I recently started a class at the Transformational Arts College called Meditation and the Modern Mystic.
The fundamental question of the course is: how does one retain spirituality in the modern world? or how do you become a modern mystic?
Essentially, a modern mystic is able to:
- transcend ego
- be of service/contribute
- trust divine guidance
- stay centred in the face of crisis and change
- view life as a journey, rather than a problem to be solved
This is, of course, underpinned by true emotional healing:
- healing of wounds
- healthy ego
- ability to take charge of life
- ability to be intimate/get needs met
- have choice
- avert crisis
The two go hand in hand. They are parallel paths that must be travelled simultaneously.
If you attempt emotional healing without a strong, spiritual (not necessarily religious) component, you risk:
- self indulgence and self absorption
- emotional healing addiction/woundology
- recycling of old patterns and wounds
And you can't become a modern mystic without healing yourself emotionally because you can't transcend an ego you never had, or you may end up using spirituality as a defence mechanism or form of escapism.
But, how much easier is the path to spirituality if you are a monk, locked away from the modern world, praying/meditating for hours a day? I'm sure this life has it's unique challenges, but what of the rest of us? How do we stay centred in a world where we are surrounded by competing media voices, rampant consumerism and any number of temptations? How do we stop wanting things? How do we detach from all of that?
I have just begun (or maybe I was on it all along?) my journey along these two paths, and I keep discovering how much I don't know. What I do know is that my moments of grace only happen when I stop doubting myself, when I stop fearing the unknown, when I stop asking what I can get, when I stop competing, when I stop recycling old hurts, when I forgive, when I laugh, when I give, when I love.
My hope is that eventually these precious moments of grace will turn into a long lifetime of grace.