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I have been looking at a book by the Catholic Wayne Teasdale, called the "Mystic Heart".


In it he speaks of various "guidelines" offered for consideration by those who would seek communion and co-operation ( as opposed to confrontation and assertion )


Guideline 1 :- The world religions bear witness of the Ultimate Reality to which they give various names: Brahman, Allah, (the) Absolute, God, Great Spirit."


This guideline emphasises experience, not mere conception, for the basis of each Faith lies in the actual experience of these tradition's founders over the course of many centuries.


Guideline 2 :- Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.


Therefore our words, no matter how technical or precise, or specialized, are incapable of holding or conveying the Ultimate it its actual nature, yet our life and being are coordinated with it.


Guideline 3:- Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.


It is only by opening up to and integrating with the source that we awaken to who we actually are, which is hidden in the mystery of the source itself.


Guideline 4:- Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality. Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.


Therefore faith is a basic attitude of trust in the ultimate mystery behind existence; it is a gesture and stand of pure openess.


Guideline 5:- The potential for human wholeness - or in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transformation, blessedness, nirvana - is present in every human person.


We have - indeed we are - this potential for unlimited being because this mystical dimension is part of what makes us human.


Guideline 6:- Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.


Therefore the Ultimate can be experienced in virtually anything. There is no place, no activity that restricts the divine. It is everywhere.


Guideline 7:- As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance, illusion, weakness and suffering.


When we live in separation and division, from ourselves and from others, we are out of touch with the way things really are.


Guideline 8:- Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life; yet spiritual attainment is not the result of one's own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness (unity) with Ultimate Reality.


In other words, what transforms us is not what we do but our integration with what is. Prayer is communion with Reality.


Just thought I would share.

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Regardless of your belief, you have to admire the goal of mysticism. For me personally, it rings true and tries to offer us a key to finding out who we really are by trying to put into words that which cannot be put into words. Tricky indeed.



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Paul, Wayne Teasdale says very early in his book that we are all mystics at heart, which for me explains just why, as Thomas Merton says, the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who we are and of discovering our true selves..........


We can be whatever we like. We can be ourselves or not, as we please. We are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal. We may be true or false....(From "New Seeds of Contemplation")


And it all seems to involve the paradox that though what we must be is what we are, again "how far have I to go to find You in Whom I haver already arrived!"


Which all involves paradox and mystery, but also the very simple necessity of seeking to be totally honest with ourselves. As Shinran (one of the "founding fathers" of Shin - Pure Land - Buddhism) seems to have been, who saw and acknowledged, when close to death at the end of a long life, that he still did not know right from wrong, nor false from true, that he lacked even small love and small compassion, yet still enjoyed seeking to teach others out of pride......Yet, within such honesty, rather than getting out the sackcloth and ashes and whipping himself because of his "sin", simply recognised that just because such was so he was the supreme candidate for the boundless compassion of Reality-as-is, Amida.


Such honesty, such a trust, turns rubble to gold!

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  • 1 month later...

I'm in the process of reading "The Mystic Heart" and just finished Teasdale's "A Monk in the World". Teasdale was an advocate of inter-spirituality, even coined the term "interspirituality". He embraced the concept of convergence - to him, mysticism brings all of the world's great religions together. He was an interspiritual monk, being both a lay Trappist monk and a Buddhist monk. Several online communities are embracing Teasdale's ideas of interspiritual communities - bringing people together to share this interspirituality. This didn't so much open my eyes as give me a goal - a goal to create an interspiritual community. I'm not sure how to go about it yet, but I feel quite strongly about it.

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Thanks Derek, for your introduction of Wayne Teasdale, now added to my Amazon wish list :) ...


Yvonne, I'd like to pray with you for more interspiritual community. It'll come to us...


Loving progress,


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