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Today's meditation features Matthew Fox bringing Thich Naht Hahn into conversation with Meister Eckhart. Thich Nhat Hahn challenges Christianity to recapture its mystical tradition. It reminds us to take time to be quiet with God in the midst of our many activities.
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Ron and Jean
MEDITATION 495: On being quietly with God: Matthew Fox brings Thich Nhat Hahn into conversation with Meister Eckhart
The Creation Spirituality Lineage Calling All Social and Environmental Activists, Mystic Explorers, Justice Makers, Cosmic Thinkers, Earth Keepers
Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Advice for Christianity
October 21, 2021
Deep Ecumenism does not necessarily mean just nodding one’s head in agreement all the time to how our religions have or have not evolved over the years. Sometimes religions can forget some of their deepest insights and need to be awakened.
While Thich Nhat Hanh tells us he is “very excited” about the encounter between Buddhism and Christianity in the twenty-first century, he also calls for a “very drastic change” to occur in the Christian tradition.
What is that change? To know more deeply our mystical tradition and especially to recovery the Apophatic Divinity.
If we can bring into Christianity the insight of interbeing and of non-duality, we will radically transform the way people look on the Christian tradition, and the valuable jewels in the Christian tradition will be rediscovered.
Jesus and the Buddha. Artist unknown. From The Buddhist Christian Church.
Notice what he is saying in this wish of his that Christianity recover its apophatic tradition—that Christianity has lost touch with some of its “valuable jewels.” This is what happens when religions lose touch with their deepest essence and pursue empire longing instead of the deepest teachings of its founders and practitioners, lovers (mystics) and prophets (warriors). TNH calls for a “radical transformation” of the way people look at the Christian tradition.
I think he is right, and this insight exists within the Christian tradition among its mystics. For example, by rediscovering Eckhart’s profound apophatic theology and his unconscious Buddhism we can unlock these “valuable jewels” and at the same time launch a true interchange of Buddhist and Christian wisdom. I am very excited to bring Meister Eckhart together with Thich Nhat Hanh and other Buddhist teachers who have so much to teach us all.
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Queries for Contemplation
Do you feel that “valuable jewels” have slipped away from the Christian consciousness? And that a very “drastic change” is needed to retrieve them and that the mystical and apophatic tradition can bring them back?
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, p. 56.
See also Rev. Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo, The Lotus & the Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity.
Banner Image: Statue of Meister Eckhart, Town Hall Tower, Cologne, by Elisabeth Perger; photo by Raimond Spekking, Wikimedia Commons. Thich Nhat Hanh in Paris, 2006; photo by Duc, Wikimedia Commons.
Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time
While Matthew Fox recognizes that Eckhart has influenced everyone from Julian of Norwich to Eckhart Tolle, Karl Marx to Carl Jung, and Annie Dillard to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
"I can’t imagine a richer, juicier, or more relevant introduction to the grandeur and brilliance of Meister Eckhart’s vision. Matthew Fox has given us yet another radioactive, stunning work. Every chapter is a pure, clear, and swift revelation.” — Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
The Lotus & The Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity
How can we move away from “us vs. them” thinking as our surroundings feel more divided and polarized than ever? Co-authors Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo discuss how Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Christianity answer this question from unique points of view, with many commonalities and practical tools to break down the barriers between us.
“The Lotus and the Rose is an extraordinary example of what can happen when spiritual leaders from different traditions open up and speak from the heart.” — Paul Chaffee, The Interfaith Observer.
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Join Matthew Fox & Deepen Into the Mystical Teachings of Saint Hildegard: Balance the Sacred Feminine and Masculine, Invoke the Angles & Explore Hildegard's Celtic Roots & Healing Remedies. Registration is still open, past sessions available in recording. Live Video 9-Week Training 10/5 - 12/14 Tuesdays 5:30pm PT (GMT/UTC-7). Learn more HERE.
Matthew Fox is the featured speaker in the free online event by Matsunaga Institute for Peace: Conversation with Rev. Matthew Fox: Rebel With A Cause--Peacebuilding, Mentoring, And Warriorhood
Friday, November 5, 2021, 6:00pm-7:00pm PT (GMT/UTC-7)