Karl Rahner said, “If the church is going to survive, perhaps we all need to become mystics.” Perhaps If we humans are going to survive on the Earth, we need to become eco-mystics.
And what, on Monday morning, is that?
I think a mystic is someone who periodically and/or pervasively has a sense of being part of something more than themselves, of being more alive, who feels the imminence of the good intentions of the universe, who feels connected, known and integrated within a generative, creative love. This love is both within them and outside of them.
An eco-mystic is someone who is developing the capacity to experience an awe-filled, hands-off, non-colonizing delight in all manifestations of life: in the copper-backed bee busy at the edge of the path, the shoving purple chinook sky, the green shoulder of the prairie hillside and the luminous glow of the red begonias in heavy green shade.
Eco-mystics have a delicious sense of the “this-ness” of things which has nothing to do with them, a sense of how every manifestation of life has its own story, its own trajectory of “life-fullness” and death, its own innate beauty, integrity and worth.
At the same time, eco-mystics feel the soles of their feet on the Earth, know the restoration of breath in and out of their bodies, experience the touch of moving air on their skin.
In their fierce desire to be present to what is — without reference to self — they discover a dynamic, vibrating aliveness of life, and sometimes experience themselves as solid, tangible and integral within that life.
In losing their lives, by giving themselves away in their still, open, energy and full attention, they find themselves to be altogether different.
Instructions for Noticing (Caution: this might be a poem or a prescription) 1. Go outside. 2. Stand still. 3. Where are your feet? 4. Breathe slowly, five times, in and out. 5. Notice. - What do you see? Pause. - What do you hear? Pause. - What do you smell? Pause. - What do you feel against your skin? Pause. 6. Pause. 7. Pause. 8. Pause. 9. Notice what gathers in your mind, body, heart: memories, ideas, joy, sorrow, ease, tension… 10. Let all the gatherings go. 11. Go back to Step 2 and repeat. 12. When it is time to move on, bow.