Contemplation begins with Wonder.
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And Where, Exactly, Does Mysticism “Happen”?

When I was studying journalism in school, I learned that a good reporter seeks to ask some or all of these simply questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? So when I began to work on the articles for this website — for exploring the mystical life — it only seemed reasonable to begin with those same six questions.

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Do We Lose Our Identity When We Become One with God?

So much of the language of the New Testament, and of so many of the mystics (at least in the Christian tradition), is language of love. God is love (or as I like to say, “Love-with-a-capital-L”). We love because God first loved us. God’s love is poured into our hearts.

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Contemplation

So contemplation, mystically speaking, is one type of prayer. And the Catechism definition gives us a pretty good way of understanding this unique dimension of communication with God.

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Mysticism

Mysticism is the dimension of spirituality that goes deeper than belief, doctrine or dogma. It recognizes that spiritual reality cannot ever be fully comprehended by the limitations of human thought, language or logic.

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Contemplative Outreach

If you want to learn the Centering Prayer method of silently consenting to God’s presence and action in your life, explore the psychology and theology of such prayer, learn about related practices such as lectio divina, and find a community of like-minded persons who can support you in establishing and maintaining a daily silent prayer practice, then Contemplative Outreach is for you.

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Evelyn Underhill’s Historical Sketch of Mysticism

This essay originally appeared in Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness (1911). As that book is now in the public domain, and as this article is an excellent best brief summary of Christian mysticism, at least through the 18th century (with some consideration of non-Christian mystics as well), I’m publishing it here for the benefit of the readers of this site.

What is the Best Church for Christian Mysticism and Contemplation?

What is the best church for someone interested in contemplative practice? Is it better to be anchored in one tradition, or to resist affiliation with any one tradition, in the interest of maintaining an openness to God’s wisdom and guidance wherever it may arise?

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Discerning the Mystical Sense of the Bible

Origen of Alexandria, one of the earliest Christian mystics, suggested that the Bible needs to be read on three levels: the literal, the moral, and the mystical.

It’s important to understand the distinctions between these three approaches to the scriptures.

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Can You Combine Different Methods of Silent Prayer?

Do you think it’s possible to legitimately combine Christian Meditation (WCCM), The Jesus Prayer, and Centering Prayer into a single practice? I’ve been experimenting with this and wondering what your thoughts are.

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Latest Blog Posts

Why Do So Many Christians (and Christian Churches) Reject Esotericism and Occultism?

The following question arrived in my email inbox the other day… Why is there such a condemnation in the Christian churches for esotericism/occultism? I have my entire adult life ( …

Why Do So Many Christians (and Christian Churches) Reject Esotericism and Occultism? Read More »

Some Podcasts You Might Enjoy

Over the past few months I have had the good fortune to be the guest on a few podcasts. Perhaps you might enjoy listening to them. If so, check the …

Some Podcasts You Might Enjoy Read More »

Advance Praise for Eternal Heart

Friends, I am so happy to report that my forthcoming book, Eternal Heart, has now made it through the editing and proofreading process and the publisher is preparing it for …

Advance Praise for Eternal Heart Read More »

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Many Paths, One Way: Balancing Religious Commitment with Spiritual Diversity

A reader, who chooses to remain anonymous, posed the following question: “a world shaped by peace and harmony among the people of all positive paths.” Are they all the way …

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Get a Centering Prayer “Affirmations” Bookmark

Friends, as you can see from this photo, I have a new bookmark and I’d love to send a couple of them to you. While one side of the bookmark …

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Online Retreat: Praying with Julian of Norwich (May 14-15, 2021)

Julian of Norwich was a 14th century mystic and author who, even in her own lifetime, was renowned as a visionary and spiritual director. She was the first woman to …

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Online Day of Reflection for Patrons: Julian of Norwich (May 8, 2021)

Four times a year I offer an online Quiet Day/Day of Reflection for the generous patrons who support the Anamchara website/blog/knowledge base through Patreon. The next such quiet day will …

Online Day of Reflection for Patrons: Julian of Norwich (May 8, 2021) Read More »

James Martin: Learning to Pray

“Everyone can pray” is the hopeful and helpful opening message of Learning to Pray, the new book from bestselling Jesuit author James Martin. But he knows that many people don’t …

James Martin: Learning to Pray Read More »

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A Dream About A High School Library and Standing Up For What’s Right

Last night, I had the following dream. I woke up and wrote the dream down, and here is the unedited transcript of what I wrote: Dream 1/31/21-2/1/21 I was back …

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