought to both. We also consider the spiritual “tools” our Mystic-self and Prophet-self extend to us as we walk in the world.

In this week’s lesson, we will be learning about Christian mystic Meister Eckhart, a German priest living in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Eckhart was a member of the Dominican Order of Catholics, and his writings reveal a deep understanding of interspirituality and ecumenism. As a preacher, Eckhart’s teachings became so provocative he was tried for heresy. He was certainly a prophet for making his divine revelations public, but in this lesson, we are celebrating Eckhart for his mysticism.

For the Curious: More About Meister Eckhart

Many leaders from other religious practices respect Eckhart’s teachings and refer to them as ways to illustrate aspects of their traditions’ texts and/ or practices. For example, D.T. Suzuki, the great Japanese Buddhist philosopher, called Eckhart, “the one Zen thinker of the West.” Eckhart’s delight was spiritual synthesis. He lived this with such common sense conviction that he has received accolades from religious and non-religious thinkers.Carl Jung wrote an essay about Eckhart, “The Relativity of the God Concept in Meister

Eckhart.” Karl Marx appreciated Eckhart for his explicit language about economic justice.

Teacher Reflection/Activity

Some reading and a 10-20 min exercise (more if you have time and wish to take it) so you are able to experience the teachings offered through this lesson.)

The spiritual affirmation this week, “I am a Mystic, God lives in my Soul,” is inspired by the words of Meister Eckhart,

“Now consider this: God is in everything, but God is nowhere as much as God is in the soul. There, where time never enters, where no image shines in, in the innermost and deepest aspect of the soul, God creates the whole cosmos.” (1)

In what ways do you know your own soul? Where is it located? What does it need? What does it say? These are the questions our inner Mystic asks, whether we indulge them or not.

Mary Oliver, described by many as a “nature mystic,” described her poetry as a way of “listening to the world.” Her poems provide pathways to embrace a way of perceiving the world that invites attention, rapture and vulnerability.

Consider a few lines from her acclaimed poem, “The Summer Day”

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass… how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
…Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

For your own experience of the lesson this week, take yourself on a sensory-pleasing date. Use your senses to locate your soul. Choose from this list or follow a different tugging from your soul so that you can hear what your Mystic has to say.

Ideas:

✓ Lose yourself at a museum

✓ Enjoy an evening of live music OR play a favorite artist’s full album at home some evening with the lights off

✓ Relax in a bubble bath using your favorite essential oil or fresh herbs

✓ Journal (or paint or dance) at dawn or go for a sunrise stroll or birdwatch

✓ Create your favorite meal, dessert or cocktail and then savor each bite/sip

After your date, consider what you now understand about life that you previously did not understand. It can be very small. It might also be a peek at the infinite. Are you sensing something in a new way? Are you being reminded of something you have forgotten? If it’s helpful, jot these things down on some sticky notes; post the notes in areas where you will appreciate the reminder.

Read through the lesson before your time with the children. Decide which Activity Exploration will work best for your class (There are usually two options; choose one). Just below the heading, “Children’s Lesson and Story” you will find the preparations checklist for this lesson so you can collect any needed materials or make arrangements to support your selected activity.

Sacred Text Quotes

Hebrew Scriptures. Deuteronomy 6:5 (NRSV)

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Christian Scriptures. Matthew 16:26 (NIV)

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Christian Scriptures. Matthew 22:37 (NRSV)

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Islam. Qur’an 6.103

No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision; He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.

Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). Upanishad 2.1

If you think that you know well the truth of Brahman, know that you know little. What you think to be Brahman in yourself, or what you think to be Brahman in the gods – that is not Brahman. What is indeed the truth of Brahman you must therefore learn.

Wisdom Quotes

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. ― Abraham Joshua Heschel

Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul. ― Saint Teresa of Avila

Between God and the soul there is no between. ― Julian of Norwich

God is delighted to watch your soul enlarge. ― Meister Eckhart

Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.

Review & Commentary